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What Are The Differences Between Hair Pomade, Paste & Clay?

February 27, 2018 3 Comments

What Are The Differences Between Hair Pomade, Paste & Clay?

The world of hair styling products can be a confusing one and sometimes very frustrating - especially when the products don't make our hair look the way we want it. Whether you are brand new to styling your hair, or whether you are a seasoned veteran who has tried a lot of different products, there is always more to learn.

It can be overwhelming to try and understand what each product does and trying to keep up with new products that hit the market. All of these different product names and types can make it quite difficult finding the right styling products for your specific hair styling needs.

We have taken an in depth look at Hair Pomade, Hair Clay and Hair Paste so you can see which one is most suitable for your hair type and style.





Pomade is one of the most commonly used words to describe men’s hair styling products today. Now whether or not the word 'pomade' is used correctly is a completely different story, in general, it seems to be the catch-all term to describe anything that’s not a gel or fibre.

Pomades are primarily designed to showcase your hair in a slick, neat manner while providing a high shine finish (i.e. pompadours, ducktails, slick backs, or classic side parts).Basically, pomades work extremely well for hairstyles that are formed using a comb. Unlike gels, pomades do not dry out or leave your hair hard and crunchy allowing you to style your hair again and again throughout the day. Options for medium to high shine pomades are widely available.  Pomades can be broken down into two major categories:

  • Oil-based (the more traditional version)
  • Water-based (the more popular option)

Oil-based pomades are basically grease or petroleum, which makes it a very cheap option compared to water-based pomades. In the 1950s, the term “greaser” appeared to describe the greased-back hairstyles that use this type of product. Their ingredients are water insoluble which makes them practically impossible to wash out in the shower (buyer beware!).

While the petroleum and grease might give your hair long lasting shine and infinite mould ability, it does come at a cost. Practically anything you use to wash out oil-based pomades will also strip all of the natural oils out of your hair, potentially leaving it looking quite unhealthy. One final thing worth mentioning is that oil-based pomades also leave you more prone to acne, particularly along your forehead and on your scalp. If the shampoo and conditioner you use doesn't effectively wash your hair and properly remove all the oil and grease from the pomade, then your pores and hair follicles can be clogged resulting in unwanted build up and undesirable acne.

Water-based pomades on the other hand are a little more user-friendly. They are designed to allow you to achieve similar looks and holds to oil-based pomades, but they wash out easily with water. Most water-based pomades don't hold as firmly as the oil based type, but they maintain flexibility and can be restyled throughout the day. Check out our Peppermint Pomade which falls within the water-based pomade category.





There is no consensus on the definition of “hair paste”, but there are obvious similarities between them all when you see and touch them. In general hair pastes are a bit thicker in consistency than pomades, and their consistency and texture can range from something like a thick toothpaste to tacky glue. A hair paste usually gives your hair a medium to very firm hold, and can leave your hair with a natural matte finish or add a touch of shine. 

This makes hair pastes the most versatile men’s hair products out there and can be recommended for practically any hairstyle. Hair pastes are ideal for all hair lengths, types and styles…from short to long, fine to thick, messy to neat. And they are water-based, so washing them out is super easy. You really can’t go wrong with choosing a product in the hair paste family! It's why our Natural Beeswax Paste is so popular.

Now typically, thicker hair pastes require them to be warmed up before application. Rubbing thicker hair paste between your fingers or palms will soften the product allowing you evenly distribute it throughout your hair. Once the product is applied and your hair is styled, the product will begin to cool again and re-thicken, which helps give your hairstyle the hold it needs.

We have two products in the hair paste category and they're quite different, but quite versatile. The Natural Beeswax Paste is a firm hold, matte finish paste. It’s very thick and it definitely requires warming up in your hands before applying it. It is by far our best seller because it has amazing hold and leaves your hair looking natural with a matte finish. The Moroccan Texture Paste is a medium hold and provides semi-shine finish. It gives your hair great separation and flexibility, but it also works as a volumiser and texturiser prior to blow drying. The Moroccan Texture Paste also smells amazing!





Clay hair products are a relatively new classification for men’s styling products and these products can range from very thick to very creamy consistency. The one thing in common with all clay hair products is the fact that they actually contain a clay ingredient in their formulations. The most commonly used clay is bentonite, which is completely natural and usually forms from weathering of volcanic ash. It’s incredibly fine and powdery making it almost “velvety” to the touch, and can swell as much as 6 times when contacting water.

Clay (bentonite) makes your hair feel “fatter” by adding body, thickness and structure to the individual hair strands, and ultimately gives your hair structure and stability throughout the day. Hair clays are ideal for hairstyles that require tons of volume without having to worry about the styling product weighing down your hair.

There are other benefits of using hair clay products including: 

  • Clay has the tendency to draw dirt and impurities from the hair without drying the hair of its natural oils
  • Clay has properties that are naturally healing and stimulating of the hair shaft and scalp (making it good for men with sensitive skin and scalp) and promotes hair growth
  • It nourishes the hair and scalp because it’s rich in mineral and nutrients
  • It conditioner and moisturises the hair to control and maintain frizzy hair, particularly for men with curly or longer hair

Our Sculpting Clay is has an incredibly smooth and creamy texture which allows it to be spread easily and evenly through the thickest of hair types. Its lightweight formula also absorbs quickly into the hair without leaving any unwanted residue. Applying the Sculpting Clay can be applied before (as a pre-styler) or after (as a finish product) using a blow dryer to give you extra volume and stability without weighing your hair down. Either way you choose to use it, your hair will be left with matte to semi-matte finish and give your hair medium to high hold.





The power of powder! The vast majority of men don’t even know texture (or volumising) powders exist, let alone know how to use them. Let me tell you what - if you want to create instant crazy volume and natural lightweight hold then this is the recommended product for you. Our Texture Powder is primarily a pre-styler and are applied either before or after you blow dry your hair, but most definitely before you finish it off with a pomade or paste.

All powders typically contain the same basic ingredients. They all have a base of silica silylate. This is a rough particulate (unlike silicones which are smooth and shiny). The roughness sticks to your hair fibres and create the volume that you need by increasing friction between the hair fibres. In addition there are certain chemicals in the texture powder that absorbs moisture, which in turn rids your hair of excess oil. This also contributes to the extra boost in volume.

They’re generally recommended to apply to the roots of your hair. Using your fingers to mix the powder within your hair will give that much needed boost. If applied to just the ends of your hair, you can create a different effect; this typically creates great separation among the strands and piecey effect.

The negative that we’ve seen in using texture powders is that it doesn’t leave your hair soft like other products might. Your hair isn’t crunchy like a hair spray, but feels a bit stiff. In addition, application is a bit different that a typical hair product in a jar. Using too much and you may notice it at the roots of your hair. Apply it sparingly to ensure it blends well is the best way to use it.



If your still having a hard time choosing which product type is for you then your in luck. We are giving away one of each product in the Mister Pompadour range so you can try them all! Visit our Facebook page now to find out more...

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3 Responses

Carl Gover
Carl Gover

March 13, 2018

This is an amazing offer – and I’m impressed.

Haris Sajid
Haris Sajid

March 12, 2018

Hi there , I have thick medium length hair and I’ve tried a few products but my hair tends to fall. I would like to find out which product is best for me by entering the competition , it would be great .

Warren brading
Warren brading

March 12, 2018

Your beeswax paste is amazing,gives lots of hold but not at greasy

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