Hairstyling 101: Pomade vs Clay – Which is Better for Your Hair Type?

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Lyndon Seitz
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Hands holding a clay, wondering about Pomade vs Clay
Pomade vs Clay

Are you thinking about changing up your hairstyle? Selecting the right grooming products for men can be a bit challenging. Should you opt for pomade or clay? Each has its own unique advantages, and the choice often depends on your hair type and desired style.

When it comes to hairstyling products, the debate often centers around pomade vs. clay, as these are among the most popular options. Pomade imparts extra shine and texture to your hair while also replenishing moisture. On the other hand, clay offers a strong hold without leaving behind any greasy residue.

So, which one is the superior choice, and which product suits your hair type best? Let’s delve into how to determine which one is the right fit for you!

Pomade vs. Clay – Explaining Hair Styling Products For Men

Before determining which product is most suitable for your hair, it’s essential to understand the specifics of pomade and clay. Let’s take a closer look at these two distinct hairstyling products for men!

Types Of Hair Styling Products

What is Pomade?

What is Pomade?
What is Pomade?

Pomade is a hair styling product known for its ability to create a sleek, glossy look with a medium to firm hold. Typically composed of oils, waxes, and petroleum derivatives, its unique formulation ensures that it remains soft and malleable when applied.

Pomade is versatile and can be used on all hair types to achieve various hairstyles like pompadours, slick backs, or side parts. For optimal results, it’s best to apply this product to damp or slightly wet hair, as this ensures long-lasting hold and enhanced definition.

Pomades come in various types, offering a range of hold strengths from light to heavy. This versatility makes them suitable for both everyday and formal occasions. Additionally, they are easy to wash out compared to traditional gels and hairsprays.

What is Clay?

What is Clay?
What is Clay?

Hair clay is a type of hairstyling product that offers a robust yet flexible hold for various hairstyles. Unlike pomades, it doesn’t impart a shiny or wet appearance to your hair. Instead, it provides a more natural, matte finish.

Hair clay is particularly effective on thick hair, as it enhances texture and adds volume without making the hair feel heavy. It’s also quite useful for achieving tousled, messy looks like beachy waves.

Most hair clays are easy to wash out, simplifying your daily styling routine. With its natural finish and consistency, clay is an excellent choice for those seeking to change up their hairstyles with minimal fuss.

Advantages of Pomade and Clay

Advantages of Pomade and Clay
Advantages of Pomade and Clay

With their fantastic performance, pomade and clay offer different benefits. Some of the benefits of pomade are:

  • Provides a firm hold and a glossy finish, giving you complete control over your hair
  • Helps to tame flyaways and frizzy hair
  • Locks in moisture
  • Variations range from light to heavy in terms of their hold
  • Easier to wash out compared to gels or hairspray
  • Creates styles with a definitive shape and lasting hold without sacrificing comfort or wearing down your hair

Meanwhile, the benefits that you can get from applying clay as a hairstyling product are:

  • Provides a flexible yet strong hold to keep your style in place
  • Gives added texture while offering a matte finish
  • Uses a lightweight, buildable formula
  • Creamier consistency than pomade or wax, making it easier to work through the hair strands
  • Adds volume and definition

Disadvantages of Pomade and Clay

Disadvantages of Pomade and Clay
Disadvantages of Pomade and Clay

Despite all of their promising benefits, there are some downsides of pomade and clay that you should consider before purchasing one. Talking of the disadvantages of pomade, some of them are:

  • Some products are greasy and can cause buildup in your hair, leading to dull and lifeless locks
  • Many pomades contain harsh chemicals like alcohol and synthetic fragrances that can irritate the scalp and end up with dry hair
  • It does not offer protection from heat or environmental damage, so it won’t help prevent split ends or breakage
  • It can be challenging to remove pomade from the hair without shampooing multiple times
  • It is relatively more expensive than other styling products

On the flip hand, clay also possesses quite a few disadvantages, including:

  • It can be challenging to apply and give your hair an uneven, chalky texture if it is not used properly
  • Some brands can be heavy and can leave your hair feeling greasy and weighed down
  • Some brands are not affordable
  • Some are difficult to remove from the hair, resulting in stripped out hair natural oils

Choosing the Best Hair Styling Product Based on Your Hair Type

Choosing the Best Hair Styling Product Based on Your Hair Type
Choosing the Best Hair Styling Product Based on Your Hair Type

Now that you’ve weighed the pros and cons of pomade and clay, it’s time to make an informed decision between the two. Keep in mind that your choice should take into account:

  • If you have straight, fine hair, hair clay is an excellent choice for adding volume without making your hair feel heavy. On the other hand, if you have thicker or coarser strands, you might prefer pomades, as they can help smooth out frizz and flyaways.
  • For those with curly hair, pomades are ideal for defining your curls and giving them a polished appearance.
  • It’s essential to remember that using an excessive amount of any product can lead to buildup or clogged pores, so be sure to apply it sparingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better for thicker hair, pomade or clay?

For thicker hair, opt for pomades since they can help smooth out any frizz or flyaways.

Can pomade and clay be used together?

Yes, you can use pomade and clay together in the right combination.

Start with a small dab of pomade and work it through your hair before adding a light layer of clay on top. This will allow the clay to give more definition and hold while the pomade brings out the natural hair’s texture. Make sure to use only a tiny amount of product so as not to weigh down the hair or cause buildup.

What is the washing process for pomade and clay?

To wash pomade and clay out of your hair, start by wetting your hair and applying gentle shampoo to the scalp, being careful to avoid any tangles.

Gently rinse the shampoo out of your hair before applying a conditioner only to the ends. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the conditioner before following up with a clarifying shampoo specifically designed to remove product buildup.

Lastly, finish with a cool water rinse to lock in moisture and seal the hair cuticles.

Is pomade or clay better for long-lasting hold?

Between these two, pomades are mostly better for long-lasting hold. Moreover, hair pomades also give an extra shiny finish that clays don’t provide.


In summary, both pomades and clays have their advantages and disadvantages. Keep in mind that it’s crucial to try out various hair products until you discover the one that suits your hair type and doesn’t compromise its health. And always remember, a little product can yield significant results!

We trust that this guide has aided you in understanding the distinctions between pomade and clay. It’s worth exploring other hair styling products that might be a better fit for your hair as well.

Do you have any preferred hair styling products? Share your favorites with us in the comments below!


  • Lyndon Seitz

    Every office has its clown, and for us, that’s Lyndon. As a fun-loving guy who likes to take the pressure out of tense situations, we rely on him for comedic support to get us through our hardest days. You’ll find him working on a lot of our food-related posts, from drinks to recipe tips, right on down to kitchen fixtures and kitchen gadgets. If there’s one thing we can say about him, it’s that he makes a mean chicken milanese, and he can’t sing (don’t ask him to, we beg of you). Linkedin: