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Pomania

March 21, 2011

So during my recent trip to Alaska (which I intend to document more thoroughly in future posts) I stocked up on the ol’ hair dressing. It may seem counterintuitive to some to think of going to Alaska to stock up on pomade, but the only thing available in a retail location in Butte is Murray’s Superior, which is a little over the top for my fine white guy hair.

I picked up two cans of Royal Crown Hair Dressing, my old standby, to bring my total stockpile up to three cans in reserve. In addition I picked up some Murray’s Super Light to try out. I almost got another can of Dax Wave & Groom just to have around — that’s my “bad hair day” stuff — but the budget is tight and since I have half a can of Murray’s Superior in the cabinet, the Super Light to take for a test spin, three whole cans of Royal Crown on top of the half a can of Dax remaining, I figured I would wait until I need to stock up again.

I thought that since I have all these products hanging out and a variety of them actually in my hair at the moment, I’d give you a run-down. Info on pomade on the net seems to be a little sparse, with the exception of The Rebel Rouser Blog which has tons of pomade info and which is way better than mine, so I guess it can’t hurt to hit you folks with some knowledge.

The Royal Crown hair dressing is, as I stated, my standby. It’s a very light pomade that is good for slick-backs and such, for people with my above-mentioned fine, straight, white-dude hair. I have discovered that a little bit of this stuff will give your hair some weight and moisture enough to go where you want it and stay there without doing anything crazy (see below). It comes in a red cardboard can with a metal top & bottom that reminds me of…a tube of grease. Like the kind you put in a grease gun if you’re going to lube up some hydraulics on a backhoe or something. In the can it looks kind of white-clearish and has a light aroma that is a little oily but smells kind of like roses.

The Dax Wave & Groom, like I said, is my bad hair day stuff. It’s a pretty heavy pomade, with a brown-orange color, that comes in a red all-metal can. It has a really good smell to it. I can’t figure out exactly what it is but I love it.

Murray’s Superior — their “standard” pomade — is the heaviest of the bunch I’ve tried. It’s almost like straight-up wax (they do make a wax, but their pomade is pomade, made of the same stuff the others are). It smells delicious, like cocoa, and has a browny-yellow tint. It comes in a very distinctive, all-metal, orange can with some people with afros on the top. The also sell a commemorative edition tin with the Pres and First Lady on the top, which is pretty funny, I think. Anyway, this is the stuff I keep in the cabinet for when the shit really hits the fan and I need to break out the big guns. For my hair it’s usually total overkill.

The Murray’s Super Light I haven’t used much (actually today was my first time and I put it in a “cocktail”). It’s got a very similar orange can, except it has a barber pole on the lid and a different logo. It’s light, almost as light as the Royal Crown, and it’s been suggested as a way to “cut” the Superior if that stuff is too heavy for you. It’s made from coconut oil and, naturally, it smells like coconut.

Most days I will just go with some straight Royal Crown and slick it back. Today I did something a little different. My wife tells me I have kind of a cone head and look better with some volume up front. She wants me to get that little Mormon boy haircut with the flipped up bangs but I told her it’s not gonna happen! So instead I thought I’d try and pomp it up a bit. I don’t have the haircut to do a proper pompadour, but I did get a little more volume out of the top-frontal area. I had a base of RC in from earlier in the day. I threw some Super Light in just to see what it was all about, and I added a little Dax on the top/front area to help fluff it up a bit. I use the same technique some days when I can’t get certain parts of my hair to stay put: put a little Dax on top of the Crown. So sometimes it’s good to have a variety of hair goops hanging around.

Now, I have one bit of pomade advice to offer, that I have recently discovered. I know you all want to be so greasy you slide when you walk, but seriously, sometimes less is more. When you’re just getting into the grease game (like me, recently) and you are trying out new hair stuff, I would suggest two things with this in mind. First, start with a lighter pomade and work your way up to the hold level you need. Second, apply it in small amounts and build up to the greasiness you desire.

On the first point, that there is such a thing as too much hold, I have noticed that in my case I get things I like to call “hair erections”. This is when I use too heavy of a product (or too much of it, as we will discuss) it doesn’t actually give my hair hold, as in make it stick in the place/shape I want it, but rather makes it stiff so it tends to stick out. In other words, I have a wicked cow-lick and if I put a whole handful of Murray’s on my head it’s like giving the damn thing a couple Viagra.

Like I said, this can also happen when you use too much of a lighter product. In addition, too much is just really not necessary unless it’s the look you’re going for and it’s a waste of good pomade. As I mentioned earlier, I recommend putting it in in small batches, for a couple reasons. For one, it’s easier to put a little more in than it is to take a little too much out. One of the first things we pomade newbies learn is that this shit does not just wash right out. The other reason is that if you work smaller amounts in starting from various locations around your noggin, you’ll get a more even distribution than you would if you just dollop a big blob right on top and try to comb it through. I’ve discovered that once I resisted that temptation, I was able to get the look I desired, with some good shine and hold, and yet still have it be soft and not dripping with goo. So scoop out a little tad — like, half a dime-size dollop — and work it in your palms until it’s hot. Then it will glide right through. For heavier things like the Wave & Groom I’ve tried holding them over a candle or my zippo to melt them a bit, which does liquefy them, but I can’t really tell the difference as far as combing it through goes.

So that’s all the hair advice I have to offer today, but I will offer a funny observation. Back when I had a mohawk in high school I used to use Elmer’s School Glue to hold it up. Everyone thought it was crazy: “You put GLUE in your HAIR?!?!” but it held it up nicely and, the best part was, unlike oil-based pomades it was water soluble and washed right out without much fuss. Well, we took my daughters to get their hair cut this spring break and, lo and behold, the “establishment” has taken note of this and responded. In the barber shop there was, I shit you not, “Paul Mitchell Styling Glue”, in a bottle similar to your little kid school glue bottles, for……wait for it……$15 a bottle. Crazy.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 26, 2011 2:31 pm

    HAH! I used to use Elmer’s back in middle school/early high school. Oh man, that shit was such a pain to get out. Probably just as bad as Murray’s, if I’m remembering correctly…

    If only I had any knowledge of pomade back then…

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