Skip to content


A black and white photo of an open container of hair pomade, next to a closed container and a fine-toothed comb, contrasting pomade vs paste for hair styling

Pomade vs Paste: Key Differences

In the quest for the perfect hair styling product, the pomade vs paste debate is a common crossroads for many. Both products offer distinct benefits and cater to different styling needs, making it essential to understand their unique characteristics before making a choice. Whether you're aiming for a sleek, polished look or a more natural, textured appearance, the decision between pomade and paste can significantly influence the outcome of your hairstyle.

This article is designed to guide you through the key differences between pomade vs paste, covering aspects such as hold and shine, application techniques, flexibility and restyling, washability, and suitability for various hair types and styles. Our goal is to provide valuable insights that help you make an informed decision based on your personal hair care needs, preferences, and lifestyle.

Join us as we delve into the pomade vs paste discussion, highlighting the pros and cons of each to empower you with the knowledge needed to enhance your styling routine and achieve your desired hair look with confidence.

What is Pomade?

Pomade is a styling product known for its unique ability to provide a glossy finish and smooth texture to your hair. Unlike other hair styling products, pomade stands out for its versatility and the distinct, polished look it can offer. Whether you're aiming for a classic hairstyle or something more modern, understanding the nuances of pomade is essential for achieving your desired effect.

A black and white photo featuring a man getting a haircut in a salon, illustrating a professional hairstyling session possibly using products like pomade or paste.

Definition and Key Characteristics

At its core, pomade is designed to style, shape, and hold your hair in place, offering a slick, shiny appearance that lasts throughout the day. Its smooth texture makes it easy to work through your hair, providing a flexible hold that allows for adjustments long after application. This characteristic is particularly appealing for those who appreciate the ability to fine-tune their style. When exploring the pomade vs paste debate, it's crucial to recognize pomade's signature glossy finish as a defining feature.

Types of Pomade: Water-based vs. Oil-based

Pomade comes in two main varieties: water-based and oil-based. Water-based pomades offer a lighter hold and are easier to wash out, making them a convenient choice for daily use. On the other hand, oil-based pomades provide a stronger hold and a more pronounced shine, though they can be more challenging to remove. Your choice between water-based and oil-based pomades will depend on your styling needs and personal preference for maintenance.

Best Uses for Pomade

Pomade excels in creating sleek, polished hairstyles such as the slick back hairstyle, pompadour, and classic side parts. Its glossy finish and pliable hold make it ideal for looks that require a combination of shine and sculpted shape. Whether you're attending a formal event or simply prefer a refined appearance, pomade offers the versatility and performance to achieve a wide range of stylish looks.

In the context of pomade vs paste, understanding the distinctive qualities and best uses of pomade is key to selecting the right product for your hair. With its glossy finish and smooth texture, pomade remains a popular choice for those seeking a polished, sophisticated hairstyle. Keep this guide in mind as you explore the best styling products for your hair, and consider how pomade might enhance your personal style.

What is Hair Paste?

Hair paste stands as a cornerstone in the world of hairstyling, offering a unique combination of versatility and control that caters to a wide array of hair types and styles. As we delve into the differences in the pomade vs paste discussion, it's essential to understand what sets hair paste apart and how it can transform your styling routine.

Definition and Key Features

Hair paste is celebrated for its matte finish and adaptable hold, making it a go-to choice for those seeking a natural look with ample flexibility. Unlike the glossy sheen provided by pomade, paste delivers a more subdued, texture-enhancing effect that feels as good as it looks. Its malleable consistency allows for easy application and adjustment throughout the day, offering a balance between hold and movability that is hard to beat.

Varieties of Paste: Exploring Consistencies and Strengths

The world of hair paste is diverse, with products ranging from light to strong hold and various consistencies from thick to creamy. This range ensures there's a paste out there for every hair type and styling need. Lighter pastes are perfect for a subtle, natural enhancement, while stronger pastes provide more defined structure and lasting hold for ambitious styles. Understanding the spectrum of consistencies and strengths available is key to harnessing the full potential of hair paste in your grooming arsenal.

Best Uses for Hair Paste

Hair paste shines when used to create casual, textured styles that require a touch of sophistication without looking overdone. It's particularly effective for adding volume and definition to short to medium-length hair, making it a favorite for textured crops, messy quiffs, and laid-back pompadours. Thanks to its matte finish, paste is also ideal for those with oily hair or anyone seeking a more understated look.

When considering pomade vs paste, remember that paste offers a versatile solution for everyday styling, capable of achieving a wide range of looks from the understated to the bold. Its balance of hold and flexibility, coupled with a matte finish, makes hair paste a staple in the pursuit of personalized, textured hairstyles. Whether you're aiming for an effortlessly casual look or something with more edge, hair paste provides the tools needed to express your unique style.

Pomade vs Paste: A Comparative Analysis

When choosing between pomade vs paste, understanding their differences is crucial for selecting the right product for your hair type and desired style. This comparative analysis focuses on key aspects such as hold, shine, application, flexibility, and maintenance to guide you in making an informed decision.

Hold and Shine

Pomade offers a range of hold levels from light to strong, but it is particularly renowned for its high shine, lending a slick, polished look to hairstyles. It's the go-to option for those seeking a glossy finish that stands out.

Paste, on the other hand, typically provides a medium hold with a matte finish, making it ideal for natural, textured styles. Its versatility in hold strength allows for a wide range of styles without the shine, catering to preferences for a more subdued appearance.

Application Techniques

Applying Pomade: For best results, start with a small amount, rub it between your palms to warm it up, and apply it to damp or dry hair. Use more for a stronger hold and higher shine. Pomade is excellent for sleek styles, so comb through for a neat finish.

Applying Paste: Paste is best applied by warming a small amount in your hands and working it through dry or slightly damp hair. Start from the back to the front to evenly distribute the product without clumping. It's perfect for adding texture and volume with a hands-on approach.

Flexibility and Restyling

Pomade often allows for easy restyling throughout the day, especially water-based formulas. Its pliable nature means you can adjust your hairstyle without reapplying more product.

Paste also offers good flexibility, and its matte finish means adjustments won't diminish the style's intended look. While it may not allow for as slick a restyle as pomade, it's great for tweaking and adding volume as needed.

Washability and Maintenance

Pomade, particularly oil-based variants, can require more effort to wash out due to its greasier nature. It might necessitate a specific shampoo or multiple washes, which could affect hair health over time.

Paste is generally easier to wash out, as most formulas are water-based. This ease of removal contributes to less product buildup and a simpler maintenance routine.

In the pomade vs paste debate, the choice ultimately depends on your personal styling needs, hair type, and lifestyle. Whether you prioritize shine and sleekness or matte texture and versatility, understanding these differences ensures you can achieve your desired look with confidence and ease.

Suitability for Hair Types and Styles

When navigating the choice between pomade vs paste, understanding which product best aligns with your hair type and desired style is essential. Both have their unique strengths, making them more suited to different hair characteristics and styling objectives.

Pomade: A Match for Thin to Normal Hair

Pomade shines when used on thin to normal hair types. Its slick nature and varying hold levels can provide the necessary support and shine to straight or wavy hairstyles without weighing them down. For those looking to achieve classic, polished looks like the pompadour, slick back, or side parts, pomade offers the right blend of hold and sheen to elevate these styles. It coats the hair strands effectively, creating the illusion of fuller, thicker hair, which can be particularly beneficial for those with thinner hair seeking volume and definition.

Paste: Perfect for Thick, Curly, or Unruly Hair

Paste, with its matte finish and versatile hold, is ideally suited for managing and styling thick, curly, or unruly hair. Its texture-enhancing qualities make it perfect for adding definition and volume, crucial for hair types that require control without stiffness. Paste excels in creating casual, textured styles, providing a natural look that brings out the best in curly or thick hair. Whether you're aiming for a messy quiff, a textured crop, or simply looking to tame and style your curls, paste offers the flexibility and hold needed to maintain your look throughout the day, without the shine or slickness that might not complement such hair types.

In the debate of pomade vs paste, the right choice significantly depends on your hair's individual needs and the style you aim to achieve. By considering your hair type—be it thin, normal, thick, curly, or unruly—you can select the product that will best support your styling efforts and help you look your best with minimal fuss.

Pomade vs Paste: Pros and Cons

Navigating the choice between pomade vs paste is easier when you're armed with a clear understanding of their advantages and disadvantages. Each product offers unique benefits and potential drawbacks depending on your styling preferences and hair type.

Pomade Pros and Cons


  • Shine: Pomade is celebrated for its ability to impart a glossy, polished look, making it perfect for formal styles or any hairstyle that benefits from a sleek appearance.
  • Slickness: It provides a smooth, sleek hold that is ideal for classic hairstyles like pompadours, slick backs, and side parts.


  • Can be Greasy: Especially oil-based pomades, which may leave hair feeling overly greasy if applied too liberally.
  • Harder to Wash: Oil-based pomades, in particular, require more effort to fully remove from the hair, potentially necessitating special shampoos or multiple washes.

Paste Pros and Cons


  • Natural Look: Paste offers a matte finish that contributes to a more natural, textured appearance, suitable for a wide range of casual and stylish looks.
  • Easy Washability: Being primarily water-based, paste is typically easier to wash out than oil-based pomades, reducing the risk of product buildup and simplifying your hair care routine.


  • May Require More Product for Hold: Depending on the desired style and hair type, you might need to use more paste to achieve the same level of hold as you would with a smaller amount of pomade, especially for styles that require strong support.

In the pomade vs paste debate, your choice should align with your specific needs, hair type, and the style you aim to achieve. While pomade offers a classic, glossy finish ideal for sleek and formal hairstyles, paste provides a versatile, matte option for those preferring a more natural, textured look. Considering these pros and cons will help you make an informed decision, ensuring that your hair not only looks great but also feels healthy and manageable.

Pomade vs Paste: How to Choose

Deciding whether pomade or paste is right for you comes down to a few key factors that align with your hairstyling goals, personal preferences, and daily routine. Understanding these aspects will ensure you select the product that best fits your needs, contributing to a more efficient and satisfying hair styling experience.

Factors to Consider

Hairstyle: The look you're aiming for is perhaps the most critical factor. If you prefer a sleek, glossy finish indicative of classic hairstyles like the pompadour or slick back, pomade is your go-to. For a more natural, textured look that enhances volume and matte finish, paste is ideal.

Hair Type: Your hair's natural texture and thickness play a significant role in product choice. Pomade is best suited for thin to normal hair, as it can add the appearance of thickness while providing a smooth hold. For those with thick, curly, or unruly hair, paste offers the control and volume needed without weighing hair down.

Personal Preference: Consider your tolerance for shine versus matte, ease of washability, and how much time you're willing to spend on maintenance. If you prefer not to deal with the potential greasiness of pomade or need a product that's easy to wash out, paste might be more up your alley.

Lifestyle: Your daily activities can influence your choice. If you're active and prefer a hassle-free product that withstands various conditions without needing a touch-up, the durability and flexibility of paste might be more appealing. Alternatively, for those who engage in more formal settings or prefer a polished look throughout the day, pomade could be the better option.

In the debate between pomade vs paste, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. It's about matching the product to your unique hair needs, style preferences, and lifestyle. By considering these factors, you'll be better equipped to choose the right product, ensuring your hair not only looks great but also fits seamlessly into your daily routine.


Choosing between pomade vs paste doesn't have to be a daunting task. By understanding the key differences and considering how they align with your personal hair care needs and preferences, you can make an informed decision that enhances your styling routine.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pomade offers a sleek, glossy finish ideal for classic, refined hairstyles. It works best on thin to normal hair types and is perfect for those who value a polished look. However, it may require more effort to wash out, especially if it's oil-based.

  • Paste provides a matte finish with a versatile hold, suitable for creating natural, textured styles. It's easier to wash out and works well on a variety of hair types, especially thick, curly, or unruly hair. Paste is the go-to for a casual yet stylish appearance.

When deciding between pomade vs paste, consider the hairstyle you desire, your hair type, personal preferences for shine and maintenance, and your lifestyle. Whether you lean towards the glossy elegance that pomade can offer or the textured versatility of paste, the right choice will ensure your hair looks and feels its best.

Remember, the best styling product for you is the one that meets your specific needs, allowing you to express your unique style with confidence and ease.

Older Post
Newer Post
Back to top

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty

Shop now