Pomade vs Clay: What’s Your Best Bet?

You see:

The hair pomade and hair clay are products that have changed the styling game. They make the styling process easier, keep a firm hold on your hair, and give your hairstyle a nice finish.


While they serve the main purpose of keeping your hair in place, these products have different styling processes and additional benefits.


How do you determine the difference between the products? And how do you determine which is more suitable?

Say less! In this roundup, we draw up the differences between pomade and clay and give you a detailed guide on how to use them effectively. Let's get into it!

Pomade vs Clay

The main difference between pomade and clay is that pomade gives your hair a glossy look, while clay gives your hair a natural look. In addition, pomade has a smooth texture, while clay has a dry texture. Also, pomades are easier to mix and apply to your hair, while clays are harder to break down.

The Main Differences Between Pomade and Clay

Here are eight distinctions between hair pomade and hair clay styling products:

  • Medium or high shine hair
  • Smooth or waxy texture
  • Usually made from beeswax, petroleum jelly, water, or other ingredients
  • Easier to break down and rub on your hair
  • Water-based pomades give a stiff hold that cannot be easily readjusted
  • Oil-based pomades are pliable and can be restyled easily
  • More suitable for thick hair
  • Adds definition to your hairstyle
  • More suitable for classic and formal hairstyles
  • Gives your hair a matte look
  • Dry and grainy texture
  • Usually made from kaolin or bentonite
  • Harder to break down and use
  • Gives a firm but flexible hold that can be easily readjusted at any time
  • More suitable for thin hair
  • Adds texture and volume to your hairstyle
  • More suitable for trendy and layered hairstyles

What is Hair Pomade?

97.1 %
Reuzel Fiber Pomade
Reuzel Fiber Pomade
$18 from Amazon $18 from WbBarber See details
95.8 %
Rocky Mountain Pomade
Rocky Mountain Pomade
$16.99 from Amazon See details
94.8 %
Suavecito Firme Hold Pomade
Suavecito Firme Hold Pomade
$14.99 from Amazon $14.99 from WbBarber See details



Hair pomade is a styling product that works for various hair types. It is usually made from beeswax, petroleum jelly, water, or other oil-based ingredients. Hair pomade has a smooth texture that makes it easy to mix and apply to your hair.


When applied, hair pomade gives your hair a firm hold and a sleek, shiny appearance. This makes it a favorite for those who love classic slicked-back hairstyles like the pompadour.

In addition to enhancing your appearance, the pomade keeps your hair moisturized and soft.

5 Hairstyles that Work Best with Hair Pomade

1. The Mid Skin Fade + Wavy Hair


Get this:

If you have thick wavy hair, this hairstyle is a great option. Start by tapering off the hair at the back of your head and the sides up to the temple region.

Only increase the hair length from there to the top of your head. Then, style the top as you like and apply some pomade for a sleek and glossy finish.

Styling Tips:

  • Trim your hair every 4-5 weeks to keep the hairstyle tidy and fresh.
  • Wash your hair with shampoos made specifically for wavy hair.
  • Refrain from washing your hair with hot water.

2. The Faux Hawk



The faux hawk is an edgy hairstyle suitable for those drawn to the bold mohawk but reluctant to try it out.

To pull off this look:

Cut the sides and back of your hair short. Then, use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair at the center and comb it upward.

Scoop some pomade into your palms and run your hands through your hair sandwich style from the bottom to the top to form the faux hawk style. Then, comb your hair for a tidy look.

Styling Tips:

  • You need about 4-5 inches of hair to pull it off.
  • Apply hair pomade to the back and sides to keep them smooth.
  • You can pair this hairstyle with a clean shave or a well-groomed beard.

3. The Bowl Cut



The bowl cut features a parting cut in a round shape at the center of your head to contrast the full hair at the top and the shaved hair at the sides and back of your head. Following this cut, the hair at the top is brushed forward to form a short fringe. Apply pomade to the top to keep it tame and glossy.

Styling Tips:

  • You can pair this hairstyle with an artistic design to enhance your look.
  • Brush the top regularly to keep a tidy appearance.
  • Wash your fringe regularly to remove product buildup and grease from your face.

4. The High Fade + Spiky Quiff


To pull off this hairstyle:

Taper off your hair at the back and the sides up to the forehead level, and leave the top long and full.

Then, tousle your hair lightly and comb it upward with your fingers to form spikes. After this, apply some pomade to your quiff to improve its texture and hold.

Styling Tips:

  • Detangle the top with a wide-toothed comb before styling.
  • Pair this hairstyle with neat facial hair to enhance your appearance.
  • Trim your hair regularly to keep your fade even and neat.

5. The Ivy League



The ivy league hairstyle is a variation of the crew cut with the sides tapered short, the hair at the top long, and swept to one side with a nice side part.

Scoop hair pomade into your fingers and apply to the top to accentuate the side part and keep your hair sleek.

Styling Tips:

  • Use a fine comb for a well-defined side part.
  • You can style the top into short bangs or a short pompadour to compliment your look.
  • Touch up the side part regularly to keep it neat and straight.

What is Hair Clay?

97.3 %
Layrite Cement Clay
Layrite Cement Clay
$27 from Amazon $27 from WbBarber See details
94.5 %
Suavecito Firme Clay
Suavecito Firme Clay
$14.99 from Amazon $15.99 from WbBarber See details
94.2 %
Jack Black Clay Pomade
Jack Black Clay Pomade
$24 from Amazon See details



Hair clay is a versatile styling product suitable for both long and short hairstyles. It is usually made from bentonite or kaolin, two clay minerals commonly used for hair products.


Hair clay has a thick texture and can be tough to break down. Therefore, it is advisable to apply it while your hair is damp. Once broken down properly, though, it can be applied smoothly and easily readjusted later


In addition to keeping your hair in place, hair clay nourishes your scalp and enhances your appearance, giving you a nice natural look.

5 Hairstyles that Work Best with Hair Clay

1. The High Fade + Curly Hair



Hair clay is great for adding texture and volume to your curls. To achieve this look, fade the sides and the back of your head to the minimum length, and slowly increase your hair length from the forehead level to the top.

Then, style your curls with moderate hair clay to maintain a natural look.

Styling Tips:

  • Keep your curls moisturized with a leave-in conditioner.
  • Ensure your hair is damp before you comb it.
  • Use warm or cold water to wash your hair to prevent frizz.

2. The Short Wavy Hairstyle


Get this:

Letting your hair fall in relaxed waves is a trendy, laid-back look that requires minimal effort. But who said you can’t add a little style to it?

Comb your hair slightly with your fingers to style it as you want, throw in some hair clay for a firm hold, and you’re good to go.

Styling Tips:

  • Condition your hair regularly with cold water to eliminate frizz.
  • Using hair clay with a low hold is advisable to prevent a flat look.
  • You can add some colored highlights to accentuate your look.

3. The Buzz Cut



Who doesn’t love a textured buzz cut? This hairstyle gives you a smooth masculine look and is a great option if you have thin hair.

Start by tapering off the sides and moving gradually to the front, ensuring you cut the hair evenly. Then, apply hair clay to improve your hair texture and give it a nice finish.

Styling Tips:

  • Use a high-quality clipper with a secured guard to cut your hair.
  • Use shampoo to prevent dandruff and soothe your scalp.
  • Trim your hair at least every two weeks to maintain your hairstyle.

4. Textured Mullet



To pull off the iconic mullet haircut, taper off the hair at the sides, keep the front short, and carefully increase the hair length as you blend into long hair at the back.


Put some hair clay on a comb and use it to brush your hair from the front to the back. This helps to add texture to your layers and hold it down.

Styling Tips:

  • You need about 4-6 inches of hair at the back to pull off this look.
  • You can comb the hair at the front downwards to form a fringe.
  • Wash your hair regularly to get rid of product buildup and dirt.

5. The Mid Fade + Caesar Haircut



This hairstyle is achieved by fading the hair at the back and the sides up to the temple region and increasing the hair length from there to the top. Keep the top at a short length and brush forward in straight-cut bangs. Apply hair clay to the top to add volume to your bangs and keep them in place.

Styling Tips:

  • Use scissors at the top for a precise cut of your bangs.
  • Keep your scalp hydrated and soft with an oil conditioner.
  • Keep the sides and the back neatly faded with a regular trim.


In a nutshell:

  • Pomade and clay are unique and essential styling products.
  • Aside from styling, they provide additional benefits for your hair.
  • They offer a variety of options for many hair types and hairstyles.


The ideal product depends on your hair type and the style you’re going for.

With that said:

We would love for you to share your thoughts about these styling products with us in the comment section below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Pomade and clay are unique styling products that give your hair a firm hold but also serve different purposes. The hair pomade adds definition to your hairstyle and is best suited for classic and formal hairstyles. On the other hand, the hair paste adds volume to your hairstyle and is best suited for trendy and layered hairstyles. So, you can determine the product that suits you best based on your hair type and the look you're going for.
Clay generally has a stronger hold than paste and pomade. Also, clay has a dry and grainy texture, paste has a thick and creamy texture, and pomade has a smooth or waxy texture. In addition, pomade gives the hair a shiny appearance, while clay and paste give the hair a more natural look.
No. Clays and pomades are different styling products that offer various unique benefits to your hair.
Wax has a greasy texture, pomade has a smooth texture, and clay has a dry texture. Additionally, pomade is more suitable for hairstyles with high definition, while wax and clay focus on increasing your hair's texture and thickness. Hence, wax and clay are better suited for thin hair, while pomade works great with thick hair.

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