Pomade vs Paste: Which is Better for You?


If you're going for a sleek masculine look that will keep a firm and lasting hold on your hair without any discomfort, pomades and pastes are essential styling products to consider.

They are flexible and water-soluble; hence they can be readjusted at any time and are easily washed off.


How can you tell them apart? And how do you know when to use either?

Don't fret! In this article, we cover everything you need to know and throw in suitable hairstyles. Dive in!

Pomade vs Paste

The main difference between pomade and paste is that pomade gives your hair a shiny appearance, while paste gives your hair a more natural look. Also, pomade has a smooth texture, while paste has a creamy texture. In addition, pomade adds definition to your hairstyle, while paste improves your hair texture.

The Main Differences Between Pomades and Pastes

From the shiny effect to the texture, there are various qualities that differentiate pomade and paste. Here are seven of them:

  • Gives the hair a medium or high shine.
  • Usually made from petroleum jelly, water, wax, or other ingredients.
  • Light and smooth or waxy texture.
  • Works well with long hair.
  • Adds definition to your hairstyle.
  • More suitable for classic hairstyles like the pompadour.
  • Harder to build volume with pomade.
  • Gives the hair a low shine or a more natural and matte look.
  • Usually made from clay, water, or wax.
  • Has a thick and creamy texture.
  • Not very suitable for long hair.
  • Improves your hair texture.
  • More suitable for modern hairstyles like the french crop.
  • Easier to build volume with paste.

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Hair pomade is a styling product suitable for a variety of hair lengths. It is usually made from petroleum jelly, natural oils, water, or wax.

Depending on the ingredients it's made with, hair pomade can have a strong or loose hold on your hair.

When used to slick hair back, pomade makes your hair look shiny and sleek and has a firm and lasting hold.

Get this:

Asides from styling, hair pomade provides other benefits, including nourishing your hair and scalp and keeping it moisturized. In addition, you can wash out hair pomade easily with shampoo and conditioner.

5 Hairstyles that Work Best with Hair Pomade

1. The Pompadour



The pompadour is a classic hairstyle characterized by hair slicked to the back with the hair at the top combed up to form the pompadour before it is brushed back.

To pull off this look:

Use a comb and a blowdryer to comb your hair back, and keep the style firm with hair pomade.


Hair pomade is used to keep the pompadour style defined and enhance your appearance, keeping the hair slicked back with a firm hold.

Styling Tips:

  • You need at least four inches of hair to pull off this look.
  • Blow dry your hair again after applying pomade to keep the shape of the pompadour.
  • Apply hairspray occasionally for a more relaxed look.

2. The Side Part


Get this:

A side part is a classy addition to any hairstyle and is easy to maintain. And what's more, a side part frames your face nicely!


The side part can be styled in different ways, but you can pull off the classic side part by setting a defined line atop the head that divides the hair at the side and slicking it down with pomade.

Styling Tips:

  • Wash your hair and leave it damp before styling.
  • Don't use too much pomade to prevent a greasy look.
  • Touch up the parting regularly with a fine-toothed comb to keep it defined.

3. The Slick Back



You will always look classy with your hair smoothed down. The slick back is a stunning hairstyle characterized by hair combed to the back and held in place with hair pomade.

You can have all your hair slicked back or pair it with a fade for a tapered cut at the sides.

Styling Tips:

  • Use a fine-toothed comb to detangle your hair and brush it back.
  • Straighten your hair before applying pomade for ease while styling.
  • Condition your hair regularly to prevent product buildup.

4. The Mohawk



If you love bold and daring hairstyles, a pomade will help you pull off the mohawk of your dreams.


Start by keeping the sides low and increasing the hair length to blend into full hair at the center from the front to the back.

Then, put some pomade on your fingers and run them through your hair like you're combing it. The pomade will make your mohawk stay up, moisturized, and shiny.

Styling Tips:

  • Keep your mohawk at a length you can maintain easily.
  • Ensure your hair is damp before applying the pomade.
  • Keep the style defined with a regular trim.

5. The Comb Over



Wash your hair and towel dry it lightly. Then, use a comb to carefully part your hair in a straight line from the center to the front.

After this, comb the long side into a side-swept wave. Ensure your hair is still damp, then apply pomade, gently massaging it into your hair with your fingers.


Sweep your hair back with a brush to add volume, and apply more pomade for a firm hold and shine.

Styling Tips:

  • A water-based pomade is more suitable for this hairstyle.
  • Condition your hair regularly to wash off dirt and grease.
  • Pair this hairstyle with a neat beard to enhance your appearance.

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Hair paste is a styling product suitable for various hair types. It is usually made from clay, water, or wax. Like pomade, a paste can have a strong or loose hold on your hair, depending on its ingredients.

In addition, it keeps your scalp nourished and hydrated. You can also wash it out easily with shampoo and conditioner.


This product is a good start if you're just getting acquainted with hair styling. With hair paste, you can pull off a variety of hairstyles regardless of your hair type.

5 Hairstyles that Work Best with Hair Paste

1. Short Spiky Hairstyle



Hair paste is a great choice for spiky hair. To start with, wash your hair before styling. Then, blow dry while it's damp, combing your hair upward with a wide-toothed comb.

After this, apply some paste with your hands like you're combing it up to form spikes. You can use some more paste to add volume to your hair and give it a nice finish.

Styling Tips:

  • Don't let your hair be longer than six inches to make it easier to spike up.
  • If you have thin or fragile hair, combine the paste with hair mousse to form the spikes.
  • Keep the spikes separated for a neat appearance.

2. Low Curly Fade


To achieve this look:

Taper off the hair at the sides and the back of your head, and leave your curls present at the center.

Apply a moderate amount of paste to add texture and volume to your curls, keep them tamed, and compliment your natural look.

Styling Tips:

  • Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your curls.
  • Ensure your curls are damp before applying the paste.
  • Wash off the product every night after application to keep your hair healthy.

3. The Undercut + Quiff



There are different variations of the undercut, but the classic one is characterized by short hair on the sides and long hair at the top. To pull it off, wash your hair and blow dry the top while combing it with your fingers to form the quiff. Then, apply a small amount of paste to give it a nice finish.

Styling Tips:

  • Blow dry your hair with a round brush.
  • Mix the paste between your hands to make it easier to use.
  • Ensure you apply the paste evenly to prevent an unfinished look.

4. The French Crop



French Crop is often paired with a taper or a fade, and it starts by tapering off the hair at the back and the sides, leaving the hair at the top slightly longer and fuller.

After this:

Blow dry the hair at the top and comb it down, either forward or sideways, to form a fringe. Apply a small amount of hair paste to keep your french crop in place and give it a textured look.

Styling Tips:

  • Maintain a neat and fresh french crop with a regular trim.
  • Use scissors to achieve a precise cut of your fringe.
  • Wash your fringe regularly to rid it of product buildup and oils from your face.

5. Textured Crew Cut


Get this:

The textured crew cut is the ideal combination of a trendy and formal look. To pull it off, start with a fade, tapering your hair at the back and the sides to the minimum length.

After this, increase the hair length as you move upward to leave slightly longer and fuller hair at the top. Then, apply hair paste to give the top a neat and relaxed finish.  

Styling Tips:

  • Apply sunscreen to your scalp to prevent sunburns.
  • Trim your hair regularly to prevent stray hairs and maintain your haircut’s details.
  • Shampoo your hair regularly to keep it clean and healthy.


As you can see:

  • The pomade and paste styling products share some similarities but also serve different purposes.
  • They can be easily washed off with shampoo and conditioner.
  • They offer a variety of styling options.
  • They are suitable for various hair types and lengths.


The product suitable for you depends on your hairstyle and how long you intend to keep it.


Do you think we missed out on any tips? Let us know what you think about these products through your comments and questions in the comment section below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Pomade and paste are essential styling products. Pomades are better for classic hairstyles and they work well with long and thick hair. On the other hand, pastes are more suitable for modern hairstyles and they work well with short and medium length thin hair. So, you can determine the product to use depending on the look you're going for and how firm you want the hold to be.
Pomade and paste are two different styling products. While they both enhance your appearance and have a strong hold on your hair, some qualities differentiate them. This includes their texture, ingredients, and finishing effects.
Various pomades and pastes have varying degrees of hold on the hair. You can get a light, medium, or strong hold on your hair depending on the hair pomade you buy, while hair pastes usually offer medium or strong hold.
There are several differences between paste, putty, and pomade styling products. Firstly, pomade gives the hair a shiny appearance, unlike putty and paste. Also, putty generally has a stronger hold on the hair than pomade and paste. In addition, paste has a creamy texture, pomade has a smooth texture, and putty has a dry texture.

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