Pomade, Wax and Clay: What’s the difference?

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What’s the difference between pomade, clay and wax?

Creating an eternal style means using the right product, but if you’re considering a new hairstyle or want to elevate your own; what do you use? At Don Juan Pomade we’ve got every product you need to achieve the look you want.

Finding the right hold and sheen can change your hair entirely, even if you’re styling it the same way you usually do. We won’t just dig into the difference between products, though. Discover the most common hairstyles for each product and see if you can find yours.

What is pomade?

These days, Pomade is a catch-all term for men’s hair products, but there used to be fewer options. Original pomades like Murray’s Superior Pomade and Brylcreem Original Hairdressing used oil bases like petroleum, petrolatum and glyceryl stearate. Pomade first rose to prominence in the 1920’s but lard, beeswax, and petroleum jelly were used on their own at the beginning of the 20th century.

Many recipes leaned heavily on a particular ingredient. Beeswax was common, and you could consider these early pomades as the first hair waxes. They weren’t branded as different products, though, and wax-based and petroleum-based products were all labeled as a pomade.

Clay and wax are also pomade – They just use different ingredients than traditional oil-based pomades.

Pomade – Your hair styling must-have

We offer pomade in a water-based and petroleum form. Both can provide similar styling options, but there are some key differences.

  • Water-based Pomade: The water base means you can easily wash it out at the end of the day. It also allows you to re-shape your hair with a little bit of water. A water-based pomade dries stiff and offers a variety of shine options and won’t leave a residue on your pillow or clothing. You don’t have to worry about dry-out like you do with gel, though—pomade doesn’t flake and wear-off over the course of a day.
  • Wax-based Pomade: A wax base is just what it sounds like. Instead of water, the base is typically beeswax, petroleum, lanolin, or even all three. You’ll also find wax pomade under the name “hair grease.” Wax-based pomades deliver a high shine and a heavy hold.

Any pomade product including wax and clay can be used to achieve the same hairstyle.

People use unique products, though, because some do a better job for shaping specific hairstyles. Pomade ingredients determine the hold, sheen, longevity, reworkability, and ease of cleaning you can expect your hair to have.

What are some of the most common pomade hairstyles?

Some of the more common hairstyles to use pomade include side-parted hair, fades and slick-backs.


Wax – Get a stronger all-day hold

Wax is ideal for short to medium hair. It’s easy to reapply and doesn’t harden your hair. You can also use wax to increase the thickness and texture of your hair; which makes wax a great option for thinning hair or men with receding hairlines.

Wax is also a perfect choice for light styling. It provides just enough hold and weight to settle a jumpy cowlick.

Wax provides a strong hold. Using it in moderation is key because a little really does go a long way.

Wax offer the flexibility to be restyled throughout the day.

Achieve your Don Juan look with Don Juan Hair Grease Pomade

Our wax-based pomade provides the hold and high-shine you’re looking for. We use a combination of waxes including microcrystalline wax and beeswax. Grease gave way to the term “greaser” in the 50’s and helped propel a counter-culture revolution. We’re proud to offer a modern take on hair grease that doesn’t weigh you down.

What are some of the most common wax hairstyles?

Some of the more common hairstyles to use wax include the pompadour, sweepback and side part.


Clay – The perfect matte finish

Clay can be water, wax, or oil-based. The base can affect the hold, sheen, and how easy it is to wash out. We’ve chosen a water base for our Don Juan Meteor Clay Pomade so that you can get the matte finish and hold of a clay with the re-shaping and easy hair clay removal that a water base provides.

Clay delivers one of the strongest holds available. That’s what makes it so great for volume-oriented hairstyles. When you need your hair to defy gravity and stay put all day long, there’s nothing better than clay.

What are some of the most common clay hairstyles?

Some of the more common hairstyles to use clay include longer styles, natural, and dry looks.

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