Traditional Pomade vs. Matte Pomade

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At Don Juan Pomade, we recognize that each man deserves to achieve the style of hair that’s completely unique to his personality and self-expression.  One way we accommodate this is by offering a wide variety of haircare products with different finishes, ranging from high-shine to completely matte.

Matte hair has been having its moment for a while, which is why we’d like to compare matte pomade to traditional pomade.  These pomade formulas rely on specific ingredients to pull off their respective finishes, and it’s important to know how to look for not only the right finish according to your personal style preferences, but the best ingredients to achieve that finish to ensure that you’re applying only the healthiest formula to your hair on a daily basis.

Traditional Pomade

There is no single type of traditional pomade formula.  How come?  Well, it’s due to each company simply making pomade with their own selection of ingredients.  But, for the sake of comparison, we’ll say that traditional pomade is any pomade without mattifying ingredients.  It exists to style hair.  Plus, it may or may not contain shine-enhancing ingredients offering varying levels of glossiness in terms of its finish.

Pomades consist of oils, butters, and waxes- oh my!  Ideally, they all derived from plant sources high in nutrients and less likely to cause damage to the hair.  Traditional pomades that are heavier on oils will offer shine to the hair.  Especially, if those oils are ones that sit more on the surface rather than penetrate the cuticle.  Examples include jojoba oil, coconut oil, argan oil, and olive oil.

Now, traditional pomades are great for just about any guy.  They’re non-drying, moisturizing, nourishing and capable of offering a variety of hold levels to keep a style in place.  Guys with very dry hair may seek out a shine-enhancing pomade.

Note: Guys with very oily hair naturally may want a matte pomade as it will help keep that greasy appearance at bay.


The key component to a pomade will be a wax or butter that is thick enough to keep the hair in place and provide some level of styling capabilities through pliability.  From there, the wax or butter will be blended with oils that add moisture to the hair.

Matte Pomade

In essence, a matte pomade is a traditional pomade enhanced with some type of mattifying ingredient.  A mattifying ingredient ideally sucks up excess oils on the surface of the hair cuticles, without an ability to penetrate the shafts, where it would end up drying out the moisture within the hair.  Overall, this is crucial to the hair’s health.  The purpose of a matte pomade is simple: to give the hair a matte finish, meaning that it has zero reflective qualities that catch the light.

Naturally, a matte pomade will not contain ingredients that add glossiness to the hair.  So, it may contain fewer oils, especially ones that are known for sitting on the surface of the hair rather than penetrating due to their larger molecules that don’t fit through the hair’s pores.  Matte hair pomades can offer any level of hold based on their ingredients.  However, many mattifying ingredients also add texture and thickness to the hair as an added advantage, particularly to men with finer hair.


Matte pomades usually have a wax-based formula.  This wax is known for adding pliability without incorporating shine.  The mattifying ingredients themselves can vary.  Kaolin clay is a popular option as it also provides a strong hold which can help a guy maintain a specific look all day long.  Clay also effectively dries up oils on the surface of the hair without interfering with its moisture level within.

Many powders can offer the same effect.  The same way that you can sprinkle powder on spilled oil in your home.  This creates a matte surface to each hair cuticle that doesn’t leave the hair feeling dry or looking dull in the process.

Choosing the Best Pomade for Your Haircare Goals at Don Juan

Don Juan Pomade carries both matte and traditional pomade formulas.  Each, of course, uses a wide array of ingredients.  Our matte formulas incorporate natural ingredients like sea salt and kaolin clay, while our traditional pomades are rich in oils that provide various degrees of shine.  So, choose the Don Juan look that you want to achieve by find the perfect pomade formula today!