5 Top Water-Based Pomades In 2024

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Men’s hair care has come a long way in recent years.

From specialized shampoos and conditioners to a wide variety of styling products, there are now more options than ever when it comes to achieving the perfect hair look.

cropped view of man holding black pomade

One product that has seen a surge in popularity in recent years is pomade.

This versatile product can be used to achieve a variety of different looks, from sleek and polished to textured and messy.

And best of all, pomade is relatively easy to use and doesn’t require much time or effort to get the desired results.

Water-based pomades are a great option for those looking for a product that is easy to wash and won’t leave your hair feeling heavy or greasy.

We’ve tested and reviewed dozens of water-based pomades to help you find the best one for your hair type and desired look. Read on to find the top water-based pomade for you.

What Is a Pomade?

A pomade is a type of hair product that is used to achieve a variety of hairstyles.

Unlike other hair products, pomades do not dry hard or flake off.

Instead, they provide a strong hold that helps keep hair in place all day long.

Pomades can be made from various ingredients, but most contain petroleum jelly or beeswax. These ingredients help to create a slippery texture that makes applying the product to the hair manageable.

Pomades can be used on wet and dry hair and reapplied throughout the day as needed.

When applied correctly, pomades can help create any number of looks, from sleek and polished to tousled and sexy.

The results can last anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the type of pomade you use.

Pomades are available in various formulas: water, oil, and wax.

The Difference Between a Water-Based Pomade And Oil-Based Pomade

Pomades have been with modern man since the late 1800s.

The first pomades were made from bear fat, giving the hair a greasy look.

Soon, petroleum, beeswax, and lard were being used to make pomades which lasted longer in the hair but were very difficult to wash out.

Now, pomades come in a variety of different formulas. But, the most popular ones are water-based and oil-based pomades.

Water-based pomades are the newer of the two formulas and have become increasingly popular in recent years.

These pomades are made with water as the main ingredient, which makes them much easier to wash out than their oil-based counterparts.

A water-based formula also tends to be lighter in texture and provide a more natural-looking finish.

On the other hand, oil-based pomades are made with petroleum or beeswax as the main ingredient.

While these pomades can last longer in the hair, they are tough to wash and leave your hair feeling greasy.

Plus, this classic pomade can be drying to the hair and can cause build-up over time.

For these reasons, we recommend water-based pomades for those looking for an easy-to-use product that won’t leave your hair feeling heavy or greasy.

man wearing white shirt styling his hair with wax

The Benefits of Using Water-Based Pomades

Many benefits come with water-based pomades, so if you want a sign to ditch your oil-based pomade, this is it!

Water-based pomades are:

Easy to Wash Out

The water-based formula is easy to rinse and remove from your hair, so you don’t have to worry about waking up with greasy hair.

Unlike an oil-based pomade, you won’t need to use a clarifying shampoo to remove all the product from your hair.

A regular shampoo will do the trick!

Lightweight & Non-Greasy

Since the main ingredient in water-based pomades is water, these products are much lighter in texture than their oil-based counterparts.

They won’t weigh your hair down or leave it feeling greasy.


Unlike an oil-based pomade, you won’t have to worry about your hair feeling dry or straw-like after using a water-based pomade.

Water-based pomades tend to keep your hair hydrated and looking healthy!

Flexible Hold

Water-based pomades are a great option if you like to restyle your hair throughout the day.

These products provide a flexible hold that can be easily reworked without applying more products.

So, if you need to touch up your hair after a meeting or before going out for the night, a water-based pomade will do the trick!

Sheen & Natural Finish

A slick, shiny finish is one of the hallmarks of a good pomade.

Fortunately, water-based pomades can give you just the right amount of shine without the icky, greasy feeling.

The Top Water-Based Pomades You Should Consider Trying

These five water-based pomades are some of the best on the market and will give you the perfect, natural-looking finish.

Learn more about each one below:

Imperial Barber Classic - Best For All Hair Types

We love how Imperial Barber pomade can be used on any hair type to create a variety of different looks.

Primary benefits: Styles hair with its super strong hold, and adds a semi-sheen to the hair without looking greasy


  • Water re-activable
  • Gluten-free
  • Industrial strength

We love the Imperial Barber Classic Pomade!

The stronghold allows you to style your hair into any shape or style, while the natural, matte finish keeps your hair looking healthy and shiny.

And best of all, it washes out easily with just water!

This versatile pomade is also water re-activable, meaning you can add a little water to your hair throughout the day to re-style.

If you prefer a light hold, you can apply this pomade to damp hair or add a bit of water. A dryer application is best for a stronger hold with a large amount of product.

There’s probably no hair type this pomade can’t work with, making it an excellent option for anyone looking for a water-based pomade.

American Crew Pomade - Best For Frizzy Hair

We love how American Crew Pomade keeps wavy hair looking sleek all day long and tames frizzy strands.

Primary benefits: Gives a high shine, controls frizz, and moisturizes hair


  • Dairy-free
  • Medium hold
  • For all hair lengths

This medium-hold pomade is different than other water-based pomades on this list because of its high shine finish.

It’s perfect for those with frizzy hair looking to tame their locks and achieve a sleek, polished look.

The American Crew Pomade is also great for taming flyaways and keeping your hair in place all day long.

Hairstyles such as the Pompadour, Side Part, and Slick Back will benefit from this product since these styles require a high level of shine.

The American Crew Pomade also moisturizes the hair, so it doesn’t become dry or brittle throughout the day.

Suavecito Pomade Original Hold - Best For Curly Hair

We love how this product leaves no flakes and keeps curly hair looking shiny and defined all day long.

Primary benefits: Defines curls, strengthen hair, and provides long-lasting hold


  • Medium shine
  • Creamy consistency
  • Scented

Curly-haired men often avoid pomades because they are generally too greasy and weigh down their hair.

But, the Suavecito Pomade Original Hold is a game-changer for those with curly hair!

Aside from not having harsh and toxic chemicals, Suavecito also eliminates flakes, so your hair will look its best all day.

The medium-strength hold of this product is perfect for those with curly hair that want to style their hair into a classic look without the frizz.

And like all water-based pomades, the Suavecito Pomade washes out easily with just water, so you won’t have to worry about your hair feeling dry or damaged.

No need for a shampoo to remove this product—rinse it out in the sink!

Billy Jealousy Lunatic Water-Based Pomade

We love Billy Jealousy's natural ingredients and how this product keeps hair looking soft and healthy all day long.

Primary benefits:  Nourishes hair, provides a strong hold, and controls frizz and flyaways


  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vanilla and peach scent

Grooming products for men with fine hair can be hard to come by since most products are designed for thick, coarse hair.

But, Billy Jealousy Lunatic Water-Based Pomade is an excellent option for those with fine hair!

The vanilla-peach scent of this product is delicious, and the pomade itself is very easy to work with.

While it has a high shine finish, the Lunatic Water-Based Pomade doesn’t feel heavy or greasy in the hair.

It’s also great for those with sensitive scalps since it is free of harsh chemicals and sulfates.

Cruelty-free and vegan, this pomade is also a great choice for those looking for a more natural product.

Simply apply to wet hair and watch how this pomade transforms your look!

John Allans’ Matte Pomade - Best For Thick Hair

We love the textured looks that John Allans’ Matte Pomade can create and its lightweight finish!

Primary benefits: Protects the scalp, adds texture, and gives a matte finish


  • With botanical extracts
  • Lightweight
  • Alcohol-free

Most people may think that a matte pomade may not be the top choice as it can make the hair look dull or dry.

But, John Allans’ Matte Pomade is an exception to this rule!

With orange, lemongrass, grapefruit, and lime, this pomade has a refreshing citrus scent that invigorates the senses.

It’s also great for creating textured looks such as the Messy Hair, Side Swept, and Textured Quiff.

And, like all water-based pomades, it washes out easily with just water, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your hair.

Its alcohol-free formula also nourishes the hair and scalp, making your hair look and feel healthy all day long.

Frequently Asked Questions

While water-based pomades are an excellent choice for most people, there are still some things to consider before using them.

Here are some frequently asked questions about water-based pomades:

Are Water-Based Pomades Bad for Your Hair?

There’s this myth that pomades can cause hair loss or damage the hair, but this is not true.

Using pomades will not cause hair loss or damage the hair as long as you use them correctly.

In fact, water-based pomades are good for your hair since they provide hydration and nourishment.

As long as you look at the ingredients and see that the product is alcohol-free, you can rest assured that it will not damage your hair.

You may also want to avoid products that contain harsh chemicals such as sulfates or parabens.

These ingredients can strip the hair of its natural oils and cause dryness, damage, and breakage.

Does Water-Based Pomade Cause Acne?

Water-based pomades are less likely to cause acne than other types of pomades.

This is because they don’t contain ingredients that can clog pores or irritate the skin.

However, there is still a chance that you may develop acne if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the product, such as alcohol and fragrances.

If you notice breaking out after using a water-based pomade, it is best to discontinue and consult a doctor.

They will be able to determine if you are allergic to any ingredients and recommend a different product.

barber with hair pomade styling hair of handsome man

Is Pomade Better Than Wax?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as it depends on your preference.

Both pomades and waxes have their unique benefits and drawbacks.

Pomades are usually easier to work with than waxes since they are more pliable and have a softer consistency.

They can also provide a higher shine finish with a firm hold that is great for styles such as the slick back and pompadour.

On the other hand, waxes usually have a stronger hold that is best for styles such as spiky hair and crew cut.

They can also provide a more natural look with less shine.

So, it all comes down to what you are looking for in a product and what hairstyle you want to achieve.

The Top Water-Based Pomade Will Give You the Perfect Hair Look

With countless water-based pomades on the market, it can be hard to choose the best one for you.

But, hopefully, this list has helped narrow down your choices, and you can find the perfect product for your hair type and desired hairstyle.

Always read the ingredients list to ensure that the product is right for you and your hair.

And, if you are ever unsure, it is best to consult a professional stylist or doctor.

They will be able to help you choose the best product and give you advice on how to use it properly.

We hope this article was helpful, and you can now find the top water-based pomade for your needs!

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  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

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One Comment

  1. I really enjoyed and appreciated your understanding of the different types of pomade. this article helped me decide what pomade I would prefer. thank you.

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