Hairstyling 101: Pomade vs Clay – Which is Better for Your Hair Type?

Last modified on March 20th, 2023 at 8:23 am
Your guide to this review is Lyndon Seitz
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Hands holding a clay, wondering about Pomade vs Clay
Pomade vs Clay

Are you looking to switch up your hairstyle? Choosing the right men’s styling products can be tricky — do you go for pomade or clay? While both have unique benefits, depending on your hair type and style, one might be better suited.

Regarding styling products, there’s always a debate regarding pomade vs clay — two of the most popular choices. While pomade gives hair an extra shine and texture while restoring moisture, clay provides hold without leaving behind a greasy residue.

So what makes one better than the other? And which hair product is best suited to your hair type? Let’s take a look at how to decide which one is right for you!

Pomade vs Clay – Explaining Hair Styling Products For Men

Before deciding which product is the best fit for your hair, you must know the details about pomade and clay. Let’s dig deeper into these two different hair styling products for men!

Types Of Hair Styling Products

What is Pomade?

What is Pomade?
What is Pomade?

Pomade is a hair styling product that creates a slick, glossy look with its medium to firm hold. It’s typically made from oils, waxes, and petroleum by-products, and its unique formula allows it to be both soft and pliable when applied.

It can be used on all types of hair to create different hairstyles, such as pompadours, slick backs, or side parts. For best results, you should apply the product on damp hair or slightly wet hair for lasting hold and increased definition.

Depending on the type, pomades range from light to heavy in terms of their hold, making them fit for both casual and formal occasions. Plus, they are easy to wash out compared to regular gels and hairsprays.

What is Clay?

What is Clay?
What is Clay?

Clay is a type of hair styling product that provides a strong yet flexible hold for any hairstyle. Unlike pomades, it won’t leave your hair with a shiny or wet look. Instead, it gives off a more natural, matte finish.

It works best on thick hair as it helps to create texture and add volume without weighing hair down. Also, it comes in handy for messy looks such as tousled waves.

Most hair clay washes out quickly, making it easier to style your locks daily. With its natural-looking finish and consistency, clay makes an ideal choice for anyone looking to switch up their hairstyles with minimal effort.

Advantages of Pomade and Clay

Advantages of Pomade and Clay
Advantages of Pomade and Clay

With their fantastic performance, pomade and clay offer different benefits. Some of the benefits of pomade are:

  • Provides a firm hold and a glossy finish, giving you complete control over your hair
  • Helps to tame flyaways and frizzy hair
  • Locks in moisture
  • Variations range from light to heavy in terms of their hold
  • Easier to wash out compared to gels or hairspray
  • Creates styles with a definitive shape and lasting hold without sacrificing comfort or wearing down your hair

Meanwhile, the benefits that you can get from applying clay as a hairstyling product are:

  • Provides a flexible yet strong hold to keep your style in place
  • Gives added texture while offering a matte finish
  • Uses a lightweight, buildable formula
  • Creamier consistency than pomade or wax, making it easier to work through the hair strands
  • Adds volume and definition

Disadvantages of Pomade and Clay

Disadvantages of Pomade and Clay
Disadvantages of Pomade and Clay

Despite all of their promising benefits, there are some downsides of pomade and clay that you should consider before purchasing one. Talking of the disadvantages of pomade, some of them are:

  • Some products are greasy and can cause buildup in your hair, leading to dull and lifeless locks
  • Many pomades contain harsh chemicals like alcohol and synthetic fragrances that can irritate the scalp and end up with dry hair
  • It does not offer protection from heat or environmental damage, so it won’t help prevent split ends or breakage
  • It can be challenging to remove pomade from the hair without shampooing multiple times
  • It is relatively more expensive than other styling products

On the flip hand, clay also possesses quite a few disadvantages, including:

  • It can be challenging to apply and give your hair an uneven, chalky texture if it is not used properly
  • Some brands can be heavy and can leave your hair feeling greasy and weighed down
  • Some brands are not affordable
  • Some are difficult to remove from the hair, resulting in stripped out hair natural oils

Choosing the Best Hair Styling Product Based on Your Hair Type

Choosing the Best Hair Styling Product Based on Your Hair Type
Choosing the Best Hair Styling Product Based on Your Hair Type

After learning about the pros and cons of pomade and clay, now is the perfect time to make a decision to choose between these two. Remember that your decision should consider

For those with straight, fine hair, hair clays are best for adding volume without weighing down the hair. If you have thicker or coarser strands, you may want to opt for pomades that can help smooth out any frizz or flyaways.

Meanwhile, for curly hair types, pomades are great for defining your curls and giving them a polished look.

It’s important to remember that using too much of any type of product can lead to buildup or clogged pores, so make sure to use it sparingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better for thicker hair, pomade or clay?

For thicker hair, opt for pomades since they can help smooth out any frizz or flyaways.

Can pomade and clay be used together?

Yes, you can use pomade and clay together in the right combination.

Start with a small dab of pomade and work it through your hair before adding a light layer of clay on top. This will allow the clay to give more definition and hold while the pomade brings out the natural hair’s texture. Make sure to use only a tiny amount of product so as not to weigh down the hair or cause buildup.

What is the washing process for pomade and clay?

To wash pomade and clay out of your hair, start by wetting your hair and applying gentle shampoo to the scalp, being careful to avoid any tangles.

Gently rinse the shampoo out of your hair before applying a conditioner only to the ends. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the conditioner before following up with a clarifying shampoo specifically designed to remove product buildup.

Lastly, finish with a cool water rinse to lock in moisture and seal the hair cuticles.

Is pomade or clay better for long-lasting hold?

Between these two, pomades are mostly better for long-lasting hold. Moreover, hair pomades also give an extra shiny finish that clays don’t provide.


All in all, pomades and clays have their own pros and cons. Remember that it’s essential to experiment with different hair products until you find one that works best for your hair type and won’t affect your hair health. And don’t forget, a little goes a long way!

We hope this guide was helpful in deciphering the differences between pomade and clay. Who knows, other hair styling products might even be more suitable for your hair.

Do you have any favorite hair styling products? Let us know in the comment below!


  • Lyndon Seitz

    Every office has its clown, and for us, that’s Lyndon. As a fun-loving guy who likes to take the pressure out of tense situations, we rely on him for comedic support to get us through our hardest days. You’ll find him working on a lot of our food-related posts, from drinks to recipe tips, right on down to kitchen fixtures and kitchen gadgets. If there’s one thing we can say about him, it’s that he makes a mean chicken milanese, and he can’t sing (don’t ask him to, we beg of you).