Flagship pomade co, Black ship – heavy unorthodox water based pomade (2015 version)

Company – product

Black ship by Flagship pomade co is an all natural water based, vegan and soy-free pomade. An ‘unorthodox’ or non-drying water based pomade brewed by Wade Branson out of Arkansas (Wade moved to Houston/Texas). His heavy was in fact the first real heavy unorthodox water based back then.

Product’s changes:


  • New jars: amber color.
  • New scent: dark citrus rose.
  • Preservatives (phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid): those were in there before, but not displayed.
  • Less dry.
  • Less hold.
  • Color: darker gray to black.


  • Tiny label change: ‘Flagship handmade’ at the bottom instead of ‘Flagship pomade co.’
  • Sea salt in the formula.
  • Scent: more of  a salty scent.
  • More hold: same as the first batch.
  • Drier consistency.
  • Color: less gray.


  • Availability of various scents: licorice, barber shop scent, hemp seed oil, bay rum, hard cider, … .

Other pomades and grooming:

  • Strait of Malacca: heavy water based. A collab with Borneoil. At first: a limited. Now: a permanent. Totally other pomade then Black ship is.
  • The insubmersible: if you wish less hold, this one is an option: a medium-strong water based. I did a review on that: https://piw74.wordpress.com/2016/02/20/flagship-the-insubmersible-medium-firm-wb-pomade/. Wade changed the insubmersible too: amber jars amber, other scent and it is a straight medium now.
  • Medium hold oil based.
  • Steel horse: firm hold oil based.
  • Jägership: medium lanolin based.
  • Dead sea clay: firm water based.
  • Great ship: for the big pomade lovers, there’s a 9 oz jar of your favorite Flagship pomade!
  • Flagship silver (medium hold, water based) and gold (heavy hold, water based): anniversary pomades: Flagship pomade co exists 2 years.
  • Hair tonics, mustache waxes, beard oils and balms, lip balms, candles, … .

More info: http://www.flagshippomade.com/

My hair profile

I’ve medium thick, wavy hair. I wear a side part with a contour. At the moment, I’m using a brush with wild boar hair, a Denman brush plus a wide tooth comb (detangler). During styling, I use brushes most. 


He makes use of 4 oz glass amber jars. The pomade inside the glass jar has a gray tinge to represent the black ship.


Water, Candelilla Wax, Grape Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sunflower Lecithin, Borax, Essential Oils, Black Oxide.

Some alert users will remark there’s another ingredients list on their jar: Wade has been tweaking it a bit. This is the current one.


Peppermint-vanilla: fresh, not overpowering. The peppermint is dominant, did not smell any vanilla. Smelled the pomade once in a while throughout the day. I do like this scent a lot, one of my favorites!

Application process – result

Please take always notice to style with clean, dry hands because it’s a water based and mold can form by some dirty remains. At the end of styling: check if there are no hairs left in the jar. Store it cool and dry. Don’t worry, your hair won’t be affected by this, nor your pillows (stains a tiny bit).  Black ship scoops out easy. Has a pasty, somewhat dry texture, becomes creamy as you disperse it in your hands immediately: yes, such a blissful breakdown. Important: do not break down the pomade completely. Before it becomes really creamy (just rub a few times), put it in your hair. By doing so: less resistance/grip, the pomade will spread better. Tutorial from Wade: https://www.facebook.com/wade.branson/videos/o.305380946285953/10206359850467156/?type=2&theater. Use it on damp hair to avoid tug and to tame my waves better. I also style on (slightly) wet hair with a build up: works better for me (slicker process and result, fewer waves). Pomade goes in easy. A few normal sized scoops are enough to style (I use 3-4). Provides a good grip without much of a tension. Little resistance as you comb through. Spreads easily. Isn’t sticky or greasy, a tad on the drier side. Styling time: average. Some stated it’s way easier to slick the hair back, than wait and let it settle for a few minutes. Black ship tames my waves, sides and cowlicks well. No splits. No issues having lots of flyaways or strays. Nice clean, slick hairdo with some great height.


A notch above natural, the entire day.

Hold – endurance

It states to be a heavy hold. For me: yes, great heavy hold. After initial styling, hair maintains shape. Doesn’t harden, it settles. Holds the hair in place the whole day, straightens waves sufficient, cowlicks are tamed. Sides: bit of cleaning up. Heavy wind and some rain, a bicycle trip plus a walk don’t mess up things. F.e. I had it in while working in the rain for many hours and my hair shape wasn’t affected much: Black ship has great endurance and control! No test in the heat but this one survives for sure! End of the day: a few strays, very minimal sagging. Light-medium weight in the hair to allow nice volume. Hair feels soft.


No problem since this does not harden. No loss of hold after recombing, waves don’t show up, no strays, no sag. There’s no tension as you restyle (Denman brush). Was no real need to recomb, just some cleaning up of my sides.

Build up

Clean and manageable build up. One or two scoops more, ready.

Washing out

Doesn’t rinse out with just water. Need 1-2 shampoos to wash it out completely. Don’t panic as the water turns gray: that’s the black oxide giving the pomade its gray color. Healthy, soft hair and scalp afterwards.

Hair, scalp issues






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