The mail room barber, natural pomade XXX – heavy oil based pomade

THE COMPANY

The mail room barber co from South Carolina is owned by brewer and master barber Robert Watkins. He offers handmade, ethically sourced products of high quality. The reviewed pomade is the natural pomade XXX which stands for heavy hold. He created also the XX (medium) and X (light) in this set. These are hydrogenated castor oil (castor wax) based pomades. This series nourish and replenish hair and scalp. Some people are in search for vegan products and here you have them. Robert claims they all wash out without a fight, very interesting for the unorthodox water based lover who wants to explore the oil based world.

Robert is best known for his medium oil based: ‘Nolde forest’ pomade, made in collaboration with photographer Cody Calhoun. Latter is a permanent run inspired by a forest named ‘Nolde’. Infamous for its unique scent.

Last but not least, there is the classic pomade which is wax based (beeswax) and has white petrolatum & lanolin as classic ingredients in it. He swapped the petrolatum for castor jelly (castor wax and castor oil).

Yes, he does all the work, even his website that looks great too! Great work, Robert!

Bonus: The mail room barber, the story – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZoSNEVStiY

More info: https://www.themailroombarberco.com/

POMADE IN THE SPOTLIGHT

The XXX comes in 3.5 oz (100g) amber glass jars with a transparent sticker: clean and minimalist, designed by Robert himself! The color of the pomade is creamy.

INGREDIENTS

Hydrogenated castor oil, candelilla wax, hydrogenated soybean oil, vegetable based emulsifying wax (cetearyl alcohol and polysorbate-60), mango butter, castor seed oil, coconut oil, jojoba seed oil, essential oils.

SCENT

Cedar + sandalwood essential oils. Robert describes it as: ‘Dark and smoky like a warm campfire with the subtle sweetness of sandalwood’. It really smells like being in a forest. Not a very strong or dominant scent, just the balance of a real forest. Very subtle once it is in the hair. Got very subtle whiffs from time to time. I love being in the woods and I like the smell of the pomade.

STYLING PROCESS

My hair: I’ve medium thick, wavy hair. I wear a side part with a contour.

My styling equipment: 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.

Application: I took small scoops: 4-5 to style.

Scooping: top layer is very hard due to the heavy hold it stands for. Needed a lot of pressure to get the pomade out. Under the top layer, a bit more manageable but tough too.

Breakdown: some force needed to get a somewhat sticky, oily texture. The process takes a bit longer because of the present beads. The smaller the scoops, the fewer beads you got. Using it on the second day: barely any beads anymore.

Working in: went in with a bit of resistance. Strong grip. Spreading evenly: alright.

Combing back: scarce resistance, easy.

Control: it laid down the sides and cowlicks immediately. My waves came through a tiny bit after a while. No splits. Styling was easy. I got a nice hairdo with a good height. Overall: clean, neat look without strays.

SHINE

No shine indication on the jar or website. For me: a notch above neutral. Doesn’t fade.

HOLD

XXX = heavy hold. Yes, it is a heavy.

ENDURANCE

Hair sagged a bit in the front (waving), didn’t get worse. Was the first time I used it on a fresh hair cut and using small scoops I didn’t know exactly how much to use. Day 2: some waving too. Kept hair in place. No strays, splits or loose sides, cowlicks did not fight. I had a walk, a bicycle trip in temperatures around 70° C (21° C), was sweating, there was a strong wind: hair kept shape!

RESTYLING

Goes well, no resistance. Hold about the same.

BUILD UP

Very clean, one of the cleanest I know and very workable as well. A few scoops the days after and ready.

WASH OUT

Need 2 washes with shampoo, that’s great for an oil based pomade! Depending on the hair type, 1 rinse will do the job too, I guess. About as easy as washing out an unorthodox water based. Hair feels soft, nourished after the rinse.

SIMILAR POMADE(S)

Shear revival music or misery, heavy oil based pomade.

Interested in oil based pomades only? You can join our ‘Oil Based Pomade Enthusiasts’ Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/OilBasedPomadeEnthusiasts/

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