Today, I wanna talk about a pomade company that has wide acclaim as I write about it. Firstly for the old school jar labeling on the 80s Nintendo video games. Secondly, for their novelty and ingenious scents capturing the nose. Thirdly, a great wax-slickness ratio to style easy and comfortably. Fourthly, clean and easy to rinse pomades, even the oil based ones. Nice finding: the medium oil based is mango butter based. You don’t see that very often. Rex wax has mango butter based pomades as well.
Nostalgic handmade (nowadays: Nostalgic grooming) pomades are created by hand, by Dave Leslie and his wife Janelle. They are based out of Arizona/Mesa. The couple offers us a new approach to what pomade can be today with a nostalgic look/feel to the 80s video games culture as mentioned before. They got their idea while cleaning a closet, finding some retro stuff and stumbling across an old Nintendo magazine.
Dave is noted for his written pomade reviews on Instagram as well. Next he had a collaboration with O’Douds and Shear revival. The threesome fabricated the limited ‘3’ pomade (2015) on which I did a review too. Latter was a handcrafted and an all natural unorthodox water based with a firm hold, very lightweight, easy to style + wash out. These elements come back in the entire nostalgic handmade line.
More info: https://nostalgichandmade.com/
POMADE IN THE SPOTLIGHT
The pomade I’m gonna review, is the firm oil based that’s linked to the Nintendo video game ‘Excitebike’. I was born in the mid seventies but never played any video games thus I have nothing to tell about this subject.
I ordered mine from pomade club because they offer the best shipping prices to Belgium.
The firm is an all natural pomade, poured into a 4 oz (113 g) plastic, purple colored jar, with silver screw top lid. The pomade’s color is off-white.
Beeswax, hydrogenated castor oil, soy wax, mango butter, castor seed oil, olive oil, argan kernel oil, jojoba oil, fragrance, vitamin E.
Having a closer look at the ingredients, you’ll notice it is beeswax based. The pomade contains several healthy oils and mango butter which are a big plus for scalp and hair. This product is nearly all natural except for the hydrogenated castor oil (castor wax) and the presence of fragrance instead of essential ones. But creating the scents they did, the choice of fragrance is understandable.
When looking on the website, the scent of my firm belongs to the ‘classics collection’. Scent I’m talking about = coco pomps. I quote them: ‘Coco pomps is notes of chocolate, sugar and vanilla that smells like a fresh poured bowl of chocolate puff cereal’. Scent for me, in the jar: strong, sweet with milky notes. Loved it right away. I wanted to eat it, grabbed it to sniff so many times. During styling, I got subtle breezes. Scent once in the hair: was a bit concerned how intense it would smell. Don’t love to smell sweet all day neither. What I got, were subtle sweet whiffs, not overwhelming at all. The aroma lessened throughout the day. Question I asked myself over and over: how did they do this? What did they use? Is there teal stuff to eat in it? No can’t be. Answer: secret from 2 sorcerers. If you’re not in to sweet coco pomps scents, you can opt for the more conventional barbershop scent out of their ‘barbershop collection’.
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. Use a tangle teezer to avoid tug.
Application: needed 4 rather small licks, application to damp hair.
Scooping: top layer is very hard and scooping was real tough and inconvenient, yes it is a firm hold! I had to put much pressure to scoop it out of the jar. The layer beneath isn’t soft either and also difficult to scoop out.
Breakdown: needed to rub thoroughly, with a solid amount of pressure. I got some clumps/beads which broke down uneasy. Some of these didn’t break down at all. The scooped out texture has a bit of a dry sensation. After breaking this down: sort of creamy and buttery, not greasy or sticky/tacky. I thought the licks were going to fall apart. That did not happen. Using very small scoops will facilitate the processes but because of the dense consistency, taking small scoops occurs spontaneously. To reduce the clumping, I started to smear out the pomade in the flat of my hand first. Next step, rub the product between the hands. Digging deeper in the jar gave me the impression to encounter less to no clumps anymore. Honestly, time-consuming process until now.
Working in: no grippy feel when I put the pomade in. There wasn’t a moment I thought, this is not grippy, there won’t be any hold, no. Instead, solid and stable. It was easy to spread evenly through the hair.
Slicking back: tiny resistance using my Denman brush. Given it’s a firm hold, this is a big plus. Finding/creating the part: no problem.
Control: provides such a great control to keep down my sides and cowlicks. No annoying flyaways, strays or loose hairs. My waves showed up a bit but in a sufficiently managed and neat way. It allowed me to style so easy, comfortable, quick as no other pomade ever did for me. Waxiness-slickness ratio being a firm hold is incredible. Plus the use of mango butter promotes this process as well! So super light in the hair. I obtained some good shape: clean, neat, slick, natural look. NH does not force the hair in any direction, nice given. There was no need to rinse my hands with soap. Just water, such a clean pomade.
The level of shine is displayed by a bar. Shine = half full or around medium shine. On my hair: a few notches below medium.
Again, use of an indicating bar. It’s three quarters full or firm hold. To me: more of a solid medium.
Great endurance: tiny bit of (normal) sagging, some hairs sticking up after a day of wearing it, waves didn’t get worse, no splits. My cowlicks and sides: held down perfectly. The circumstances I tested it in: rather cold autumn temperatures (around 45° F/7° C), soggy weather (umbrella protection), windy and a few not that strenuous walks. Very soft and not sticky, not greasy feel when I touched the hair.
No need to restyle. A few very minor touch ups. Trying to restyle: no resistance combing through. Hair kept its good hold, no sag, no flyaways, strays, loose hairs or more waves afterwards.
Manageable. One of the pomades with the cleanest build up I know of. No intense waxy or sticky feel. Again the agreeable light weight feel the next days. Application to very damp hair straightened my waves very good.
2 or 3 shampoos, depending on your type of hair and the quantity of pomade that was used. Easy thing for a beeswax based pomade and great choice for a one-day commitment. Hair after the wash: soft and healthy.
- The mail room barber, XXX: heavy hold oil based.
- Shear revival, Music or misery: heavy hold oil based.
Interested in oil based pomades only? You can join our ‘Oil Based Pomade Enthusiasts’ Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/OilBasedPomadeEnthusiasts/