Nostalgic handmade, Super water based – firm unorthodox pomade

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor Nostalgic handmade, Super water based

Company – product

Again a review on a Nostalgic handmade pomade. This grooming company is infamous for several reasons. Firstly for the old school jar labeling on the 80s Nintendo video games. Secondly, for their novelty and ingenious scents capturing the nose. Thirdly, the 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 pomades (nowadays Nostalgic grooming) 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.

The pomade I’m gonna review is the firm oil water based, called ‘super water based’ pomade, an unorthodox water based. Got mine from my buddy Bram van den Berg.

More info:

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. Use a tangle teezer to avoid tug. More info on this handy tool:


This firm comes in a 4 oz plastic, purple colored jar, with white screw top lid. Glass jars are the premium norm nowadays but you almost don’t feel/see a difference. And if this jar falls, it won’t be shattered. Inside the jar, you meet a white pomade.


Distilled Water, Mango Butter, Beeswax, Emulsifying Wax, Castor Seed Oil, Candelilla Wax, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glycerin, Sunflower Oil, Avocado Oil, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Stearic Acid, Fragrance, Optiphen Plus, Vitamin E.

A few ingredients explained:

  • Stearic acid: emulsifying agent, binds water, oils, waxes, butters together. It has more functions.
  • Optiphen plus: a preservative because the pomade contains water. This protects against unhealthy, harmful bacteria and mold.


2 scent options: the clean cut citrus or a barbershop scent. Got the barbershop one: smells like an old school blend with notes of talcum, amber, bay rum and sandalwood grounded by an earthy, musky base. First opening the jar and putting my nose in: not really my thing but not bad either. Has a not so strong odor in the jar. In the hair: did catch many breezes, these were: not overwhelming, nor abrasive or troublesome. It is present and it is agreeable, you won’t forget it’s there. Started to dig this smell! I’ve not tried the clean cut citrus but heard some good things about it.

Application process – result

Style with clean hands, dry them well to avoid the product gets wet and molds, bacteria could be possible residents. Remove hairs, other dirt out of the container. Contains a preservative but keeping it clean is always the best. Store it in a cool and dry environment. Application on damp hair for me on the first day of styling. I put 3 average amounts in my mane. Top layer plus layer beneath are hard to scoop but workable, didn’t have to use my fingernail. Some force is requisite to remove product out of the jar. Small scoops work the best. Typical ‘caterpillar shape licks’ is what you get. Some pressure required breaking it down. First you get kind of dry paste, breaking down further, texture gets a bit oily and buttery, not sticky/tacky. Prefer to break it down before the oiliness comes in, does not influence the efficiency of the pomade. The streaks as a result of that will vanish right after you move your hands and comb through the hair. Working it in: slight tension noticeable. Spreading evenly: no problem. Combing back: bit of a resistance, for a firm not overly grippy. The control this pomade provides, is good. Hair follows the combs without being forced into any direction, overall smooth and easy process. I guess it works this agreeable and facile because of the mango butter which is a very important component, it’s nearly a mango based pomade (second ingredient after water). Weight in the hair: nice lightweight feel. NHM firm tamed my cowlicks from the start and straightened my waves well. My sides were held down well. Pomade is slick, not much of those inconvenient flyaways/strays. Hair height: got some decent height with a good amount of volume but not that high for a firm, for my type of hair (wavy). Styling time: average. Looked back after about 40 minutes and my overall impression was: great. This translates itself in: not saggy, no hairs out of place or strays popping out, no cowlicks and waves winning the game. What I obtained is that slick, clean look I love. Pomade does not feel sticky or greasy. It is as we are used from NHM: well-balanced, well-made.


According to the rating on the jar: 3 out of 5 = a good medium shine. Accurate in my opinion. Being a firm there’s some good luster. Latter did not fade throughout the day. Nice detail: shinier than the medium water based. In that regard, it reminds me of Steve and Nichole Lockhart from Lockhart’s authentic. They were looking for a way to fabricate a firm-heavy strength linked to a good amount of shine which reflects the greasy role of a classic pomade. Everyone knows that pomade, of course: the very noted Goon grease.

Hold – endurance

Firm hold: a 4 out of 5. In my hair, it provides more of a medium-firm strength. Great endurance: NHM firm keeps the hair in place all day long. Didn’t need to do real touch ups. It did not get saggy, no straying or cowlick issues, no splits or other things whatsoever. Waves did show up a tiny bit. Tested in colder temperatures (in the 30s), no strenuous physical activities, just a few walks. There was some sun, a tiny bit of wind present.


It’s a non-drying water based which means you can easily restyle if you feel the need. I usually don’t restyle, a few touch ups here and there is all I do. Restyling test: easy, not much of a tension while restyling and still a good hold afterwards. My waves came through more.

Build up

Very clean, very manageable as we are used of the NHM pomades. Applied on damp hair. Normally on wetter hair but I got the impression damp works better.

Washing out

1 or 2 washes with shampoo as most unorthodox water based pomades of these days. It depends on the amount of pomade you put in and your type of hair as well. Easy to rinse and ideal for a one-day commitment. Hair + scalp feel soft, healthy afterwards.

Hair, scalp issues


Similar pomade

Shear revival’s, Crystal lake (the latest batch) according to James Bui/The pomp. Did not try the latest run, hence.


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