The mail room barber co out of South Carolina is a grooming company owned by brewer and master barber Robert Watkins. He offers handmade, ethically sourced products of high quality.
Robert’s brand is best known for his medium oil based, the Nolde forest pomade he did in a collaboration with photographer Cody Calhoun. Pomade is named after the Nolde forest (Pennsylvania). Nolde is vegan and very conditioning for the hair and scalp. To me Nolde is one of the best oil based pomades! Reviewed it as well, here is the link – https://piw74.com/2016/09/27/the-mail-room-barber-co-nolde-forest-medium-oil-based-pomade/
Another line of pomades, also vegan with nourishing profits: the natural pomades. You can choose between the: X (light hold), XX (medium hold), XXX (heavy hold). Did a review on the heavy/XXX – https://piw74.com/2016/08/20/the-mail-room-barber-co-xxx-heavy-natural-oil-based-pomade/. Characteristic of these pomades: very clean and lightweight.
An advantage of the mail room barber co pomades is they wash out easier than most other oil based pomades. 1 or 2 shampoos will rinse all out.
May 2017: Robert swapped the petrolatum for castor jelly. Castor Jelly is a vegetable based blend of castor oil and hydrogenated castor oil (castor wax). Why? Washes out easier and because of the debate of petro being good or bad for the hair/skin.
Robert created and manages TMRB website.
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 classic pomade. The classic is a beeswax based with a classic formula or in Robert’s words: ‘My Classic Pomade is modeled after traditional hair grease and grooming aids of the 40s and 50s for men that are going for anything from the grease punk look to the polished executive contour. Depending on the amount you scoop, the classic pomade can tame the thickest, curliest hair or hold loose, voluptuous pomps in their place.’
All come in 3.5 (100 g) oz amber glass jars with transparent sticker design. Design is clean and minimalistic, done by Robert himself. Pomade’s color is yellowish.
Beeswax, lanolin, white petrolatum, coconut oil, emulsifying wax, essential oils.
Classic formula with the addition of emulsifying wax (e-wax). Some of you that are into brewing themselves maybe think: emulsifying wax into an oil based? Yes, e-wax is an emulsifier to bind water, oil, wax and butters together. E-wax also eases the washing out process as it separates water, oils, butters and waxes to rinse them out easier plus provides a smoother product.
Robert delineates: ‘Top floral notes of lavender and bergamot that give way to smokey undertones of clove and tobacco, reminiscent of the Appalachian trail’. I like the scent from the moment I screwed off the lid and put my nose in it! Earthy, masculine, somewhat woody smell. Reminds me of the iron society oil based pomades. This is also in the line of the O’Douds apothecary scents. Scent is not strong in the jar or in the hair. You smell it, subtle, not pushy. Got whiffs. Agreeable.
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: to very damp hair as always when using mediums = helps to straighten my waves (don’t like my waves rule the game) and combs smoother. Took 3 average licks.
Scooping: got this in a trade, the top layer was already scooped. I suppose some pressure will be needed for the top. Deeper: smooth to scoop.
Breakdown: nice, a few solid rubs and I obtained a sticky, bit of a waxy consistency, very the iron society alike. Dispersing evenly: okay.
Combing back: noticed some grip using my Denman. Changing the hair’s direction to part: some grip as well.
Control: my hair did not tend to be wavy, no strays/flyaways, good slickness, cowlicks + sides held in place, no splits, hairs stayed down. Overall: facile to work with. Contains lanolin which helps to keep the hairs together through its sticky properties. The product is not overly waxy.
Medium. I style on damp hair so it looks shinier to begin with. The shine stayed a medium and didn’t dull throughout the day. The sheen this pomade gives, is great.
Described as a medium hold, has around the same medium strength as the Nolde pomade which I described as a medium on the firmer side. Nolde works better for my hair. I wish the classic had some more strength.
Once you’ve styled, it keeps the hair in place. Tested it doing a bicycle trip and some walks in moderate temperatures (begin 50° F/10° C), no wind, not really sunny or humid. No stretched jobs or chores. It endured well. My hair was not wavy, no strays, no splits or cowlick issues, sags a bit. Again: similar to the iron society oil firm based but that one is stronger.
I needed to restyle my front to lift up the height. Easy to do, no real tug. Hold is still good afterwards: no real waves or hairs popping out.
As we are used from the other TMRB pomades: workable and soft. I used 2 licks on top of some damp hair (no wash). Don’t get that much of a volume and height in the front but it’s still decent, clean and neat for my taste. Hair front was a tad more height due to the build up.
Around 3 rounds of shampoo depending on your hair type and the quantity of pomade used. Washes out a bit easier than other petro pomades. Hair feels soft and healthy afterwards.
- The iron society, medium oil based.
- O’Douds, original (medium) oil based.
Interested in oil based pomades only? You can join our ‘Oil Based Pomade Enthusiasts’ Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/OilBasedPomadeEnthusiasts/