Grim grease – unorthodox heavy hold water based pomade

Grim Grease Heavy Hold WaterBased

Company – product

‘Now get greasy’

Grim grease is a grooming company based in California, run by Francisco Esquivel. He’s present in pomade brewers communities for quite a while and most certainly no unknown among pomade fans.

It all started when Francisco began brewing pomade for personal use because the existing products did not do it for hem. Next, he decided to share what he had learned and created so others could enjoy it with him and there it was: ‘Grim grease pomade’.

Francisco recently reformulated his line-up (around February 2017). Featured products: a heavy (reviewed one), a light + medium water based (unorthodox type) and a firm water based clay pomade. A light hold is not something we often see in the non-drying water based field, great he added this. But our brewer offers much more, take a look at his website in more info section.

Today, I’ll put the heavy hold unorthodox water based in the spotlight. Quoting Francisco: ‘Compared to the old heavy formula this formula has improved in every aspect. This formula is easier to scoop out, the breakdown is creamier, application is effortless and the shine and hold are what a true heavy should be. The scent has very fresh barbershop like notes. Perfect for all year long. It is a creamy pomade, goes in like a cream, holds like a wax based pomade and washes off with ease.’ 

Bonus: Francisco doing his hair –

Ordered my Grim grease heavy at Pomade club –

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 and a Tangle teezer (detangler). During styling, I use brushes most.


Pomade is poured into a 4 oz clear glass jar with clean, transparent, black lettered stickers. The choice of transparent glass is a nice for it shows the pomade’s tint and offers some alternation from the amber ones. GG heavy comes in a creamy hue.


Water, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Soy Lecithin, Borax, Fragrance Oil, Essential Oils, Optiphen Plus, Vitamin E Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Love.

A few ingredients explained:

  • Optiphen plus: a preservative against harmful molds, yeasts and bacteria = it’s a water based. In previous runs, I didn’t found a preservative(s) in the ingredients list. Some brewers put it in but don’t state on the labels.
  • Tea tree oil: originally from Australia and derived from the leaves of the tea tree. Tea tree oil is an interesting product that you can employ in a variety of ways for personal care. The antiseptic properties inhibit molds and bacteria.
  • Love: great he mentions his passion and love! Those are so important being a brewer. Let’s enjoy the love!



Barbershop blend. Francisco gives us access to the layers of which his flavor is built, great thing. Top: bay rum, bergamot, basil. Middle: oak moss, sandalwood. Base: patchouli, white patchouli. In the jar: fresh plus clean in my nose. In the hair: very subtle. Very soft whiffs passed now and then, not a scent I smelled much during the day. My opinion on the fragrance: neutral, nothing fancy but not bad either, accessible. F. claims you can use it all year long: I second that.

Application process – result

Before use: clean and dry your hands. Remove hairs and other residues after you’ve styled, to keep it clean as it is a water based pomade. Nobody wants molds, yeasts or bacteria in there. Store it in a cool and dry environment. Put it into damp hair to ‘fight’ my waves and for easier style-ability. Top layer scoops properly for a heavy: just had to push a tad and it came out. Consistency feels dry, pasty/creamy, a smidgen waxy, no greasy aspects or stickiness. Mixes rather easy in the hands: a few solid rubs and ready. Working in the mop: a little grippy, nothing out of the ordinary as we talk about a heavy. Spreads well through the hair. Slicking back: noticeable tension using a Denman brush; not the ‘hairs ripping out’ type by any means. Changing hair’s direction to part: no issues. This pomade styles easy, as described by the brewer. How much pomade did I need? 3 average licks. Experienced enough smoothness. Good control too: lays down the hairs at once. Sides were slicked down well. Cowlicks and waves obeyed very quick. Although on the drier side, no complaints about many strays popping up, Francisco’s oils ratio made it slick. Hair height: high, great and clean and a neat hairdo. Weight: medium-light, providing some good volume. Post-styling: hairs stayed in place, with some minor clean-ups.


Low, natural after the brewer. A notch above neutral in my hair: does add little sheen, good for a heavy hold. No fading out of it.

Hold – endurance

This is GG’s newly brewed heavy hold. For me: more of a firm. Never used the previous heavy thus I cannot compare them. ‘Goes in creamy, holds like a wax‘: accurate yes. Endurance: again great, just a few loose strands, tiny bit of sag at the end of the day. Overall: everything was held in place! No real strenuous activities: some hiking, a bike trip, chilly 50s, some sun, a slight wind. Endurance in hot weather: great without any doubt. This is a very reliable pomade!


Did not need to at all. Testing out: slight tension when the comb went through and still that great hold afterwards.

Build up

Clean + workable. Added some water, tonic, 2 scoops and styled. No issues it being too stiff to work comfortable.

Washing out

Francisco told us it washes off with ease. And yes, it does. 1-2 shampoos suffice. Type of hair, type of shampoo and amount of it, scrub intensity, quantity of pomade that was in all play their role. Hair was soft and healthy afterwards. Ideal to use for one day if you wish to.

Hair, scalp issues



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