Company – product
‘By land, or by sea, prepared each day ye shall be … ‘
Flagship pomade co, run by brewer Wade Branson from Texas, is a fixed value in the handcrafted pomade/grooming communities. He created a real topper, the heavy hold unorthodox water based Black ship: a favorite of many and I can only confirm its greatness! This was one of the first water based pomades with a strong enduring power under extreme circumstances. Black ship and medium hold brother ‘The insubmersible’ are part of the sea themed vegan, nearly all natural pomades. The reformulated insubmersible is as great as Black ship in my opinion: great medium-firm hold, great endurance, easy to style with product.
The highlighted Steelhorse pomade belongs to the category of the ‘by land’ pomades. These are non-vegan, also contain fragrance oils and are nearly all natural as well. Steelhorse pomade consists of other ingredients then the ‘by sea’ pomades, f.e. shea butter and lanolin. It’s a shea butter based product. For the convenience, I will categorize it under oil based.
More info – http://www.flagshippomade.com/
My hair profile
I’ve medium thick, wavy hair. I wear a side part with a contour. At the moment, I’m using a boar hair brush, a Denman plus a detangler (Tangle teezer). During styling, I use brushes most.
Jars are amber glass ones, a 4 oz size. You come across classic labels of old times: pretty. On top of the lid there’s the steelhorse logo, comes in handy when searching it in your collection. Pomade’s hue is light yellow.
Shea Butter, Candelilla Wax, Hydrogenated Castor oil, Coconut oil, Lanolin, Fragrance/Essential Oils.
When comparing the pomade’s ingredients on the jar with the ones on the website, I remarked a slight difference in order. I’ll mention the jar’s sequence above.
Interesting fact is: it’s a shea butter based. How can a butter base provide a firm strength? Because of the candelilla wax (hard wax – contributes to the hold), lanolin (stickiness and hold properties) and hydrogenated castor oil (castor wax: contributes to the pomade’s hold also). Coconut oil provides shine and facilitates scoop-ability.
Quoting Wade: ‘Scented using sandalwood and vanilla fragrance oils and sweet orange essential oils, you will have a slightly sweet and cologne-like scent right out of the jar, but as the day progresses it will smooth into a very subtle, neutral and fresh scent that pairs well with any cologne that you may choose as well.’ In the jar, for my nose: smell the 3 layers of which it is made of. A good combination, well dosed. Smells fresh, clean, soapy, a tad tart but not overbearing. In the hair: gentle and fresh breezes throughout the day. My opinion on the scent: neutral. Not bad, not really my cup of tea either but it’s alright, not bothersome.
Application – styling process
Application: slightly wet as usual to handle my waves better and a much easier way to avoid tug and pull styling with a firm strength product. Steehorse’s upper layer is hard and getting the pomade out of the jar demands some power. Going deeper: softer texture. Breakdown: smears out after a few solid rubs. Its consistency is oily, a bit waxy, a tad sticky. Took 3 average licks. Working through: there’s some resistance. Combing back with a Denman brush: slight tension, small amount of tug and pull. Alright to disperse evenly. Changing the hair’s direction to make the part: no issues. Pomade provides a good grip and controls the hair well: lays and keeps down the mane in a second. Sides: well done. Lifting the front, without waves coming through: good. Cowlicks tamed and held down well. Did not have to deal with many loose hairs popping out. Weight in the hair: medium-light, decent volume is possible with Steelhorse. The shape I gained was good, clean and slick. This pomade does feel somewhat waxy, not dry and sticky, great to keep everything together. After a while, everything was still in place, no sag. Is it difficult to work with, being a firm? No. Styling time: average.
Defined as a medium shine. To me: medium and great for a firm hold. Sheen stayed.
Hold – endurance
Firm hold according to the brewer. But on his site he speaks about a medium-firm as well. In my mane: medium-firm. Hair did not move much during the day: just a few innocent flyaways. Minor sag, no splits in the shape. The pomade’s endurance is great: survived some indoor chores, a trip per bike, a few hikes with chilly 50s, without any wind or sun; none of them were a problem for Steelhorse.
It does well. Little tension when the comb went through. Slightly wavy front after that. Still, some good hold left.
Clean, strong and manageable. You notice the waxes and butter. Had a slight waving going on, but my hairdo was neat. I could have avoided that by styling on damper hair. Did that on the third day and used my other brush and the waves were gone. Remained around a medium-firm strength.
About 3 shampoos, normal for a non-petro oil based on the firmer side. What/how much shampoo you use, scrub intensity, product that was in and of course your hair type influence the process too. Conditioned, soft feel afterwards.
I made an inventory of degreasing methods that can help you: https://piw74.com/2016/07/12/an-inventory-of-degreasing-methods/
Hair, scalp issues
O’Douds original, 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/