Pomade vs Hair Gel: Which Is Better?

Pomade vs Hair Gel Differences: Which Is Better?

If your hair is looking good, you can practically strut into any room and know that all eyes are probably resting on your sleek and beautiful hair

It happens to be that, pomades and hair gels are one of the hair styling products that give your hair an amazing, neat, and lovely finishing look, so naturally there is a lot of focus targeted at them.

The main difference between pomade and hair gel is that pomade has a mild and flexible hold on your hair while hair gel provides your hair with maximum grip when used.

To help you make the best choices on which of them is best suited for whatever hairstyle you would love to accomplish, we will walk you through the differences between pomade and hair gel to help you make an informed decision.

What is Hair Gel? 

Hair gel is a type of hair styling product that is used to manipulate the hair into a particular hairstyle, the tricky thing with hair gel is that it makes sure that your hair stays put in whatever position it is styled in all day long, some hair gel brands can even keep your hair gelled in place for longer than a day.

What is Pomade? 

Pomade is a hair styling product that is known to have a waxy consistency, it is usually used to slick back the hair and/or style it into different styles and hold it in place. It always gives the hair a lovely shine after styling, which makes it popular amongst both men and women.

Pomade vs Hair Gel Differences: Which is Better?

If you are reconsidering some choices you’ve met for your hair with regards to styling, or you suddenly picked an interest in hair styling with gels and pomades, then we’re here to make sure the process is all roses, no thorns.

Below are the key differences between pomade and hair gels that you would need to take into consideration; 

1. Hair gel has a stronger hold than pomade

Hair gel is a great styling product if you’re looking to achieve a hairstyle that requires a stronghold, it is the best option for styles that require maximum grip to look perfect.

This maximum grip might make hair gel a disadvantage and cause hair breakage sometimes, in such cases you can use natural ingredient-based gels.

However, if you would rather go with a hairstyle that is held in place but would be better with a little flexibility in place, you should use a pomade instead. 

Pomades give your hair volume and had a gentler hold on it, unlike hair gel, so if you are trying a simple hairstyle or you’re a beginner in hair styling and you might need to make adjustments often, stick with pomades.

2. Pomades give the hair more shine than hair gel

If you are looking for a shiny and smooth finish to complete your hairstyle of choice, you should use a pomade. But, if you want a simpler and more subtle finish without the added shine, then hair gel is the perfect pick.

Pomades are known especially for their shiny nature, they make your hair appear slick and brilliant with the extra shine they provide.

It is important to note that the amount of moisture in your hair also largely contributes to how shiny your hair appears, the more the moisture, the shinier it tends to look. 

3. Hair gel may leave white flakes in your hair while pomade is flake-free

A particular feature of hair gel that makes people shy away from using it is the fact that it leaves white flakes on the hair when it dries up. This flakiness that gels are known for is caused by the presence of polymers in gel which react with other ingredients and cause white buildups.

Also, hair gel turns flaky easily when it comes in contact with dry or cold air, that’s the reason why your hair gel seems to have more white build-up during winter or dry windy seasons. 

Pomade has a softer or milder ingredient composition and this ensures that it does not leave behind white flakes after use.

4. Hair gel can be easily washed out with water unlike pomade

All gels are water-based, this quality makes them pretty easy to wash off with just water when you’re ready to take them out. This water-based quality also makes hair gel easy to apply when there is moisture in your hair.

Pomades can be water-based or oil-based, but they usually always have a greasy or oily feel that makes it trickier to wash them out of your hair with just water. To get pomade out of your hair you would need to apply shampoo to your hair and give it a good wash.

Which is Better: Pomade or Hair Gel?

When it all boils down to which of the two is best for hair styling between pomade and hair gel, the decision is entirely subjective. 

What really matters is what style you’re trying to achieve, for styles that require maximum hold, the winner for the job is hair gel. However, if you’re trying to achieve a style that requires a softer hold and can be slicked back or parted in the middle from time to time during the day, you should use a pomade.

Your hair type might also play a part in which product is best for you, if you have thin hair you should stick with pomade because it is gentle and flexible and it gives your hair some much-needed extra volume. 

With thick or fuller hair, hair gel is a better choice because it can keep your hair tamed easily owing to its maximum hold feature.

If you are a curly head, pomade is a great choice because it gives your hair a beautiful shine, and your curls look relaxed and luscious all day long. With straight hair, you can decide between pomade or hair gel depending on your choice of hairstyle. 

As long as you use a good quality hair gel or pomade, your hair will stay put and look stunning.


On your hair styling days when your hair is not in braids or under a wig, hair gels and pomades always come in handy. Everyone is a big fan of slicked-back hair or edges that have been gelled to perfection so at the end of the day pomades and gels are both amazing choices. 

Whether you end up using a pomade or hair gel to style your hair, you must not forget to always wash out the products before you go to bed, this way you avoid frizz or hair breakage that would happen as a result of these products being on your hair for too long. 

And as long as you know that pomade is for a gentle and flexible hold while hair gel is for maximum hold, you’ll always know which is perfect for any hairstyle you’ve chosen.

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