The 7 Best Pomades for Men’s Curly Hair

Curly hairstyles are so popular for men right now that the perm is back. So next time you’re feeling frustrated with your natural texture, remember that some people pay to have the hair you wake up with everyday.

True, curly hair isn’t as straightforward as, ahem, straight hair, but follow these tips with these hair products and you’ll be inspiring even more guys to perm their hair.

If your curls look great when wet and frizz out as hair dries, this is for you. The goal of styling and hair products is to preserve that curl pattern. Here’s how to style curly hair for men with the cast method and the best pomades to use.

Curly hair can be so many things. There are different degrees of curls – wavy type 2, curly type 3, and coily type 3. All of these curl types can also be fine, thick, or coarse as well as different lengths. So here are 7 pomades that work for all the different types of men’s curly hair.

Josh O’meara-Patel

The Best Pomades for Men’s Curly Hair

Pomades for curly hair should define and separate curls, minimize frizz, and add some conditioning. Keep scrolling for the best way to style curly hair. Most of these pomades excel at setting curls but some can also be used to straighten hair.

1. Best Water-Based Pomade For Curly Hair

Gel is one of the best products for locking in curl so it’s no surprise that a gel pomade tops our product list. As a water-based product, CRVFT Gel Pomade is easy to apply to hair, dries soft, and washes with water. This pomade is excellent for holding curls but you can also use it to straighten hair.

Don’t let that high shine label deter you, the gel dries closer to matte.

2. Best Strong Hold-Matte Pomade For Curly Hair

There are many reasons to try Blind Barber 90 Proof Pomade. First, the invisible hold is soft enough to run fingers through and can be re-styled throughout the day. The water-based formula is as easy to work into hair as it is to wash out. It has a pleasant sweet vanilla scent. And last, but not least, it has the highest quality-to-cost ratio so you get the most value for your money.

Blind Barber 90 Proof Pomade

Strong hold + matte finish
Best value curly pomade
Best for a natural look can run your fingers through

3. Best Pomade For Thick + Curly Hair

Oil-based pomades do everything that curly hair needs: it conditions hair with strong flexible hold. Reuzel Pink Grease Pomade has a medium shiny finish but that can be adjusted by using more or less product. If you don’t need strong hold, try the medium hold Reuzel Green.

Oil-based pomade does have a drawback though. The grease doesn’t wash out with just water and sometimes takes more than shampoo. Reuzel has a shampoo for that or try conditioning hair before shampooing. It sounds strange but it works.

Reuzel Pink Grease Pomade

Strong flexible hold + medium shine
Strong enough for the thickest, curliest hair
Smooths out dry and frizzy hair

4. Best Pomade For Thin + Curly Hair

In general, clay pomades aren’t ideal for curls because they can dry hair out and the texture is more difficult to work through hair. Lockhart’s Matte Clay is an exception. In this case, the clay thickens hair and adds texture, making it a great option for curly hair that is thin or fine.

The oil-based formula also conditions hair, adds texture, and is smooth and easy to apply. The medium strength holds curls in place while moving naturally. You get all that and a no shine finish.

Oil-based pomades don’t wash out with just water but the bonus is you can get two or three days of style out of each application. Try using a co-wash designed to dissolve oil and product build-up. Putting conditioner on dry hair before shampooing also works.

5. Best Pomade For Long + Curly Hair

Long hair has plenty of weight and look best with light styling products. Uncle Jimmy Curl Kicker is more of a lotion than a pomade. That’s why it is easy to work through long hair and all curly textures. The medium hold is flexible but lasts all day long while oils and honey condition hair. Hold is on the lighter side of medium but that’s what makes it good for medium or long hair.

Curl Kicker works for all textures but try X-Tra Curl Kicker for especially thick, curly, or coily hair.

Uncle Jimmy Curl Kicker

Medium hold + natural shine
Best for natural-looking curls
Works for medium + long hair

6. Best Pomade For Fighting Frizz + Humidity

Weather can affect curls as much as your mood. I cringe looking back at pictures of my time in the Pacific Northwest but I know better now and now so do you. Frizz happens when water in the air (aka humidity) is greater than the level of water in your hair. Conditioning helps but can only do some much.

A curl-specific pomade like Woody’s Styling Cream conditions hair and keeps frizz at bay. You get soft, touchable, and full curls in any weather. The medium hold keeps curls under control while adding separation and texture. It works for wavy and curly hair of all lengths.

Woody’s Styling Cream

Medium flexible hold, high shine
Works for all lengths of wavy + curly hair
Best for humid climates

7. Best All-Around Curly Pomade

You’ll see Suavecito on many best curly pomade lists but not this one. It’s a great product that we use and recommend all the time, just not for curly hair. Why? It does a great job styling but can dry hair out. You can compensate by using a leave-in conditioner first or some hair oil after applying the product.

Or you can use Layrite Natural Matte Cream. In addition to oils and waxes that smooth and condition hair, a little bit of kaolin clay provides the matte finish that many guys prefer. The cream soda scent is also a treat.

This is the best all around pomade for curly hair because it works for all hair types and hair lengths.

Layrite Natural Matte Cream

Medium hold + matte finish
Best curly pomade for most guys • Works for thin + thick, short, medium + long hair

How To Use Pomade For Men’s Curly Hair: The cast method

The cast method is the easiest way to bring out your best curls. The process uses hair product to hold curls in place while hair dries. When hair is dry, break the cast for curls that stay in place all day, immune from frizz and humidity.

All of the recommended pomades can be used this way. Keep in mind that most pomades will be shinier when applied to wet hair.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start With Wet Hair – After a shower or just wet hair in sink.
  2. Define Curls – Work in a leave-in conditioner or curl-enhancing cream for the best curl pattern.
  3. Apply Product – Use a generous amount of product and work it through hair thoroughly. Hair should be fully covered with product from root to tip. Scrunch hair and define curls until you’re satisfied. This is how hair will stay.
  4. Dry Hair – This is the hardest part – letting hair dry without touching it. Just go do something else. Air drying works best but a blow dry hair with diffuser works too. Use a low heat and low speed.
  5. Break The Cast – Wait until hair is at least 90% dry. It might feel somewhat crunchy, depending on what product you’re using. Now break the cast by scrunching hair.
  6. Add Final Product – Finally, add a little bit more hair product for hold, shine, and/or conditioning. That can be a hair oil, serum, or small amount of pomade.
  7. Enjoy – This styling method should last up to three days.

What To Look For In Curly Hair Pomades

There are plenty of excellent products out there designed for curly hair. Here are some features and ingredients to look for.

  • Hold – Medium hold is usually enough to keeping curls defined, especially for longer hair. Higher hold products can be better for very thick hair or very tight curls. The important part is flexible hold that never feels hard or crunchy.
  • Texture + Definition – If you see the words texture, definition, or separation, the product probably works for curly hair.
  • Anti-Frizz – Look for products labeled as anti-frizz. Frizz can be genetic or triggered by humidity. Either way, it never looks good.
  • Moisture – Curly hair tends to be drier than straight hair because the natural oils produced by the scalp don’t travel as far down the spiral of curls. Look for products that provide hydration and moisture with oils and/or waxes.
  • Humectants – Ingredients like glycerin and honey attract moisture from the air to help keep curls hydrated.

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