Gone are the days when people used to think that hairstyling and haircuts are meant only for women. In fact, over the past few decades, things have changed significantly and today’s men do not hesitate in trying different styles for their hair. The truth is that today there are different ways with which one can style their hair. Moreover, whether a person has long and textured, or short and tight hair, there are so many hair styling products like hair gels, pomades, mousse, etc., available that can be used to style or set hair for that perfect look. But with so many options available, it is inevitable to get confused deciding which hair product is best for the hair and how these products differ from each other.

Most of us who are faced with this confusion end up buying products which are not good for our hair texture and style, and further, if used for a long period of time, can even damage our hair. One such perplexing situation where most people finding themselves stuck is differentiating between hair gel and pomade. As both are hair care products, people tend to consider them similar and often use one in place of the other.

Hair gel and pomade are the two most commonly used for hair styling products. But the question is what the difference between them?

So, there is no point to have pomade vs. gel discussion without knowing first what each of them does.


There are two kinds of pomades, namely petroleum-based and water-based pomades.


Oil-based pomades or petroleum based pomades are the traditional pomades that have been around for many years. When searching for oil-based pomade browse the primary ingredient listed and if it says petroleum, soft paraffin, or oil, then it’s oil-based pomade.

Oil based pomades are the original kind. They are made with real grease and fatty ingredients to produce the slick, shine and holding appearance. Petroleum pomades area unit product of primary grease and fatty acids that additionally implies that it’s difficult and may well be not possible to wash out of your hair.


Water based pomades are water soluble making them easier to wash out of the hair. Water-based pomades tend not to be thus greasy, and in turn, are better for the general health of the hair. Primarily pomades keep the hair in place without going hard. The style stays intact irrespective of the fact that the hair is still pliable. This isn’t recommended to use on long hair though, as it is really greasy, hard to wash out of your hair, and will leave you hair looking wet and shiny.

The recent development of water-soluble pomades allow users to get the same high hold and slicked back look but can be removed with just water. Water-based pomades have less shine and a stiffer finished, but it’s more versatile.


Hair gel is a hair styling gel that helps to set your hair in the desired style and shape. Though it works well for each short and long hair, hair gel is exceptionally sensible for brief hairstyles or any look that needs additional exactness. Gels can be classified as light-weight and heavy-weight.

The main point of styling with hair gel is to obtain that slick, wet look that was popular during the ‘80s and ‘90s. Besides providing you with an honest quantity of shine, these things very holds powerfully. For those who need every hair to stay in place for the whole day, gel will not disappoint.

You can also create spikes and different kinds of details in your hairstyle, but be sure you get it right from the first try. Once gel hardens, you cannot restyle it again.

Pomades vs. gel:

  • Gels tend to be thinner and transparent inconsistency when compared to pomades. The biggest distinction between gel and pomade is that gel hardens on the hair, making a wet or shiny look while feeling hard to the touch. It is always recommended to use a gel that is alcohol-free, as gels that contain alcohol tend to cause flaking.
  • Pomade doesn’t dry out and acquires super stiff like gel. Some gels can harden your hair until its rock solid. But don’t confuse pomade as being weak; it still holds your style plenty tight even if it is flexible. If you have dry, dull hair, go with pomade.
  • The gel will give you the strongest hold and rock solid hair. Verses pomade, it’s stronger, but it also doesn’t look as natural. In fact, far from it.
  • One of the best things about gel is that it washes out quite easily as compare to pomades. That petroleum-based product which will keep in your hair till you wash it 2 or 3 times.
  • Gel has a disadvantage if you are an active person and sweat or spend time in the heat. It is not awfully pleasant to urge your gel mixed with sweat and drip in your eyes
  • Another minus point for the gel is that it sometimes dries with white flakes. To avoid that, use a lighter gel for lighter hair and use fewer products than you normally do. Try to spread it evenly in your hair, of course by putting it on wet hair.
  • Another big difference between gels and pomade is that you can go in and restyle your pomade do many times a day. It has a flexible hold and you can repair any mishaps with a pocket comb.

Thus, make your own choice based on your own hair-type and desired look. I don’t need you to think that pomade is best than gel or the opposite means around. Both products do exactly the jobs they are assigned to do; you just have to choose exactly what you need and use the product correctly.

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