Water based pomade vs Oil based pomade

Waterbasis pomade vs Oliebasis pomade

Pomade is an age-old styling product that can no longer be missing in your bathroom. He is known as a loyal friend to the man who wants to style his hair well. For the man who doesn't want to look up a mirror every hour to check his haircut. For the man who can sit carefree with his hair in the wind. But to be that man, you have to find the right pomade for your hair. So the question is: should I go for a water-based pomade ? Or for an oil based pomade ?

What is Pomade?

To begin with, you must of course know what a pomade does in the first place. Pomade is a hair styling product with an oily or waxy consistency that you can use to style your hair. For example, pomade provides shine, fat, texture and hold. Pomades are very popular worldwide with men who go for the classic look. Especially for a hair style where a comb is used, you are good with a pomade. This allows you to comfortably lubricate the pomade through your hair and at the same time shape it tightly. Well-known examples are the classic pompadour, slick back, quiff or side part.

What is water based pomade?

A water-based pomade has (as you might guess) water as its main ingredient. This ensures that your hair becomes less greasy and that it is easy to wash out. With a water-based pomade you can go for different looks. Creating a high hold, medium hold or low hold is therefore no problem at all. You also have the same choice in gloss. A water-based pomade does not feel greasy and it is easy to apply in your hair. A feature of this pomade is that it dries quickly and hard and is therefore not easy to restyle.

What is oil base pomade?

The classic among the pomades. The main ingredient is beeswax, paraffin or petroleum. When you apply oil-based pomade to your hair, it can stay in shape for days. It is also easy to restyle because the pomade remains soft. Just run your fingers through your hair and you can continue your day with a good haircut. Many oil-based pomades give your hair a high shine, which you can easily create a classic wet look.


Although the differences between the two pomades do not always seem to be the same, this is one point where they score very differently. The water-based pomade is easier to apply. It sticks less and follows your fingers through your hair more easily. The structure is a bit like gel, nice and smooth. As smooth as it looks, that's how it will feel in your hair upon application. You feel little resistance. So you will be able to style your own hair without any difficulties.

The oil-based pomades, on the other hand, will make it a bit more difficult for you. Your hands will need a little more experience to style your hair properly. You will need to work with a more stiff, waxy consistency that therefore offers more resistance. You also have to warm up your hands a little longer to make it less stiff.

It just depends on what look you want to go for. But to be fair, the water base is a lot easier to apply. This marks the first point of this battle.

Current score = 1-0 for the water based pomade


It is not the case that one pomade gives a stronger hold than the other. Both can provide a strong, firm hold. Both the water-based pomade and the oil-based pomade have products that switch between a light, medium or strong hold. How the two types of pomades differ from each other mainly lies in the nature of the hold.

Water-based pomades give a dry, stiff hold. As a result, it is not possible to restyle. They often dry hard and quickly. Sometimes so fast that it seems like a race against time. Within minutes you have to make sure that your hair is in the right place, otherwise the hold is already dry and hard. Once it's dry, there's no going back. If you are not satisfied? Then it is necessary to first soften your hair with water. Then you can start with your second attempt. Don't forget to grab some pomade again. If your pomade is dry, it will also stay put. Restyling is therefore not necessary, since no gust of wind can compete against your coupe.

Oil-based pomades provide a smooth, soft hold. This is key if you want the ability to restyle your hair throughout the day. Oil-based pomades give you the freedom and flexibility to flip your hair whenever you want. When you think of John Travolta from Grease, you automatically think of the oil base pomade. That he could run that comb through every hour would have been impossible with a water-based pomade.

Both pomades have their own qualities. So it purely depends on your preference, which is why both types score a point here.

Current score = 2-1 for water based pomade


Oil-based pomade is known to give more shine than water-based pomade. This makes sense, since there are many greasy ingredients in the oil-based pomade. However, we should not underestimate the water-based pomade. Nowadays there are many water-based pomades with a beautiful, deep shine. Still, you can generally expect the oil-based pomades to be a lot shinier. To bring Grease back in, Travolta's pompadour was shiny for a reason. And that reason is a traditional oil-based pomade. The beauty of oil-based pomades is that they can keep their shine for days. The water-based pomades, on the other hand, often lose their shine during the day.

May the winner of this round be clear: the oil-based pomade.

Current score = 2-2

Weather resistance

Oil-based products are more resistant to rain and moisture. The hold stays better than a water-based pomade. This is due to the soluble nature of your water-based pomade. To paint a picture: you spent all morning in front of the mirror with a perfect haircut as a result. You step out the door, and before you know it you have a rain shower on your roof. You can feel all your work from that morning, along with your pomade, dissolving in the raindrops. Shame right? When this scenario happens to you, it's easier to recover from that downpour if you had an oil base pomade in your hair. Restyling is done in no time! Run your hands through your hair and you're done.

What if you came across that rain shower while you had a water-based pomade in your hair? Then the outcome is less rosy. You then have to dry your hair and apply product again. Then you have to have the product with you, of course. Therefore one point for the oil base pomade.

Current score = 3-2 for the oil base pomade


Also not entirely unimportant: washing out the product. Water-based pomades are soluble in water and therefore very easy to wash out. Rinsing is easy, so you can sleep every night with a clean haircut. Often you don't even need a shampoo for this, just water is enough. The ease of rinsing is one of the main reasons why men prefer the water-based pomade over the oil-based pomade.

Oil-based pomades, on the other hand, are more difficult to wash out. In any case, you need shampoo, but even then one shower is not enough for stubborn pomades. With some oil-based pomades you need several showers to get all the product out of your hair. This may sound negative, but some men actually choose this. If you still have some pomade in your hair after washing, you need to use less pomade for the next style turn. This build-up (that's what the remaining layer of pomade in your hair is called) is typical of an oil-based pomade.

How the points are divided in this heading is debatable, as there are both negative and positive sides to both types. However, this piece is about the washability of the product, which is why this point must be forgiven for the water-based pomade.

Current score = 3-3


In our webshop you have different price ranges for both categories. The price difference between water based pomades and oil based pomades is not very big. In general, the cost of a water-based pomade is slightly higher. The main reason for this is the ingredients and complex formulas. The oil based pomades often have fewer ingredients and are a bit more simplistic in terms of formulas. This of course also makes it cheaper. The oil-based pomade scores slightly better on this point.

Current score = 4-3 for the oil base pomade

Product life

Perhaps even more important than the price is the longevity of your pomade. If you have to pay a little more, but your product lasts twice as long, it is of course worth those few cents. In general, your oil-based pomade will last longer than a water-based one. This is of course because your oil-based pomade is more difficult to wash out. This means you need less the next time you style your hair. This means that your pomade will last much longer. One application can be used for several days, while your water-based pomade immediately disappears down your shower drain. Suppose you want to prevent this by not washing your hair for a few days, the water-based pomade will still lose its shine. As a result, you cannot avoid putting in some product again. The conclusion is that you can do much longer with your pot of oil-based pomade.

Current score = 5-3 for the oil base pomade


Finally, you can expect more diversity from the oil-based pomade. There are many different types you can buy. High shine or medium shine. Light hold to heavy hold. Water-based pomades are a bit more limited in this regard. You can expect a hard, shiny hold from all water-based pomades. However, this is not necessarily negative. For many men, this is exactly what they need. But a real pomade connoisseur prefers to choose between all the different types of pomades based on oil. Therefore, the oil-based pomade scores its final (and decisive) point here.

Current score = 6-3 for the oil base pomade

Benefits at a glance

Before we choose a winner, it is useful to list all the advantages again. That way, despite the outcome of this battle, you can choose your own winner.

Benefits of water-based pomade:

  • Easy to wash out
  • Easy to apply
  • Doesn't feel greasy
  • Does not contain petroleum / petroleum

Benefits of oil-based pomade:

  • Flexibility to restyle
  • Can withstand weather conditions
  • Retains its hold and shine for a long time
  • Cheap to use due to build-up
  • Contains fewer chemicals

And the winner is…

From our test, the oil-based pomade is the winner of this battle. The decisive factor for us is the flexibility and durability that this pomade offers. The possibility of restyling offers freedom! Does this mean that the water-based pomade is less good? Absolutely not. That too is and remains a top product. But the winner of this battle is really the oil-based pomade.

Are you looking for the best of both worlds? Then there is also an unorthodox water-based pomade . It combines the good properties of an oil-based pomade, but is almost as easy to wash out as a water-based pomade.

If you have any questions regarding this battle, we would of course like to hear from you.

Good luck!

Your friends, The Alpha Men.