Pomade has been a staple hair product for men wanting to achieve a slick, shiny hairstyle for decades. The greasy, waxy texture of traditional pomade formulas helps create everything from pompadours to side parts. However, some of the key ingredients in many conventional pomade products can potentially cause damage to your hair and scalp health when used too much or incorrectly over time.
Potential Damaging Effects of Pomade on Hair
Petroleum-based oils like petroleum jelly and mineral oil are commonly found in traditional pomade recipes. The problem is these oils cannot be absorbed by the hair shaft or scalp. Instead, they sit on the surface and build up with repeated use, which can lead to clogged pores and follicles.
This pomade buildup over time is likely to cause inflammation, irritation, and disrupted growth cycles. Your scalp may become congested and the increased friction on your strands can worsen hair breakage.
Alcohol is another ingredient added to many cheap pomades that can be very drying to the hair and scalp. It strips away natural moisture, causing brittleness, breakage, and dryness.
Chemical fragrances and dyes frequently used in pomades also lead to irritation for those with sensitive skin or allergies. Ingredients like parabens and PEGs have even been linked to hormone disruption and potentially increased cancer risk.
Signs Your Pomade Use is Damaging Hair
Here are some of the most common signs that your frequent pomade use may be causing damage to your scalp and hair:
- Increased dandruff, flaking, redness, burning, or itching of the scalp
- Noticeable hair loss, thinning, or excessive breakage, especially at the roots
- Slow hair growth and lack of volume or bounce
- Scalp may feel overly oily yet look dry and irritated
- Hair feels brittle, straw-like, or looks dull and limp
Pay attention to any irritation symptoms right after pomade application. If you see decreased hair density or worsening texture over time, your pomade habits may be to blame.
Tips for Preventing Hair Damage from Pomade
If you want to keep using pomade safely without harming your hair, here are some tips:
- Choose natural ingredient pomades with nourishing oils like coconut, argan, or jojoba instead of petroleum
- Use pomade sparingly, starting with a dime-sized amount applied to damp hair
- Focus application on mid-length to ends, avoiding direct contact with the scalp
- Wash out pomade thoroughly every 1-2 days to prevent heavy buildup
- Give your scalp a break by using pomade only 3-4x per week, not daily
- Consult a stylist to find the right pomade for your specific hair type and style
Moderation is key when it comes to pomade use. You want to avoid excessive product sitting on the scalp and hair shafts day after day. Regular cleansing paired with deep conditioning treatments can help counteract any drying effects.
Healthier Alternatives for Styling Hair
If reducing your pomade use, here are some safer, gentler options for styling your hair:
- Hair gel provides a firm hold while allowing more hair flexibility and movement.
- Mousse gives great body and texture without weighing hair down.
- Sea salt spray adds beachy texture and waves with minimal residues.
- Leave-in conditioners protect and smooth hair while retaining moisture.
- Natural oils like argan, coconut, and olive nourish hair and promote growth.
- Avoid excessive heat styling by embracing your natural texture when possible.
Any quality hair products free of harsh chemicals, alcohol, and artificial fragrances will be less likely to irritate your scalp or cause buildup on strands.
Takeaways on Pomade and Hair Health
The bottom line is that pomade does not have to damage your hair when used properly and in moderation. Here are the key takeaways:
- With careful use, pomade can style hair without causing harm.
- Pay attention to any signs of irritation or increased shedding.
- Alternate pomade with gentler, nourishing products.
- Small adjustments to your pomade use and hair care routine can go a long way!
So try not to overdo the pomade. Stick to reputable natural brands and give your hair occasional breaks. With some extra TLC steps worked into your regular regimen, you can achieve stunning styles without compromising the health of your hair.
Sophia Rodriguez is the creative force behind IGXO Cosmetics, a popular beauty blog and brand. As a long-time makeup artist and beauty industry insider, Sophia realized there was a lack of authentic, relatable content for the everyday woman. This inspired her to launch IGXO Cosmetics in 2018 as a platform to share her passion for beauty.