Home > Info/FAQ > Pomade Tips
What is pomade?

Pomade comes in two forms. One is a petroleum based pomade commonly referred to as "oil-based." The other form is made with a water soluble base, which is frequently referred to as "water-based." There are other ingredients that help with hold and fragrance, but the main ingredients are these two bases. Unlike hairspray and hair gel, pomade does not dry and can last much longer. It can also be used to style mustaches, sideburns, and beards, and is commonly associated with an early to mid-20th century aesthetic. Pomade has traditionally been a cosmetic staple for men in all age groups and historical periods. Some might even go so far as to say that it is timeless.

What's the difference between petroleum and water-based pomade?

Petroleum pomade is oily; that is because the base of the formula is oil. While petroleum pomade has a nice hold to it - a slicker, shinier appearance than say hair wax - it may take a little more work than usual to wash it all out. Have you ever heard the phrase "Oil and water don't mix?" This phrase also applies to oil-based pomade. Hence, it may take more than one shower to completely remove it from your hair. Occasionally, you may have to resort to an olive oil treatment to get it all out. So if you like going to sleep with clean and oil-free hair, this product may not be for you.

Water-based pomades are water soluble, which means they are much easier to wash out. Have you ever heard the phrase "Water and water don't mix?" No? Exactly. Water-soluble pomade also tends to weigh less, making it much easier for your hair to lift. Both RailcarStandard Hold and Supreme Hold are water-based pomades.

Which Railcar Fine Goods pomade is best for me?

It depends. Holds may be light or firm depending on what type of hairstyle is desired.

The Standard Hold is for someone who doesn't want too much hold or control. Your hair will be soft and fairly malleable during the day. We also recommend this hold for guys with thinner hair, since a firmer hold may weigh thin hair down.

The Supreme Hold is much more firm. It is designed for unwieldy hair, pulling hair straight back, and more aggressive types of styling. But don't be fooled, the Supreme Hold is still soft and movable once applied.

It's my first time using Railcar Fine Goods Pomade. Which hold should I try?

We suggest to try the Railcar Supreme Hold first. Grab a jar and see how you like it. Most first time users love it. But if your hair feels too firm, then we recommend trying the Standard Hold when you buy your next jar.