Are you obsessed with styling your hair? Do you spend way too much time in front of the mirror each morning trying to get it to look perfect? You’re not alone.

American women spend the equivalent of six full days per year doing their hair, and men actually spend more time in front of the mirror than women.

One of the most common issues that keep people trapped in front of the mirror is the process of trying to decide which styling products to use. Hairspray vs mousse? Pomade vs gel?

If you’re having a hard time picking a side in the pomade vs gel debate, keep reading. Listed below are some tips that will help you decide which one is best for you.

Pomade vs Gel: The Basics

Whether you’re a man or a woman rocking a short hairdo, you’ve probably found yourself wondering whether pomade or gel is a better styling tool for you.

If you’re lost when it comes to deciding between these two products, here are some basics that can help you understand what each one has to offer:

Pomade

Pomade can be wax-based or water-based. It helps to shape the hair and give it more shine. 

Pomade yields a stiff, slick hairstyle. It allows you to alter the appearance of your hair based on the amount you use, as well as whether you use it on wet hair or dry hair.

Gel

Hair gel provides a stronger hold and often leaves the hair feeling stiffer than a pomade. It’s available in varying levels of firmness, so you can choose a gel that provides the style that works best for your personal taste. 

Pomade Pros and Cons

Pomades are a great styling tool because they work well with most hair types and styles. You can use a pomade to slick your hair back or create a pompadour, or you can add just a little to give your hair a casual, messy look.

You’ll need to make sure you’re using the right type of pomade for your desired hairstyle, though. Oil-based pomades work best for those looking for a slicked-back look, while water-based pomades are better for casual styles.

Pomades don’t dry out or cause your hair to harden, so you won’t get the crunchy feeling that gel sometimes provides. You can also restyle your hair throughout the day without having to wash out the product. This makes them great for those who like variety and value flexibility.

A pomade will add moisture to your hair, too. It’s a great option for those with curly, thick, or frizzy hair. It will tame flyaways and add shine while ensuring your hair looks as healthy as possible. 

One of the only downsides to pomades is the fact that oil-based varieties don’t always wash out of the hair easily. They can also trigger breakouts in those who have acne-prone or sensitive skin.

Gel Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons to using a hair gel over a pomade, too. 

Hair gel provides maximum hold, so it’s best for those who have stubborn or unruly hair and don’t want to have to worry about restyling it or fixing it up throughout the day. Most hair gels will hold your hair in place from morning to night.

A gel is a great option for those who prefer spiked hair. More complicated styles like ducktails can be achieved with gel as well. 

Hair gel works best for folks who have thin or fine hair. It can help to create texture and the appearance of thickness.

Bear in mind, though, that you have to choose the right type of hold when you’re shopping for gel. Those with thin hair ought to stick to lighter hold gels. Other varieties will weigh down their hair.

Hair gel is water-based, so you don’t have to worry about it clogging pores the way some pomades can. It also washes out easily in the shower. 

One of the most common complaints that people have about hair gel is the fact that it can cause flakiness. If you avoid gels that contain alcohol, though, you’ll be able to avoid this problem.

Some people also don’t like the stiffness that gel brings to their hair. For these people, pomade is probably a better fit.

How to Style Your Hair with Pomade

If you’ve decided to use this hair product over a gel for your hair, here are some tips that will help you get a great style:

  • Start with damp, towel-dried hair
  • Use a small amount of pomade, about the size of your pinky fingernail
  • Rub your fingertips together to emulsify the product
  • Apply to your hair from roots to tips and shape your hair into your desired style
  • Use a comb to distribute it across your entire head

Once you’ve achieved your desired style, you can use a hair dryer on a cool setting to lock it in place, or you can let it air dry.

How to Style Your Hair with Gel

Style your hair with the gel is similar to styling with pomade. There are a few differences in the process, though. Listed below are the steps to take when styling with gel:

  • Start with damp, towel-dried hair
  • Use a small amount of gel, about the size of a nick or quarter depending on the length of your hair
  • Rub it between the palms, then comb it through your hair with your fingers
  • Use your fingers or a comb to shape your hair into your desired style

If you want a firm-hold hairstyle, use a blow dry to set it in place. Otherwise, let your hair air dry like you would with pomade.

Which Do You Choose?

There are pros and cons to both pomade and gel.

Now that you know a bit more about both of these products, though, you can pick a winner in the pomade vs gel debate and decide which one is the best fit for your hair.

Don’t be afraid to experiment, either. There are tons of different pomades and gels out there. Try a few brands and types until you find one that works well for you.

Do you want more hair care advice? If so, check out the Beauty & Wellness section of our site today for more helpful articles.

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