Defining paste vs pomade - what’s the difference and which hair-styling product should you be using? With the wide range of hair products on the market, navigating the vast jungle of styling can be confusing to say the least - especially if you’re just getting started.

Let’s clear a few things up by listing the key differences between defining paste vs pomade - including their benefits and how they work. 


What Is Hair Pomade?
First things first, let’s cover the basics - what is hair pomade? This hair-styling product was popular in the mid-1900’s, traditionally made from petroleum jelly and often used to weight down the hair for the classic slick-back look.

Today, pomades have evolved to be much more nourishing for our hair and scalp than in the past. They’re not typically made of petroleum jelly anymore and are much easier to wash out with normal, everyday shampoo and conditioner. Now, pomades are usually made from natural oils and gentler ingredients - still providing their long lasting, strong-hold features minus the damaging effects.

Man in t-shirt with tattoo sleeve leaning over a glass barrier | Style Standard

The Benefits Of Hair Pomade 

Non-Drying. Unlike many products, hair pomade doesn’t dry-out or harden, making it a versatile styling option. If you decide that you’d like to readjust your hair-do throughout the day, pomade gives you the flexibility to do so. 

Strong Hold. The superior, long lasting hold of pomade is one of its trademark features - working hard to keep your hairstyle in place. Though this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s difficult to wash out - pomades are often water-based and can wash out with an everyday shampoo. 

High-Shine. Another iconic trait of pomade is the high-shine it can traditionally add to any hairstyle - helping to round-out classic looks like the slick-back, side-part, or pompadour. 


How To Choose Hair Pomade 

When it comes to choosing the right hair pomade, there are plenty of different factors to consider - including hold, shine, bases, your desired look, and more. After all, different types of pomade will work differently on your hair. 

Once you have a clear idea of what you’d like to achieve with a pomade, narrowing the search for the perfect product becomes much easier.

For example, if you’re simply looking to tame loose hairs and clean-up your hairstyle, a lightweight pomade will work perfectly. On the other hand, if you’re going for a much more ambitious look, like the classic pompadour or slick back, you may need a thicker product with a strong/long lasting hold.

Man with short-medium length hair in white t-shirt and leather jacket looking off camera | Style Standard

Are you looking for a quality hair pomade? Take a look at this Deluxe Pomade by Uppercut. The blend is suitable for a variety of hair lengths, and works great for creating plenty of classic looks - like pompadours, slick backs, and side parts. Plus, since it’s a water-based blend, it also washes out with ease. 

Or, if you’re chasing a pomade with little to no shine, this Matte Pomade by Uppercut is the way to go. The formula provides a medium hold with a matte finish to help create various modern and classic hairstyles.


What Is Hair Paste?
Hair paste is harder to define, particularly because it holds a lot of similarities to other hair styling products - with a few subtle differences.
Typically, hair paste is a water-based product, though they have a much thicker consistency and texture than pomade. They can be used to create almost any hairstyle for any type of hair, proving to be a great addition to any grooming arsenal.
Since hair paste is one of the more versatile products on the market, it’s a great place to start for those new to the world of hair-styling.

Comb, straight razor, beard brush, and pomade | Style Standard

The Benefits Of Hair Paste 

Easy To Wash Out. Hair pastes are largely water-based styling products, meaning that they can be washed out with ease. To remove any product build-up, all you need is an everyday shampoo.

Matte Finish. Unlike pomades, hair pastes add a natural-looking finish to hairstyles - often varying between matte to medium shine.

Versatile. Hair pastes are one of the most versatile hair-styling products available. Their strength varies from medium to firm, and they can be used to create almost any hairstyle.


How To Choose Hair Paste

Similarly with choosing a pomade, picking the right hair paste all comes down to what you’re hoping to achieve with the hair-styling product. Some factors to consider include the hold, shine, the hairstyle you’re chasing, and your hair type.

When you have a better idea of what you’re hoping to get from a hair paste, choosing the best product becomes much easier. For example, if you’re looking for a messy look with a natural finish, a low-hold with a matte to low shine may suffice. Though if you’re working with waves or a spiked-up hairstyle, a stronger hold may be required.

Man with head tilted, looking at camera in mid-blue t-shirt | Style Standard

If you’re on the hunt for a high-grade hair paste, check out the Easy Hold by Uppercut. This creamy blend is suitable for any hair length, with a formula to provide a light hold and natural finish. The blend works great for providing your hair-do with texture and volume, while still maintaining an organic look.

Otherwise, if you’re chasing a product with a stronger hold, the Featherweight by Uppercut is another great option. Despite being a lighter paste, the blend offers a firm hold to help create hairstyles with lift and volume.

Learning the difference between defining paste vs pomade is crucial for those just starting out in hairstyling - especially if you’re on the hunt for the best styling product to suit you. Though with these simple tips by your side, choosing the right hairstyling product becomes much easier.

Want to pick up some of the products we've talked about here or even more? Check them out below!