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How to Style a Pompadour

How to Style a Pompadour

Are you looking for that barbershop shiny greaser style or slicked-back pompadour scumbag look? While Elvis is credited with making the classic pompadour a popular hairstyle for men, this long top and tight sided look is also the latest and greatest retro or cutting-edge mop on the block.

Just because you’ve got the cut, doesn’t mean you’ve got the style. Your barber knows the styling tricks and products essential to rocking the pompadour hairstyle, but chances are good you aren’t trained in the art of putting the attitude back in your roots. It’s all good. We got you.

What Is a Pompadour, Anyway?

Classic pompadour hair cut

While there are different types of pompadours for different face shapes, the classic pompadour calls for longer hair on top that is styled up and back to create a voluminous look, while the sides are slicked back. The sides can be faded or abrupt, but it's how this cut is styled that paints the picture of your inner badass.

How to Style Your Hair Into a Pompadour

Comb your hair

First off, you’re going to need some basic gear. To style your hair into a pompadour you need the right tools, quality pomade or product, and tonic hair spray. If you have curly, cowlicked, or  thick hair, you will need more extreme hold, and if the locks are fine, lighter holds will give more volume.

Get a good Denman-style brush and a decent comb. A blow dryer is the key to the highest pomp in the dour. You will want to carry that comb in a pocket or rolled up in your t-shirt sleeve for dramatic combing gestures and to counteract the effects of running against the wind.

It takes some practice to master styling your hair into a pompadour. You will want to start with towel-dried hair and brush or comb your hair backward. Before you start messing with the top, use a small amount of pomade to slick the sides back.

To build volume you’ll need a pre-styler or grooming tonic before you fire up the heat. Spray or work the tonic through your hair with fingers. Then, using your comb or brush and a blow dryer on low heat, gradually dry the hair on top while building extra height and attitude in front.

Keeping the height and structure requires one more essential step that makes or breaks a pompadour. That’s the right pomade for the job. High gloss, light shine or matte, each gives a different greaser grade to your pomp.

Apply to the hair on top of your head and use your fingers to evenly distribute the product to each strand, then comb the hair into perfect place, or rough it up and let it ride. That’s it, the techniques you need to recreate all of these different pompadour styles.

Types of Pompadours

Styling your hair

Classic Pompadour

Classic pompadour

You can never go wrong with the classic that Elvis made famous. You need to have the sides and back scissor-cut, slightly shorter than the top. The front fringe should be left longer to get the volume you need.

Styling a classic pompadour is easy when you start with towel-dried hair and apply our Grooming Tonic to achieve that classic Elvis look. Next, blow dry your hair by starting with the side and drying those backward. Now, use a brush to push the bangs up and back to build volume while blow drying.

Once fully dry, finish your badass look with our Extreme Hold Matte Pomade. You can also use some of our Pink Pomade Grease for a classic greaser look.

Modern Pompadour

Modern pompadour

The modern pompadour is similar to the classic, but it is a bit looser with a drier texture instead of having that slicked-back look. Start by styling it like you would a classic pompadour. Then add that modern structure with our Extreme Hold Matte Pomade on the top to maintain the lift and hold the hair in place. Only use pomade sparingly to maintain a more natural look for the sides.

Medium Pompadour

Modern pompadour hair style

The medium pompadour is for when you want big volume on top with tight sides for serious function and bold statement. Your hair should be clipped tightly on the sides and back while the top is left a bit shorter than the classic or modern pompadour. You still want enough length on top to create the volume in the front.

Get going with towel-dried hair and add a squirt of our Grooming Tonic to your hands, and spread it evenly between your palms. Work this into your hair from the crown to the tips. Blow dry with a brush to build up height in the front.

The final choice is about shine or grease. Finish it by adding our Blue Pomade for a shiny rocker sheen or our Pink Pomade Grease for a rougher biker vibe.

Medium Fade Pompadour

Medium fade pompadour

Not liking the hang-over of most pompadours? A fade keeps it smooth. A medium fade pompadour is where the sides are shortest at the bottom in the back and the ears where they fade into the upper part of the hair. You want the fade to be about two inches above your ears. The length on top is the same as a medium pompadour.

Towel dry and work our Grooming Tonic in. Then style with a comb while blow drying the sides backward, with the front going up and then back over your crown. Finish the fade with Blue Pomade for a clean, shiny look or Pink Pomade Grease for biker bar cred.

Long Pompadour

Long pompadour

Looking for the biggest, baddest pompadour going? The long pompadour is the ultimate in attitude with longer hair on the back and sides. This gives you style to burn and a lot of hair to rock the ducktail, spikes, or rolling in from a road race look.

Styling this long pomp will take some serious holding action. Start with a generous amount of our Grooming Tonic and apply it to the sides, back, and top. Next, use a vent brush to blow dry the sides. Then, after the sides are dry, blow dry the top upward, then backward. Finish off with our Extreme Hold Matte Pomade to keep your shine-free style rocking all day. If you’d rather get the sheen of a greaser and comb it in, use a generous amount of our Heavy Hold Pink Pomade Grease.

Low Fade Pompadour

Low fade pompadour

The low fade is a looser look where the fade blends about an inch above your ears. The length on top can vary between a short and medium pompadour. To style it, get a grip with our Grooming Tonic to make the hair easier to control.

Work the tonic in at the roots, then blow dry your hair—sides backward and the front upward and over the crown. Finally, finish the look with our Blue Pomade for a shine or our Pink Pomade Grease for greasy goodness.

Short Pompadour

Short pompadour

When you are too hot for a hightop and not down with a mop, the short pomp suits. The sides and back are cut short or faded above the ears. The length on top in front is about three inches, so you can still get some volume in front.

You are probably sporting this practical pompadour because you don’t want a lot of hassle. We get it. Towel dry and use Grooming Tonic or Surf Tonic for some volume. When it's completely blown or air dried, rub with Blue Pomade for a wet shine or Pink Pomade Grease for greaser glow.

Hard Part Pompadour

Hard part pompadour

Want a side part pompadour that stays in place in a high wind? A hard part pompadour has the part shaved into the hairline, either on the left or right. A parted pomp styles with a swoop to the side.

Towel dry and apply Grooming Tonic. Comb the hair below the part downward. Next, blow dry the other side back to front for volume. Comb in Blue Pomade for light shine and strong hold, or mess it up with our Green Pomade for a medium hold.

Side Part Pompadour

Side part pompadour

Never want to be tied down to a shaved-in part? You can add your own side part to medium and long pompadours with the know-how and the righteous product to make a side part pompadour. Grab a comb and choose your own dividing line.

Dry with a towel and apply Surf Tonic or Grooming Tonic. Draw the comb front to back to create a part, then comb down from there on the shorter side. Switching sides every time you style your hair can get you more volume on the high side. Finish with Blue Pomade for shiny hold, or Pink Pomade Grease for a rougher road.

Razor Faded Pompadour

Razor faded pompadour

This fade haircut has the sides and back shaved down to the skin. The fade begins about two inches above the ear with shortly trimmed hair. The length on top is entirely up to you and can be a short, medium, or long pompadour.

Grab a palm full of our Grooming Tonic and evenly distribute it throughout your hair. Next, blow dry the hair using a vent brush until fully dry. Grease up with Pink Pomade Grease to hold the badassery in place. For stubborn hairs, put a small amount of pomade on your fingers and apply it to the stubborn ones until they see things your way.

Long Trim Pompadour

Long trim pompadour

The long trim pompadour is similar to the classic pompadour, except there is no clear separation or undercut between the sides and top. Instead, the sides and back are scissor-cut, so there are about two to three inches of hair.

Grab your Grooming Tonic and apply it generously to your towel-dried hair. Use a brush to shape the sides backward as you blow dry. Then use the brush to blow the bangs upward in front and work your way back over the top.

Get a grip with a glob of Extreme Hold Matte Pomade and work it in good. Use a wide-toothed comb and hair pick to lock in that front height. Go with the lived-in matte finish or add some extra shine and finger shape with Red Pomade medium hold.

Undercut Pompadour

Undercut pompadour

This pompadour style is one of the easier ones to maintain. The sides and back are clipped short while leaving the length on top without any fade.

Slick it back with our Grooming Tonic before blow drying. Use our Green Pomade for a messy medium hold you shape with your fingers, or go gritty with our Extreme Hold Matte Pomade to keep it strictly matte and darkly dangerous.  

Curly Pompadour

Curly pompadour

If you have thick, curly or wavy hair, this type of pompadour lets it do the work for you. You’ve already got the texture and chaos going on. All you need to do is decide how you want the back and sides of your hair cut or trimmed and whether you want a fade.

Curly hair hates heat. Use Grooming Tonic to prevent frizz and air dry or blow dry on low. Work Blue Pomade or Pink Pomade Grease in when it's good and dry. Comb through for waves or just take tight grips through the top to crimp in those chaotic curls. Give it a good shake and laugh at the flat-headed all day.

Slicked-Back Pompadour

Slicked back pompadour

You know this look but there’s a trick to getting it on. The sides and back can be short or faded, with enough left to hold the greasy sheen.

The slicked-back pompadour should be towel dried and generously worked through with Surf Tonic or Grooming Tonic, then blow dried up to get the volume you need. Now you need that wet look shine and the strong hold of our Blue Pomade. Comb as much in as you need to outshine everyone else.

Pompadour Upkeep

pompadour upkeep

Get yourself to the barber every 2 weeks for tight fades and undercut pompadour cuts. Other longer styles will survive 3-4 weeks or longer before you need the blades. The type of pompadour hairstyle you select and how you style it is what keeps a gritty greaseball or rockabilly legend going strong.

Get Your Pomp On

Reuzel Blue Pomade Try Me Kit

A serious pompadour hairstyle needs serious styling products. Don’t mess around with floofy products designed for the masses. Get your greaser groove on with the real-deal pomades, grooming tonics, clay matte, and fiber pastes at Reuzel. Explore our products and pompadour hairstyling tips online, or use our online contact form to get connected with the right products to grease up, slick down, or comb back your ultimate scumbag style.

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