The Pompadour haircut is back! 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.
Pompadour hairstyles vary 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.
Pompadour Hairstyle - How to
Tips for how to style a pompadour. 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
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.
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.
Tell your barber or stylist you want a traditional pomp, without any clear separation or undercut. If they ask what clipper guard you want, tell them you want at least a 1.5 guard or better yet to get their shears out instead. You’ll want at least as an inch of hair at the round of the head.
Spritz a generous amount of Reuzel Spray Grooming Tonic to clean, thoroughly towel dried hair to thicken it up and get it smelling good.
Blow the hair at the sides in an upward direction using a vent brush. Use your fingers and a dryer to style this modern pomp from the front and build volume.
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.
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.
Ask your barber or stylist for a medium to long pompadour. They ought to understand. If you get a blank stare, tell them you want your hair clippered tight on the back and sides, with enough length on top to pile upwards and attract attention.
Get going with towel-dried hair and add a squirt of our Grooming Tonic to your hands, and spread it nice and evenly between your palms.
Comb the Grooming Tonic through your hair, working through from crown to tips. Finish drying your medium pompadour hairstyle with a blowdryer, using a Denman-type brush to direct your hair back and up.
Once your hair’s dry, you’ve got a couple options to finish up your medium pompadour style. You could use Reuzel Blue Pomade for a shiny rockabilly look. Or Reuzel Pink Pomade for a greasier, biker-just-in-from-the-highway style.
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.
Apply Reuzel Grooming Tonic to clean, towel dried hair. This’ll make your hair easier to control, and smell very nice indeed.
Blow your hair dry, while using a 7-9 row Denman- type brush to direct your hair. The sides go backwards. The front goes up and then back over your crown.
Comb this medium fade pompadour into place, lifting your bangs up and back if you want even more height up front. For a looser look up front (as in the picture) finish by running your hands through the hair.
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.
Tell your barber you want an Elvis ..... but you want it to look like the classic young Elvis if he'd been ship wrecked on a Blue Hawaiian island for 4-5 months. If they reach for the clippers run, this one needs scissors to make perfect.
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.
Once dry, apply a generous amount of 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.
Comb either product into place lifting the front with a pick comb if necessary and get ready to raise some hell!
Low Fade Pompadour
The low fade pompadour 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.
Ask your stylist for a Low Fade Pompadour. The most common question you’ll get is, “How low do you want to go?” The proper reply is that you want the fade to blend one inch above your ears.
1. Apply Reuzel Grooming Tonic to clean, towel dried hair. This will make your hair easier to control, and smell very nice indeed.
2. Use a comb to create a part, pushing the hair over and back.
3. Blow your hair dry, while using a 7-9 row Denman- type brush to direct your hair. The sides go backwards. The front goes up and then back over your crown.
4. When you’re done drying, scoop out a knuckle’s worth of Reuzel Blue Pomade for a clean, high shine. Or use Reuzel Pink Pomade, which will thicken your hair into pure grease.
5. Rub the product between your palms and smooth it through the hair, petting yourself like a good doggie from front to back, away from the part.
6. Comb everything into place, lifting your bangs up and back if you want even more height up front.
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
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.
Ask your stylist for a Hard Part Pompadour. They may confirm if that means you want your part shaved in. Take a sip of courage and say, “Hell yes.”
1. Get your hair nice and clean, and then give it a good towel-dry.
2. Use a comb to set the general style in place, using the hard part as your guide.
3. Pick up a 7-9 row Denman-style brush for a smooth look. Or a common vent brush if you like a bit of wave.
4. Use your blow dryer and brush to smooth the hair on top of your head away from the hard part.
5. Now turn your attention to your bangs. These, you want to blow up and backwards for height.
6. When your hair’s completely dried, fix the style in place. You can use Reuzel Blue Pomade for a high-shine look. Or Reuzel Green Pomade for grease.
7. You’re just about done. Comb any stray hairs downward from the hard part.
8. Use that comb to tug the hair up in front till you’ve got all the height you need to stand out. (Or at least above.)
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
This Razor Faded Pompadour 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.
Tell your barber you want to go all the way down to the scalp, all the way up your sides and back. You want a pomp on top without a part. (They might ask if you’re asking for a bald taper fade. They’re similar, but this cut is a bit longer on top and shows a bit more scalp higher up on the sides and back.)
1. Apply a palm full of Reuzel Grooming Tonic to clean, towel dried hair. Breathe it in and enjoy the moment.
2. Blow dry hair, using a 7-9 row Denman type brush to lift your hair up and backwards.
3. Time to get greasy. Smear on a good dollop of Reuzel Pink Pomade, which’ll hold even the most stubborn hair in check.
4. Comb hair into place and use a pick-type comb to lift and accentuate the height. Skull tattoos not required. Recommended, but not required.
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.
Tell your stylist you want a traditional pomp, without any clear separation or undercut. If they ask what clipper guard you want, tell them to get their shears out instead. You’ll want as much as a couple inches length on your sides.
1. Apply a palm full of Reuzel Grooming Tonic to clean, thoroughly towel dried hair to thicken it up and get it smelling good.
2. With a 7-9 row Denman type brush in one hand and a blow dryer in the other, direct your sides back and your bangs up and over your crown.
3. When everything’s completely dry, get out a tin of Reuzel Extreme Hold Matte Pomade. Emulsify it good and hard in your palms. And then smear it evenly back
through your hair.
4. Use a wide-tooth comb to get everything smartened up, and a pick to tug up the front for more volume.
5. If extra shine is desired – and we’d say extra shine is always desired – use your palms to apply a smidge more Reuzel Grooming Tonic over the surface of the hair.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.