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31 Jul 08
Hair pomade/wax review
Today, I'd like to share my experiences of a number of slightly off-the-wall hair products with you. During the last nine months or so, I've had the questionable pleasure of getting to know the ins and outs of the following concoctions:
Dax Wave and Groom Hair Dress
Murrays Superior Hair Dressing Pomade
Sweet Georgia Brown Water Based Hair Pomade
Royal Crown Hair Dressing

Now, I got on this slippery path for a reason. I was looking for a hair products that could hold all of my hair in a pompadour, and it had proved very difficult. There were some good products that could be obtained from salons, but since it took ungodly amounts of those substances to keep my hair like that, the salon way of doing it became all too expensive for me. The cheap products sold at supermarkets didn't do the job. Those labelled ultra strong were in fact nothing of the sort – after twenty minutes your finely tuned pompadour had turned in to a lettuce leaf hanging over your forehead.

Then, one day, I decided I would resort to the more volatile and troublesome stuff I had steered clear of thus far. I headed to a small oriental store nearby called Baghdad import. Rather ironically, they seem to be the only ones carrying cheap American hair grease. So that's where I bought the first three products, for a total sum of under 10 euros.

The first one, the Dax wax, is an extreme product. It's hard, industrially hard, and nobody would ever guess it was a hair product if it wasn't for the label. It is irritatingly sticky, and careless use can have disastrous consequenses. I always use it in wet hair, since it spreads much more easily then. If it's not spread out properly, it doesn't have the proper effect. Still, I can imagine that persons with short hair can get it to spread out in dry hair. Oh, and there's actually no sensible way to get it out of your hair once it's in there, so you have to be entirely sure you want it there. A normal hair wash maybe reduces the amount of wax in your hair, but it certainly doesn't wash it all away. The company itself cynically recommends their own vegetable oil shampoo, but it isn't available anywhere. I've heard people use dishwashing liquid, but I haven't found that particularily useful. I've used vegetable oil of various sorts, mixed with shampoo. After that, I'm still only half way. There's no wax in my hair, but there's plenty of vegetable oil.

The same goes for your hands after you're done styling. They will be awfully sticky, and you'll grease up the whole apartment if you're not careful. In this case, dishwashing liquid combined with mechanical removal (paper towels), does the trick.

The last warning concerns pillow cases, which will be greasy the moment you lay your Dax-waxed head on it.

Having said this, I still applaude the Dax wax, since it has succeeded where others failed; once properly applied (that's a different story), it holds my hair in place. And it's ridiculously cheap (still on my first 2,50 € can).

The second product have few similarities with the one described above. The Sweet Georgia Brown Pomade is much softer and can't keep a big hair up. But if you're not in for height, and for some reason just want your hair to be oily and smell good, then this might be something. It's apparently water-based, which should make it wash out easier, but I still find my hair very oily after a normal wash. Charming, but not very useful. I haven't tried the normal or heavy one of the same brand. I imagine them to be more like the Dax wax.

The Royal Crown Hair Dressing is pure grease. Historians claim that Elvis used this. Like the Dax wax, it's based on a very old, simple recipe, which contains petrolatum. It's very soft and could never hold a pompadour on its own. Curiously smelling (Turkish delight?), it's a grease for the finishing touches.

Murray's is the last product I acquired. I found it in New York and it was as cheap as the other ones. It is very similar to the Dax wax, meaning it stays in your hair after you've washed it. It has a slightly nicer, creamier texture, which makes it easier to spread out. On the other hand, I reckon it's not quite as strong in terms of hold as the Dax wax.

My advice regarding these products are simple: don't use them if you don't feel you have to. There are too many discomforts involved. But if you're having the same problems I had before I ventured in to the grease pit, then maybe you should try some. And of course, if there's someone who understands my situation and has a suggestion for me, then feel free to post a comment.
written by Mattias
Comments:
Har ju försökt få dig tänd på Black & White, har du testat det ännu? Själv använder jag det med stor behållning, kostar 8 euro burken (hos min barberare) och räcker nog ett år om man är någorlunda moderat. Jag har sett det rekommenderas i diverse intervjuer. Doftar väldigt gott.
posted by   Philip
Haha, kolla denna reklamtext för smeten ifråga: 'Called ”legendary”; by Grindstone Magazine, this authentic 50s pomade is manufactured in Memphis (it's rumored that Elvis used it), goes on thick and lasts for hours. It's considered by many to be the Cadillac of hair grease. Many of our customers swear by it! 7 oz. jar.' Vem säger att Elvis hittade den perfekta pomadan? Det kanske är en omöjlighet.
posted by   Philip
Jo, ifall jag sett det någonstans skulle jag ha köpt en burk. Men sedan läste jag också att det ger bara ”medium hold”, vilket gjorde mig lite osäker. Så undrar jag också om jag skulle kunna vara moderat. Elvis var knappast det minsta återhållsam. Men, nästa gång jag är i de rätta krokarna i Helsingfors skall jag gå in till barberarn din.
posted by   Mattias
Nej, det är inte stärkelse direkt, kan hända att det är för mjukt för dig. Min barberare brukar alltid envisas med att man bara ska använda lite och endast när håret är torrt, men jag har alltid haft svårt att hålla tillbaka med hårvax vilket kanske enligt vissa är lite ungkarlsaktigt (typ som att dränka sig i aftershave).
posted by   Philip
Black & White är väldigt bra, men sabla smetigt och oljigt. Kladdar. Man behöver nästan diskmedel för att få kleten ur händerna. Men vad gör man inte för en vacker frisyr..
posted by   Jan L (den andre)
Finns det en andra Jan L.?
posted by   Jan Lindholm
Helsinki is big enough for both of you.
posted by   Mattias
Identity-theft.
posted by   Jan L.
BEGIN Hello Mattias Your review is spot on. In the past, I've tried all those pomade/wax you've reviewed and had the same experience as you. Without doubt, for the best grease/pomade out there, check out: www.layrite.com It is a one-of-a-kind pomade (it holds like wax, yet washes out like gel) invented by my barber (Donnie Hawley of Hawleywood's Barbershop here in southern California). It also was voted the best pomade last year by Rockabilly Monthly and them cats there know what they're talking about when it comes to their pomps. If you guys ever play out here in Los Angeles, I'll take you to the shop so you can get your mop chopped and your hair pomped. Can't wait to hear the new album and all the best... Doug END
posted by   Doug
Yes, I've read about Layrite. It's a bit more expensive, but I'd happily pay if it had the qualities you say it has. So yes, if I ever come to California, I'll stock up!
posted by   Mattias
BEGIN Sounds good. If you like, I can send you a free jar to sample so you can see for yourself. Just tell me where to post it to you in Finland...cheers! END
posted by   Doug
Wow, could you do that? That would be fantastic! If it's good, perhaps I could start up a small import business. This music thing never pays off anyway. You can find my address on the "Contact" page. Thanks a million!
posted by   Mattias
I have tried Dax,Murrays, and Royal Crown, as well as many others. I've never tried Sweet Georgia Brown. Without a doubt, Dax wave&groom is the strongest holding pomade. It works great, and it's not as greasy as Murrays. Murrays is just below Dax in terms of holding power.
posted by   LG
You can buy all of DAXs products directly from the site or you can call them. They actually have a new shampoo that removes the wax products much better. imperialdax.com
posted by   TC
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