What’s The Difference Between Gel & Clay Pomade?

bearded man styling hair in the bathroom mirror

What’s the difference between pomade and clay?’ Don’t worry, you wouldn’t be the first guy to ask this question. 

Choosing the best hair styling product for your hair can be a tricky process, especially with the wide range of pomades and clays on the market. Though by understanding the key differences between clay and pomade, the process becomes a little easier. 

So, what’s the difference between pomade and clay? In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know when choosing between a hair pomade or clay. Check it out! 

What Is Hair Pomade 

man combing a hair pomade into his hair with an environmentally friendly comb

First things first, what is hair pomade?

Hair pomade is a favoured men’s hair-styling product, known for providing a very firm hold and high-shine finish. 

Pomade was initially invented in the late 19th century, with bear fat as a key ingredient. Though over the years, the main ingredients shifted from bear fat to beeswax and petroleum. 

These days, pomades have maintained their popularity as a go-to hair-styling product for men - especially when creating classic styles such as the side-part, slick-back, or pompadour. 

The Benefits Of Hair Pomade 

Hair pomade offers a range of specific benefits that other hair styling products simply can’t match. Below, we’ve listed these benefits of hair pomade - take a look.

High Or Matte Shine 

When it comes to creating classic hairstyles, like side-parts, quiffs, or slick backs, men will often use a hair pomade. This is because these specific styling products are well-known for their sleek, high-shine finishes - helping to create a tidy hair-do that will surely stand out.

Though pomades are traditionally associated with this neat, shiny finish, matte pomades are also available for guys chasing a no-shine finish

Firm Hold 

If you’re chasing a hair styling product with a very strong hold, consider getting your hands on hair pomade. 

When compared to other hair styling products like clay, paste, or wax, pomades are praised for providing the hair with a superior hold. It’s seriously next-level. While some products will only last the day, pomades will stick around for a few days if they’re not washed out. 

Regardless of what the day throws at you, a dash of pomade is all you need to keep your hairstyle firmly in place. 


Another great feature of hair pomades is that they’re also really flexible products. If you’d like to make any adjustments to your hairstyle throughout the day, pomades are malleable enough to restyle and reshape. 

If you’re moving from the boardroom to casual drinks with the mates, hair pomades can accommodate any occasion

Just Jelly Gel Pomade by Milkman Grooming

just jelly gel pomade by Milkman

Do you want to get started with a hair pomade? We’d recommend trying this Just Jelly Gel Pomade + Leave-In Conditioner by Milkman Grooming. 

This is no traditional pomade. The formula effortlessly dissolves to assertively lock your hair-do into place, leaving behind a high-shine with a deliciously sweet n’ spicy scent. 

Over time, ingredients like collagen aminos, Kakadu plum extract, and glycerin will work to improve the strength and health of the hair. 

What Is Hair Clay?

What is hair clay, and how does it differ from pomade?

Hair clay is a relatively new class of hair-styling products, used to make the hair easier to style and lock into place. Styling clays typically have a medium to high hold - though, unlike pomade, these products are known for having a matte or no-shine finish. 

These products are also used for boosting hair thickness and supporting structure - making it a favoured choice for guys rocking a high-volume hairstyle

The Benefits Of Hair Clay

Similar to pomade, hair clay offers a range of unique, exclusive features that you won’t find in any other products. Below, we’ve listed these benefits of hair clay - check it out. 

No-Shine Finish

For guys hoping to round out their hairstyle with a matte finish, you can’t go wrong with styling clay. These products are known for providing a no-shine feature to the hair - making them a great option if you’re chasing a natural-looking hair-do. 

On top of this, styling clays will also expand to add thickness, lift, and volume to any hairstyle.

With a hair clay in your hair styling routine, it’ll look like you aren’t using any product at all - people will just assume that your hair looks this good, naturally. 

Medium To High Hold 

If you’re looking for a hair-styling product with a slightly lighter hold than pomade, styling clay might be the best option. 

Clays typically offer a medium to high hold, making them slightly lighter than the firm strength that pomades are known for. That being said, they have enough strength to lock the hair into place all day - so you don’t need to worry about restyling. 


Aside from its hair-styling benefits, styling clay can also be very nourishing to the scalp

Since hair clay often contains an assortment of nutrients and minerals, it can nourish the hair and scalp over time. The clay will also draw out any dirt or impurities hiding in your hair - providing the ultimate detoxifying experience. 

Matte Clay Pomade by Milkman Grooming 

matte clay pomade

Are you looking for premium hair clay? Try this Matte Clay Pomade + Leave-In Conditioner.

The creamy formula will work through your hair and dissolve with ease - with a firm hold to lock your hairstyle into place all day long. Plus, the matte finish will appear as if you’re not using any product at all. 

With ingredients like collagen aminos, MCT oil, argan oil, and more, your hair will be looking stronger and healthier as you continue to use this hair clay. 

So, what’s the difference between pomade and clay?

In a nutshell, hair pomades traditionally offer a firm hold, with a neat, high-shine finish - making them the perfect choice for styles like side-parts, slick-backs, or pompadours. They’re also very flexible, meaning that guys can restyle their hair throughout the day to suit any setting. 

Styling clay on the other hand is typically known for providing the hair with a matte finish - perfect for guys that prefer the natural look. They typically have medium to high hold, with enough strength to lock the hair into place all day long.

So, when it comes to choosing between a hair pomade and clay, take a moment to consider what you’d like to get out of a hairstyling product before making your decision. 


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