Thin, fine hair? 3 best pomades to style it with class

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I knew quite a few gentlemen with thin hair who were anxious about using pomade.

They thought it was going to look completely hideous on them. That pomade is a grooming product reserved only for those with thick, luscious manes.

If you follow the same line of thinking…please stop. Pomades are absolutely OK to use even if you have fine, thin hair.

In fact, I had very thin hair! Well, that’s before my follicles gave up on me and I switched to rocking the right hats for shaved heads.

What I used back then was Imperial’s pomade. A product of barber-grade quality, with very strong hold…and without the dreaded ultra-greasy feel some other products have.

But gentlemen have different preferences. Some of you might dislike the extra tough hold Imperial has. That’s why I’ll take a look at two other pomades that work great with thinning hair: American Crew and Uppercut Deluxe.

Here’s a quick comparison with hold, smell and shine factored in

Hold
ImperialTHumbs
  • Imperial Products
  • Hold:
    Very strong.
    ★★★★★
  • Smell:
    Fruity, watermelon scent. Not too overbearing.
  • Shine:
    Leaves you with not that much shine.
Shine
UpperCutThumb
  • Uppercut Deluxe
  • Hold:
    Medium strength
    ★★★★
  • Smell:
    Elegant vanilla with hints of coconut.
  • Shine:
    Significantly more. The wetter the hair, the more shine.
Thickening
AmericanCrewThumb
  • American Crew
  • Hold:
    Medium strength.
    ★★★★
  • Smell:
    Neutral smell, perfect for those who dislike more pronounced scents.
  • Shine:
    Not that much, you get matte instead. Also has a thickening effect.

Before that…

One of the best tips I read once – a tip that really helped with my thin hair’s appearance, was this:

Get some sea salt spray in the game. Use a bit of it before you do the good ol’ blow drying. At this point, your hair should be just a little bit damp.

Boom! That’s when you bring in your pomade of choice.

There are plenty of quality sea salts sprays so you can’t go wrong. John Frieda worked alright for me back in the days.

Now, onto the real deal!

My 3 best recommendations:
Kickass pomades for thin, fine hair

1. Best hold thinning hair pomade:
Imperial Products

Imperial's pomade provides the strongest hold for those men who have thin, ultra fine hair.

An instant classic, this little guy right here is what you’ll see a lot of professional stylists use too. You can guess why there’s ‘Industrial strength hold’ written on it, right?

If you see a very neat pompadour on a stylist fair, there’s a big chance Imperial has something to do with that awesome hold.

Onto what matters: this is a water-based pomade. It spreads smoothly, doesn’t leave a greasy feel, and is just the right quantity. You don’t want to spend too much $$$ for a minuscule amount, after all.

You won’t find a stronger hold anywhere else, to be honest. Guaranteed.

There are two other factors you need to consider with pomades: smell and, well, shine.

Imperial smells nice, maybe just a little bit fruity – but not an overbearing scent. Don’t worry, you won’t go out reeking of the signature watermelon smell.

There are some more masculine-smelling pomades for men with thinning hair out there, though.

As for the shine, I’d classify this as a medium shine pomade. Which is actually better, as thinning hair that glistens too much doesn’t look good, in my opinion.

2. Best shine pomade for finer types of hair:
Uppercut Deluxe

Uppercut Deluxe is a pomade for thinning hair that provides a little more shine than other similar products.

So…you appear to be a fan of shinier pompadours or whatever hairstyle you want to rock with the help of a pomade.

Uppercut delivers a bit more glow compared to Imperial’s product, but there’s a catch:

The shine is stronger if you apply it to wet hair. The drier your hair is, the less shine you’ll be getting.

Generally though, even going through the sea salt spray process I mentioned, you should have an above average glow with Uppercut’s pomade.

Next: the smell. We had fruitiness with Imperial, here we’re more about that vanilla, with a slight hint of…coconut, I guess?

In any case, it’s a very light, relaxed smell. Perfect for the summer months and casual or formal situations alike. No tough guy aroma, but a scent that is more elegant and refined in a sense.

The hold is good. Not as strong as Imperial’s, but definitely above your average product.

If it were for thick Asian hair, I’d never recommend it. For men with thin hair who want a medium hold pomade, though – this is your best choice.

3. Best matte/thickening pomade for thin hair:
American Crew

Matte finish on sparser, too fine hair: this is what the American Crew pomade delivers.

Alright. We had the strongest hold, we had the most radiating shine…

It’s time for some matte action.

American Crew is all about that matte finish and some hair thickening effects. There’s a reason you have ‘Boost powder’ just below the brand’s name.

Note that unlike the wetter look other pomades give, American Crew sticks to the dry basics. In fact, it can have a really dry look to it, adding volume to your fine follicles.

Oh, and it’s way more powdery than your usual pomade. It can be weird for some people, I guess, but you’ll get used to it in no time.

The smell here is…neutral. Really, that’s the best way I can describe the scent. Either a good or a bad thing, depending on your taste. For people who want a more incognito pomade, this will become a favorite of yours.

The hold is comparable to Uppercut, so above average, but not as strong as Imperial. Even if you have medium length hair your locks will stay in place. Yes, even if there’s quite a bit of wind out there.

As with the other two, American Crew is reasonably easy to wash off afterwards. It won’t grease up your follicles (bonus points for being a powder) and will be your trusted sidekick throughout the day.

A few tips on maintaining your thinning/fine hair

Been there, done that. Ultra thin or fine hair can be a pain in the…scalp to deal with. A pomade is only one of the grooming products you might need to stock up on to perfect your look.

First things first…

Thickening shampoos & Regular washing

A thickening shampoo – preferrably with some biotin mixed in, is a must for any man with thinning hair. There are dozens of brands, so pick freely. I liked Madre Labs but it’s only one of all the possible good choices.

You can even consider some of the brands I’ve been using as good shampoos for my shaved head.

Once you have a good shampoo sidekick, it’s time to work on your head washing habits.

I’m not a fan of washing your hair every single day, but consider doing that frequently enough. Every other day seems optimal.

Using a thickening shampoo more often will add volume and will reduce your scalp’s oiliness. Why does it matter? Ultra oily scalp = hair sticks together, so it becomes even thinner.

As a result, your scalp shines through even more, which is not something you’ll ever want.

Get the right haircut

If you have really fine hair, or you’ve advanced on the thinning front, there are two things you might consider:

One: keep the sides shorter.

Two: leave the top longer.

It’s no secret that the top of our scalps is the first to go. Even when we have full heads of (fine) hair, it’s one notch sparser than the sides/back of the head.

Consult with your barber and go on a layering/blending journey that will improve your looks. Size #6 on the top means #4 on the sides, for example. Experiment and you’ll notice a massive change…for good.

How to style thin hair?

As with thickening shampoos, there’s a crazy amount of YouTube video choices on this topic.

If you’re a fan of the pompadour (and that’s why you want your pomade NOW), here’s a favorite of mine. Less than 5 minutes long, it discusses styling a pompadour for all of you fine-haired gentlemen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7mQmyQAIlw

From the same gentleman’s lifestyle series of mine, be sure to check out my guide to shavettes, or a look towards Kent – one of my most favorite brands when it comes to keeping up your looks sharp and classy.

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Ex-digital nomad, DIY enthusiast and passionate sci-fi fan. Always ready to give lifestyle tips for men. Tea, not coffee is my fuel for writing.