Hair Cream Vs. Paste Vs. Pomade

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Hair products and a wig on a cosmetologist's work station. (Image: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Hairstyling aids help enhance a style or cut, give a head of hair a healthy and full-bodied appearance, and tame the unwanted look of "fly-aways" and frizz. Among the list of products available are hair creams, pastes and pomades. Although these three products keep hair under control, the application of each produces different results, and your specific hair type (e.g. thick or thin hair) should be taken into consideration when choosing one.

Hair Cream

Hair cream is a versatile product that can be used with hair that is straight or curly; it can also be used with fine, thick or coarse hair. Hair cream is a soft and light substance that doesn't feel greasy or stiff when applied to hair. Cream controls static and frizziness while adding a natural shine to your head of locks. Hair creams often include moisturizing ingredients such as olive oil or silk amino acids, which help conditions hair strands. Used in conjunction with another hairstyling aid, hair creams are sometimes used as a finishing product.

Hair Paste

Hair paste is a hairstyling aid known for its natural-looking matte finish. It is similar to hair clay, putty or mud in that regard. Many hair pastes are water-based, which allows easy and flexible styling without a waxy or greasy look. Hair pastes work best with fine or thin hair and can also be used on wavy hair. It gives textures to layers and is often used when a messy "bed-head" appearance is desired.

Hair Pomade

Hair pomade typically consists of soft wax, oil or other semi-solid substances. Hair pomade gives hair a wet, sleek look and comes in light to high shines. Unlike other styling aids, hair pomade doesn't produce flaky residue or dry out. It's appropriate for most hair types, but adding too much pomade may create a greasy look. Additionally, people with oily hair should stay away from pomade as it will make hair appear oilier.

How to Apply Hair Product

Hair cream, paste and pomade can be applied to hair of any length, whether your strands are damp or almost dry. Put a small amount of hair cream, paste or pomade in your hand and rub into your palm. Then work the product from the inside to the outside of your hair. Applying product directly on top of your head may clump and weigh your hair down. Hair cream, paste and pomade should be introduce to the hair in conservative increments. It is easier to add more product than remove it from hair.

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