Barba Italiana Barolo – Pomade or Gel?
This morning was an Italian special. Shaving was with the full Proraso suite; pre-shave, shaving cream and after-shave. In other words, a great shave. A couple of weeks ago, I received the Italian “Barba Italiana Barolo” fixing hair pomade and had not yet tried it out. It just made sense to continue down “Di Roma” Avenue. 🙂
The Barolo fixative was sent over for testing by our Toronto friends at “About the Best” who are the Canadian distributor of Barba Italiana. As always, thank you for sending it. Your continued support is tremendously appreciated.
First off and as you can see above, the presentation/packaging is top notch. The jar comes in a very stylish coffee coloured carton box. The carton contains all of the packaging information; ingredients, instructions, address. The shiny dark moca 100 ml jar is equally stylish.
Upon opening the jar you are enveloped by a strong clean musky scent. To my un-rafined nose, it reminded me of Polo by Ralf Lauren. The potency of the fragrance is a bit stronger than what I am accustomed too for a hair fixative. That being the case, I am going with only that scent today.
This is the second gel I have tested lately that has had a stronger scent when compared to pomades. The first one was Memory Glue by HEADGEAR. I suspect that the fragrance elements might be coming to life in a fuller way in a gel than a pomade because of the slightly different combination of base ingredients. But this is just my guessing here.
Full disclosure, even though the package identifies the content as a “Fixing Hair Pomade” this product is NOT a pomade in the traditional sense. It is considerably more gelatinous. To me, it’s a gel. It is soft on contact and becomes extremely tacky within seconds. I did not have to use very much of this product. Probably the same amount as I normally would with pomade: 3-4 small finger scoops. Application is easy, but you have to move fast, it dries almost instantly. Also as with other gels, once it dries the feel in the hair is a bit crunchy.
I want to be careful here and give the product the full credit it deserves. It is not clumpy, or a helmet head scenario. It feels likes each hairs received its individual coverage which in itself is pretty amazing. So it nice to the touch. Your lover will not be disgusted .
When I started writing this post, it was about 2 hours after application and the gel felt smoother. I am touching it frequently to feel how things are. I suspect that it will get increasingly smoother throughout the day. Revisiting this by nighttime, I can confirm that my hair has more or less completely relaxed. The result is actually nice, although not really what I normally sport. It’s a more natural look offering some wave to the hair.
Because this has mostly gel properties, it also behaves like a gel and there is a drying aspect to it. The result of that in my case is a bit of an itchy scalp. I found myself rubbing my scalp quite frequently in the afternoon. Most pomades contain some amount of wax or oil which prevents this side effect.
Gel being initially wetter than pomade, the application method is also a little bit different. I had forgotten that and went at it like if this was pomade. Just slapping it in and expecting it to hold my hair up high (pomp) right away. With a gel, you need to be slightly more involved to achieve that. For example, applying it with your head up-side down or with a hair dryer in order to dry the hair in the desired position. Just note that since this is a different product, your application method should be equally different.
Once applied, gel is not really re-workable like pomade is. Since it dries firmly you would have to wet your hair a bit and apply more gel in order to restyle. Now as the product relaxed throughout the day, a simple reapplication might do the trick just fine.
Shine is always an aspect we touch one. Barolo shines more than a water based pomade. It’s shines like a gel. To me it’s a 4/5 in shine level.
Being a convinced pomade guy, it is hard to judge a gel fairly, but here are the highlights:
- The packaging is superb
- It’s easy to apply and work with
- It’s smell stronger than other stuff, but it’s nice
- It dries fast and firmly
- It dried my hair and scalp leading to some itchiness
- It did not flake like I remember gel flaking
- It is not an all day hold
Here is the rating on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is a perfect score and/or level of shine:
- Hold: 3
- Shine: 4
- Texture: 4
- Feel in hair: 2
- Facility to wash out: 5
Barolo can only be found through our friends at: About the Best. Don’t forget to use the “STYLE4MEN” code at checkout for a 10% discount. It can also be found in the Ottawa-Gatineau area at Éléganza. When I was there last week, I noticed a nice display of all Barba Italiana product right at the front of the shop.