King Brown Original Pomade and Grooming Spray
Today I am finally getting around to some of the awesome products from King Brown. Two products to be exact; their Grooming spray and original pomade.
King Brown products are presented and packaged in a very distinctive vintage cool manner. In fact, we could say that they are un-mistakable! What makes it vintage-cool is the fact that the products are packaged in metal containers. An aluminum tin can for the pomade and an aluminum bottle for the grooming spray. For my taste, going all the way out and getting a super slick package to put your product in says that you are proud of what you made! The choice of colours for the pomade can scream 1940’s and as you know I am a total sucker for that retro touch! Another aspect that screams originality is the fact that the can is rectangular. This is not an unheard shape in the hair fixative world; most Kevin Murphy products are in square containers. The same is true for another Australian brand; HEADGEAR. The difference is the choice of material. These other brands have gone the plastic route, while King Brown has invested in the authentic. The container is so cool, that once the pomade is done you will most likely clean it up and keep it.
When I decided to tackle the King Brown pomade collection I did not fully appreciate the bulk of the product line was following the classic approach to pomade. In other words, these are grease based pomades. My first review was of their Premium pomade which was an incredible water based pomade. In fact, it got the Style4men.ca “Skull” award.
This project was started as a result of my being blown away by some phenomenal water based pomades. At the time, I knew no better than gel and once exposed to pomade, my life was turned around and a passion was ignited! I set out to learn about and try whatever pomades I could get my hands on. This eventually led me to pomades made in the classic or original way, where petrolatum is the main ingredient. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about classic pomades. There most certainly are a number of pros, but they also come with some cons. The main deterrent was the washability of these grease pomade. It was somewhat limited, or better said, it required more involvement! Over time, basic chemistry paved the way to the obvious solution: oil dissolves grease. In other words; adding a few drops of olive oil in your hair will dissolved the grease pomade and allows for the product to be removed along with a normal shampoo.
A Style4men.ca visitor left some tips on the DAX post for washing grease based pomades out. The Aussie 3 minute miracle shampoo and conditioner. The key is to start with the conditioner. Once you hair is wet, pour a generous portion of conditioner and work it in. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse it out. Follow that with a shampoo and finish the job with a small conditioner treatment. The initial conditioner treatment will break down the grease pomade and dissolve most of it. The shampoo will then clean all that gunk out. The final conditioner is simply to restore your hair to some decent level of smoothness. This is the approach I took to clean the King Brown pomade after my testing and it worked beautifully. The Aussie 3 minutes miracle shampoo and conditioner have a few selling features: they clean grease based pomade out, there is argan oil in the formulation and finally they are dirt cheap at just $3 a bottle at your local Walmart.
But I am jumping way ahead. Why go grease pomade to begin with? Some of the pros of grease pomade are: incredibly original and fun options, acceptable to very decent hold variations, a bit of a moisturizing break for your scalp and hair since contrary to many water based pomade, grease based pomade will not dry anything out. Depending on the amount of product you put in, it can be much smoother to the touch. Somewhere between silky and heavy. Lastly, there are some very interesting scents. The King Brown Original pomade offers a vanilla-tobacco arrangement. To my nose this was subtle, smooth, and original with a touch of vintage. Let’s be honest, these are no longer common scents and I love a walk down memory lane.
Another main appeal for grease pomade is the re-workability. Since the pomade never really dries, you can simply re-comb your do in place and be back in business. Let’s say you slept on it, you could apply a small fresh new coat, style and be off. Greasers usually apply pomade for a few days before washing the whole thing out and starting over. They swear by this buildup approach as the product tends to render better results over the span of these days.
Grease / Oil based pomades are any pomades where the predominate ingredient is petrolatum (a refined form of petroleum jelly) or in some cases, just flat out oil. These types of pomades are favored by the Rockabillies or “Greasers”. The Greaser moniker is directly derived from the high shine grease pomades. A distinctive trait of Greasers is that they always have a comb handy. As I am testing the King Brown Original pomade I am reminded this morning of why that is. Grease based pomade offers an initial level of hold but it is a living process where you need to regularly re-comb that mope of yours. That comb, beyond being a slick accessory is just a flat out necessity. I went to work prepared and brought along my rumble59 metal comb, which I have needed a number of times already.
Because grease being what it is, there is no evaporation or drying process. The product remains pretty much unchanged once applied. This is true except for “heat”. And by heat, I mean any heat; your environment, the weather and your own body heat. Summer has started here in Ottawa and we have already exceeded the 25’C. My own body heat is pretty high at times and apparently our heads is one of the main heat loss areas on our body. It’s like some sort of exhaust. This heat softens and relaxes the pomade, which leads to a reduced hold.
I will say that my hair is a challenge to tame. I sport a fairly long uppercut (6-7 inches long bangs) and the hair is thick and wavy. That all sounds great until you try to give it some style. 🙂
Having worked with grease pomades before I knew what I was getting myself into. Moderation is key! You don’t need much pomade to get things going. Because of that heat element described above, you also have to take into account how this will impact the product over time. It’s easier to apply more pomade than to remove it if you over did it. If you over do it, your hair will simply look greasy. There is a line between looking slick and looking oily! I was aiming for slick! Considering my hair length, I went for about the size of a Canadian dime and maybe half of that for my side to render a uniform look. I will say that I was actually very impressed with the initial results. Good hold and a nice slick shine! This lasted well for the next hour and a half and then after parking my ride and walking to the coffee shop on my way to the office, things started to fall out. This is when that comb is ever so important. The hair is totally re-workable, but you need that tool. I had to restyle about once an hour from that point on.
I enjoy getting into character just as much as any Hollywood wanna-be, in this case the Greaser persona, but one of my initial and main attraction to pomades was their “holding” potential. Having my hair fall apart with any simple movement gets in the way. Now, granted my uppercut is probably much longer than most at some 6-7 inches in front and having some strands of hair coming down on sides gives a certain element of cool, but I like styling once in the morning and then to be done with it for the rest of the day. Working with a grease pomade is a slightly more interactive way of managing your hair situation.
Here is the rating on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is a perfect score and/or level of shine:
I started this post by indicating that I was trying two King Brown products and I only wrote about the pomade. The other product is actually somewhat of a revelation: Grooming spray! These sprays could also be be referred to as texturizing spray or salt sprays. Using such a spray is one of the simplest and easiest ways to give your hair amazing volume and texture. It is also an incredible “revival” solution for water based pomades. Coming out of the shower with clean and towel dried hair, squirt 3-5 shots of this stuff in your hair. Blend it in a little and then dry your hair. You will end with ridiculous volume! The Style4men.ca wife says that I look like a mad scientist at this point. The relevancy of this volume comes when applying pomade thereafter. The pomade will obviously tame things down, but it will allow you to sport and awesome pomp or quiff. Now for the day after. So you want to give your hair a break from the shampoo, but you look like crap after having slept on it. What’s a guy to do? You think that your only option is to wash it or at the very least rinse it and start over. There is a solution! Give your mope a few shots of the texturizing spray! It will relax a water based pomade without breaking it down allowing you to restyle and add a bit more to hold everything in place. You won’t believe how simple and easy this is while allowing you to shampoo every other day instead. Obviously this product will not revive grease based pomade, but it will certainly help create that initial volume when starting out.
I will add that of the volumizing sprays I have tried this year, the King Brown fit into my favorites.
In closing, the King Brown Original Pomade is impressively packaged, smell fabulous, gives a decent hold, but you will need to have a comb on hand and to restyle a number of time throughout the day. If you are cool with re-combing, then you will love this schmiere. The volumizing spray is a must for any guy wanting to get more volume or to create any elevated style.
Use this link to shop directly with King Brown: