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The pompadour is the iconic men’s hairstyle that changed the vector of men’s fashion once and for good. Being widely popularized by the king of rock’n’roll with dappers and mods of the fancy 60s, the style had the power to instantly take one’s look up a notch. Elvis, however, wasn’t the first to pull off the style (more on that later). Throughout the evolution of men’s fashion, this hairstyle hasn’t lost its popularity. In fact, it’s never been so huge.
While trends have been changing like crazy, the pompadour has been evolving to fit the needs and preferences of modern gentlemen. Now, one can get lost in the mindblowing variety of its variations, as well as create their own custom version of the look. But, you can’t just wake up and get yourself a pompadour — it requires some knowledge.
Today, pros in men’s hairstyling and barbering from MensHairCuts will guide you through the essentials of creating the all-time pomp.
What Is a Pompadour?
First off, every man who’s eager to try the popular hairstyle should know what it is exactly. Although today you can recreate any hairstyle in the way you want, the basics will help you understand the pomp’s structure and hence save you a lot of time.
Now, you’re probably wondering where the haircut got its name from, as it clearly has nothing to do with popular Elvis’s songs. Well, the style was actually named after its inventor – Madame de Pompadour, the chief mistress of a French king that ruled in the 18 century. No wonder the haircut has so many regal vibes, huh?
The very first version of the style had an impressively volumetric upstyle front that would transform into an updo. Men, in their turn, inherited the dramatic sweep that goes up and to the back of the head, creating a sort of a “pomp”. As for the sides, they’re combed closely and neatly to complement the long back-swept silhouette.
What Do I Need for a Pompadour?
Before you think that this hairstyle is too complicated, let us tell you one thing: it’s not. Still, not every hair length and hair type allow for the look, and these two things are what you should consider on your way to giving a shot to the king-inspired hairstyle.
Of course, you are the one to dictate how long your haircut should be; you can create anything from short to medium and long pompadours. At the same time, this haircut has a certain structure that requires you to have enough hair to play with. In general, your hair must be no shorter than 4-6cm at the front and have decent coverage on the sides and back.
The hairstyle doesn’t have texture restrictions, but it’s considered to look its best on straight hair. As a matter of fact, it’s easier for men with fine and straight manes to whip the hair into a well-sculpted pompadour. For wavy and curly hair types, the style will take more time and products to achieve the classic brushed-up-and-back silhouette. In case you’re dealing with too thick or even coarse hair, you should consider layers to make your hair type more flexible for styling.
Another crucial thing that you should think about before getting a pomp is the way you grow and trim your facial hair. You probably remember this hairstyle worn just the way it is, with a cleanly-shaved face. However, it’s not that you can’t pair it with a cool facial style. According to modern barbers and celebrity stylists, a nicely shaped and well-groomed beard or stubble can only accentuate your pompadour hairstyle. Of course, it will change the mood, giving it a rather modern feel. But that’s the point! Just make sure that the beard keeps up with the balance of your pomp’s silhouette and doesn’t outweigh the look.
Last but not least, knowing your face shape and its best features is key to the perfect pomp look. Although the original look is said to fit men with high cheekbones and wide jawline, there are a couple of tricks that make this style versatile for men with all face shapes. If you have a round face, keep the hair pretty short and clipped further up to the crowd to keep the balance between the width and the height of your style. And if you’d like to make it work for a longer face, keep more hair on the sides, clipping the hair up below the crown to soften the contrast.
How Do You Style a Pompadour At Home?
There are a plethora of modern takes at the classic pomp style: you can pair it with a fade that transits to the immaculate top, enhance it with a taper, and play with sleek and defined textures. Leaving all the customizations up to you, we’d like to share the basic principles of creating the style so you can have a starting point for your experiments.
- Water-based semi-shine wax for a casual look.
- Lightweight gel for long-lasting volumetric hairstyles.
- High-hold water-based pomade for sleek and lasting looks.
- Hair spray.
- Blow dryer
- Round brush
- Begin with freshly cleaned and towel-dried hair.
- Apply the product to the hair and slick back the sides.
- Take a round brush in one hand, and blow dryer in the other, and start styling the hair at the back of the head: push the hair up and forward while rolling the brush backward.
- Make sure to pay extra attention to the front, pointing the hair up as high as you please.
- Enhance and set the shape of the pomp by applying a bit of the same product over it.
- Finish the look with a coat of hairspray.
The pompadour is tempting, and it may seem to be a pretty hard-to-get hairstyle at first sight. Well, we’ve just proven you otherwise. Now that you’ve got to know the basics of styling the ageless look for men, you won’t need to roll into a salon every time you want to look hip!