The pompadour hairstyle is well represented by clients at our Salt Lake City barbershop. However, many others are not sure what the pompadour hairstyle looks like. The pompadour hairstyle is a very masculine look that has been seen on Elvis Presley, Rick Nelson, Tony Curtis, John Travolta, President Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwartzeneggar, Clint Eastwood, Tom Sellick, Pearce Brosnan as well as many other famous men. A pompadour hairstyle can be a little on the wild side, or it can be very conservative and distinguished.
It is an excellent choice for men who would like a full head of hair. When Elvis Presley was a young man he was best known for his black pompadour hairstyle. It was such a huge part of his image that Time Magazine recently included the King’s ‘poufy coif’ on its list of the 10 most iconic hairstyles of all time.
How did the pompadour hairstyle get its unusual name? This look got its name for Madame de Pompador (1721-1764) who was an influential mistress of King Louis XV and a notable patron of literature and the arts. Although there are numerous variations of the pompadour hairstyle for both men and women, the basic concept is hair swept upwards from the face and worn high over the forehead. It is sometimes upswept around the sides and back as well.
Dressing the hair with the pompadour hairstyle was favored in the early 20th century. Men brushed the front hair back and women used pads or other devices in order to create the raised pompadour hairstyle, thereby creating the illusion of a mass of puffy hair.
How do you comb your pompadour hairstyle? Most of the men I have spoken with about it tell me they use a brush every day to comb their hair from front to back and from sides to back to train it to hold the style. After a while their hair naturally flows in that direction and it starts to look real natural and full.
One thing I learned from clients is that in the beginning they used some type of male hairstyling products to help their hair hold the new style that they wanted to create. I have found that many men feel strongly about the type and brand of product they use in their hair.
Some clients used the product mainly in the beginning to help style and hold their new pompadour hairstyle in place until it was trained to go that way. Others depend on various products every day to give their hair thickness, volume and a dry or wet look. This is highly individualized and will depend greatly upon what each man wants to accomplish with their hair.
When it comes to combing a pompadour hairstyle, nobody can compare with “The Fonz” on the television series “Happy Days”. Everyone can remember Arthur Fonzarelli constantly combing his black pompadour every time he entered the room. This was a time period in which that type of hairstyle was extremely popular.
One pompadour fan made these remarks about products. “These drug store pomades? Won’t cut it. You need the real stuff, the good stuff, the stuff they used in the old days. There are a few brands people swear by like Dax, Black & White, Royal Crown (the one Elvis used), the ever popular Murray’s Pomade, even beeswax or petroleum jelly will work in a pinch. These brands are the stock for any young pompadour enthusiast.”
Some of these products are extremely difficult to get out of the hair. I had a young man in my chair one time whose hair had so many different products in it that became hardened to the point I could not get my comb into it without several shampoo sessions. They do not wash out well — with the exception of Layrite, because it is water soluble and should rinse out easily with water alone.
There are many different variations of the pompadour hairstyle. Like we said at the beginning, the pompadour hairstyle can be a little on the wild side, or it can be very conservative and distinguished. It all depends on what you want to accomplish with this timeless hairstyle.