The world of men’s hair care products is a bit puzzling to me. How does hair gel differ from fiber pomade, apart from the fact that gel is usually squeezed from a tube, and pomade is a thicker substance packaged in a jar or tub?
Pomade is designed to give hair a slicked back look, similar to hair gel. As I understand it, pomade doesn’t dry in a hardened state the way hair gel does. Instead, it stays a bit greasy and slick, lending the hair an extended state of sheen.
Imperial Barber Grade Products Fiber Pomade
I recently came into possession of a pomade, specifically, Imperial Barber Grade Products Fiber Pomade. I decided to send my dad the ingredient list to see what he thought. But when I was looking at the website, I realized that the ingredient list looked a bit shorter than what I saw on the actual package. All the other ingredients looked the same, and were even listed in the same order. It just looked like a chunk was missing from the list.
I decided to send my dad both lists and see which one he thought was more accurate, or which one he liked better. Here’s what he had to say.
Imperial Barber Grade Products Fiber Pomade Ingredients
Version 1 (on official website:
water, ceteareth-25, propylene glycol, peg-7 glyceryl cocoate, vp/va copolymer, polysorbate 60, steareth-20 peg-7 hydrogenated castor oil, petrolatum, peg-90, triethanolamine, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, fragrance, mica, titanium dioxide
Version 2 (on product label):
water, ceteareth-25, propylene glycol, peg-7 glyceryl cocoate, vp/va copolymer, polysorbate 60, steareth-20 peg-7 hydrogenated castor oil, petrolatum, acrylates/c10-30 akyl acrylate crosspolymer, peg-450, tetrasodium edta, bht, triethanolamine, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, fragrance, mica, titanium dioxide
My Dad the Chemist’s take on Imperial Barber Grade Products Hair Fiber Pomade
Website ingredient list is wrong, it missed acrylates/c10-30 akyl acrylate crosspolymer, peg-450, tetrasodium edta
Because acrylates/c10-30 akyl acrylate crosspolymer is the key ingredient to thicken the gel base, It will be a runny liquid and hard to apply on hair.
Formula looks like a good gel, however, it may stay wet for a longer time than the regular water base hair gel, but some consumer may like the wet look than dry look, then they’ll like this formula better.
My dad is pretty certain that the ingredients for Imperial Barber Grade Products Fiber Pomade listed online were wrong. The main giveaway was the absence of acrylates/c10-30 akyl acrylate crosspolymer, which is the ingredient that is often used to thicken a gel base. Without this ingredient, it wouldn’t be a pomade, and it wouldn’t be as easy to apply to your hair.
Based on the ingredients listed on the label, my dad thinks that Imperial Barber Grade Products Fiber Pomade looks like a good hair product but it will create a wet look, rather than a dry look. It lists itself as a “hold strength” of 3 out of 4, so it’s may be good for keeping flyaways out of the way and structuring your hair exactly the way you want it. It also contains some oily ingredients like petrolatum, which makes me think that it might not be the best choice for people with hair that’s already naturally oily. Can you imagine applying Vaseline to your hair?
So, based on this analysis, I’d caution against buying this product if you’re not looking for a slick, “wet” look for your hair, or if you already have a pretty oily scalp. If you want that “just got out of the ocean” look and you’d like to add texture to your hair that lasts all day, I don’t see any reason not to try it!
An aside on wrong ingredients
It looks like Imperial Barber Products may have left a few ingredients out of its online product listing by mistake. I wonder how often this happens. This may be why The Ordinary and other companies tend to list a disclaimer online, which states that their formulas may change from time to time, and that the ingredients listed on the product you receive may be different from what is published on the website.
I wonder if this disclaimer is not just to guard against the occasional reformulation of a product (where the ingredient list actually changed), but also to protect against the potential scenario that the website just lists the wrong ingredients by mistake. I’m sure migrating your ingredient list to your website takes a few steps, and not everyone is always savvy to what is posted online vs. in the actual formula. It’s easy for a few ingredients to get overlooked when you’re uploading things to a website.
Anyway, it doesn’t look like this was a malicious error. It was probably just an honest mistake. I guess it just goes to show that when you’re shopping for cosmetics and personal care products online, you can never be entirely sure if the ingredients listed online are going to match the ones in the actual product you receive.