22 Aug 2022
Pomade, lard, and bear fat
Pomade has been around for over a hundred years. But it has changed a lot over the years. In the early days, pomades were made from, among other things, bear fat — something we at Mr Bear Family are cautiously critical of. And we can 100% guarantee that our pomades do not contain any bear fat.
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What is pomade?
A classic pomade is based on grease, which makes the hair shiny and does not dry out. It was popular in the 1950s and we're often used within the subculture greasers. A classic pomade often requires several washes to get out of your hair but on the other hand, you don't need to apply very much if you want to use it daily as there is usually a little left over from yesterday.
Classic, Orthodox and Unorthodox
You can divide pomades into three categories. The first one is a regular classic pomade which is based on grease, the second one is orthodox water-based pomade and the third one is unorthodox water-based pomade.
A classic pomade, as we have already mentioned, is oil-based and therefore does not dry out. However, it can be difficult to wash out. Early pomades were often made from lard and bear fat, while petroleum jelly, beeswax and lanolin are more common in modern production.
Orthodox water-based pomade
Orthodox water-based pomades refer to the first water-based pomades to appear. These are completely water-based, which means they are much easier to wash out than classic pomades but, unlike classic pomades, these dry out which in turn fixates the hairstyle.
Unorthodox water-based pomade
When a pomade is called unorthodox, it is technically not water-based. This is because it mixes both water and oil in what is called an emulsion. If you pour oil into a glass of water, you'll notice that the liquids naturally settle into different layers - this is what you want to prevent in an emulsion, which is why emulsifiers are used. The pomade is therefore based on both oil and water, although the proportions may vary between brands. With an unorthodox pomade, you get the styling of a classic pomade while being almost as easy to wash out as an orthodox pomade.
Mr Bear Family's pomade
We have two pomades that are both unorthodox. They are made with natural ingredients and also contain nourishing ingredients that take care of both hair and scalp. At the time of writing, our pomades are two of very few natural pomades on the market.
Pomade Matt Clay
This was our first pomade and it took Mr Bear a lot of hours in the lab to get the recipe just right. The reason for that was because he obviously wanted to use natural ingredients and also make it unorthodox. Mr Bear was even told by industry colleagues that it wasn't possible at all. You can imagine how proud we were when he finally delivered our first Pomade Matt Clay! It provides volume, fullness and a matte texture while being easy to handle.
Our second pomade is also unorthodox, and since Mr Bear had already done the groundwork with the first one, it was much easier to develop this recipe. With Pomade Original, you get more shine and more features that a classic pomade has - while still being able to wash it out easily.
Natural ingredients that do good
We always strive for what we call nurturing styling. That means our products must meet two requirements: they must style your hair or beard, and they must contain nourishing ingredients that take care of your hair, skin and beard. Luckily, nature is full of ingredients that meet these requirements.
Nettles have been used for a variety of things over the years. Although it may seem counterproductive, nettle can actually be used to soothe the skin. It was not uncommon to see nettle in various hair tonics in the past, as it stimulates blood circulation and reduces fat secretion. Nettle also contains tanning agents that act on the collagen under the skin and tighten the skin, which is helpful if the skin is swollen, puffy or sore. Best of all, the skin only absorbs tannins if it's actually damaged.
Witch hazel is a tree you'll often find in gardens around Sweden. You can also find it in North America, both wild and cultivated. Just like in nettles, tannins are also found in witch hazel. Witch hazel is valued for its astringent, wound-healing and antiseptic properties. It is used for insect bites, redness, minor burns, irritation, swelling and itching, among other things.
Horsetail was long a popular cleanser because it contains silicon. This meant that it could be used to scrub pots and pans, for example. Horsetail is also good for skin care. It relieves itching, tightens the skin, closes pores and stimulates skin regeneration.
Pomada and Grooming Spray in a natural harmony
It is not without thought that we have developed two pomades and two styling sprays. All four can be used on their own, of course, but you can also combine them to get the perfect result for your hair. For example, you can finish your styling with Grooming Spray Matt Hold to give your hair a little extra hold. Or, if you want more volume, you can start by blow-drying your hair with Grooming Spray Sea Salt before using the pomade. Whichever combination you use, you can be sure that your hair is well cared for and can benefit from all the nourishing ingredients the products contain.