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How to Style Your Hair with Wax, Pomade, or Paste

They may sound like awfully heavy things to be putting in your hair, but these products, used sparingly, are ideal for creating light, unstructured hairstyles.


  • Step 1: Towel dry hair Start with dry hair. If you've just gotten out of the shower, towel your hair completely dry before proceeding.
  • TIP: Whether you've just gotten out of the shower or not, you should be fully dressed before applying these products.
  • Step 2: Rub product in hands Rub the product vigorously between your hands until it emulsifies—that is, until it's completely warmed and melted by the heat of your hands, with no clumps remaining.
  • Step 3: Skim product Skim the product across the top of your hair in both directions. With these products, you want to avoid working it all the way through your hair to your scalp.
  • TIP: All of these products are best used on straight, short to medium-length hair—using them on long or curly hair can lead to a big, gloppy mess.
  • Step 4: Style hair Style your hair as desired. For a textured look, pinch your hair up into spikes, then knock down certain sections with your fingertips.
  • TIP: Most waxes, pastes, and pomades are petroleum-based, making them very useful in summertime to protect against humidity.
  • Step 5: Remove product To remove the product, use a strong cleansing shampoo. You may need to shampoo more than once to remove any build-up. Wax is the hardest to rinse out—if shampoo isn't working, try a squirt or two of dishwashing liquid.
  • FACT: Figures in a wax museum don't wear wax hair—real human hair is inserted strand by strand with a special needle.

You Will Need

  • A wax
  • pomade
  • or paste hairstyling product of your choice
  • A strong shampoo
  • A towel
  • Dishwashing liquid

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