How to Do a Pompadour for Guys

by Virginia Pond
Lance Bass looks effortlessly cool in a modern pompadour.

Lance Bass looks effortlessly cool in a modern pompadour.

From Elvis Presley to Morrissey, the pompadour hairdo has spanned many decades, music styles and sartorial statements. Once worn by greasers, the iconic 'do that's tight on the sides, voluminous in the back and on top, and styled with a hearty dollop of pomade can be seen on fashion models and regular guys alike. Knowing how to sculpt your mane into this classic coiffure is as easy as recalling the lyrics to "Greased Lightning." All you need is a dab of product and a bit of practice.

Wash your hair and let it air dry or dry it with a hairdryer. If using a hairdryer, dry your hair with your head upside down to achieve extra lift at the roots.

Rub a dollop of hair pomade between your palms and run your hands through your hair to disperse the product. The amount of product you need will depend on the thickness of your hair: Thinner hair needs less, and thick hair needs more.

Comb the pomade through your hair with a fine-toothed comb, running it through the sides straight back. Make a deep side part if you want to part your hair. Otherwise, comb the top of your hair upward.

Comb the back lightly to blend all the layers. Pull slightly at the top for more lift, and shape the top very gently with the comb to achieve a cliff shape.

Items you will need

  • Hair pomade
  • Fine-toothed comb


  • To achieve an authentic pompadour, you'll need the right haircut. Ask your barber for a pompadour cut that's short on the sides and long on top, with a little length left in the back.
  • For a messier take on the pompadour, tousle the front pieces with your hands when styling.

About the Author

Virginia Pond is a Chicago-based writer. She earned her bachelor's degree in English from Indiana University.

Photo Credits

  • Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images