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How To Wash Out Oil-Based Pomade [Perfect Degrease]

February 21, 2021
How To Wash Out Oil-Based Pomade [Perfect Degrease]

The irresistible shine and unmistakable pliable hold you get from an oil-based pomade really are special. But the difficulty in removing it leads so many men to give it up. You’re about to learn exactly how to wash out oil-based pomade in the best way possible. 

It may not be easy, but there’s no reason why you can’t have a good degreasing session with oil-based pomades.

It’s all about using the right products in the right way. 

But that’s crucial – use the right products. Ignore the common DIY degreasing methods floating around as they usually do more harm than good. 

You can apply all sorts of stuff to the hair to get rid of pomade, but use them too aggressively and you’ll leave your hair looking dry and brittle. 

After I tell you exactly what to use and how to use it, I’ll run through some commonly asked questions on the topic as well. 

Let’s get to it. 

How To Wash Out Oil-Based Pomade In 4 Steps

Here’s a simple, step-by-step routine you can use for good results no matter what oil-based pomade you’re using. 

The first time I used it I was shocked by how simple it was. It’s easy, comfortable, and effective. 

What You’ll Need: 

Not much. 

  • Deep Conditioner: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist (Amazon Link). 
  • A Hair Brush: It doesn’t really matter what type, but I usually use a Denman. 

Although there are other deep conditioners on the market, Aussie 3 Minute Miracle is very effective for a de-oiling session. No need for dish soap, olive oil, or any of the other nonsense DIY methods out there. 

Other than this conditioner and a brush, you just need a source of running water, 10 minutes of your time, and some good old fashioned patience. 

1. Apply The Deep Conditioner

You’ll want to apply Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Moist to dry, pomade-filled hair. This may sound strange or counterproductive, but it’s more effective than applying it to wet hair. 

How much should you use? 

A good rule-of-thumb would be to use around the same amount of conditioner to the amount of pomade you initially applied. 

In other words, if you used a dime-sized amount of pomade, use a dime-sized amount of conditioner. 

After you’ve done this a couple of times you’ll come to learn whether it’s enough for you or whether you should use a little more next time. 

Work it into your hair using your fingers. Really get down to the scalp and the roots before distributing the conditioner from root-to-tip. 

As you apply it, you’ll immediately start to notice the greasy pomade start to break up in between your fingers. This is just the start, however. 

2. Brush It Through

To help you distribute the deep conditioner as best as possible, brush the conditioner through your hair as well. 

Brush it backward, sideways, and forwards. This has two effects: 

One is that it spreads the conditioner evenly across your scalp. Another is that the bristles of the brush detangles the hair and also further breaks up any clumps of pomade that may be more resistant. 

3. Give It Some Time

Although it may be tempting to rinse it out straight away, it’s important to give the conditioner a bit of time to work before doing so. 

10 minutes is usually a safe bet. 

While you wait, you can use a shower cap to contain your conditioner-soaked hair to prevent drippage. 

4. Rinse It Out

Once you’ve left the conditioner to sit for around 10 minutes, rinse it out using lukewarm water. 

You should notice that the hair feels a lot less greasy already, but towel-dry it to really see the effects. 

It’s very likely that one application will be all that you need, but if you feel as though you’ve got any residual pomade, consider a second application. 

At this point, you’re done. It’s the simplest way of removing oil-based pomade and the best part about it is that you’re using a popular conditioning product to do it. 

What Should You Not Use To Wash Out Oil-Based Pomades? 

I feel it’s worth mentioning a few things you should avoid trying when washing out your hair. It might seem strange, but there are so many DIY methods out there that either don’t work or may just end up doing more harm than good. 

Dish soap is a product that people sometimes use to degrease hair and remove oil-based pomade. 

Although this may seem effective, the ingredients they include in dish soap are best left away from your scalp. They’re generally too drying for both the hair and the scalp. 

Olive oil is another product that’s sometimes used to try and remove oil-based pomade. This is also an unusual choice that apparently works for some men. For most, however, it simply leads to a mess. 

To sum this all up, don’t over complicate matters. It really isn’t as difficult as people make it out to be. As long as you’ve got the right deep conditioner (like the one used in the tutorial earlier), you’ll be good to go. 

Why Is Oil-Based Pomade So Hard To Wash Out? 

Oil-based pomades usually have petroleum, petrolatum, beeswax, or paraffin as their core ingredient. These waxy ingredients all have one thing in common – they are not very water-soluble at all. 

This is good in some ways and bad in others (depending on who you ask). 

It’s good because it’s pretty rain-resistant. While rain will wash out most gels with no problem, leaving your style in ruins and in a wet, floppy mess, oil-based pomades will survive. 

This is because they’re much less water-soluble. 

However, as you’d expect, it also means that oil-based pomades are harder to rinse out of your hair when you want to. 

Because of this, using water alone to rinse it out isn’t really an option if you want a clean head of hair. 

Do You Need To Wash Out Oil-Based Pomades?

Yes, wash the oil-based pomade out of your hair each night with water at the very least. Although this won’t be enough to degrease it, it’s best not to leave it in your hair overnight as it can rub on your pillow and get onto the skin. 

There are plenty of men who choose not to degrease their hair every night for one simple reason. 


The difficulty in washing oil-based pomades out is seen as an advantage by some men. They like the fact that there’s some residual product left in their hair even a few days after applying it. 

They can use this product to style their hair long after they initially applied it. This is called buildup and leads to men getting great value for money; a small amount of oil-based pomade goes a long way. 

However, although a degreasing session (like what was outlined in the tutorial earlier) isn’t necessary every night, again, it’s usually best to at least rinse out the bulk of the pomade before you sleep. 

You should still have some good buildup in your hair to use the next day, without having excess pomade causing a greasy and oily appearance. 

Are There Pomades That Are Easier To Wash Out? 

Water-based pomades and unorthodox pomades are easier to wash out than oil-based pomades. 

The reason for this is that they’re water-soluble. Water-based pomades have water as their core ingredient, so washing it out is a breeze. 

This isn’t necessarily a good thing for some men – you don’t get buildup for one. Also, they really aren’t rain-resistant either. 

Unorthodox pomades are great because they combine the best aspects of oil-based and water-based pomades. They provide a pliable (non-stiff) hold like oil-based product, but also wash out easily like a water-based product. 

They’re a good alternative to try out if you aren’t a fan of the troublesome degreasing process you have to go through with oil-based pomades. 

With an unorthodox pomade, you’ll still get the high shine and flexible hold you can expect from an oil-based pomade, while also getting the benefit of an easy washout. 


There you have it. Hopefully, everything you could possibly want to know about washing out oil-based pomade. 

Although it isn’t as easy to wash out as some other products, don’t let this put you off from trying it out. 

Using the routine I outlined earlier, you should be able to remove even the more difficult oil-based pomades. 

They’re pretty unique in what they offer; ultra-high shine, great definition, and a pliable hold. It wouldn’t be wise to completely disregard this product just because of the tricky washout process. 

Try it out and see for yourself whether it’s something you’d be willing to tolerate. If it is, it may just be the product for you.