Three titans pitted against each other. Does it get any more exciting? If you’re undecided, things are about to get a whole lot easier.
To be more specific, we’re comparing Suavecito Pomade Original Hold, Layrite Original Pomade, and Uppercut Deluxe Pomade.
The difficulty is that the three products are within a similar price range and have similar levels of hype around them. In addition, as they’re all water-based pomades, they also have pretty similar effects.
But they’re not the same and there’s a great chance that one of them will be more suitable for your specific needs.
That’s what you’re about to find out.
Let’s get to it.
What Do They Have In Common?
Diving headfirst into these products is what’s going to make it easier for you to decide between them.
But before we do that it’s worth talking about how they’re similar. After all, this is what makes them worth comparing in the first place and how you know we’re not comparing apples with oranges.
Here’s a list of the main similarities between the three products:
- They’re all water-based pomades – a lot of the other similarities are due to this fact.
- They have a gel-like consistency
- They dry firm
- They wash out easily because they’re all water-soluble
- They’re better suited to medium and thick hair types, as well as defined and slick hairstyles such as slick backs, pompadours, and side-parts.
Water-based pomades are sometimes unfairly labeled “glorified gels”. It’s true that they do have some similarities with hair gels, such as their very smooth consistency, easy emulsification (breakdown), firm and stiff hold, and easy washout.
But the finish you get from water-based pomades such as Suavecito Original, Layrite, and Uppercut Deluxe is better than what you would expect from a simple gel.
The finish is firm but not crunchy and they’re unlikely to flake. Although the higher quality hair gels won’t do this either, the cheaper ones often do.
Going forward, I’m going to assume that these are features you want from your hair product.
If, for example, you’re looking for a pliable hold and not a firm one, go for an oil-based pomade or wax instead.
Or, if you’re looking for matte and textured instead of defined and slick, go for hair clay or paste instead.
Suavecito Original Pomade: Key Features
Suavecito started it all off with this product. Since then, it’s become a beast in the water-based pomade game thanks to eye-catching branding and a loyal customer following.
It remains one of their most popular offerings.
Plus, although the exact price will depend on your location, Suavecito is usually cheaper than Layrite and Uppercut Deluxe Pomade. Definitely bear this in mind.
Ultimately, the packaging doesn’t make any difference to how it looks on your hair. But if you’re a hair product lover or collector, you may well care about how it looks on your shelf.
Suavecito’s packaging really does immediately draw attention. Its color theme is a vibrant cola and orange; pretty reflective of the scent we’ll be talking about shortly.
The now-famous pompadour-wearing skeleton on the lid is a great touch; fun and memorable. Meanwhile, the same can be said of the lettering of the logo.
Overall, there’s just a lot of flair.
However, when you actually handle the tub the plastic does feel quite flimsy and cheap. It doesn’t feel as good as it looks.
Score = 3.5/5
The scent is a unique blend of citrus and cola. Interestingly, it goes so perfectly with the color theme.
Although the scent isn’t noticeable when the product is applied to the hair, it’s still a common reason for men to keep coming back to Suavecito.
Score = 4/5
The translucent orange Suavecito is very smooth to scoop out of the tub with minimal tack and resistance when breaking it down between the palms.
Working it through the scalp is easy – again, with minimal resistance. However, it dries very quickly.
As in, so quick that you most likely won’t be done styling by the time the moisture has evaporated from the product and the hair starts to stiffen.
This can be frustrating, especially when styling anything more complex than a slick-back. If you’re trying to work some volume into a pomp or even a simple contour, you’ll need some time.
So, you’ll probably have to run a wet comb through it a couple of times just to keep it soft enough to finish styling.
It goes through very smoothly until it stiffens. That stiffness is great for the hold itself, but not so great for the styling.
Score = 3/5
Once you’ve got your style set, you can rest assured it won’t be falling apart anytime soon with Suavecito Original.
Men with anything other than very thick hair won’t have any problem with it at all. Although it’s often called a “medium hold”, the hold just seems too firm for that to be true.
Suavecito does have another product called “Firme Hold” which has an even stronger hold, as the name would suggest.
If you’ve got very thick or long hair and you’re struggling to keep your hair in place with the Original, try Firme Hold out to see if you have better luck.
The hold is stiff and firm, just as you’d expect with a water-based pomade or a hair gel. However, it feels less crunchy than what you’d expect from a typical gel and also doesn’t flake.
If you wanted a pliable hold that you can restyle with ease throughout the day, this isn’t the article for you. Find a good oil-based or unorthodox pomade instead, or a simple hair wax.
To sum that up, the hold is good. If you need better, however – try Firme Hold.
Score = 4/5
As I’ve got pretty fine hair, I don’t look for excessive shine as it often reveals too much scalp. However, when reviewing pomades it’s important to bear in mind that men often do look for slickness and gloss.
After all, you do want some shine for those classic 50’s hairstyles like slick backs, pompadours, and side-parts.
The beauty of water-based pomades like Suavecito, Layrite, and Uppercut is that you do get that shine without having to deal with the hassle of using an oil-based product.
Suavecito Original Pomade has a medium shine. It won’t be as greasy or slick as what you’d get from a good oil-based pomade.
It’s great initially but dulls quite quickly as it dries.
But it does produce as good of a shine as you’d expect from a water-based pomade. It works well for defined styles but the glossiness is still subtle and not obvious.
Score = 4/5
Washability is really where water-based pomades shine. It’s a key reason behind why people go for pomades like Suavecito instead of oil-based alternatives like Murray’s.
Suavecito does wash out very easily and you won’t need shampoo to do it. A simple rinse with water alone will suffice.
Score = 5/5
Total = 23.5
Layrite Original Pomade: Key Features
A barber-founded pomade formulated to “hold like wax and wash out like gel”. Layrite’s Original is the water-based offering that’s closest to the other two on this list.
Layrite’s old packaging really wasn’t anything to write home about. It wasn’t eye-catching or very aesthetic.
But its new packaging with that fantastic gold lid is really nice to look at. The yellow and black color of the Original has a minimalist vibe and the lettering is classic.
I don’t want to dwell too much on the packaging because again – it doesn’t make a difference.
But that gold lid is a nice touch.
Score = 4/5
The scent isn’t noticeable when applied to the hair, but much like Suavecito, you’ll struggle to find a pomade that smells quite like this one.
It’s a sweet and caramel-ish scent that’s pretty hard to ignore. It won’t be to everyone’s taste but it’s definitely memorable.
Score = 3/5
Layrite Original is easy to scoop out and emulsify. It breaks down super-easy between the palms and spreads through the hair with very little resistance.
What I like about this water-based pomade is that it doesn’t dry out too quickly. You should be able to finish styling before it dries and probably won’t need to run a wet comb to soften things up in the middle.
Even if you did, it shouldn’t be more than once.
It’s pretty good for building volume with but better suited to flatter, more defined, and slick styles like side-parts and slick-backs.
Score = 4/5
The hold isn’t quite as firm as Suavecito Original. This may be a plus for you, however. If you’re looking for a finish that’s a little softer it may be a better option.
It’s a medium hold.
It should be perfectly fine for anything other than very thick hair or especially complex styles.
The hold is still too firm to restyle during the course of the day without wet-combing – but the same could be said of all of the pomades on this list. Water-based pomades aren’t meant for restyling.
Overall, the hold is good and should keep things in check for several hours at least.
Score = 3.5/5
The shine on Layrite Original is noticeable but more subtle than Suavecito. Apply it to damp hair if you’re looking for a glossier finish, accepting a slightly weaker hold as a tradeoff.
The shine does also tend to fade after a few hours, as it often does with water-based pomades.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for high and long-lasting shine go for an oil-based pomade. The shine on Layrite Original is OK but not incredible.
Score = 3.5/5
The washout is very easy. A simple rinse with water alone is all that’s necessary. No shampoo, no fuss.
A clean head of hair every evening is entirely possible.
If you’re looking for build-up, again, go for an oil-based product or even a heavy wax.
But as we’re talking about a water-based pomade, an easy washout should be expected and that’s exactly what you get with Layrite.
Score = 5/5
Total = 23
Uppercut Deluxe Pomade: Key Features
Uppercut Deluxe is another hardening water-based pomade that’s often compared to the other two in this list.
It holds up pretty well, with a few features that definitely make it stand out. However, in some domains, it does fall short.
Let’s talk through it.
The packaging is actually pretty stunning. The black, red, and white color theme with the mirror effect on the lid just gives it a very classic feel to it.
It’s definitely nice to look at.
Plus, the illustration of the boxers on the lid is a great aesthetic and gives it a masculine edge.
Again, many of you probably don’t care much about the packaging in any case. But if you’re a collector, it’s a good one.
Score = 4.5/5
Strong hints of coconut and vanilla are prominent in Uppercut Deluxe. It’s nice, but it’s important to note that it is pretty strong.
So strong that you’ll probably still smell hints of it when it’s applied to the hair. Although this can be quite pleasant you do have to think about it potentially conflicting with fragrances.
Although so many pomades are rocking the coconut and vanilla scent these days, Uppercut Deluxe does stand out by going for a richer, deeper, and less sickly sweet version of the smell.
To sum that up – yes, it’s nice. But it’s prominent and strong. This wouldn’t be an issue if you couldn’t smell it once applied to the hair. However, because you can, it may not be for everyone.
Score = 3.5/5
It’s heavier than you might initially think it would be. There’s some resistance and tack as you break it down, but all you’ll be left with is a gentle shine on your palms with no bits or clumps.
It emulsifies, but maybe not as quickly as you might expect from a water-based pomade. Right from the outset, it’s pretty clear that this is heavier than your usual water-based.
For some, this may be ideal as it does translate into a strong hold.
But it dries up very quickly – after a few minutes. In fact, it dries up so stiff that even a wet comb isn’t enough to soften it up for styling.
Again, this lends itself well to having a strong hold, but you have a pretty narrow window in which you need to get the styling done. Leave it too long and it’ll stiffen up before you finish.
It’s similar to Suavecito in this respect. Ultimately, stiffening up so quickly is a downside and does make styling more difficult.
Score = 3.5/5
The hold on Uppercut is great. Stiff, but not crunchy – exactly what you should expect and want from a water-based pomade.
You can expect the hair to stay in place for most of the working day, although you may need to flatten a few flyaways toward the end.
But the hold is one of the features that made Uppercut stand out. Even after a very windy day it held up pretty well.
Score = 4.5/5
Much like Suavecito, the shine is good initially but dulls once dry. It’s unfortunate but pretty typical of water-based pomades.
If you’re looking for a glaring shine this won’t be the product to give it to you.
It’s average/medium shine.
Score = 3.5/5
It washes out very easily – no fuss at all. You won’t need shampoo and a simple rinse with water will do the trick.
Having said that, if a water-based pomade gave you anything less it would be a disappointment. You should always expect a very easy washout.
Score = 5/5
Total = 24.5
How Do They Compare?
Let’s pit them against each other one by one. There’s a good chance you’ve narrowed it down to two so this should be helpful.
The scores are listed side-by-side. Although they’ve been totaled up, there’s a good chance that some of these features will be more important to you than others.
Because of that, the score may not be as relevant to you. Focus more on the scores for the individual features and decide which product would be for you.
Suavecito Vs Layrite
Suavecito Pomade Original produces slightly more shine and a better hold than Layrite Original. Layrite doesn’t stiffen up quite as quickly as Suavecito which makes application and styling easier, however.
There’s very little that sets the two products apart – they’re both hardening water-based products that wash out very easily indeed.
The fact that Layrite doesn’t stiffen up as quickly is important and something to bear in mind. It can be frustrating when you’re in the middle of styling and that Suavecito hardens up prematurely.
But overall, the additional shine and hold you get from Suavecito will probably appeal to a lot of men. Plus, if it does stiffen up before you’d like it to, just run a wet comb through it and you’ll be fine.
Suavecito Vs Uppercut Deluxe
Uppercut Deluxe Pomade gives you a slightly better hold than Suavecito Original but less shine. Uppercut also comes in better packaging, but the coconut and vanilla scent can be overpowering compared to the cola of Suavecito.
It’s pretty tough to beat Suavecito when it comes to hold, but Uppercut just about does it. This doesn’t come as a surprise once you’ve actually started applying it, as it just feels heavier right from the outset.
They both stiffen up very quickly on drying which isn’t great, but Uppercut does so a little slower than Suavecito. This gives you a bit more time to work with when styling.
Uppercut’s shine isn’t quite as good as Suavecito’s but neither of them is amazing in any case. The shine dulls on both once dried like with many water-based pomades out there.
It’s just that the shine on Suavecito dulls a little less than that of Uppercut Deluxe.
The coconut and vanilla scent on Uppercut is definitely something to be aware of. It’s most likely one that a lot of men will love – deep, rich, and not too sweet.
But it is pretty strong and you can still smell hints of it when applied to the hair. It may conflict or overpower the more subtle fragrances.
Overall, the strong hold of Uppercut does just about give it the upper hand (pun intended). However, Suavecito’s cheaper price shouldn’t be ignored. If this is important to you, it may lean you in favor of it.
Layrite Vs Uppercut Deluxe
Uppercut Deluxe Pomade will produce a better hold but a similar amount of shine to Layrite Original. Layrite does feel smoother to apply than Uppercut and won’t stiffen up as quickly when styling.
When applying these two products, you’ll notice that Uppercut just feels heavier. This is something that some men love while others may not.
If you’re looking for a smoother and lighter pomade with less resistance, Layrite may be a better option. The tradeoff would be a weaker hold, as the hold on Uppercut is pretty awesome.
One way in which Layrite is great, however, is that it doesn’t stiffen up as hard or quickly as most water-based pomades. But again, it does have a weaker hold in general.
It really depends on what you value.
The packaging and scent are pretty equal, although Uppercut’s overall aesthetic seems more likely to appeal to a wider range of men. Both of these products do go for a classic and masculine aesthetic.
As expected, both of them wash out beautifully, so there’s very little to compare in this domain.
On the whole, however, the hold on Uppercut shouldn’t be ignored. As it’s an important feature, Uppercut Deluxe is, again, more likely to appeal to more men and just about gives it the upper hand.
Are There Any Better Water-Based Pomades Out There?
Although these three products are big hitters in the water-based pomade game, there are other ones out there that do, in some ways, provide better results.
Home-brewed pomades are becoming increasingly popular but can be pricey.
If you’re looking for a more affordable water-based that produces excellent results, check out Cool Grease Blue (Amazon Link).
When we’re talking about oil-based vs water-based pomades, it has the best of both worlds.
It washes out easily just like a water-based would. However, the shine is very impressive and doesn’t dull like so many other water-based ones do.
In addition, its hold is pretty pliable and doesn’t stiffen up as other water-based ones do. It behaves more like an oil-based in this respect.
This makes it great for restyling during the day – wet-combing isn’t usually necessary as a dry comb will do the trick.
As far as water-based pomades go, each of the three products we’ve pitted against each other in this article has made a name for themselves in their own right.
They all do very similar things and are at a similar price point. It can be difficult to distinguish between them and choose the right one for your specific needs.
Hopefully, this has made it a whole lot easier for you.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.