Kicking things off with an old classic today, Murray’s Superior Pomade. Murray’s is one of the most widely recognised and used pomades in the world, and is rumoured (according to the internet) to have been the pomade of choice for Mr. Elvis Presley back in his prime!
Since it’s birth in 1926, Murray’s has kept the same recipe for it’s pomade since the very beginning, containing only three ingredients; Petrolatum, Mineral Oil and Fragrance (Parfum). Considering this stuff has gone totally unchanged for almost 90 years, my expectations were pretty high having never used it before!
As far as branding and tin design goes, this is one of the most old school and traditional looking products available today. Much like its recipe, the classic metal tin design hasn’t really changed in it’s 87 year existence, featuring some nice old school letter type and illustration of two afro-Caribbean looking folks on its lid.
I picked this up for £5 online, which is more than reasonable for an 85g tin (roughly 6p per gram). *Note to all you pomade tin collectors*, Murray’s currently make a limited edition version of this pomade featuring an alternative sketch of Barack and Michelle Obama on the lid! It costs a couple of quid more than this version, but apparently £1 of the cost gets donated to charity, so there’s a bit of motivation to spend the extra cash.
Opening the tin, we see a yellowy, hard looking pomade that kind of looks like beeswax. There isn’t much of a smell to this stuff at all, which in my eyes is a good thing, unlike most people I tend to find the smell of most pomades to be quite undesirable, so a pomade with little or no fragrance is a plus in my books!
So, how does this iconic pomade perform then? The second I went to scoop some out from the tin, I was struck with how unbelievably hard this stuff actually is. You’ve gotta exert quite a bit of force to scoop this stuff out, and it only comes out in small amounts. I like to start off small with pomades and then build up the application gradually anyway, especially with one I’ve never used before, so this wasn’t too much of a problem for me.
With my thick, dense hair, I found Murray’s to be a real challenge to get through my hair. It feels very grippy and definitely doesn’t flow through the hair like most modern water based pomades, although this is to be expected considering its classic consistency is so different than some of the modern stuff available today.
It took me a long time to work this stuff through my hair, I used this today for the first time while getting ready to meet a friend at the pub, and I can safely say that making a phonecall to say “I’m running late, I’ve got a new pomade that’s taking the piss to go in” is something I never thought I’d have to do. Regardless of this, Murray’s holds your hair back very nicely and once you’ve finally got it spread through the hair, it combs back pretty easily and most importantly, stays there nice and firm.
Shine wise, you can get a pretty good gleam with Murray’s. Considering it’s such a hard pomade, I was quite surprised at this as usually the harder stuff tends to give quite a matte look. I didn’t use any extra products or pomades with this so the photos above show how Murray’s looks about 10 minutes after applying.
One thing I noticed with Murray’s, is that unlike most pomades that tend to harden up as they dry, this stuff actually softens up slightly making re-combing and restyling a little easier than the initial application.
I think this is a pomade that requires a bit of practice and will probably get easier with use. I wouldn’t recommend using this if you are new to pomades/slicked back styles, you should get to grips with your hair with a more modern, softer pomade, and figure out how your hair works before hitting the hard stuff.
Overall, Murray’s is pretty good, and at such a low price it’s definitely worth having in your collection. Due to it’s hard and greasy consistency, it’s a real pain in the arse to wash out of your hair so I probably wouldn’t use this everyday, but definitely one to go for on those days you need a nice, tight slick.
I’ll be doing a couple of reviews on some water based pomades over the next few days so keep a look out for those, if there’s anything you’d like to see reviewed in particular then feel free to drop me an ask. For now, happy slicking!