1. New pomades?

    I’ve been looking all over the internet lately and have noticed a HELL of a lot of cool looking pomades coming out of America as of late. I recently ran out of Layrite and went online to browse for some new stuff to add to the collection, when I was hit with just how few pomades there are for the UK market…

    From what I can gather, the only commonly available pomades in the UK are Black & White, American Crew, Murray’s, Sweet Georgia Brown and Dax. There are a few places online (UK based) that carry Layrite, Suavecito and Cock Grease, but they are slim in number and carry heavy price tags to cover their own import costs…

    That being said, I just bit the bullet and ordered 2 jars of The Iron Society pomade from their NY web store which I’m pretty excited to get my hands on, shame about the hefty UK shipping charges though.

    Am I missing a trick here? Is there anywhere I should be checking? Or are we just lagging behind that much in the pomade universe in merry old England?

     

  2. Review: Uppercut Deluxe

    FINALLY.

    Sorry for the lack of action on here lately, I haven’t reviewed or posted anything in a month or so cause I’ve been busy moving from one end of the country to the other, and generally sorting just about every other aspect of life that comes with the hassle of it…

    Anyway:

    I thought I’d do a review of some water based stuff, I’ve picked up a small arsenal of new pomades since my last post so expect a few more reviews to come flying in soon. I finally got around to picking up a tin of Australia’s highly sought after Uppercut Deluxe water based pomade.

    I picked this up from Pomade Shop for €14.95 (Along with a tin of Uppercut’s Monster Hold, review to come soon). This shit works out seriously expensive if you’re buying from the UK. As far as I know, the only places you can get it are the Pomade Shop website or direct from Uppercut in Australia, so either way the shipping costs end up biting you square in the arse.

    In a somewhat ironic sense, this is in my opinion, the ‘Supreme’ of pomades, in the sense that it’s really fucking expensive, it’s very hyped up on the internet, it’s pretty difficult to get hold of, and it even comes complete with its very own white text in a red box logo…

    I’ve heard a lot about this so lets get straight into it:

    First things first. That tin design. Beautiful. I won’t say too much about it but it’s a flat metal tin - quite large in diameter, I was surprised at the physical size of the tin when I actually got it as it was bigger than I had imagined - with a plastic inner thread to screw the metal lid on. Very nice.

    Keeping in line with the boxing branding, I thought “For that knockout look” was a nice touch, but let’s see how true that actually is, along with it’s claim of being ‘super strong’.

    Opening the tin:

    We’ve got a kind of dark orange/auburn red coloured water based pomade. Similar in colour to Layrite, but a bit darker and less radioactive looking. The smell is amazing. Hands down, the best smelling pomade I have ever come across in my life, I spent most of the day just opening the tin and smelling it, it’s THAT good. Kind of a smells like a mix of coconut cookies and vanilla, genuinely incredible.

    Scooping was pretty easy, as you would expect from a water based pomade, I managed to carve out a nice chunk as you can see. My first thought was that it felt quite heavy and thick for a water based pomade, definitely thicker than Layrite/American Crew etc.

    It spreads through the hands pretty nicely once you rub some heat with it, and went through the hair pretty evenly without clumping up too much. I’ve gotta say that they’re not kidding when they say ‘super strong’, the hold this stuff has is completely mental! Unlike any water based pomade I’ve ever used, I could comb the front of my hair vertically upright with this stuff in and it would stay sticking up there like a boner. This stuff starts drying pretty quickly which makes it increasingly difficult to comb through and style, I’d recommend you being quick with your comb once this is in cause this stuff gets more difficult to style the longer you leave it.

    This is what it looks like about 30 mins after applying. It hasn’t got much shine, more of a textured kind of matte effect, but I guess that’s to be expected with water based stuff. I usually always finish my hair with a top coat of Dax Short & Neat (blue tin) to give a shine, as my hair is extremely dry naturally and has no shine whatsoever, but this is what the Uppercut looks like on it’s own.

    My biggest gripe with this product is the hardness of it. Once this stuff has dried, it’s like wrought iron. Absolutely rock hard, it kind of reminded me of that shitty ‘extreme hold hair gel’ I used to use at school when I was a kid in the mid 90’s. If you’re one of these types that likes to regularly comb your hair throughout the day, this is probably the worst pomade imaginable as your comb will be going nowhere. In fact, at the end of the day I tried to comb through the lot of if before I went to sleep, resulting in a hell of a lot of resistance from my hair, with the pomade coming out dry in white flakes everywhere, leaving my hair a matt, fluffy mess.

    I think this is one of those pomades that everyone should have, just to form their own opinion on if nothing else. I’d say this would be a lot better for somebody with naturally shiny hair that’s quite thick. I think I need to play around with it a few more times to get the balance right, but overall, a solid entry to the water based pomade market, and I can completely understand it’s popularity.

    Use with caution…

     

  3. Review: Kent Combs

    I thought it might be a good idea to highlight some other aspects of hair products besides pomades themselves. Combs are, like most people, a crucial part of my hair routine, and EVERYONE should have some good, high quality combs if they’re rocking a slick back, pomp, flat top etc etc…

    image

    Kent combs are widely viewed as one of (if not the best) comb and brush manufacturers in the world. Traditionally hand made and saw cut in London, UK since 1777 and appointed by Her Majesty the Queen herself…

    As you can see, I use 3 Kent combs on a daily basis. From top to bottom these are the 5T Coarse/Fine (a.k.a Dressing Table comb), the OT Coarse/Fine pocket comb and the Slim Jim.

    So why bother with fancy, branded combs when you can pick up a plastic one for £1 from Boots? Simple; cheap, crappy plastic combs are rough on your hair and scalp, they scratch you as you pull it through your hair, splitting your hair ends. The teeth also give out pretty quickly, and the worse the teeth become, the more they fuck your hair up without you even realising. Kent combs are saw cut by hand from a silky smooth and polished piece of tortoise shell acetate. This basically means they glide through your hair nice and smoothly, massaging your scalp instead of scratching it, not to mention looking pretty nice in the process.

    I use the 5T (top) right after I apply pomade in the morning. The wide teeth create nice, clean and even lines through the hair and keep it pinned back well. For shorter areas of hair such as the sides, I flip to the fine toothed half for a little more precision and control. The Slim Jim (bottom) is an extra fine tooth comb which is perfect for creating your parting and getting a nice, defined line in your hair. It’s pretty similar to a rat tail comb, but without the handle and therefore fits in your pocket nicely!

    image

    The OT is the perfect pocket comb, consisting of coarse and fine teeth. This is a perfect middle point between the 5T and the Slim Jim, as the coarse teeth aren’t quite as coarse as the 5T, and the fine teeth aren’t as fine as the Slim Jim (you can kind of see this in the picture above), perfect for keeping a sharp look while on the move.

    I got my OT as a gift from my girlfriend, which came in a cool little leather pouch and metal file (first photo) for about £8. You can buy it without the case and file for an extremely reasonable £4. The bigger 5T typically comes in at around £5 and the Slim Jim around the £4 mark too. You can get hold of all 3 from Feel Unique with free shipping within the UK!

    If you don’t have some good combs, get yourself some Kents, at less than £5 each there’s no excuse to not have premium quality products in your life, and your hair will thank you for it!

    (Source: high-andtight)

     
  4. This has got to be one of the nicest straight razors I’ve ever seen! $240 (£150) from Baxter of California, loosely inspired by firearms, entitled “Not a Replica”, oozing with cool. Definitely adding this to the wish list.

    (Source: felinatral, via dvlxdr)

     

  5. Suggestions!

    Anybody got any ideas for some other water based pomades they’d like to see on here? I’ve got reviews for American Crew and Layrite coming soon but would like to feature a couple more too, all suggestions welcome!

     

  6. johnsonmanhole said: Hey, literally just found your blog and your first post already made me think of a question. How is American Crew's pomade? It always seemed a tad over priced to me, but right now, the store I work at has a two for one sale on it. Worth 16 bucks for 2 cans?

    Hi mate, the American Crew is pretty pricey but at the moment it’s the pomade I use most often, one of the best I’ve found for general day to day use that doesn’t mess with your hair too much or make it too greasy.

    There are a few other water based pomades I want to try out like Uppercut Deluxe, but at the moment American Crew is my pomade of choice. $16 for 2 tins sounds like a great deal to me so I’d definitely go for it, over here in the UK it’s virtually impossible to find it for less than £11 ($17.60) for ONE tin so you’ve definitely found a good deal there!

    I’ll be doing a proper review of American Crew in the next few days so check back for it soon.

     

  7. Review: Murray’s Superior Pomade

    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!

    (Source: high-andtight)

     
  8.  
  9. First post!

    Thanks for checking out High & Tight, a blog for all things barber, but mainly as a source of reviews for various barbershop products (British and International) from a UK buyer’s perspective.

    I set this blog up solely because every pomade review blog I’ve found always seems to be USA or AUS based, I’m aiming this one mainly at the UK market but I’m pretty sure you’ll find some of the stuff useful no matter where in the world you are.

    I’ll be reviewing a few products over the next couple of weeks, some I’ve used for a long time, others I’m totally new to. Keep checking back and feel free to drop me a request if there’s a particular product you wanna see!