· By Reva Hansen
The Perfect Pomade
Earlier this year, I came across a company called Firsthand Supply Co out of Massachusetts. I immediately became very interested in their all natural, water based pomade. So I ordered one and began doing my research. As soon as I opened the container, the aroma was overwhelmingly pleasing to my olfactory epithelium. Next, I scooped out a small amount into my hands and rubbed it together through my fingers. The texture was very smooth with just the right amount of thickness. Now, I’m not a pompadour guy, so I’m not looking for shine. This pomade is the perfect matte finish, with very good hold that isn’t too sticky. And with a rewetting, it feels like the pomade remains functional in your hair for a couple days.
So Filipe, let me ask you. How did you get into the field of care products and such?
I’ve always loved creating. Coming from a background in music and art, and a family of artists and carpenters I’ve always been very connected to the idea of making things with my hands that are unique and innovative. I saw a lack of good quality and well done products in the market, so I set out to change that.
What did you envision when you set out to make these products - was it more of a personal goal, or a business endeavor?
It was a little bit of both. About two years ago my hardcore band of seven years broke up, and I found myself looking for different things to apply my time to and be creative towards, around the same time I really got into U.S made / handmade apothecary products. I have been using pomade since I was younger. I realized that all the pomades I used were either “gel types” packed with crazy chemicals and things that aren’t good for you, or they were “oil based” super greasy products that would never wash off my hair.
So I set out to create a product that uses natural and healthy ingredients that are actually great for your hair! The main idea was to formulate something that just gets the job done while making it simple and approachable. It took us a whole year and close to 100 batches to finalize the formula. At first it started out as a hobby in a spare room of my apartment, but as soon as we released the product we realized we were onto something! And that we could actually turn it into a business - so we went for it!
Throughout the process of formulating the pomade we learned a ton about different ingredients and how they work, and eventually were able to formulate other products for the line!
Can you give us a peek into how the process of making the pomade works?
For sure! There’s 2 different phases to brewing a Water Based product.
Phase “A” is the oils/waxes/butters phase, in this phase we carefully measure out and melt all of our oils, butter and waxes in a big melter. Seems pretty simple, but it’s important to watch carefully to not overheat and burn certain oils that have different flash points. It is also very important to keep all the measurements consistent. Even the smallest change in the measurements can affect the final solution drastically.
Phase “B” is our water phase. In this phase we heat up water and all our water soluble ingredients in a separate pot.
Once both phases reach a certain temperature we, then add phase “B” into the melter along with phase “A”, then mix the crap out of it. Some of the ingredients when combined act as emulsifiers which allows water and oils to mix into one solution. We wait until the solution reaches a certain temperature and then add fragrance and essential oils and the preservatives.
The final stage is waiting until the solution cools down enough to be poured it into jars. This whole process takes about 3 hours depending on how big of a batch we are brewing!
Do you think the all natural ingredients makes a difference? How so?
Definitely! I’ve never bought into the “natural ingredients matter” idea, until I got into this whole thing. During that whole year of formulating our pomade I actually watched my hair get healthier the more I used our product. A lot of cosmetics are packed with alcohols and parabens that are damaging and just not good for you! I now find myself always looking for personal care goods that are made with natural and organic ingredients!
How does water based pomade compare to oil or wax based?
Oil based pomades are classic! I still go back to using them every once in awhile. There’s something really awesome about being able to slick your hair back with straight up “grease” and feel super cool about it, but then you take a shower and realize that you’ll have that stuff stuck in your hair for a few days… My hair is naturally oily and things get weird real quick..
Water based pomades have Water as the main ingredient, making it water soluble. Easy to use, easy to style, easy to wash. Just overall a much easier product to work with. I like the convenience of using a water based pomade and the results it provides (less shiny, less oily, versatile).
Do you have a plan for other products in the future?
Yes! Our goal is to keep growing our line in order to reach different markets, while always keeping quality and experience a priority. All of our products take weeks if not months of formulating and testing, some taking longer than others. We recently released brand new products for our “Home Line” and some for our “Grooming Line”, for now the goal is to keep growing those lines in addition to eventually adding a whole “Women’s Line”.
Your pomade is by far the best hair product I’ve ever used. Please continue doing what you do and my hair will be just fine. Thank you!