In late January, I wrote an white paper concerning the current status of the pomade market and where I expect it to head from here onwards. (For those of you who have never done research or worked in academia, a white paper is an informative report made by an authority on an issue.) It was a substantial piece. I provide paid pomade consultation for brewers and companies, but I felt this was something I believe could benefit and really change the direction on our community. In summary, the article focused on innovative homebrewers who are redefining and reshaping what we perceive to be a pomade.
In a paragraph, I addressed the complexities of foreign pomades -- most specifically, Indonesian pomades. Indonesia (along with a few other Southeast Asian countries) has an interesting culture that feeds off of American culture. Anything that trends over here will be picked up after 3-5 years. For example, fixies and track bikes. Those trended here around 2008 and were picked up around 2011 in Indonesia. Pomades and the pompadour are no different. Though this is consumption of American culture is responsible for the popularity of pomade in Indonesian, it is also what limits their growth. A culture that follows can never lead. Thus, I made call to Indonesia brewers to cut-short their inspiration from American things -- especially from a subculture that is based on a fictional past. Doing so, it will allow them to self-inspire and create a new pomade that is unique and crafted in their own vision.
Unfortunately, overly-arrogant brewers from Indonesia and their teenage users couldn't grasp the topic. They asserted that their product was innovative and worth international attention, so here we are now -- to quench the fire.
This is Toar and Roby. From what I've heard and the information that is passed to me, this is supposed to be one of the best pomades Indonesia has to offer. I've ignored stacks and stacks of emails from random Indonesian 'homebrewers' asking me to review their products. I don't have time to waste on unproven pomades. Toar and Roby has been validated by others, and so, I'm taking the time to check them out now.
Let me be straight-forward with this one. The design and presentation of this jar is mediocre. The logo itself is alright. It's clean and compact but still makes use of an over-played barber pole. There are these overused motifs (i.e. straight razors, beards, tattoos, clippers, etc.) that pop up in many logos, brands, and on pomade jars. They often don't even make sense, but thankfully, it's often only with low-end products. Even the barber pole is a stretch because traditional barbers cut hair, not style. If you want your hair styled (with pomade), then go to a stylist. Barbers cut hair. You style it.
Moving back to the jar as a whole, the jar features some basic Microsoft word font choice and formatting. To sum it up, I could have made this label in Microsoft word -- maybe even in Microsoft Paint. The overall feel of this design is amateur.
Even the English is sprinkled with a few minor errors. I don't understand why Indonesians choose to label their products in English when they aren't even fluent in it. I've heard some argue that it's so they sell internationally, but I cringe at the thought that someone who just started brewing is allowed to assume their product is desired internationally. I would honestly prefer a clean design in full native language. Who cares if I can read it, and they can just provide an English translation online.
The scent of this pomade is advertised as floral, and that is right. However, it's a different kind of floral scent from say, something like Byrd. I consider Byrd to be the best example of a pleasing floral and fresh scent in pomades. Toar and Roby's scent is different -- less refined. It has the floral hint but it's strong with tartness. It's more akin to some Dove soap bar. The floral is there, but there is a tart and astringency that I associate with a cleaner.
This pomade scoops out like Murray's Superior. It's been a real long time since I've used a pomade that reminds me of that goop. Murray's Superior is definitely the cheapest and shittiest oil-based pomade I have ever used. It's unfortunate that a homebrewed pomade ended up feeling just like that pomade.
Smearing it your hands, you'll be then reminded of Murray's Nu Nile. So, what I mean is the presence of strong wax and a strange grippy greasiness. Applying to your hair can be very discomforting if you're stupid. Take small scoops at a time, or you'll regret it. Smear well and apply slowly.
No shine. Where is the shine in this pomade?! If I have to endure a greasy feel on my neck, then I better be awarded with good slickness and some shine.
Very weak. Any less and you might as well refer to this pomade as a texture product rather than a pomade. This aspect to a pomade is essential -- balancing this with strength/hold is what provides the user with control. Despite being so greasy, this pomade does a poor job sticking to itself. As you layer your hair to form your pomp, be weary of splits. You will get them.
This was unexpected. I honestly thought I was going to get a lot of hold out of this product. It felt waxy in my hands, but they way it held...it didn't feel like the wax was doing the job. The hold was heavy and greasy. It wasn't light and strong like what I typically experience with other waxy pomades. The hold was there present, but as I'll discuss later, it could not endure.
Greasy control and lack of slickness, a weird combination that led to very poor control. I had a better experience with this product earlier in the week, but of course, that was when I cock-tailed this product. On its own, this has been some seriously poor control.
There were a few things that didn't make sense or at least, wasn't what I expected. This pomade just let everything fall completely apart during the day. Thinking about it more, I guess it makes sense. The lack of slickness just couldn't keep everything together.
With a comb, you'll get approximately 50% of what you had before. I'm talking about height and form. So, I had actually hoped to finger-comb the shit out of this pomade and redeem its quality, but I literally snapped a few hairs just trying to run my fingers through my hair. This has never happened before with an oil-based pomade. If I was able to run my fingers through smoothly, I think I could have styled a nice loose pompadour. But nawhhh...that shit hurt.
Because of its similarity to Murray's Superior, it'll take 3-4 showers to fully removed after a good application of product.
The quality of this pomade's build-up is not bad at all. A shower can definitely clean up a lot of the greasiness. This build-up is identical to the Heavy's build-up, so I'll be following up with that review with the build-up from The Original.
I cannot recommend this pomade. The qualities were not only inadequate to compensate for the cost and complication of importing halfway across the world, but simply not up to par with any other homebrewed pomade we've seen before. This is no to say I don't see the potential of Toar and Roby. They're a new and young label, so I expect them to take this hit as a informative experience to grow and improve. There is a lot of ground to cover, but it's not out of their reach. I recommend making a break away from traditional ingredients. If I wanted something made of petrolatum, coconut oil, and beeswax, I could've gone to Walmart. Give the world something new -- something that is Indonesian at heart.