As promised, we are continuing down the latest line of introductions by The Red House out of Kentucky. With the recent haircut, I wanted to jump straight to the one I'm most excited about which is their new Matte Clay. It's a water-based formula that I hope can offer the same great hold of Private Reserve but with beautiful texture for a high and loose pompadour.
This is definitely one of the plainer designs from The Red House and that's coming from someone who appreciates minimalist design. Nevertheless, it's somewhat befitting since the mute background seems to have intendedly matched the gray clay color. Either way, it's very 1984ish and Orwellian.
This is the classic tobacco-vanilla scent we often experience with The Red House. Sweet yet deep.
It's funny. I feel like whenever we try a batch of new products, one of them somehow gains new ground and they all make progress in the same way. What I mean is that most clays are usually thick and gritty out of the jar. Arcadian Clay was one of the first to be perfectly smooth and creamy. Now this Matte Clay is similarly smooth yet slightly thicker out of the jar.
Putting this goop into the hair isn't as strenuous as some other clays have been. It's actually even easier than their other product, Private Reserve. You'll feel some grip, but it's definitely not to an extent that will be bothersome. Combing through it all is also pretty straightforward.
Neutral. Though the name suggests a matte finish, I think straight neutral is the best description -- neither adding nor taking shine away.
Undoubtedly coarse. Unlike the O'Douds Matte Paste we saw yesterday and Arcadian Clay, the Matte Clay opts to provide a coarse level of texture. This is despite not having coarse grains of clay, but I'm guessing the other ingredients are rather slick and sticky which is the reason. Also, you can usually also style a normal (but not too slick) pomp with clay products such as this one.
It definitely provided less hold than I was expecting. Then again, my expectations were more like wishes rather than anything based on reality (i.e. advertised strength on their website). I think it could be best described as a medium-firm, but the very light weight does help.
I would consider Matte Clay to be one of the more intuitive clays I've used. For example, Arcadian Clay is great but can be very challenging for some to use given its high level of texture and lack of stickiness. This product, however, still maintain many characteristics from the pomade world. This makes it a try clay-pomade hybrid.
I forgot to mention before that this product was unusually soft for a clay. While that makes it feel pretty nice in the hair, it doesn't help with the clay's resilience. Yes, there hasn't been any clay pomade that can hold a loose pomp for the entire day. In fact, those two concepts kinda go against one another.
Nevertheless, the takeaway here is that a good amount of the product was absorbed into my hair or simply disappeared. This is after a good amount of physical activity but not further induced by sweat or heat.
Restyling to a loose slickback of some kind is easy, but combing back your pomp will be challenging. Fingercombing can also be discomforting (as with any other clay) -- especially when your hair gets all mixed up and extra messy.
A bit but nothing to worry about. It's actually less so than most other clays.
Washes out in one shower.
I think The Red House Matte Clay best fits a user who has found Arcadian Clay's refinement to be a dream but struggles to control its high level of texture. In other words, I believe this is a good fit for someone who loves pomades but wants to try out clays. Honestly, it might be a little more refined that a newbie deserves, but it's control is relatively intuitive compared to other clays. Or, if you're tired of those super harsh clays, this would be a better option.
If you're interested in trying this clay out or any other of products by The Red House, we offer our promo code THEPOMP to help you save a bit when ordering direct from them. It's the best way to support the small businesses we love!