I wasn't sure what I was expected when I first tried out this product. As soon as it arrived on my doorstep, I googled it to see what the brand was all about. Turns out, they're pretty similar to Baxter of California. I get a similar aura and feel to the two brands. However, Baxter differs in that its business is built on a foundation of street credit and high integration into the boutique men's fashion world. John Allan's, however, is focused on hair and the salon community. Both have a strong presence in the LA/Beverley Hills area.
In truth, I don't hear much about this product. I didn't expect anything crazy and didn't experience anything crazy. BUT! This is currently my most favorite wax-less, water-based pomade.
In all honesty, the presentation is pretty mediocre. The design is unaesthetically simple and a mixed jumble between serif and sans serif fonts. As you know, I'm a huge proponent of minimalism; however, this is not done correctly. It comes in a clear, thick plastic jar weighing at 2.4 oz. with a aluminum top. Product looks identical to Baxter Soft Water Pomade -- light blue with mica minerals.
The fragrance of this pomade is a good step forward. The pomade has a light cologne-like scent that really comes out when applied into the hair. I get tired of citrus-scented pomades, so this is always a welcomed-departure for me.
The feel of this pomade is similar to Baxter Hard Water Pomade and the JS Sloane product line. Normally, this is not a good sign, but it isn't an issue later with application. When scooped out with your finger, the product has a stringiness as though your scooping out semi-dry molasses. Obviously, it's not as thick as that. I'd always prefer something soft like the texture of Admiral Pomade, but...as long as it's not an issue later...
This product was deceivingly easy to work with and apply to the hair. I thought I would have an issue after scooping it out of the jar. However, it was so simple and smooth to work through the hair. Basically, as easily as working with Admiral Pomade.
Boom. Another unexpected aspect of this pomade -- shine game strong AND long lasting. This pomade offered a good shine. I'm not sure if it was just the mica minerals alone or not, but the shine was balanced and very pleasing.
This pomade had a nice wetness to it that kept everything nice and together. I acknowledged it while I was applying...this pomade has just the right amount of grip and wetness. This is uncommon to a lot of water-based pomades. I got very few strays and a nice slick pomp.
Though this pomade describes itself as a lightweight pomade, the hold of the product was definitely more around a medium.
More importantly the control of the pomade was very impressive. It was both predictable and reliable. The pomade made styling easy to place my hair where I wanted and how I wanted it to rest.
This pomade never dried and that's what we want. However, with that advantage, we always will lose some endurance out of the pomade. It does maintain a relatively strong foundation, but you should expect to restyle it during the day.
At the same time, this pomade actually becomes even more easy to style with as the wetness is lost during the day. It adopts a grainy sort of texture that is very easy to work with.
Does not dry.
Washes out one hunnid.
Without a doubt, this pomade receives my seal of approval. Its performance is not ground-breaking, but it does exceed all other wax-less, water-based pomades in this category. The shine is exceptional and lasts longer than most other water-based products. I would highly recommend checking this pomade out for yourself.