Prelude | Pseudo-Review

I had enough free time today that I wanted to sneak in a quick pseudo-review about what Wade of Flagship Pomade Company and I have created with Prelude. It's something we're very proud of and from my end, something that ended up so far better than I could have imagined it. So, I want to show you what it is, how it works for me, and what it can potentially offer you. But obviously, I want to refrain from reviewing it because well...I worked on developing it, so it wouldn't make sense to talk about whether or not I approve of it. Of course, if I didn't, then it would be publicly available right now.

However, for those of you completely new or out in the blue, this is a collaboration between Flagship and myself. We wanted to show the world that homebrewers are more than capable of cooking up a solid clay pomade that can stand up to those lab-cooked ones. We ended up with what I believe to be a clay that is stronger, provides more texture, and way more affordable.

Design

The centerpiece of the label is borrowed straight from the script emblem of the Honda Prelude. It is a custom rendition that attempts to capture the 3D effect and chrome-finish of an actual car emblem. On the right side, you'll find familiar show car decals that actually describe the pomade. They're modified versions of actual reputable car mod companies. At the top is my person favorite, the famous HKS design modified to show our familiar TYBP slogan. Below is RAYS Engineering modified to describe this as a clay pomade. Then there's the classic DOHC VTEC that we changed to WTEC to designate this as water based. And lastly, the Hondata logo is changed to describe our release season -- the year in digits is written in binary below.

Scent

I let Wade go off and work his magic for the scent of this pomade. We eventually settled on a spiced lemon bergamot. In other words, it is an herbal-esque citrus that is far from being a tacky sweet. It has rhythm and the opposite of flat. For me, it strangely reminds me of my dad's old 92 Accord -- the smell of an old car belonging to a smoker. Yet, it's more pleasing rather than toxic. Lol. 

Consistency

This is probably the one thing everyone's been really surprised about once they get a chance to feel up on the pomade. You can literally see and feel the texture of the product on your fingertips. That is cool, but in truth, the hardest part was reducing it so that you can see, feel, and get the texture without still seeing the clay particles itself in your hair when styling. It was a VERY difficult process of balancing, but we ended up getting it right in the end. 

Application

I'm sure Wade got sick of me harking down on this point. I know he can make a strong pomade. Shit. It's the reason why he's been so damn big and popular overseas in Southeast Asia. He pomades are somehow invincible to heat and humidity. Nevertheless, they come at the sacrifice of being seriously grippy, and overdoing that was not going to be okay with this collab. We were able to dial it down as much as possible without sacrificing the strength and hold of the pomade. It's somewhere between Baxter Clay and 19Fifties Matte Clay, yet it provides way more hold than either.

Matte

This is the first time I actually wanted to make a matte pomade. Unlike my other collabs, I wanted to take the user into account. Rather than just make something I thought was good, I consider the additional hold and touch of matte to cater to what others may need for their hair type. I figured this would make it a lot more versatile and adaptable to others.

Texture

Needless to say, this is the most important aspect of this pomade. There have been homebrewed clay products on the market for some time now but most do not offer texture to the extent that lab-cooked pomades do. I wanted to end -- straight up. In our first revision, we used only some fine kaolin clay. It provide some nice texture, but still fell through. You could almost get away with styling a slick pomp. So, I wanted to add an additional clay, and I wanted it to be coarse. I figured that the fine clay would add texture on a low-level. Like at the follicle-level. And a coarser clay would provide separation at a higher-level. Like groups of hair. It was perfect.

Stickiness

Flagship pomades are typically very sticky. With the clays I like, I needed more of a paste-like grip rather than a sticky mess. Without much direct intent, adding the clay dried up the pomade and all of the stickiness. What it left over was a smooth cream that has a delayed-grip. It makes its presence known after being applied and notifies the user when he or she has applied enough product.

Control

The balance between the dual texture and grippiness makes for a controllable mess. In tune with the hold of the pomade, it allows you to form the pomp you want and mess it up to the extent you'd like. While on the follicle-level, it generates some natural separation and mess to add that loose aesthetic to your hair. All in all, I wanted to keep Prelude's process familiar to those of us who use slick pomades every day but are still new to clay pomades. This is as much texture that you'll get while still going through the same process you're accustomed to.

Endurance

I think the video is the best representation of this. Prelude's ability to be resilient throughout the entire day is amazing, and compared to other clays, it's unbelievable. I had very little say in this, but then again, I didn't need to. Wade already know way more than me in this regard and doesn't need any help making this pomade endure.

Restyleability

But depending on how much texture you give your pomp, it's bound to fall apart during the day, and in my video, I make sure that happens to showcase this aspect. With some other clays like Layrite Cement and especially JS Sloane Caviar Clay, they dry up your hair so damn much that it's painful to even touch. Then with some other clays that stay malleable like Baxter Clay, you lose the ability to regain any volume, and of course, those are able to stay soft because they're petroleum based. They can also get greasy. With the Prelude, we kept it dry, soft, and took advantage of this being a water-based pomade that never dries. You get the benefits of a never-drying oil-based while not having so much oil that it undermines your hold. 

Just watch the video and you'll see my restyle with it at the end of the day.

Dryness

We definitely DID NOT want your hair to feel like it's dead at the end of the day. We put some goodies in there to help remedy this while not so much that you feel greasy or lose the matte effect. Like the consistency, it was a balancing act.

Rinsing

Washes out in one shower. I've been able to remove it from my hands with just water, but you should use shampoo with your hair. It's not that water won't remove it. It's just that there's a lot going on there, so it's hard to physically let the product be dissolved and flow out of your hair -- without being caught up in another bunch of hair.

Conclusion

In short, Wade and I are very fucking proud of what we made. From my end, the goals I set out for this project have been far exceeded. At this exact point in time while I'm typing this pseudo-review, I believe we're a good way past half our stock and now two days into its release. I obviously don't guarantee we'll have any left by the time you've read this, but if you're reading it with the next two days or so, then we should definitely still have some left for everyone.

If this sounds like something you're looking for, then feel free to check Prelude out here: