Neat Waves is a rather new product from Dax, speaking to the rockabilly crowd and the “mixers.” By mixers, I mean the guys who usually use a hard pomade together with soft pomade to get both good hold, and good shine. For example, with Murray’s Superior, Dax Wave and Groom, or Schmiere Knuppelhart, you get a firm hold, but almost no shine at all. What people, such as myself, have usually done, is to add a little soft pomade on top, to give the hair shine, in addition to softening the harder pomade. I’ve mentioned this a couple of times in my other reviews.
Further, I have to say, this is a classic looking tin. Orange color, white lettering. Kinda reminds me of the Murray’s Superior aesthetic, but this color is a bit more peach than orange. Cool looking indeed! Sorry you can’t see the color clearly in the picture. It’s more vibrant in real life.
Smell and Texture
The smell is pretty classic, masculine and very pleasant. I like it! It’s the classic smell for those familiar with Dax’ other products, like the Wave and Groom. It’s also similar to Murray’s Superior, although sweeter and more mild. You’ll have no problem wearing other scents on your body, like perfume or aftershave, as the Dax is nicely subdued.
The texture is soft and greasy when you take a scoop. You can definitely feel the added amounts of Lanolin. As for the feel, right out of the tin, it’s somewhere between medium and soft. It has that greasy Lanolin-feel that softer pomades has (i.e. Murray’s Hair-Glo), but you can feel it has the grip, dexterity and texture to hold the hair up. I guess it basically is a mix of the Dax Wave and Groom and the Dax Short and Neat… Correct me if I’m wrong When you rub it through your hands, it spreads nicely, which makes it easy to spread through your hair.
Hold and Styling
I must say, I had some problems with this one. First of all, this is mainly because i have the thickest, most unruly hair you can imagine (steel wool :-O), second, it’s because this pomade contains a higher concentration of lanolin in it than I usually have i my “main” pomades – the ones I use for the base coating. The hold in itself is pretty good. As you can see from the pictures, it holds my pomp up nicely. I can compare the hold to Nu-Nile, so basically a medium tightness in the hold department. It soen’t flake up, and stays in your hair when you comb through.
I ran into some problems on the way, though. I usually take great care when I apply a pomade to my hair, making sure it gets all over the hair, getting good coverage. But when I was applying this, it seemes some parts of my hair never would behave. I had to work for a while to get a stable hairdo, which baffled me a bit. I’m no expert in what goes in to a pomade mix, but I guessed it had something to do with this pomade being “shiny,” i.e. the added Lanolin content. What happens with my hair when I add to much of the softer pomades, is that it starts parting, my waves becomes even more pronounced, and it adds springyness to the hair. In other words, it won’t stay down where I want it to stay down. This is illustrated in the pictures below. My pomp just gets too fluffy and unmanageable.
So, after trying it out for a couple of days, I experimented with adding just a teeny bit of Dax Wave and Groom. And you know what? That solved the problems I’ve been having. It’s basically just a balancing act. For my type of hair, more of the strong stuff was needed. I got back the control I needed, and the stuff was still pretty shiny. Neat Waves, indeed!
In my experience, I think this pomade is probably enough on its own for most people. Even people with thick and/or curly hair. But its core customer will be guys with rather straight hair, medium to thin thickness.
This is probably not a pomade I would use as the groundwork in my daily greasing. It’s just too much Lanolin, for my type of hair. That’s not too say that a lot of other dudes can’t make this work. My hair is just too stiff and bouncy to begin with. I’ve seen some cats rocking Neat Waves solo, and pulling of great hair.
Now, this pomade is excellent for other uses. I will definitely start using this pomade to add shine (switching out Murrays Hair-Glo). The reason being that this pomade adds lots of great shine, and is still hard enough to not mess up the harder pomade underneath too much