Pompadour Styling Tips From Celebrity Hairstylist Raphael Reboh

Updated 05/13/19
01 of 05

Are You Ready for the Pompadour?

miley cyrus pompadour
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The resurgence of the pompadour has caused quite an uproar in celebrity and hair news. Are we ready for this trend to be resurrected from the 1940's?

Celebrity hairstylist Raphael Reboh of Femme Coiffure Hair Spa in Miami Beach, who is responsible for taming the tresses of Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Claudia Schiffer and Chrissy Teigen, offered us up some expert advice on this daring trend. "The pompadour is the perfect classic look for [people] who want to pull their hair away from their face but still want to be edgy and fun," Raphael says, "however, it is not an easy style to pull off for the faint of heart."

It's easy to modernize this classic style. If you have a bit of edge to you, go for a textured type by using hair putty and mold to shape the pompadour. If you have a more understated elegance to your personality, channel Janelle Monae's attitude—her classic pompadour is softly styled to work with her natural texture, and can be embellished with a few demure hair accessories.

02 of 05

Step One: Get the Right Haircut

pink pompadour hairstyle
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"The haircut is key," Raphael stresses. "Cut the hair in a way that shapes your particular face shape." Texturizing techniques will help achieve the right height and shape to your pompadour hairstyle, but you'll still need a shape that works when you're not rockin' that updo because, let's face it, it's not worth the effort it would take to put it up to go grocery shopping. Work with your hairstylist, your hair's texture, and the length of hair that's best for your lifestyle.

03 of 05

Step Two: Create the Foundation

alicia keys pompadour hairstyle
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Start by prepping your wet hair with mousse or volumizing spray, and dry your hair with a round brush or your head upside down to get maximum volume. To get the basic foundation of the pompadour, you'll need to pull your hair back on the sides, while leaving the top and front of your hair as is. If your hair is long, create a twist in the back and put it in place with 2 pins (one on top and one on bottom), then tease the top and comb into the twist.

If your hair is short, use a pomade or wax product to direct the hair on the sides back or down; after it's close to the scalp, you only have to  style the top/front of your hair into the pompadour shape.

04 of 05

Step Three: Style the Pompadour

jenny mccarthy pompadour
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

The shape and texture of your pompadour style is really up to you. The sky is the limit, so to speak. But it's important to achieve both the right height and a solid foundation. Piecing it into small sections through the top of your pompadour, Raphael suggests using a small round brush to hold the style together. Warm each section with a dryer, and allow each section to cool to stay in place.

You can also use a curling iron or flat iron to create your shape if the round brush isn't your styling tool of choice. Creating more curl in your pompadour will give you a softer look, while straighter styling will give your a little more edge in your pump.

Don't be afraid to tease the hair at the base (try using a root-lifting powder ​like this one) and use a comb to soften the look after teasing.

05 of 05

Step Five: Finishing the Style

gwen stefani pompadour hairstyle
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Raphael clued us in to the fact that the most important part of creating a pompadour look is the product you use. "You need to dry the hair well, and use a matte paste with no shine that will keep it in place," he says. This style will need structure to hold everything together and good solid hairspray to finish the style and keep it from flopping over half way through the night. If the weather calls for high humidity, use a finishing spray that blocks humidity and frizz.

It's a good idea to practice a style like this a time or two prior to wearing it, if you're going to do it yourself. Once you have your pompadour perfected, pair it with a little glitz and a smokey eye for a dramatic look, or keep it soft with a classic set of pearl earrings and pinup-style makeup. The options are almost endless. It's the perfect style for a night out on the town or a holiday gathering, but be prepared to be noticed.

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