According to Mirriam-Webster a pomade is, “A fragrant hair dressing”; a hair dressing is, “A preparation for grooming and styling the hair”. The same source defines a brilliantine as, “A preparation for making hair glossy”. This is important because I’m reviewing JS Sloane Middleweight Brilliantine and in order to give you a useful review I need to have the right set of expectations.
JS Sloane, as you know if you read my review on their excellent Lightweight Pomade, is a New York based company founded by Joann Kuno and Smutty Smiff that specializes in men’s hair care products. They have a very sophisticated vintage look to their packaging. It’s very handsome, reminding me of a pipe smoke filled personal library in the 40’s.
The Mediumweight Brilliantine comes in a dark brown plastic 4 oz. tub that’s just translucent enough to give a nice play to the light. There’s a little diamond shaped label on the front with the product and company names and on the back the directions and ingredients are printed directly onto the tub. The lid, as with the lightweight pomade, is a tin screw top affair with a thing strip of paper that doesn’t actually seal the tub but tucks up under the lid. It’s a very nice appearance. When I put this into the drawer that I keep my hair products in they all avoid eye contact because they know I’m comparing them to this beauty. I would love to get this in an actual glass jar. Maybe a limited edition someday? One can dream.
Inside there’s an opalescent pink product and a sort of sweet, clean fragrance. It’s indistinguishable from their lightweight pomade so if you’ve smelled that you know what to expect. All the folks I make sniff my head say they like it. Scooping out a finger full showed some resistance, not a lot but definitely more than the Lightweight Pomade. There were little spiderweby strands sort of hanging down and, at first I thought they were stray hairs from combing my hair but, in fact, they are ‘fibers’ as you would expect to find in a fiber grease. In case you’re unfamiliar with fiber grease it is designed to give your hair some texture. If you’ve got fine hair you’ll be happy to see this.
I only use a small finger-full; Less than a pomade. When I rub it between my hands it still shows resistance. I prefer to apply it on dry hair starting with the sides and back and then doing the top from front to back. I recommend not tussling it into your hair. Just smooth it over the surface after you’ve combed your hair. The hold is weak but it’s designed to be. Remember this is a brilliantine and not a pomade and isn’t intended to give you miraculous hold. Use theirLightweight Pomade for that. This is designed to impart a shine and texture. Having said that it had no trouble keeping my sides slicked down and back, my part in place and my sidecomb out of my face. As much as it makes me uncomfortable to share my visage with you, I have included a picture so you can get an idea for the result, I photoshopped out the horns. The product isn’t streaky, my hair just has a lot of ridiculous variations of gray and yes, the moustache is real and has been known to attack with little to no provocation so stay back. I’m also happy with the extra texture it gave to the front of my hair.
The shine stayed through the day and the hold didn’t give out. You should know that Mediumweight Brilliantine is a water-based product and is intended to be washed out in the shower. If you haven’t used water-based products before you should know that the normal drawback is that they harden up to varying degrees. If you use too much of this, trying to get it to behave like a pomade, you will experience hardening. Not necessarily a bad thing if you want that hold but, again, if you want a pomade go with the Lightweight Pomade. With the smaller amount I use I found my hair stayed pretty soft with a little stickiness here and there where I guess I didn’t comb through completely. You shouldn’t need to recomb but if you do, do so with the least amount of water you can get away with while still getting a comb through because it will take up the water and you’ll lose the texture and the hold. Ideally you would just fix up problems with your fingers.
I’m really happy with JS Sloane Mediumweight Brilliantine. I’ve been wearing it everyday for the past week or two. It’s just so easy to get a nice neat look with it that I just instinctively reach for it after my shave. It did take me a while to figure out that this is a gentle product. It responds best to small amounts, shorter hair and sharp cut styles. You want a practical example of how much I like this? I’ve been considering going to the barber to finally get my hair cut before it gets too long for the hold on the mediumweight. I’ll be trying JS Sloane Heavyweight Billiantine soon and that’s supposed to be good for “all hair styles” so I’m not going near the barbershop just yet.
You can acquire your very own tub of JS Sloane Mediumweight Brilliantine at their online shop or you could hit up one of the generic online stores but I recommend going straight to the source.
Disclaimer: I am not associated with JS Sloane or any of the products or web pages mentioned in this article. The 4 oz. tub of JS Sloane Mediumweight Brilliantine that I utterly decimated to write this article was generously supplied to me by Joann from JS Sloane. Thank you.