Fragrance: Ribena / Vimto [7/10] Texture: Smooth and easily applicable [8/10] Amount used: 1.5 thumb-sized scoops [6/10] Hold: Medium [8/10] Control: Super shaping [9/10] Shine: High / wet [9/10] Duration / Staying power: Amicable [7/10] Cleanse out: Easy to cleanse [8/10] Packaging: Grease is the word [8/10]
What do whiskey, cars, motorbikes, denim and pomade all have in common? Well other than some of the finer things one can enjoy, they all represent Western ideas that the Japanese have reengineered, often to make a superior product. Cool Grease, by the Fine Cosmetics Co is the best example of this in the pomade world, known by aficionados as one of the higher quality water-based products available… that is if you can source some!
Our jar recently imported [read: smuggled] from Tokyo is a striking blue colour with 50’s font and a character which bares a strong resemblance to Kenickie from the film Grease – very apt! On the side the ingredients list, written in Japanese, gives no clues away as to the make-up of the product other than a Water Type subtitle under the branding. Under closer inspection there is a poorly translated english product description that indicates what is in store: ‘A wonderful shaping…that make your hair look masculine’. Bold claims indeed! Twisting off the lid reveals a translucent blue jelly with a fruity scent that evokes nostalgic thoughts of Ribena or Vimto.
Cool Grease Blue, as it is best known, is super easy to scoop out the jar. The product is a little more dense than anticipated, especially as it has a high moisture content. As this is a more medium pomade spreading through the hands and hair is as easy as expected. However application and styling is where the product really comes into its own; it really lives up to being the Super Shaping Pomade it is marketed as. There is a high level of control when combing or applied by hand. The hold can be a little light at times, but what the product lacks in strength it makes up for in shine.
Your hair is left with a long lasting lustre throughout the day, that does not look too greasy (so Grease is not always the word…).
When it comes to cleansing, it is super simple to remove and ‘does not harm or damege your hair for everyday look’ – more broken english claims the product lives up to! Due to the medium hold it won’t lock your hair completely in place and can be combed or restyled to an extent, which may be a bonus to some.
Much like Anchor’s Teddy Boy Original this product definitely falls into the rare but illustrious category of easy to wash water-based pomades that exhibit characteristics of traditional oil-based products. This proves that yet again the Japanese have taken a typical product and refined its characteristics to create something both cooler and of a higher quality than most of its western counterparts. Well worth a flight to Tokyo to pick some up!
by Philip Pantelides