this thing’s incredible

Erin Andrews Was Right About This Portable Pomade Stick

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Retailer

I am exceedingly vain about my hair (cue that monologue from Fleabag). I can be excessive-slash-obsessive about combing. I’ll put my tresses through the tyrannies of blow-dryers and straighteners to get whatever look I’m going for. But hair care is important to me, too — whether I’m adding a heat-protectant spray or an oil that gives me shampoo-commercial shine.

So it was the horror of all horrors when I started seeing tumbleweed-like clumps clogging the shower drain a few months ago. (I blame the bout of coronavirus I suffered late last year; hair loss is a common complaint.)

Even worse was that my hair didn’t feel like my hair. It was fragile and seemed to be thinning — the usual fullness around my hairline disappeared, especially near my ears. I overhauled my hair-care routine, trying new shampoo-and-conditioner combinations and downing a pharmacy’s worth of vitamins. Products like R+Co’s cloud-themed shampoo, Ceremonia’s guava spray, and Sunday Riley’s pink-bottled scalp serum helped get my hair back on track — but now I have more wispiness than I know what to do with.

I ordered R+Co’s Dart Pomade after reading sportscaster Erin Andrews’s list of things she can’t live without. (It wasn’t the first time a celebrity convinced a Strategist staffer to buy something.) She carries the pomade stick, which is just a bit bigger than a lipstick, to work, patting down her flyaways to be camera-ready. My success with R+Co’s shampoo was fresh in my mind, so I was eager to try the Dart Pomade on the new growth jutting out from my scalp. Now, I don’t think I can live without it, either.

Once I got past the sensation of using an Elmer’s-esque stick on my hair, I was relieved to find that the product isn’t sticky at all. It has the waxen texture of a traditional pomade and glides onto strands, smoothing them with a stroke. To use it, I swipe the Dart wherever there are hairs sticking out and give them the lightest of pat-downs with my palm. Sometimes I stripe it through the length of my hair, starting near the roots and sliding it down to the ends if I want full sleekness. Other times, I use the tip of my finger to dab it on trouble spots.

Pre- and post-Dart Photo: Author
The pomade stick to scale. Photo: Author

You can definitely see a difference between the “before” and “after” — if you know where to look. The pomade flattens the tiny hairs near the top of my head that make me look like I was recently electrocuted. Previously untameable flyaways get smoothed down, and unsightly frizz (not the laissez-faire kind of French film starlets) becomes controllable. There’s some shine but no greaserlike slickness.

Because the stick is so small, it’s remarkably precise and easy to control. Forget about covering your hands in gloopy gel or cream — using the Dart pomade is so much more refined. It absorbs right into my hair and is so light that even if I use it all over — occasionally, I’ll apply the pomade two days in a row, then wash it out on the third — my hair doesn’t look ridiculously dirty or feel like it’s coated with buildup.

Whenever my hair gets unruly, I just pull out the supremely portable Dart. I don’t have to fight my wispiness anymore — and I have good hair days much more often.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Erin Andrews Was Right About This Portable Pomade Stick