The Messy Pompadour: A Stylish Retro-Inspired Hairstyle 2024

Pompadour Passion: Why the Messy Twist is the Hottest Trend in Hairstyling!

What is a Pompadour Hairstyle?

A pompadour refers to a hairstyle where the hair is swept up and backwards from the forehead to create volume at the front of the head.

Key features of classic pompadour styles include:

  • Volume piled high on top
  • Hair swept dramatically up and back
  • Front height and drama balanced by short sides
  • Often has retro or vintage flair

Pompadours create a bold, statement-making silhouette perfect for confident, expressive individuals.

Embracing the Messy Pompadour Look

While traditionally slicked and polished, modern pompadours often incorporate a deliberate messy finish for a relaxed vibe.

What is a Messy Pompadour?

A messy pompadour maintains the signature volume and height, but with loosened up texture and imperfect styling.

Incorporating messiness offers these advantages:

  • Softens the structured retro pomp look
  • Creates a more relaxed vibe
  • Easier upkeep than a slick pomp
  • Increased touchable texture and flow
  • Versatile styling from tidy to tousled
  • Ideal for wavy, thick, or curly hair types

Brief History of the Pompadour

The pompadour has its origins in the 18th century but remains a daring style statement to this day.

1700s Madame de Pompadour

The pompadour was named after Louis XV’s mistress Madame de Pompadour who wore her hair swept dramatically up.

1950s Rock & Roll

Music idols like Elvis Presley and James Dean sported pompadours as emblems of the rebellious rock’n roll era.

1980s New Wave

Bands like A Flock of Seagulls resurrected the retro pompadour for the new wave and punk scene.

2000s Modern Revival

Pompadours made a comeback with the rise of the undercut and inspired looks in alternative fashion. Men’s grooming embraces pomps.

Benefits of the Messy Pompadour

In addition to making a bold style statement, messy pompadours offer versatility:

  • Allows fluctuating between tidy and messy
  • Ideal for experimenting with volume and height
  • Softer and more touchable texture than slick pomps
  • Frames the face in flattering drama
  • Expression of confident personality
  • Artsy, retro, geek chic flair
  • Works for straight, wavy or curly hair
  • Laidback punky edge

Best Candidates for Messy Pompadours

The messy pomp suits:

  • Oval, diamond, square face shapes
  • Broad foreheads and strong brows
  • Medium to thick straight, wavy or curly hair
  • Lifestyles with flexibility for more styling
  • Personal style ranging from vintage to punk
  • Men growing out shorter cuts or undercuts
  • Fans of eccentric, bold hair statements
  • Creative personalities

Worst Candidates for Messy Pompadours

The height and volume of a pompadour can overwhelm:

  • Very small, narrow faces and delicate features
  • Round or heart shaped faces
  • Highly asymmetrical faces
  • Very fine, thinning hair (unless thickened first)
  • Tight coils prone to shrinking as hair grows
  • Those who dislike frequent styling and hair products
  • Conservative personalities wanting an understated look

How to Style a Messy Pompadour

Achieving this rebellious retro hair statement requires some styling skill:

  • Blow dry the roots – Lift hair at crown using a round brush for volume.
  • Tease the top – Lightly backcomb to build height and grip.
  • Sweep up and back – Brush hair dramatically upwards and backwards.
  • Fingerprint texture – Scrunch sections between fingers to separate and piece out.
  • Push sides back – Sweep sides to taper neatly back hugging head.
  • Reinforce with product – Apply medium hold pomade, mousse or gel.
  • Loosen and muss – Break up tidiness for carefree finish.
  • Set with hairspray – Lock in the imperfect texture.

Maintaining Your Messy Pomp

While requiring more styling than short cuts, pompadours deserve regular care:

  • Alternate washing – skip days between shampoos to preserve oil and volume
  • Condition well – use moisturizing products to counteract drying effects of heat styling
  • Trim every 6-8 weeks – get regular cuts to remove split ends weighing down the height
  • Use volumizing products – turn to thickening shampoos, mousses, sea salt sprays
  • Blow dry thoroughly – take the time to dry hair well before creating the pomp
  • Protect from humidity – use medium to firm hold styling products to combat drooping
  • Refresh quickly – reactivate with dry shampoo or wet hands for touch ups

Pros and Cons of Messy Pompadours

Like any dramatic hairstyle, the messy pomp has some tradeoffs:


  • Eye-catching, bold style statement
  • Artfully messy texture
  • Softens the structured pompadour
  • Flatters oval, diamond and square faces
  • Expression of confident personality
  • Good for straight, wavy or curly hair
  • Accommodates looser styling


  • Requires more intensive styling
  • Can appear overly contrived if overstyled
  • Needs regular trims to maintain
  • Not suited for delicate facial features
  • Demands products and heat styling competence
  • Tricky to self-style the back properly
  • Won’t work for very fine or thin hair


For those with naturally thick hair seeking an attention-grabbing yet laidback look, try out the messy pompadour. This daring retro hair statement infuses artful imperfection into a classic style. When crafted properly, messy pomps turn heads for their bold, rebellious and versatile flair.

Frequently Asked Questions About Messy Pompadours

What products work best for Messy Pompadour?

The best messy pomp products offer pliable hold with texture like sea salt sprays, texturizing powders, clay pomades and finishing pastes. Also rely on pre-styling volume boosters like mousse and volumizing shampoo.

How do you do a Messy Pompadour with curly hair?

Enhance natural texture by encouraging curl formation when blow drying. Scrunch in some sea salt spray. Tease the roots for extra lift. Smooth fringe upwards minimizing frizz with a bit of pomade. Shape height loosely using hands instead of overbrushing.

What length should a Messy Pompadour be?

The ideal pompadour length ranges from 2-5 inches on top, tapering shorter down the sides. Very short pomps under 2 inches require extreme precision styling. Pompadours over 5 inches begin to droop under their own weight. Find your perfect height.

How do you cut a Messy Pompadour yourself?

Section damp hair cleanly first. Use sharp shears to trim the sides and back graduated shorter up towards the crown. Texturize fringe lightly pointing shears outwards. Remove bulk from longer top working in layers, overdirecting back. Check often for evenness.

What face shapes should avoid Messy Pompadour?

Very small, narrow faces can be overwhelmed by the drama of a pompadour. Similarly, heart and oval shapes lack the strong jawline that balances pomp height. Very asymmetrical faces may appear off-balance. Soft rounded shapes also better suit scaled down pomps.

How do you do a Messy Pompadour for women?

Follow all the steps of creating volume, height and sweep first. Then carefully break up the tidiness and perfection for an artfully mussed finish. Try sweeping sides loosely behind ears, pulling out face framing pieces, and scrunching ends for an undone texture.

Can you work out with a Messy Pompadour?

Yes, but opt for a flexible hold styling product that can tolerate sweat and motion without losing shape entirely. Also wearing a headband can help keep the structure intact if friction is expected. Shower before sweat dries, then recreate the shape by blow drying clean hair again.

Should thin or thick hair get a Messy Pompadour?

Pompadours work best on medium to thick density hair that can create and support dramatic height. Very fine or thinning hair often lacks the guts to achieve big lift without help from volumizing products and root boosters. Avoid severe pomps over 4 inches high.

What maintenance does a Messy Pompadour need?

Expect to invest 10-15 minutes daily to restyle and re-create your pomp height after sleeping. Utilize root lifting sprays and dry shampoo to refresh hair quickly on day two. See your stylist every 4-6 weeks to trim split ends and maintain pom integrity.

How do you sleep on a pompadour without messing it up?

Protect your pomp by always wearing a satin sleep cap or pineapple your hair atop your head in a loose scrunchie. If hair is already messy, simply make peace with embracing the bedhead look. Alternatively, plan quick morning pomp restore sessions as part of your routine.

Thank you for reading our article! If you’d like to explore more, feel free to click on the ‘Read More’ link. Your continued interest is greatly appreciated!