I used the stuff myself. It was a petroleum jelly based concoction that had a strong fruity scent and was applied by combing the spiked applicator to the front of your flat top or crew cut. I'm sure Waxie Ohl's defender could smell it from across the court.
Before JFK came around with his natural hair, there was a glut of products like Wildroot Cream Oil, Vitalis, and Vaseline Hair Tonic.
The old joke went: Elvis walks into a barber shop - the barber asks, "What do you want? A haircut or an oil change?"