Women Reveal How They Really Feel About Mustaches
The AskMen Acquire team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life. Men mustache.
What goes around, comes around. The saying especially rings true when it comes to men’s grooming. For example: there was a time, not that long ago, when mustaches weren’t, well, cool.
If anything, some of the most iconic mustaches — think Burt Reynolds, Cheech Marin, and David Crosby — all famously made their mark in the seventies, a decade of unadulterated indulgence and pleasure. So naturally, the pendulum swung in the other direction in the eighties and nineties. The sartorial norm of tight, flared pants, low-cut tops, and mustaches was swiftly replaced by a new standard of grooming and style. Men were now embracing a preppy look with their polo shorts, popped collars, straight-leg khakis, and, last but not least, baby smooth, clean-shaven faces. Even the tiniest bit of facial hair was shunned.
Fast forward to now: mustaches, as you know, have made quite a comeback. While they’re not going anywhere — for a good while, at least — not everyone’s on board with the look. A lot of us women (myself included) still associate facial hair with the seventies, aging actors, or worse, porn stars.
But why the love-and-hate relationship with mustaches? Pedro Zermeno, a top barber on the West Coast and co-founder of the super-cool grooming line Imperial Barber Products, blames it on “the influx of images with the internet, social media, television, and movies.” He’s right. Because now more than ever, we’re constantly bombarded with images from everything and everywhere, meaning it’s beyond easy to get confused by we’re seeing.
To help us navigate the hairy (see what I did here?) world of mustaches, we asked Zermeno and some women from all over the country to chime in on the most popular mustache styles out there today.
Best shaving style
What they had to say: Zermeno says this look is “classic and not overbearing.” But Brooke, a singer and songwriter from Brooklyn, isn’t a fan. “Handle bar mustaches are hard to pull off, and they look like you’re trying too hard,” she says. “However, the most stylish man I know has one, and it looks great on him.”
What they had to say: Made famous by the actor, “this is another classic, and looks great with any outfit,” says Zermeno. Natale, an online media coordinator living in Portland, likes facial hair on men, but isn’t keen on this style. “It seems to be a more refined version of the big, bushy Tom Sellek style,” she explains. “I like my man’s ‘stache like I like my steak. Go big or go home!”
Upside Down Handlebar
What they had to say: Also referred to as the Fu Manchu, this style is typically worn by guys trying to make an impression. Zermeno calls this a “rebel or biker look.” Angie, a college student based in San Francisco, agrees, but adds, “It’s also for hipsters and Hulk Hogan, someone who’s obviously making a statement. I dig a little facial hair, but this particular design isn’t quite my taste.”
The Paint Brush
What they had to say: To sport this style successfully, Zermeno says having thick, full hair is a must: “If a guy has thinner hair, it tends to look messy.” Speaking of messy, Julia, an office manager in Washington, D.C., says guys with this style remind her of Schnauzers. (Yup, as in the breed of dog.) She says, “The hair covering the upper lip looks like a trap for food or drinks.” (Google Schnauzers now. Julia’s comparison is pretty spot-on, right?)
Okay, so we’ve got lots of varying opinions here. And that’s cool. But the takeaway is that if you’re going to wear a mustache (and no matter the style), you have to really own your look. Wear it with pride and confidence, and make sure it’s always groomed. And to do just that, Zermeno recommends the following products.
Imperial Barber Products 3:1 Complete Hair & Body Wash
Zermeno recommends this handy product from his line, because of its multi-tasking properties. It cleanses and softens in one easy step, so your mustache is manageable and healthy.
Gillette Mach3 Razor
“Because using a straight razor takes time and patience, use a Mach3 to help you create the straight lines and edges you need for a perfect-looking mustache,” says Zermeno. Just don’t forget to swap out the blade regularly, to prevent razor burn and bumps.
Kent Men's Handmade Beard/Mustache Comb
An essential for anyone with a mustache, this comb features teeth with polished edges (so they don’t scratch your skin) and a compact handle so you can comb away with ease. Plus, its small size makes it perfect for stashing away in your back pocket, for those impromptu touchups.
Imperial Barber Products Pre-Shave Oil
Not only can you use this product to shave — Zermeno says it’ll “keep your shave line super clean” — you can also leave it in as a softening treatment. Another perk? The lavender extract will calm your skin, relieving it from irritation.
Honest Amish Original Beard Wax
Though the packaging says it’s formulated for beards, it also works wonders on mustaches. “This will keep your unruly hair from going in different directions,” says Zermeno. “And it will maintain the look you’re going for all day long.”
Best way to trim mustache