Listen up newbie mustache growers: don’t undergo the month-long don’t-touch-that-razor quest alone. Whether you’re in it for charity or to channel your dad’s look circa 1984, attention to the 'stache will show you’re serious, and not some schmuck who’s just too lazy to groom. We turned to Bret Reichley—a guy who sees his fair share of mustaches as head barber and manager of F.S.C. Barbershop in New York City—for advice. Heed his tricks, and you’ll successfully avoid the washed up porn star look until December, and beyond. How to shape up mustache.
Like sunglasses or jeans, what works on Tom Selleck might not work on you. (Speaking of Selleck, here are The Best Mustaches of All Time.) “Mustaches are a very personal thing,” Reichley says. “Shape, balance, and suitability are all factors of a facial hair look.” Take your own face into account. “For a square face, go for a heavy mustache with the ends extending beyond the corners of the mouth, to give a slight downward look,” he says. But if your face is more oval, opt for a slightly triangular shape with a medium width.
“While attempting to grow a mustache, allow the rest of the facial hair to grow in,” Reichley says. “The transitional period can look a bit awkward.” Shelve any insecurity by taking baby steps before a full-on mustache. Start with a beard to open yourself up to plenty of different styles, and shape away when you’ve got enough hair to work with. That certainly beats standing in front of the mirror waiting for the hairs to fill in the patchy spots.
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Add a single blade razor to your medicine cabinet if there isn’t already one there. It’s key to maintaining the shape, Reichley says. The small, portable size allows you to get in there and nail a precise angle. Another handy tool: “a small pair of scissors to trim rogue hairs,” he says. And don't forget to check out The Best Shaving Tools for Men —mustache or not.
For the most part, a mustache takes care of itself and doesn’t call for special attention (yes, your daily face wash is fine to use as a cleanser). Reel it in from its independent glory daily by combing through the 'stache to smooth it out. Follow up with a dab of product (like Clubman Mustache Wax ). “Use a small amount to help keep the shape,” Reichley says. Take a closer look weekly to clean up loose hairs. And remember, always trim when the hair is dry, since it can appear longer when wet.