How To Grow, Style & Care For Your Mustache Before Movember
If there was ever a worthy reason to grow a mustache, it’s Movember. The month-long charity event kicked off in 2003 and has since raised $650 million to help raise awareness and funds to battle prostate and testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity. In short, it’s a terrific cause that’s literally helping to change the face of men’s well-being and health. It happens to be right around the corner, too. Moustache shaping tips.
But if you’re new to the world of mustaches and want to get involved in the cause, have no fear. We’ve enlisted the expertise of famed celebrity barber Shorty Maniace, whom also happens to be the owner of San Francisco’s slickest barber shop, J.P. Kempt. (Plus: he’s living proof of how stylish mustaches can be, as he sports one year-round, not just in November.)
Here’s the reality, though: growing your first mustache can be a tricky process. And if you’re not careful, you can easily wind up looking like “a porn star or aged biker, because there’s still a stigma behind it,” says Maniace. Expect some awkward moments, as with growing out a beard or shaving your head for the first time.
While it might be easy to imagine yourself sporting a thick stache a la Tom Selleck, you need to be mindful of your ethnicity, hair thickness, and growth patterns. Because like the hair on your head, your facial hair might not be as thick and full as you’d like. And guess what? That’s totally okay. “Unless you’re blessed by the mustache universe,” says Maniace, “most guys can’t grow one in a couple days. But most will have one they’re comfortable with in about two weeks.”
In terms of what flatters most faces, there’s two styles Maniace recommends. The walrus is the one that most men associate with mustaches, as it’s been made iconic by actors Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds. It looks especially good on guys with a larger upper lip and larger facial features. Just make sure you have thick facial hair to begin with, and that your mustache is shaped so you can see a bit of upper lip. If you don’t grow a lot of facial hair, consider the pencil, which is also called the Zorro. “It’s great for people who don’t have a lot of facial hair, but can grow something,” according to Maniace. (He happens to wear one himself.) The style is very thin, and comes to a slight point at the ends. And you can shave a little gap at the center for more definition. Whatever look you go for, though, Maniace says to always “keep it nice and neat.” And if there’s one look to steer clear from, it’s handlebars. “It makes me roll my eyes when I see it,” Maniace says. “It was good with a certain type of dress back in the old days, but there’s nothing debonair about it anymore.”
As for grooming, you don’t need much. To clean and soften, use your favorite shampoo and conditioner. (Maniace believes that most beard washes are all hype.) To maintain crisp lines around your mustache, enlist the help of a shaving brush -- which produces a really rich lather, while exfoliating and lifting hairs away from the skin -- and a moisturizing shave cream, like the ones from classic Italian brands Musgo Real and Proraso. Though it takes a little practice to master, try shaving with a double-edge or straight razor to maintain super-clean edges and give you the closest shave possible at home. Lastly, trim yourself every few days. If your mustache ever begins to make you look a little wild or like you’re frowning -- this can be especially problematic for Walruses -- follow this tip from Maniace: “First, know where your natural lines are. Then, curl your lips in, wrap your lips over your teeth, and give those stray hairs a trim. Your mustache is like your eyebrows. The bulk of it has a nice shape, but you need to trim those strays going off in different directions to make it appear thicker, fuller, and more luscious.”
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