This Is How to Make Growing a Mustache Look Easy
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Mine had a great five-year run. It started as the end result of an ill-fated Halloween costume, shaving down my beard, leaving what was left behind to grow in its own fury.
I’m talking about my mustache, of course. It grew in over time, really becoming its own person and a major talking point everywhere I went.
This particular piece of facial hair makes a grand statement when done right (and a very different statement when not).
As the popularity of facial hair continues to grow, you may be considering your own “Tom Selleck,” “Burt Reynolds” or “ Aaron Feld,” and it’s not as easy as just letting it grow out on its own. Beyond this writer’s own expertise, we spoke with a couple of grooming experts to get the inside scoop on what it really takes to grow, maintain and make your mustache a memorable one.
Should I Grow a Mustache?
This is the big question. Mustaches aren’t suited for everyone and your facial hair needs to be the right consistency and thickness to build a well-suited upper lip.
If your beard is coming nicely and there’s enough hair above the lip to warrant a mustache after week four, you can start looking at shaving the excess and see how things look. Along the way, don’t forget to use a beard oil to help soothe the inevitable beard itch.
Different Styles of Mustaches
We’re all familiar with the handlebar, curly and more straightforward chevron style, but there really isn’t a one-style-fits all scenario.
Painter's brush mustache
Haar notes that for the three most common facial shapes, you can try the following:
Best Mustache for Pear-Shaped Faces
Those with traditional pear-shaped faces may want to go with something a little more triangular that broadens the face and offers a nice contrast.
Best Mustache for Round Faces
Rounder faces would benefit from something like a thin John Waters or Little Richard-style look.
Best Mustache for Rectangular and Oval Faces
Rectangular and oval faces are what Haar calls the “Brad Pitt” because this is a general shape that looks good with any sort of hair.
How to Trim Your Mustache
“It’s all a question of what you want and what you want it to achieve,” says GROOM co-founder Julien Blanchard.
He has a full beard now, but notes that as he was growing it, there was some trimming involved. He used just a pair of small grooming scissors to keep things in line.
Speaking from this writer’s personal experience, those with thick, bushy facial hair run into two problems with overgrowth: the hair grows below the lip line, and it grows outward so much that it looks overbearing.
Beyond scissors, I found that using the lightest blade on an electric razor was a great way to keep wiry hairs in line. Just a gentle push over the mustache often was all that was needed. Every one-to-two weeks, five minutes with the scissors and a razor made a world of difference.
Growing and Maintaining a Thicker Mustache
Unless you’re getting into wax (more on that shortly), key maintenance is just keeping your whole face clean with a good wash, especially in the region where your mustache is growing.
“Washing the dead skin cells away helps the hair grow faster and stronger,” Haar notes.
As far as mustache wax, Blanchard says there’s a particular way to do if you’re going for a certain shape.
“You need to choose one that will fit your needs and it’s not always clear what your needs are,” he says. “You could use a softer one to keep hairs together, but you also may need one to keep hairs stiffer. Keep in mind that a stiffer wax will be harder to apply.”
He adds that sometimes he’ll apply a softer wax to start with, then a stiffer layer later on, and mix them both at the end to create a hybrid.
As mine grew and evolved, I never did use wax as the hair was so thick, it was going to do what it wanted anyway. And if you’re wondering when I knew it was time to shave it off? Haar puts it better than I could.
Thick mustache and beard
“When it becomes its own entity and you’re paying too much attention to it. When it’s wearing you [rather] than the other way around.”