The Ultimate Mustache Guide: Grooming, Trimming, Shaping, and More

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Whether you are growing one for Movember or you just decided to join the trend (mustache is the new beard, don’t you know?) a ‘tache takes time to grow, train and it needs some TLC to look its best.

Historically, full, thick facial hair has been a symbol of masculinity, ruggedness and power in some cultures.

Growing a mustache or a full beard requires patience and perseverance since the rate of growth plus thickness of hair depends largely on nutrition, levels of testosterone and genetics.

While you cannot alter your genes to make your facial hair grow faster, there are a few steps that you can take to help it along.

How to Grow a Mustache

Step 1

Keep a healthy lifestyle.

This might sound like common sense, but the condition of your hair (facial hair included) directly corresponds to your health.

Make sure you get enough rest. While you sleep, your body keeps on growing. Your body takes time to grow hair and repair injuries while you sleep.

You also need to manage stress as it causes all sorts of wear and tear, and without asking it will slow hair growth. Leonora Doclis, a senior trichologist at the Belgravia Centre says that stress can actually cause hair loss.

Stop smoking, too, as it lowers immunity and slows hair growth.

Step 2

The importance of eating a balanced diet cannot be over emphasized.

Ensure your diet is also full of all the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Jeffrey Benabio, a San Diego-based dermatologist, recommends taking 2.5mg of vitamin B7 (biotin) every day. Other vitamins that you need for good facial hair growth include, but not limited to, vitamin B5, B3, B9, A, C, and E. If you opt for supplements, make sure you discuss with your doctor the appropriate dosage. 

Get a multivitamin like VitaBeard to cover you on this front.

Step 3

Regularly clean and stimulate your hair follicles. When hair follicles are blocked with dirt and grime, your hair will not grow out of the follicles.

For thick and healthy facial hair, scrub your face regularly.

Facial massage also really helps as it stimulates the follicles. Try massaging your face for at least 10 minutes every day.

Step 4

Commit to growing your facial hair.

Many people shave off potential goatees and mustaches at the first sign of itching.

The truth is, as you grow your mustache you will have to endure a period of uncomfortable itching. If you can manage to resist the temptation of shaving, eventually, the hairs will soften and the itching will go away.

Try not to shape or trim your facial hair in the first month as hair grows at different rates on different areas of your face.

Step 5

If you have tried all of our how to grow mustache remedies above and nothing seems to work then maybe it is time you sought medical help.

As mentioned at the beginning of the guide, testosterone levels in your body determine the rate of growth and thickness of your facial hair.

Your physician may recommend testosterone therapy, but remember, this should be only be done under strict medical observation as too much testosterone again may inhibit hair growth.

Oh, and before you run off to your doctor, remember that many people have genetics that just DO NOT allow for the growth of awesome mustaches (or beards, even).

In fact, yours truly has a fairly thin mustache that doesn’t meet in the middle, and it’s taken me literally MONTHS to get it to a point where I can put a bit of wax in it and use it for good rather than evil.

Mustache Maintenance

There is a clear distinction between a mustache that adds to a man’s look and one that is unruly and a hairy distraction. To ensure you keep your under-the-nose-facial hair in order we have put up a few grooming, shaping and trimming tips together for you.

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Mustache Grooming

A successful mustache is one that is always well groomed. Lucky for you, there are all manner of tools available to help keep your furry friend in check. To go from scruffy to sleek we suggest you invest in Kent beard combs. Mustache balms and oils are also great for hair grooming. Get yourself some wax for shaping and taming stray hair.

You also need to get yourself a beard trimmer. You can never get your mustache trimmed enough. Sometimes you will just have to do some simple trimming yourself and in this case you will need a trimmer. There are a couple of good trimmers out there and you can get them for between $20 and $100 at Amazon.

For a more controlled trim, get a nice pair of small, precise shears.

Clean your beard regularly, too.  Since you already shampoo your hair, you better shampoo your mustache and you can as well apply some conditioner, too. Just remember to rinse it really well because any leftovers will dry on your ‘stache and flake during the day.

For perfect results we recommend you use Virtu Beard Balm, a leave-in conditioner. 

Mustache Shaping and Trimming

It is difficult to talk about mustache shaping without talking about trimming and so we decided to combine the two. Before you think of trimming, you need to decide on the shape.

Some people have the ‘stache covering part of their lip with the ends running vertically down or to the sides. It all depends on ones preference really.

While you are free to choose you own preferred shape, beware of the Walrus as it will make soup and ice cream eating more laborious. Below are helpful tips to ensure you end up with a good looking ‘stache

Consider Mustache Proportions

Most styling experts agree that the outer edges of your mustache should be in line with your pupils. As far as hair thickness is concerned this will largely depend on your natural hair growth capabilities.

Tools Needed

Make sure you have the following tools:

  • An electric mustache trimmer
  • A good pair of quality barber scissors
  • A mustache comb – preferably Kent mustache comb
  • A mirror with adequate light

Wash Your Mustache

Thoroughly rinse your mustache of shampoo and conditioner. Pat it dry with a clean dry towel and strongly resist the urge to trim it while it is still wet. At the very most, your mustache can be slightly wet when you start to trim, but just make sure it is not soaking wet.

Hair elongates when it is wet when and contracts when dry, so if you trim your mustache while it is still wet you might end up with a funny, weird-looking mustache once it dries up.

Comb Through Your Mustache

This ensures all hair is pointing at the same direction before trimming. For uniformity, brush straight down as this is generally the direction that the mustache hair grows.

Start Trimming

Using your electric trimmer or barber scissors, try and trim the general shape that you want before moving to specifics. When shaping your mustache you want to move from general to specific to ensure accuracy and best results. Nailing the overall shape ensures later specifics lead to accuracy.

Always trim on a longer setting first. You can always take more off, but you can’t put it back on after you’ve cut down too short.

Start by trimming the bottom of your mustache (i.e. the lip line) and then work your way to the outer edges. Start at the middle and trim to one side and do the same for the other side.

For a good sense of symmetry look straight ahead into the mirror.

Work on the Mustache Thickness

Using your mustache comb pull out the hairs that you want to trim. Use scissors to cut all hair that protrudes between the teeth of the comb. Trim slowly and carefully. If you are using an electric trimmer make sure you use longer guards at first and only transition to shorter guards if it becomes necessary.

Final Shaping and Trimming

Once you have your mustache in the right shape, comb it again to do away with loose hair. You can as well use the scissors to snip of any hair that you missed the first time. Check again for evenness, proportionality and thickness.

Popular Mustache Styles

Are you on team Handlebar ‘stache or are you on team Fu Manchu mustache? If you could grow any style of mustache, which one would you choose? Because these mustache questions play a big role in masculine identity, we have compiled a list of popular mustache styles.

The Dali ‘Stache

Parted from the philtrum (the groove on your upper lip), each side of the ‘stache is groomed to thin ends that extend upwards like cat whiskers that are thick enough to hang paper clips and toe rings on.

This style is best for artists and reclusive thinkers.

The Chevron

The Chevron, aka the Ron Swanson ‘stache or the Dad ‘stache, is a classic ‘stache hailing all the way back from the days of Freddie Mercury and Tom Selleck. The Chevron is a well-known, bold and aggressive ‘stache, perfect for real all-American dads who like to chop firewood and polish shotguns. 

The Handlebar

This ‘stache really looks like a handlebar. To pull this off you need to have a thick mustache with extended ends that you can twirl upwards. Handlebars require regular waxing and twirling.

The Walrus

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This style can only be pulled off by dads who whittle on the porch or by men in cowboy hats. This ‘stache completely covers the upper lip and usually discolored by years of stroking it pensively or by tobacco smoking.

The Horseshoe

If you know who Hulk Hogan is then you already know this ‘stache.

The Horseshoe is a supper full, super thick ‘stache that overpowers the upper lip with manliness. With this ‘stache, hair trails down the mouth corners until it hits the chin.

The Fu Manchu

This ‘stache leaves a large hairless window just below the nose. The mustache starts near the corners of the mouth and drops down the chin. Not many people can pull this one off, aside from Fu Manchu himself.

If you come across this in public then the owner is probably playing shirtless ultimate Frisbee in a park or reading Nietzsche in an edgy coffee shop.

The Pencil

The Pencil is a thin line of ‘stache that runs parallel to the upper lip. It requires a daily trimming to keep it neat.

This is a perfect style for confident men who woo women by simply whispering in their ears.

Soulful Handlebar

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This is your regular Handlebar with a small soul patch at the bottom lip.

This style is perfect for adventurous people who are tired of looking like everyone else. If you have been looking for an introspective, pensive look then the Soulful Handlebar is the right fit for you.

Wild, Wild West Handlebar

This mustache is also known as an Extended Handlebar and is one of the manliest mustaches out there. This 9-inch piece of facial hair requires a real man who can regularly groom it to a winged mustache that can poke someone’s eye out and at the same time act as a toothpick.

The Batstache

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This is for people who are tired of the average, boring old mustaches. When properly executed, this ‘stache looks like Batman’s symbol.

Again, this is not a mustache for everyone and is most commonly worn by dudes who love taking driving selfies and drink Monsters.

Rap Industry Standard ‘Stache

This’ stache is common in the R&B and/or rap scene. It is the promiscuous love child of a Pencil mustache, a Goatee and a Soul Patch.

This is a good look for men who touch their chin and lick their lips while talking.

The Dirty ‘Stache

You know you have a Dirty ‘stache if you always wonder if you have a mustache or not. This ‘stache looks like you had to rub some coffee ground on your face for a fourth grade performance.

This mustache is usually worn by men in their mid-20s.

The Disconnect

This mustache has no hair on the philtrum and it always leaves one wondering whether it is deliberate or the wearer doesn’t have a choice. There is a noticeable wasteland underneath the septum, but the rest of the mustache appears normal.

This is a common style for people who love mustaches but have a hereditary lack of philtrum hair.

The Toothbrush

The Toothbrush, also known as the Hitler or the Chaplin, is creatively named after the bathroom item that it resembles. This under-the-nose facial hair appears directly below the nostrils and does not extend past the nose.

This style is commonly resurrected during Halloween and is also commonly used by Tintin comic characters.

The Lampshade

This mustache looks more like the Chevron, but it takes more of a slanting shape that gives it an actual lampshade look.

This is style is perfect for an older man who loves drinking espresso and reading newspaper at coffee shops. This is also a good look for men who want to be recognized for some unique trait.

The Testosterone Graveyard

This mustache style thrives where facial hair doesn’t and it is the place where potential mustaches go to die. This mustache is marred by eternities of single hairs that leave you feeling embarrassed for the person wearing it.

This style is common with teenagers working at Burger King.

The English

This ‘stache starts at the center of the upper lip and extends to either side of the mouth. At the very end, the hair no longer connects to the face and it is pulled into two spikes.

This style is popular with actors who like to play charades on Friday nights.

Must Have Mustache Products

Now that you have your mustache in place, there are a couple of products that you need to have for regular mustache maintenance.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Unlock our top 7 beard grooming tools checklist instantly

First up is the trimmer. Don’t just pick any trimmer that you come across on the shelves, you need a trimmer that’s dedicated to mustache trimming. We highly recommend you get yourself the QT4070 as it easily trims different styles of mustache and you can also use it on your sideburns. We also have thoroughly reviewed a couple more trimmers that you can use for your mustache maintenance.

We also recommend you get yourself a manly conditioner for your mustache. Since you already wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner, it only makes sense that you give your mustache the same kind of love. A leave in conditioner gives your mustache a healthy look. We highly recommend you use Virtu Beard Balm. Daily application of this leave-in conditioner will leave your mustache looking healthier, stronger and shinier.

For styling purposes you need to get yourself some wax. Different styles of mustaches require different styling and for you to pull off a perfect style then you need wax. Consider using wax that is specifically meant for mustache styling. We recommend you try Fisticuffs Mustache Wax to start with.

One other must have product is a comb. There are a variety of beard combs out there, but you need to be really picky with what you buy. We recommend you get yourself a Kent comb as they are handmade and each comb is perfectly sanded to ensure there are no microscopic jagged edges that are common with cheap plastic combs.

Finally, you should get yourself a nose hair trimmer. Don’t spoil the look of a well-maintained mustache with nosy, protruding nostril hairs. Here are some of the best nose hair trimmers in the market.