Ah, the elusive ‘stache. Many people have tried to bend this legendary facial hairstyle to their will, and many more have failed. You see, growing a mustache is an art that takes time and finesses to achieve.
When executed properly, the upper lip hair creates a certain mystique that leaves the viewer either duly impressed or incredibly jealous. If you’re ready to take your mustache game to the next level, read on to discover how the Pros craft their manly, sleek ‘staches into masterpieces.
In this article, we’ll discuss why you should consider growing a mustache; the unknown history of the mustache; how to grow, trim and groom mustache like a professional. Also, you’ll get answers to some of the most common questions regarding mustache including some mustache fun facts.
Why Grow a Mustache?
Many men may wear a mustache for practicality, for fashion or for a brand-new look. Mustaches have been said to attract members of the opposite gender, to repel insects and to protect from sunburn and frostbite. Whatever your reasons for growing a mustache, this article will cover all the basics and will give you tips and tricks of the trade to help your mustache growing experience be the best it can be.
Did you know that having a stylish mustache might even improve your chances of landing a job? In one case, there was a gentleman who went for a job interview at a company he had had his eye on for more than a year. He had already had two interviews with the company but had not had any results. He was planning on another one, and decide to shake things up a bit by growing out a large and handsome handlebar mustache.
His friends and family thought that was a bad idea and told him that he’d stand a much better chance of getting the job by presenting a clean-cut personality. However, this gentleman had the exact opposite idea. He reasoned that having a prominent mustache would give him an edge over competitors by making a greater visual impact. His hunch was correct. Not only did the gentleman get a job offer, but he also received a compliment on his well-kept and outstanding mustache by the hiring manager. Sometimes, it pays to be different.
The History of the Mustache
Throughout the course of history, the presence of facial hair has been praised, scorned, immortalized and had laws written over. During the 17th century, the beard and mustache became decidedly unfashionable in Europe. This was in part precipitated by the czar who instituted a tax on beards worn alone. At this time, mustaches became the new rage. By the early 19th century, mustaches were showy and flamboyant and were often combined with imposing sideburns, as well as being carefully curled and sculpted.
When the Crimean War rolled around in the mid-1800s, the mustache/beard relationship changed again. Soldiers returning in 1856 sported heavy growth of facial hair as the result of being out on the field for weeks and months on end. At this time, sporting a beard became the hallmark sign of a hero.
World War I launched another change. The seal on gas masks used for protection during this war would not work properly in the presence of facial hair, requiring soldiers to remain clean-shaven. After the war, the mustache flourished again as those who were required to shave daily now reveled in their new-found freedom.
Since WW II, November has become the month where men everywhere across the United States grow out the hair on their upper-lips in order to participate in awareness for men’s’ health problems, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer and the prevention of suicide. Named “Movember” to honor the mustache, the season is a time of great excitement or great trepidation, depending on your level of participation and confidence in growing/maintaining a presentable mustache.
How to Grow a Thick & Healthy Mustache?
Contrary to what you may already think, know, or think you know, growing a mustache is a lot more than simply having enough hormonal energy to summon follicles from the depth of your pores; there’s a process, and to have a great ‘stache, its steps have to be followed and respected. Here’s a breakdown of how you can grow a healthy mustache:
Learn the Basics
In order to grow a mustache successfully, you’ll need to learn some basics. The first thing I’d recommend is learning how to shape the thing. You’ll want to aim for a complete covering of your entire upper lip, yet not so long that you end up with hair in your mouth when drinking or eating. The size of the mustache will also play a large part in the final product. Too large, and you will look like a half-shaved mountain man. Too small or too narrow, and you’ll look like a version of Count Dracula or Adolph Hitler on steroids.
Get Ready With Your Favorite Mustache Grooming Tools
The easiest way to get a truly legendary mustache out of your efforts is to have quality trimmers, combs, and styling products at the ready when you need them most. Get a quality electric clipper to get rid of pesky beard hair encroaching on your domain, and then a pair of manual facial hair styling scissors for the finer points of trimming. A beard balm to nourish your facial hair will keep your work of art looking fresh and some mustache wax will keep even the most unruly mustache under control.
Grow The Mustache
When you’re working on your sweet lip full of lusciousness, grow in the rest of your beard along with it to avoid the awkward, half-filled-in stages of your mustache that are bundled with the journey to a truly epic one. Growing a killer mustache is, after all, an exercise in patience. Depending on how quickly your beard grows in and how fully it completes itself, this process can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks to over a month. Wait it out. It’ll be worth it. If you are looking to grow a handlebar, check out our post about growing a handlebar mustache.
Trim It Back
Once you’ve got a respectable beard grown in, trim back that savagery into the epitome of refinement: your perfectly-grown mustache. As a rule of thumb, try to be conservative in your styling until you have a rough framework to base the rest of your trimming off of. It would be a real shame to go crazy with your clippers and accidentally venture too far into the body of your luscious lip-warmer.
Maintain Your Mustache
Once you’ve grown your mustache, liberated it from the rest of your facial growth, styled to spec, and held in place with a quality wax. It won’t be long until you’ll have to show it who’s boss again. If you’re not careful, overgrowth and undernourishment will cause your mustache to become scraggly and unkempt. So, every few days, take a few extra minutes in the shower to trim and recondition your stylish ‘stache.
Let’s dig into the details…
How to Trim or Line Up a Mustache
To help keep the mustache from looking odd, trim just beneath your nose, ensuring that the hairs don’t extend beyond your lip line of your upper lip. If you notice that the hairs are becoming a little scraggly, trim a small amount of the length with an electric shaver fitted with a guard attachment.
You can use a regular razor as well, but it is simpler for you to achieve the precision you are looking for to create the ideal mustache with an electric razor. To help the mustache stand out, consider performing a full razor shave on the rest of your face, followed by an electric precision trimmer on your mustache.
Watch the following video on How to Trim a Mustache
Mustache Grooming: What Experts Say
All mustaches require a certain amount of maintenance to keep the distinction between the mustache and the rest of your facial hair obvious. In order to keep it looking professional and not unkempt, trimming often will be required. Unlike stubble or that rugged and handsome look where you can wait a few days between shaves, maintaining a mustache will most likely require at least daily trimming.
Caring for a mustache is not difficult. Use a comb or your fingers if the mustache begins to look like it could use some help looking good. If you notice that the skin underneath is itching or feels scratchy, use a little beard oil to help ease the symptoms. Unless you are trying to look especially sophisticated, don’t worry about mustache wax at this point.
There are several common mistakes that the amateur mustache grower makes when defining and trimming their facial hair. One of these ways is to groom the mustache edges horizontally, creating dissonance with the natural shape of the mouth.
To achieve balance, trim the edges diagonally to create a natural look that follows the contours of the ends of your mouth. Following this program is a great way to help the mustache build up strength and density for a full, healthy look. Rather than create a sharp horizontal line, aim for a more natural, diagonal droop around the mouth that complements the natural curves of your lips.
Along with ensuring that the angles you choose for your mustache are ideal, you will also need to ensure that you avoid hairs that have a tendency to enter the mouth. The key here is to keep the mustache strong on the lip right to the edges of the lip line while maintaining a clear distinction between the mustache itself and your mouth. There is perhaps nothing so aggravating than experiencing bits of hair in your mouth from your mustache while you are eating or drinking.
You will also want to consider avoiding the use of beard oil on a mustache that is still in its infancy. Until the mustache had grown to about an inch in length, it’s a much better use of your money and time to use a beard moisturizer. Beard moisturizers not only strengthen the hair, but they also help treat dry skin beneath the mustache and can help alleviate any irritation resulting from growing the mustache out.
Towards the end of a month’s time, when the mustache has reached a point of relative maturity, you can feel free to use a drop of pomade or beard oil to define the mustache and to create a bit of a shine. Unless your facial hair grows at a tremendously rapid rate, it’s unlikely that you will be able to use hair products on the mustache before the two-to-three-week mark.
Although you can certainly shave the rest of your face according to your own personal specifications, clean-shaving the rest of your face will really make the mustache stand out. The tighter the shave around the mustache, the more definition you will get from the look. If you use wet shaving and keep any stubble to a bare minimum, your mustache will make a much greater visual impact.
Do’s and Don’ts When Growing Your Mustache
So, you’ve grown the mustache of your dreams. But, how do you ensure its quality? How do you make one that’ll be remembered for generations to come? Easy – follow these tips to keep it looking clean and regal:
- DO grow it as long as you want. While there’s a time and a place for slim and trim ‘staches, if that’s not your style, don’t try to make it. Embrace the style of the coveted English Mustache by growing your hair as long as it needs to be. It may take over a year to get it to your desired length, but it’ll be worth it.
- DON’T go crazy with touching your own ‘stache. Not only will it possibly come off as slightly malevolent, dastardly, or even creepy, but it can also make your ‘stache look haggard and oily. Style it, then leave it. Done.
- DO take pride in your mustache. These beauties aren’t for everyone. Actually, they aren’t for anyone but you. So, take pride in what you’ve created. If you’re self-conscious about the stark symbol of masculinity that’s taken residence on your upper lip, your demeanor will make it look less like a bastion of badassery, and more like a dead animal parked itself on your upper lip. If you’ve grown it, you’ve got to own it.
- DON’T ‘over style’ your mustache. It’s easy to get carried away with all of the crazy things you can make out of a good patch of lip hair; however, less is often more when you’re styling. Leave the stepped patterns and razored designs for the sides of Kanye’s head. A chevron, a pencil ‘stache, an English ‘stache; the world is your oyster, but keep it classy.
Some Interesting Facts About Mustache
- The world’s longest mustache was recorded in India. Ram Singh Chauhan was measured for the Guinness Book of Records in 2010. At this time, his mustache was more than 13 feet long.
- A piece was written during the Depression strongly recommended that you shave off the mustache. Having a mustache could be construed to mean that you were a dandy who was more worried about his appearance than about hard work.
- At the end of the 19th century, beards became verboten in commercial food preparation centers. The beard-ending frenzy was precipitated by the idea that they harbored bacteria, a notion spread by newspaper reports linking beards with germs. As a result, the mustache bloomed on the faces of those who still wanted to sport facial hair in some way, shape or form.
- Mustache means different things in different societies. In the Middle East, the mustache is synonymous to high status. If someone has enough spare time to attend to the hair on their upper lip, they were considered to be pretty well off. In Middle Eastern culture, the presence of a mustache can also represent the wisdom of the one wearing it. The larger the mustache, the wiser the wearer.
- Beards and/or mustaches seem to have an effect on the presence of biting insects or flies. A test performed in a boggy area revealed that men who had facial hair were less likely to be bitten than men who had clean-shaven faces. Mustaches also a natural UV protectant for the upper lip. According to a study, beards and mustaches have the ability to block excess exposure to UV light and reduce the likelihood of sun damage and premature wrinkles.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Mustache
Q1: How long should a mustache be?
Ans: The length of a mustache will be dependent on the shape of your face and the style of mustache/beard you are looking to create. As an example, a person with a round face will look best with a Van Dyke style, while triangular faces will look best when the beard is allowed to grow out more fully than the mustache.
Q2: Is it necessary to trim a mustache frequently?
Ans: Yes and no. Yes, if you are maintaining an extremely chiseled appearance that has no allowance for stray hairs. No, if you are looking for a rougher and wilder look. However, to retain the shape of any mustache, regular trimmings will be in order. It’s recommended that you trim your mustache at least two times a week, although you’ll need to trim it more often if you have facial hair that grows at a rapid rate.
There you have it! All you need to grow the mustache of your dreams. Keep it clean and classy, and it’ll treat you the same way. With the addition of this symbol of manly prowess on your face, you’re now part of an elite club with a distinguished history of masculinity and downright coolness. Carry yourself confidently, and enjoy your new mustache!