Smooth Move: The 8 Best Beard and Mustache Waxes

When modern men hear the words “beard wax” or “mustache wax” the first thought we have is of 19th century Civil War generals, strange gentlemen with monocles who say “old boy” and “chap” excessively, and piano players in westerns. The truth is that fellows who use these same waxes live among us every day and know the secret: any man with facial hair can benefit from using a wax (also known as a mustache trainer) on their face to control and healthify their wily whiskers.

Current waxes aren’t just for molding your chin curls or creating impressive spirals in your lip wig. They moisturize and control the hair to keep it out of your mouth and make the overall appearance cleaner even as they soften the follicles and make them pleasing to the touch. They come in varieties from the granola-natural to the petroleum-synthetic depending on what you want sitting under your nose all day. Whether your hair is fine or frizzy, thick or thin, a Fu Manchu or the full Magnum P.I. keep it controlled with one of the 8 best beard and mustache waxes.

Keep in mind that beard waxes and mustache waxes are usually interchangeable, so don’t let a name throw you off. If it works for one, it typically works for both.

Murrays Natural Beeswax

Murray’s Natural Beeswax

Pro: Large quantities for a low price
Con: Simplistic product

Plain and Simple: Though the name implies that this is nothing more than Beeswax, which is stiff and difficult to wash out, it also has a healthy dollop of petroleum jelly that allows it to slide through and across hair like a figure skater. Murray’s is simple to use and simple to clean out of even thick and matted beards yet gives a pleasant sheen that can run on the greasy side due to the jelly. Will also work on dreadlocks, braids, and help to tame especially unruly hair, though it is meant as a smoothing rather than a styling wax so don’t expect to be able to mold those bold handlebars, particularly if you have extra fine hair on your chinny chin chin. [Purchase: $4]

Taylor of Old Bond Street

Taylor of Old Bond Street

Pro: Easy to use
Con: Does not style well

Taming the Beast: Most modern waxes come in tins rather than tubes, but Taylor has stuck to old school grooming standards. This isn’t meant to help you mold and style your mustache masterpiece, but rather easily get your hair under control into a basic pattern. You’re not going to find this gracing the vanity of guys on the competition circuit, but for a non-greasy every day option that can is simple to apply, can travel anywhere, and is always ready to go, you should keep this in your cabinet for those days when you just want something that works without a lot of fuss over your fuzz. Best for slapping down thick, unmanageable hair with a quickness. [Purchase: $12]

Stache Bomb Stache Wax

Stache Bomb Stache Wax

Pro: Specially formulated for handlebar mustaches
Con: Firm and stiff

Swirl and Style: Rather than being made in a laboratory, Stache Bomb was created by a professional competitor in ‘stache clashes around the world. Seeking a mustache wax that would give him a solid handlebar look even after hours under hot lights as he dazzled the judges with his indomitable follicles, he invented this for those who wish to get a long, strong hold that goes the distance. It is a firmer wax with a stiff body, but once warmed up it can go into the most difficult beards and keep a hold. It works if you’re trying to tame an unruly mane or looking to make limp hair stand to attention. The scent is freshly cut pine. [Purchase: $12]

Honest Amish Slick Beard Wax

Honest Amish Slick Beard Wax

Pro: Easy to apply
Con: Doesn’t style well

Smooth Operator: The entire Honest Amish line is one of the best on the market. Dark-haired gents might enjoy their Extra Grit offering, while traditionalists will enjoy their original line. Our favorite is the Slick Beard Wax since it can be worked through easily with a basic beard comb, even if you have difficult or tangled hair. It works as hard as its Amish namesake and protects all day long even in harsh conditions. The ingredients are completely natural with a light, spiced scent that is never overpowering. The slick wax is best for basic grooming rather than full styling. [Purchase: $13]

Bayolea Moustache Wax by Penhaligon

Bayolea by Penhaligon

Pro: Excellent aroma
Con: Poor on beards

Class Act: The hold of Bayolea is in the moderate range and it is certainly geared more toward the mustache twirling villains, rather than those looking to comb it through a full beard. Once you apply it, you’ll be struck by the dazzling and appealing aromas that come from this concoction. Beginning with mandarin orange and tangerine it then settles into a warm summery glow with lavender and lemongrass all undercut by a masculine cedar and black pepper smell that will stimulate your nose all day. The secret formula is meant to smooth down hairs for thinner mustaches, so if you’re sporting a Fu Manchu, an Errol Flynn pencil mark, or just looking to add some flare to the ends, this will give you the support and style you need without seeming oily. [Purchase: $15]

Firehouse Wacky Tacky

Firehouse Wacky Tacky

Pro: Works in hot and humid weather
Con: Musky aroma

Welcome to the Dark Side: Most beard waxes use lightening agents as their base, so that guys with darker hair end up with a beard a few shades too blonde when it is waxed. Firehouse doesn’t use a pale beeswax so it adds gloss and shine even to very dark hair for a look that is clean and smooth. In addition to keeping your hair black as pitch, it has a long-lasting hold even if you live in the deep south where hot and humid are the order of the day. It’s handmade and works on everything from sideburns to eyebrows and will keep your thatch in place all day long with a single application. [Purchase: $15]

The Bearded Goons Ridiculously Strong Beard Mustache Wax

The Bearded Goon’s Ridiculously Strong Beard & Mustache Wax

Pro: Washes out easily
Con: Can clump during application

Vegan Hero: Marketed as the stiffest beard and mustache wax on the planet, this doesn’t disappoint. It hold your hair in place like a set of mustache manacles, not allowing any whorl, swirl, or twist to escape its clutches, even after hours. The combination of shea butter and coconut oil give it a pleasing smell and allow a reasonably easy application, though it will still be fairly firm. The best part of this is it washes out easily with just warm water despite its hard-core reputation. You’ll never find a waxy residue in your hair or on your pillow with the Beard Goon. Best of all it is truly vegan, without using soy or unnatural chemicals. [Purchase: $15]

Mr Bear Family Moustache Wax

Mr Bear Family Moustache Wax

Pro: Truly hand-made
Con: Must be imported

Artisanal: While other facial hair waxes might be examined by hand or created by manual workers, Mr. Bear is a small, Sweden based operation that transcends manufacturing to make a wax that is truly a work of art. It is created in very small batches by craftsmen using a secret, age-old recipe. Using a combination of beeswax, shea butter, lanolin, and light, pine-scented oils you’ll be able to feel the difference that refined technique makes at devising a wax with a strong hold that is easy to apply. Working with it is easy whether you’re using just your fingers or a soft beard brush. It handles all kinds of hair and all manner of styles. The only true drawback is the lengthy shipping time and the cost, but if you are ever in the UK on vacation, grab a case. [Purchase: $17]

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