Facial hair provides a stellar means of bestowing your appearance with a bit of added character and style, though without proper maintenance beards and mustaches can quickly become straggly and unruly messes. Despite beard-care products exploiting in popularity over the last few years, the clearcut benefits of mustache wax has yet to permeate the men’s grooming space in the same capacity. So, to help shine a light on the subject, we’ve brewed up this guide to the best mustache waxes.
Below, we’ll be exploring the numerous benefits of keeping your mustache waxed and why you should consider using it, as well as a little on the history of the stuff. Furthermore, this article will also be exploring how to prepare and use mustache wax, and how to clean or remove it at the end of the day. Lastly, we’ll be diving into our selection for the dozen best mustache wax options currently on the market.
Winding Back Time
The History of Mustache Wax
Mankind has been attempting to tame facial hair for millennia, though it wasn’t until the 18th or early 19th century that mustache wax began appearing on the historical record. Originally, it was primarily comprised of bear fat or natural waxes, though the 20th century’s advancements in chemical engineering gave way to a host new synthetic ingredient options like processed lard and petroleum jelly.
Time then marched on for close to a century without too much change in the world of mustache wax. The increasingly refined pomade, hair-care/styling, and cosmetics markets also resulted in numerous advancements that eventually trickled down to mustache wax. Today, mustache waxes not only hold facial hair neatly in place, but are also often infused with supplementary ingredients with properties that benefit the wearer’s skin or/and hair, or add a pleasant scent or aroma, using elements such as essential oils, vitamins, or shea or cocoa butter.
How To Properly Apply Mustache Wax
Mustache wax can be made from several different base products, though, (as its name suggests), the most common of which is wax (more specifically; beeswax). As a result, most mustache waxes need to be heated or warmed up to use. To apply mustache wax, you can blast the tin with a hair-dryer for a few minutes, leave it atop a heater or radiator, pop it inside an oven (on warm) for a few minutes, or submerge it in water if the tin allows for it. Heating up the wax also allows whatever ingredients it’s infused with to better come to the surface and more effectively seep into your skin or hair follicles.
Once sufficiently heated, you can open the tin and remove a small amount with your finger, usually, a pea-sized dab or smaller will be enough for the average ‘stache, though you always want to go with a less-is-more approach. It’s a lot easier to go back and add more than it is to try and remove some after adding too much (we’ll touch on how to remove/clean wax below).
Rub the wax between your fingers and then start applying it to the hair above your lip, beginning from the center and working your way outwards in either direction. This can be done with one hand or two. Rubbing (or twisting) a mustache’s extremities will allow finer, sharper point to form, though they do need to temporarily be held in place while the pomade takes hold (not unlike styling gel). While you obviously can opt for a finely-curled, product-laden mustache, mustache wax doesn’t have to afford a wet, mousse-look.
When you’re ready to hang it up for the day, you can then remove the wax from your upper lip. Using hot water, wash out your mustache with (preferably) a beard wash (though regular shampoo will also do the trick, though it may require a rinse and repeat-type situation depending on how much wax you’ve used). Perform a combination of washing and rinsing while also wiping or dabbing your lip cozy with a (hot) damp cloth or paper towel.
A Solid Hold
The Objective Benefits Of Using Mustache Wax
Mustache wax allows for a much neater overall appearance, as well as affording an enormous amount of styling options that can’t be achieved without using product. One blatant upside to the wax’s hold is that it manages to keep the end of the mustache out of the way when eating food or drinking — something we’ve found to be one if, if not the most annoying aspect of sporting a decent-length lip broom.
It’s also worth noting this stuff isn’t just for hipsters seeking a dapper aesthetic. Mustache wax can be used in small amounts very discreetly to keep a normal looking mustache in place. And, while you do remove it at the end of the day, most modern mustache waxes are infused with ingredients that, when left on facial hair, sink into the hair follicle and skin, moisturizing and conditioning.
Burt’s Bees Men’s Beard Balm
The vast majority of large corporate-owned entities have a difficult time competing with the level of quality offered by smaller artisan outfits, though that’s not the case when it comes to Burt’s Bees. The Maine company’s Beard Balm uses a natural beeswax base that’s heavily infused with a myriad of oils and extracts that perform wonders at conditioning facial hair, as well as its underlying epidermis. This includes hemp seed oil, safflower seed oil, olive oil, pear fruit extract, and soothing aloe vera. Created using approximately 99% all-natural and organic ingredients, the product is also cruelty-free, devoid of any parabens and phthalates.
The Beardbrand Four Vices Mustache Wax
Sold in a super convenient and travel-friendly lip balm-style stick (which can be warmed by being carried in your pocket), the Beardbrand’s mustache wax is a medium-hold product that doesn’t contain any sulfates, parabens, and silicones. And, while this little 0.15oz stick — which lasts an average of three months — is a fantastic offering on its own, which makes it truly special is the fact that the Beardbrand offers this same scent (or any of their other legitimately fantastic-smelling scents) across a full range of grooming products, so you can use a single scent across the board for your beard wash, conditioner, beard oil, utility balm, sea-salt spray, and mustache wax.
Texas Beard Co. Mustache Wax
Sold in 0.5oz and 1.0oz sizes, the Texas Beard Co’s mustache wax is another medium hold product that offers all-day styling. The products all-natural and made entirely by hand in small batches at the outfit’s Texas-based headquarters. And, while this item admittedly lacks some of the essential oils and vitamins that are present in the more boojie mustache wax options on the market, TBC’s mustache wax is a fantastic choice for those seeking a simple and straight-forward wax that isn’t heavily infused with any fragrances.
Lucky Tiger Mustache Wax
In recent years the men’s grooming space has hugely grown in size, with beard oils and mustache waxes seeing a marked influx in popularity. But, before the current wave of hipster-focused facial hair-care products, there were a handful of classic players who for decades dominated the segment, the best example of which is almost certainly Lucky Tiger. Having existed since 1935, Lucky Tiger produces its mustache wax in America and has changed its formula and production methods very little over its expansive 85-year existence. This is also another great choice for those not interested in a scented or infused wax.
Detroit Grooming Co. Beard Wax Strong Hold Mustache Wax Pocket Tube
The Detroit Grooming Co. is an American company that combines modern ingredients and formulas with traditional old-world production techniques. This MO very much applies to the company’s mustache wax. Like the Beardbrand’s wax, this product is sold in a convenient chapstick-style vessel, though it’s also offered in an even more pocketable 0.5oz size. Made with all-natural ingredients, DGC’s Strong Hold mustache wax offers a most robust level of hold, making it ideal for individuals with longer, more pronounced ‘staches, or for those looking to achieve an extreme level of curl.
Big Red Dillinger Moustache Wax
Big Red’s Dillinger Moustache Wax is a thoroughly contemporary take on the segment, delivering a heavily-infused and richly-scented wax made from 100% all-natural ingredients. Infused with Omega 3,6, and 9 to help promote hair growth, the wax also boasts cocoa butter, hemp seed oil, and moisturizing jojoba oil. Scented using essential oils, the Dillinger wax offers aromas of cinnamon, rum, and black pepper that come together to yield a decidedly warm and spicy scent. This artisan-made formula is also entirely petroleum-free.
Duke Cannon Best Damn Beard Balm
Duke Cannon’s beard balm is a beeswax-based product that helps to clean up your beard or mustache, providing hours of solid holding power, without leaving behind a greasy residue. Derived from all-natural ingredients, this balm contains a number of supplementary high-end additions to help moisturize the face, such as lanolin and cocoa butter. This balm is also bestowed with a masculine woodsy scent with hints of pine and redwood. And, not unlike the Beardbrand’s Four Vices range, this product can be paired with a variety of other Duke Cannon grooming goods.
Brooklyn Grooming Anchor Grooming Balm
First established in 2012, the Brooklyn Grooming Company quickly rose to prominence within its segment thanks to the release of numerous artisanal offerings, one of the most popular of which is the East Coast outfit’s Beard Balm. After discovering the stuff also works wonders on mustaches, the firm has rebranded the product is the “Anchor Grooming Balm,” though it’s winning formula goes unchanged. Containing shea butter, rosemary leaf extract, vitamin E, and jojoba, sesame, hemp seed, argan oils, this 100% all-natural product is made exclusively using botanicals and plant oils and helps to relieve dandruff, and remedy dry skin and hair follicles.
Babel Sweet Tea Tree Beard Balm
Sold in a 2oz vessel that should last around six month’s time, Babel’s beard balm offers an incredibly potent and rich formula that’s not only wildly-effective, but also entirely free of any and all chemicals, preservatives, artificial colognes, or added colors. Instead, the recipe calls on a pure beeswax base that features a slew of naturally-derived oils to get the job done, with this balm packing a carefully-balanced combination of shea butter, sweet almond, avocado apricot kernel, argan, vitamin E, clear jojoba, pumpkinseed, hempseed, and grapeseed oils. Giving this product is subtly fragrance is a myriad of premium-grade essential oils, too.
Wet Shaving Products Tobacco Hercules Hold Mustache Wax
Made by hand in tiny batches – less than 50 units at a time — in Arizona, this particular variety of mustache wax is meant for those with longer/larger ‘staches that require a markedly more powerful hold to keep in check. In addition to its herculean hold, the stuff also contains numerous skin and hair-enhancing ingredients — all of which are of the 100% all-natural variety as well as vegan-friendly — including apricot kernel oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, grape seed oil, and nursing shea butter. We happen to be particularly fond of the Chandler brand’s tobacco scent, those Wet Shaving Products also sells several other versions of its Hercules Hold formula in different fragrances.
Jack Black Wax Pomade
While Jack Black’s Wax Pomade is technically a general use hair-care product, it happens to lend itself quite nicely to use in/on mustaches and beards. Not only does it offer a strong hold, but it is also equipped with tea tree leaf oil, basil, and sage leaf and green tea extracts to help soothe skin, sea kelp to help bolster hydration, and grapefruit peel oil that leaves skin looking healthy and refreshed, while also bringing a pleasant scent to the table. The stuff also contains a generous amount o antioxidants and offers a bit more versatility than most other entries on this list.
TAoS Primary Daily Hold Moustache Wax
The Art of Shaving’s Primary Hold mustache wax is another contemporary take on the product. Manufactured, packaged, and inspected for quality by hand, this wax — much like traditional waxes from a century ago — doesn’t contain any scents or fragrances and is simply meant to help get your ‘stache looking neat and tidy. And while it isn’t scented, that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been bestowed with a grip of hair and face-enriching elements such as lanolin, olive oil, coconut oils, shea butter, and vitamin E. The base of the product is also made form a castor oil-infused natural beeswax that’s locally sourced in Michigan.
The 10 Best Beard Oils
Interested in further upping your facial hair routine? Then be sure to explore our guide to the best beard oils, for a look at some of the best skin and hair-enhancing formulas on the market.