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Primer: How to Grow and Maintain a Mustache

Tom Selleck. Burt Reynolds. Salvador Dali. Charlie Chaplin. Aside from fame and star-strutted immortality, there’s something else these artists and actors all have in common: iconic characterizing mustaches. There’s certainly something to be said of someone who can sport one without coming across a bit off-centered. And for anyone who’s attempted to or successfully grown one before, they’ll certainly attest to a level of confidence and dedication that’s imperative to make it through the awkward growing and shaping phases. Regardless, if genetics are indeed in your favor, we feel that growing and maintaining a mustache is something every guy should do at least once.

And while this may seem straightforward in theory, there’s a surprising number of little idiosyncrasies to consider throughout the process. Line items such as desired style, thickness and growth time play pivotal roles in knowing when to trim, what products to use, and what type of mustache best suits you. For instance, is the chevron more your style or does a handlebar better fit with the overall aesthetic you’re pursuing? Perhaps the English or even Dali mustache is a better option? Well, there’s really only one way to find out, and one way to get started, and that’s to get growing.


Priming the Canvas

The first step in growing a ‘stache is actually to do nothing, for a while. Meaning, you need to stop shaving altogether and let your genetics take care of the rest. Now, this will be easier for some than others as some of us are blessed with quick-growing and full facial hair while others are stuck with more spotty versions. The key here, much like growing your hair out, is to master the awkward in-between phases. This is obviously something that’s so subjective in nature that there’s little tangible advice to be offered. Our suggestion? Understand your look, your beard, and to keep things as clean as possible without actually cutting into the growth process. The first step in growing a ‘stache is actually to do nothing, for a while. It’s also during this stage, especially if you’ve never grown a beard before, that the common discomfort of newly sprouted facial hair begins to sink in. “Beard itch” as it’s known, can deter many an aspiring grower to cut the process short of fruition. However, with a little perseverance and daily cleansing, you’ll soon get accustomed to the sensation of facial hair and power through this benchmark phase with a vengeance.

From here, the average timeline for beard/mustache growth is about four to five weeks. Trust us, this is highly preferable as opposed to attempting to grow the mustache solo. Instead, this is a much more natural – and accepted – look that will help you slowly ease into – and visualize – what will become of your new ‘stache. Additionally, to help slowly ease into the look, start trimming your beard around week three while continuing to grow out the mustache. Such a method offer a more subtle transition for when the time comes to go full ‘stache.


Shape Up

The time has come. Weeks in the making have now culminated in upper lip growth that is now full – ideally extending from right beneath the nose to just below the upper lip – and is ready to be shaped. This is where a trip to the local barber might come in handy – for they’ll certainly be able to guide you in the right direction regarding the right mustache style and shape to run with. As for the laundry list of available options, we’ve included some examples below for guidance. Naturally, it all depends on the level of showmanship and attention you want the mustache to draw along with the amount of upkeep you’re willing to put forward.

Picking The 'Stache That Best Suites You

There’s quite a few mustache styles out there to consider. Depending on your facial hair growth, direction, and thickness, some may be easier to than others to attain. For more info be sure to check out the American Mustache Institutes list of certified mustache styles (no, this isn’t a joke).

If opting out of the barber shop is the preferred course of action, use a dependable trimmer and begin removing the remaining beard hear around the mustache. Again, it could be best to leave a bit of stubble to help reduce the “shock value” of going from full beard to ‘stache but again that’s up to you. It’s also worth noting that the mustache style needs to be predetermined at this stage as well since you’ll effectively be carving it out from a full beard. Trim with care, and trim slowly too, remaining cautious along the way. Remember it’s always possible to remove more hair if needed but impossible to instantly grow back hair that’s been accidentally trimmed off.

It could also be worthwhile at this time to wash, trim and comb your mustache to help give it a more refined appearance. Meaning, using a pair of trusted scissors, cut any hair that’s grown over the upper lip – if the style demands it that is – and clean up the surrounding area by wet shaving. Using a preferred beard oil, comb, or even wax at this juncture helps provide some cleanliness and shape to the ‘stache. It’s been a long growing process, this is the time to clean things up.


A Healthy Stache is a Happy Stache

Now that the growing and trimming stages are complete, it’s time to grow into the new look. Again, this is a subjective process that varies from person to person. However, what does make things a bit easier is regular maintenance and cleansing. We’ve featured a few choice products below that will assist in shaping, cleaning, and adding a touch of fullness to you new mustache in the months/years to follow.

Stache Bomb Mustache Wax

Ideal for thicker, more robust mustaches out there, Stache Bomb offers this USA-made mustache wax that works as a great hold for the more eccentric individuals out there who may wish to defy gravity with their facial hair. Simply gather the desired bit of wax, press it onto the teeth of a beard comb, distribute the wax evenly into your mustache, and shape accordingly.

Purchase: $12

Bearoholic Natural Beard Oil

Purposed to stop beard/mustache itch and eliminate unsightly dandruff, this handy beard oil is a must-have for any mustache-donning individual. It’s made with 100% pure natural ingredients, doesn’t host any additives or GMO’s and is Paraben-free. Additionally, thanks to a subtle essence of pine scent, you’ll smell the part as well.

Purchase: $25

Beard Grow XL Facial Hair Supplement

Sometimes there only so much genetics can offer in the growth department. So, for a little boost, Delta Genesis offer this beard growth support formula that’s made right here in the USA, is completely natural with no hormonal additives, and supports the growth of all sorts of facial hair.

Purchase: $60


Keeping up Appearances

Aside from maintaining a well-formed and shaped mustache, there are grooming responsibilities involved here that serve to keep your ‘stache in check as time wears on. We’re talking simple activities such as keeping it combed, cut, and the surrounding area neatly trimmed. Taken seriously, simple grooming procedures like this will prevent a well-rounded look from becoming unruly.

Baxter of California Beard Comb

Aside from keeping things trimmed and tidy, preventing an unruly mustache from taking control is a must as well. Enter Baxter of California’s Beard Comb. Each piece is handcrafted in Switzerland from high-quality cellulose acetate sheets and boast smoothly tapered teeth and rounded tips for efficient combing while remaining comfortable on the face.

Purchase: $16

Sanguine Professional Mustache Scissors

Straightforward in theory yet occasionally difficult in practice, keeping a mustache properly trimmed takes a steady hand and a reliable pair of professional scissors. Now, while we can’t help you with the former, we can certainly suggest this pair of Sanguine Mustache Scissors to assist with the latter. Each pair is built with Japanese steel, and are extremely sharp so it’s proceeding with caution is recommended.

Purchase: $25

Wahl Lithium Ion Beard Trimmer

In the world of trimmers, it’s hard to go wrong with Wahl. One of their newer offerings, a Lithium-Ion Stainless Steel trimmer to be exact – offers up to four hours of run time on a full charge and two times the torque compared to their standard trimmer. Certainly a grooming essential positioned to get the job done right.

Purchase: $70

Best Hair Products for Men

Believe it or not, the hair located atop your head requires maintenance as well. So, why not check out these useful hair products for men that are sure to up your overall style game.