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This is the ultimate guide to mustache grooming

What you need to know to become your own professional mustache groomer

Man waxing his mustache
beccarra / Shutterstock

In the past decade, mustaches have made a comeback in a big way. More and more, guys are wondering how to style their stache to stick out among the crowd. If you’ve got an impressive stache that needs some TLC or if you’re just wondering how to trim a mustache, this comprehensive guide will help answer all your upper lip questions.

There are a lot of mustache grooming products on the market and surprisingly quite a few mustache styles, but the key to a solid stache is having enough hair so that it’s able to be groomed and doesn’t look thin or patchy. Once you have some solid facial fur, there are a few simple steps you can take to make the most of it.

Man with a handlebar mustache.
Ivan_Shenets/Shutterstock / Shutterstock

Mustache management

To keep your mustache in prime shape, trim it weekly. This ensures you don’t have any fly-away hairs or that it grows out of control. To trim, comb your dry mustache with a fine-toothed mustache comb. Just like cutting wet hair, cutting a wet mustache can lead you to trim more than you desired, as it will become shorter when it dries.

You also want to make sure you trim your stache in a well-lit area so you don’t accidentally cut off more than you bargained for (trust us on this one).

beard trimmer
Yakobchuk Olena/Getty Images / Getty

Invest in a decent trimmer and scissors

Confused about how to trim a mustache? Make sure you invest in the right equipment for the job. This Wahl stainless steel trimmer is ideal for beards, mustaches, nose, hair, and body hair. Using mustache scissors or an electric trimmer, trim your mustache first for shape. Cut the hairs along the bottom of your mustache, and then move toward the outer edges, then the top. Look straight ahead and try not to squint or smile so you can get an even line. Make sure to trim your nose hairs, too. No one wants those puppies blending into your mustache.

Next, you’ll want to trim for length. Comb through your dry mustache and cut the hair on the outside of the comb. If you’re using an electric trimmer, start with a longer razor length and move to a shorter one (the Wahl has four heads and four combs). Now that you know how to trim a mustache, you can focus on styling it like a pro.

Bearded man
Just dance/Shutterstock

Time to style

Though it’s not a requirement, some people think it’s fun to style their crumb catcher — and why not? If you’re going to have facial hair, you might as well celebrate it and make it a reflection of your personality. If you want to give your mustache some definition, you can use various gels or waxes made specifically for facial hair.

If you are going for a “twisted up” handlebar-style look, try using a styling wax. You can play around with it and get creative. If you need some ideas, there are a bunch of YouTube tutorials that can give you inspiration. There are no wrong answers here.

Man putting beard oil on his beard.
Parilov / Shutterstock

Beard oils

It sounds obvious, but beard oils are for all of your facial hair — mustaches included. Using these blends of oil extracts the day after trimming is especially important to keep your face hydrated and your stache smooth.

Take a very small amount, less than a pea size, on your index and middle fingers and run it through your stache. Doing this daily (or every other day) will keep your facial hair soft and curb any itchiness occurring around the sensitive skin on your upper lip.

Growing a mustache can be uncomfortable, especially at first, but using beard oil will help ease any discomfort as your hair grows out. Use an oil with natural ingredients to avoid irritating your skin.

Man waxing his mustache
Hero Images/Adobe Stock / Adobe

Mustache care

Mustaches, like any hair, need a little TLC to look their best. First, use a decent facial scrub to remove any unwanted dead skin cells that can build up in your stache. Next, use shampoo and conditioner the same way you would on your actual hair. Mustache hair can be very coarse, so it’s a good idea to condition it to keep it feeling soft and healthy.

Finally, make sure you moisturize the skin below your mustache so it doesn’t get dry and flaky. If you’re styling it a lot, your skin can get sensitive and red, and moisturizer can help with this.

Whether you’re jumping on the Movember train or are thinking about growing and keeping a mustache for good, proper care and trimming will go a long way in making you look polished and put together. The key is deciding on a shape that matches your facial dimensions so it looks natural.

“If you have a fuller face or a prominent nose, you can grow a fuller mustache,” Carrie Butterworth, a stylist at Roy Teeluck Salon in New York, told Men’s Journal. If your face is thinner, try going for a flatter look with an elevated midpoint. The bottom line: The hair above your lip is all yours, so make sure you like it and commit to maintaining it for as long as it lives on your face.

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Hunter Reis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Hunter has worked with E! News and Entertainment Tonight, where he won a Daytime Emmy in 2022 for video production.
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