Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

This is the ultimate guide to mustache grooming

Mustaches were all the rage in the ’70s and ’80s and then promptly exited stage left shortly after (except for cameos by the likes of Ron Swanson and Ron Burgundy). But in the past decade, they’ve made a comeback in a big way. Not just mustaches but also full beards, giving men a lumberjack-meets-hipster vibe that’s very much in style.

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.

Related Videos

Mustache management

To keep your mustache in prime shape, trim it weekly. This ensures you don’t have any fly-away hairs or 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).

Invest in a decent trimmer and scissors

Make sure you invest in the right equipment for the job. This Wahl stainless steel trimmer can be used 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 also trim your nose hairs. 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).

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.

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 course, 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. Bottom line, the hair above your lip is all yours, so make sure you like it and are committed to maintaining it for as long as it lives on your face.

Editors' Recommendations

Retinol for men: What to know and what to buy in 2023
Everything to know about retinol for men and the best products for 2023
retinol for men

If you are over 18 and trying to elevate your age-defying skincare routine, then consider retinol for men as a potential new best friend. What is retinol? Retinol is essentially a vitamin A derivative stumbled upon by scientists who were working on developing the best severe acne treatment. Today, it has been developed into one of the best grooming products that actually help reverse wrinkles. It also helps to smooth texture, diminish acne scarring, and lighten hyperpigmentation of the skin. In simpler terms, it’s an essential tool for preventing and reversing skin damage.

What do I need to know before trying Retinol for men?
Warning: Although retinol does all the wonders mentioned above, it should be taken with caution. It is not advisable to use retinol products regularly as it may result in:

Read more
Here are the 11 best beard conditioners for men in 2023
Revive and refresh your beard with these highly reputable beard conditioners
A man looking at himself in bathroom mirror.

The harsh winter weather elements can do a number on your hair and skin. From frigid freezing temperatures to dry, humid-less moisture in the air, this combination can start to take its toll, especially on your beard. Let's take back control and get your beard in better condition. It's truly astonishing how much of a difference that the best beard products can make, especially when they're paired with the best beard brushes. When talking about the best beard conditioners, we’re looking at two distinct subcategories: a leave-in beard conditioner that's typically made with finely crafted oils to massage into your beard, and a conditioning wash that acts as a hair conditioner for your beard instead of top of your head. Both will leave your skin and your beard luscious, fresh, and clean.

Regardless if you choose to utilize a conditioning wash, a nourishing oil, or a leave-in balm, we rounded up the best of the best when it comes to beard health. Check out this list of the best beard conditions in 2023.

Read more
Try these 9 best body washes to freshen up your 2023
Looking for the best body wash for men? Our top picks
A man takes a shower.

The best body washes separate themselves from the pack because they do more than just cleanse your skin. A truly great body wash will also smell great, cleanse your body while also hydrating your skin, works easily in the shower or tub, and leaves you feeling perfectly clean and refreshed. Now picking what's best for your skin type is easier, as we examine the very best body washes for men. Whether you're coming home from a workout or looking to clean up after a long day of traveling, we have a body wash that's right for you.

Sure, you can find hundreds of body washes on the market today, but finding what's best for you may be a bit of a challenge. What should you do? Do you choose the one whose packaging you find most attractive, or do you go for the body wash that smells the best? Our best bet, try and find one that checks all the boxes that you're looking for. Here is our list of the best body wash for men in 2023.

Read more