If you’ve grown a beard in the past, more likely than not you’ve also grown a mustache. However, the same isn’t universally true vice versa. Many men, from greats like Tom Selleck and Lando Calrissian to the not-so-greats like Adam Morrison, have opted to go beard-free and believe in the power of the mustache. It truly takes a special man to walk through life with a bold mustache on display and it doesn’t help that the once majestic mo’ has become associated with white Econoline vans and awkward pubescence in the recent past versus its manly heyday during the sixties, seventies, and early eighties.
But fear not! With the rise of organizations like Movember and increased acceptance of workplace facial hair, the mustache is making an ever growing comeback. Although the mustache life shares a lot of similarities with the typical ins and outs of bearded-dom, there are some extra aspects that a mustachioed man must keep in mind when aiming for optimal thickness and boldness from the hair keeping your upper lip company.
Taming Your Mustache
Although an untamed mustache might be less noticeable when paired with a beard, it’s still eye-catching to onlookers, regardless of how hairy the rest of your face is. Very rarely do mustaches grow in a unified direction. In fact, most of the time mustaches take it upon themselves to be as uncooperative as possible, splaying out in every direction like splintered wood from an axed log.
The key to keeping it under control though is deciding between the two options you have for mustache length: you can either keep it trimmed above your mouth or let it grow out and fan the hair towards the corners of your mouth so you don’t bite down on it while chewing or end up leaving a hairy barricade between you and your one and only. The choice is yours, but if you do go with the longer route, make sure you invest in a comb that’ll help you keep your mustache looking its best.
Styling Your Mustache
It might not seem obvious, but, just as one must learn to “style” their beard once it gets to a certain length, one must also learn to style his mustache. Lucky for us, our mustachioed forefathers, the likes of Salvador Dali and Clark Gable, paved the way with their endorsement of mustache wax, a truly important product for any many investing in their hairy upper lip.
Although there are many ways to utilize mustache wax, the simplest way is to use it to maneuver your overhanging mustache up and away from your lips. It might not seem like much, but this little gesture can help your entire face, including your beard if you’re still maintaining one, look a little more put together. Onlookers don’t want to see hair curling into your mouth and, although we here at UB support you regardless of you decision, we might suggest humoring them with a little effort and mustache wax.
Cleaning Your Mustache
Mustaches are exposed to a lot of things: food, beverages, and human fluids just to name a few. It’s not complicated and it doesn’t take much effort, just make sure your mustache is clean when you head off to work or a date or to meet up with friends.
Debris, scents, and flavors get trapped in mustaches and, besides sending the message to your friends that you could care less about hygiene, you don’t want to be sitting at a bar breathing in the remnants of the sandwich you ate earlier. It might sound tasty in theory, but we assure you it’s not. A quick run through with a comb, a drop or two of beard oil, and you’re good to go. Simple and efficient, just like a good mustache.
Removing Your Mustache
Regardless of what countless professional athletes would argue, no one and we mean NO ONE looks good with a mustache-free beard. The one exception of course being our 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, but then again, he wrote and delivered the Gettysburg Address. If you can match that effort, we’ll give you the green light on the ‘stache-less beard.
If you do decide to shave off your mustache for whatever reason (fireworks accident or falling asleep with gum in your mouth just to name a few), go ahead and shave your beard off too. It might feel silly to go completely shaven just because you want to hit the reset button on the mustache front, but unless you’re Amish or some sort of cleric, we have to be honest, it just ain’t working for ya.
Having Fun with Your Mustache
At the end of the day, mustaches are fun. Whereas beards are often associated with stoic men of silence and conviction, mustaches bring about dudes kickin’ it about town and, regardless of the era, being down for a good time.
If you happen to have a full beard and want to focus more on your mustache, remove your beard in stages so you can experiment with all of the different styles of mustaches available to you: the Ambrose Burnside, the Jules Winnfield, and the Fu Manchu just to name a few. Most importantly, make sure you feel comfortable and confident with your mustache. Regardless of how it actually looks to other people, if you carry yourself confidently, onlookers will respect both the mustache and the man.
Photos by Tommy Cairns