Planning to grow a handlebar moustache? We salute you. You’re a true beacon of style, grace and individuality. Mere mortals should bow to your greatness. Okay, as a newbie moustache grower, you’re sure to have questions. We’ve got the answers. Read on for our EPIC guide to growing, caring for and living with a handlebar moustache.
Are you ready?
Handlebar moustaches are so hot right now
They’re not for the faint-hearted. If you’re ready to stand out with an imposing and impressive moustache, we’re here to support you. Growing a moustache is a great way to explore your individual style. There’s a myriad of shapes, cuts, lengths and curls to choose from. Plus, you can combine with a beard or go pure mo. Whatever you decide, take comfort knowing you’re a trendsetter who’s ahead of the pack. Mos are back in fashion, baby. So let’s party like it's 1973 and grow you a moustache that gets you noticed.
Nine benefits of growing a handlebar moustache
- They’re super on-fleek right now. Get in with the hipsters.
- It increases your sex appeal. Seriously. It’s biology—makes you look masculine.
- It helps you stand out from the crowd. If you’re establishing your personal brand, or just want to be a flamingo in a sea of pigeons, the ’stache will help.
- It frames your face and disguises any hint of thin lips.
- You’ll get ‘the approving nod’ from other blokes with mos. Solidarity feels good.
- If you get upset and your upper lip wobbles, no one will notice, point and laugh.
- It repels vain, appearance-obsessed narcissists who don’t like moustaches (ie: those you’re better off without).
- It simultaneously attracts clever, curious, open minded people who you’d love to get to know.
- Instant authority and gravitas. Waiters will be more attentive. People will move aside at the train station. You’ll be able to cut queues without consequence.
What style should you choose?
You have four key decisions to make:
- What part a beard will play in your look.
- How long to grow the tips.
- The shape of your mo.
- The level of upkeep you’re prepared to contribute.
Will you go 100% ’stache with clean-shaven face? Or combine handlebar moustache and stubble? Or go the full moustache-with-beard combo? Only you can decide.
Then, there’s the length of stache to consider. Do you want to twirl the ends like an enigmatic modern-day Salvador Dali? Purists will say that a classic handlebar has that lovely curl to the tip. But anything goes these days.
Plus, you can experiment with shapes. Will your mo finish at your lips, or extend slightly beyond? Or you can go full Hulk Hogan with a moustache that extends to your jawline.
Good-looking mos require upkeep. So when choosing a style, think about the level of maintenance you’re prepared to put in. Just want to dash a comb through your mo and run? Or are you willing to take a moment to shape and twirl that bad boy on the regular?
How to find the right handlebar moustache style
The great thing about growing a handlebar moustache is that you can experiment. You’ll never really know what works till you test it.
Start by growing a basic mo. The joy of the handlebar is that you can try the look, and trim when necessary. Gone too far with the curl? Cut it back till you find your desired shape. If you haven’t grown a moustache before you won’t know the hair texture you’re dealing with. Experimentation is key to finding the right look.
Three handlebar moustache styles that are popular right now
- Mo with stubble.
- Classic Selleck with a hint of curl.
- Mo with generous curl and a short beard.
How to grow a handlebar moustache
The best way is to grow a full beard, then trim back to reveal the ’stached glory that lies within.
How long does it take to grow a handlebar moustache?
It depends. Hair growth rates vary, but typically two or three weeks will get you started. If you want longer tips to curl and twirl like a dastardly handsome villain in a superhero movie, it will take longer. However, a proper handlebar moustache in all its glory will take about three to four months to fully develop.
Dealing with itch as you grow your moustache.
We’re not gonna lie. As your moustache grows, you’ll get itchy. Don’t cave in and shave it off. The itching is often mild and not too distracting. Try these technique:
- Softening your skin with moisturiser
- Keeping hair soft with beard oil or balm.
- Washing and brushing your moustache regularly
- Exfoliating with a mild scrub can help reduce itch
Be patient; the itch will pass soon enough. As the hair grows longer the tips will soften until they no longer bother you. The reward? Oh-so worth it.
The missus doesn’t like it: refuting common lady objections
Ladies. They can be mighty narrow minded sometimes. Seems Ryan Gosling can grow a moustache and still be fanciable, but when you do it? Suddenly, she’s turned off.
Male partners might say no to the mo too. No matter your orientation, if your honeypot don’t like your face fuzz, you gotta man up and deal with it. As decent blokes, we care what the other half thinks. (To a point that is.) After all, it's your face.
There seem to be two common elements behind objections to your mo:
- it’s scratchy on their delicate skin
- they doesn’t like the look of it
Combat scratchiness with regular use of the right oil, to keep your moustache smooth. Plus regular trimming will remove dry, rough ends. So if she or he doesn’t like the scratch, perhaps you can surprise them with the remarkably smooth feel of the well-kept moustache. Convince them to go with a trial for a month. Offer a money back, no questions asked satisfaction guarantee at the end of the trial. (Hopefully they’ll be convinced.)
If the objection is against moustaches in general, then it’s a broader problem. Here we advocate standing your ground. If you love the look and think it’s dandy, then that’s not really up for discussion. Tell your person that it’s not forever, just for now. You’ve always dreamed of growing a mo. Do they want to be the kind of partner that stands in the way of your dreams?
One final thought for the ladies. They might rather enjoy the… ahem… cough… sensation of the moustache in certain... intimate romantic situations (wink, wink). Give it a try. We’ve had first-hand reports that the moustache makes a difference. Your lady may find herself wishing you’d grown the moustache years ago.
Should you wash your moustache?
Your moustache can be a graveyard for crumbs of burritos, burgers, bolognese, BBQ shapes and whatever else you’ve been scoffing. So you need to wash it regularly. Don’t use shampoo. It’s too harsh and there’s too much risk of accidental tastings. Use a specific beard wash or even your daily facial wash (which you totally own and use because you’re an enlightened modern man who recognises the importance of a regular skin care regime).
Handlebar moustache care tips
- Wash your moustache regularly to keep it clean and fresh.
- Use a cloth to keep it dry, especially when drinking beers or pina coladas. Those foamy drinks get caught in your face. Wet mo? Gross.
- Slick a little Mo-Stick on your moustache to keep it smooth and sleek.
- Trim regularly to remove dead, dry ends.
How to style a handlebar moustache
It’s easy. First, give your ’stache a tidy with a dedicated moustache brush. Slick on some Mo-Stick wax or any wax that’s been specifically formulated to style your moustache. Apply it directly to your moustache, then use your fingertips to glide it through your locks.
How to curl your handlebar moustache
Now for the curl. The warmth of your fingers will help soften the moustache wax, ready for you to shape the tips into a curl that will make the fellas at the gym choke with envy. Pinch the lengths around your thumb and finger, twisting as you go, to allow the strands to combine into shape. Curl the tips around your fingers and wait a moment for the wax to hold the shape. Then do your best peacocking strut through your bathroom like the king you are (optional: does not impact mo-styling results).
Want to give your moustache the best products?
Of course you do, it’s the source of your true power and mojo. We’ve collated an extra special stash for your ’stache. Try our best-selling moustache products including:
Trimming your handlebar moustache
Keeping your moustache under control means you need to trim it. It maintains the style so your look screams ‘boho trendsetter’ and not ‘dishevelled hobo’. Trimming will also remove those dead, dry hairs that make it too coarse and rough.
Trim once a week. Before you trim, ensure you’re working in a well lit space. Comb your moustache. Go slowly using sharp scissors designed for trimming beards and moustaches. Or, an electric trimmer gives you good control too.
Start alongside the bottom of the moustache, then work your way to the edges. Finally trim the upper area. Work from under your nose, out to the tip. If you’re not good at precision, find a barber with a steady hand. Beware the classic mistake of over trimming on one side, forcing you to trim the other to make it even. Trim a little on one side, then switch to the other. As you practice, you’ll get better at it.
Life with a mo - common mistakes
Here’s some things that newbie moustache owners commonly get wrong. Don’t be that guy.
- Uneven trimming. A crooked moustache is not the slick polished look you deserve.
- Growing it too long. The hair will be dry and rough, and you’ll get strangers sympathetically chucking their spare change your way.
- Poor hygiene. No one likes a stinky beard. Wash regularly.
- Letting your mo get wet. Beer-soaked mo will dry out the hair and it’s foul. Bring a pocket towel to the pub for discreet wiping.
- Lack of patience during the growing stage. It takes months to get the full bodied moustache you’re dreaming of.
- Trimming it when it itches. See our tips above for dealing with the itch. Don’t cave before you get a chance to grow your wonderful handlebar moustache.
Kissing with a moustache
Really, it’s just the same as kissing without one. We’re sure you’re a great kisser. When it comes to hygiene, make sure your follicles are soft and supple with regular cleaning, trimming and daily application of moustache wax.
Have we inspired you to grow a moustache?
If so, we’d love to see your fully grown handle moustache. Share your moustache on your social media platform of choice by tagging @milkmanaustralia and using the hashtag #milkmanmoustache.
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This ultimate moustache guide was written by Dr. Ben De Campo.
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