It’s November, which of course means that moustache season is upon us. Whilst the beard is all well and good, nothing screams “MAN” quite like a hairy upper-lip. But getting it right isn’t just a case of letting it sprout and hoping for the best; a decent ‘tasche takes time, patience and a bit of TLC. Whether you’re just growing for the month, or in it for the long haul, our guide to growing a moustache is here to help.
Stage 1 – Lay the foundations
Let’s be real, mos don’t grow overnight. The first (and arguably the most troublesome) hurdle is that inevitable “neither here nor there” phase, which can leave even the manliest of chaps looking like an awkward teenager. The severity of this obviously depends on how fast your facial hair grows in, so if you’re usually a slow burner, it could be a good idea to start with some all-over stubble, if only to save your dignity a little.
The first hurdle sorted, and you’re another step closer to that Ron Burgundy moustache of dreams… but let’s not forget about hurdle number two… THE ITCH. Unfortunately, itchiness is pretty commonplace when sprouting fresh facial hair. It’s usually caused by the new hair follicles cutting into and irritating the skin, so softening them up is the best line of defence here.
Give your fuzz a daily scrub with a gentle exfoliating face wash, and finish with a good dose of moisturiser. Once you start to get a little more length, you can switch the moisturiser for beard oil, working a small amount into the hair, remembering to get right down to the skin underneath.
Stage 2 – Select your ‘stache
Once your newly found lip fuzz starts to resemble an actual ‘stache, now comes the time to start thinking about the style.
A real 70’s icon. Famously sported by the likes of Freddie Mercury, Tom Selleck, and of course, Paul Chuckle, this is a great low-maintenance option for anyone with thick facial fuzz.
A word of warning though, trying this look with thin/patchy hair poses a serious risk of getting stuck in “awkward teenager” mode, as Michael Cera brilliantly demonstrates here.
The aim is to create a “chevron” shape, with the edges of the moustache extending to (or ever so slightly past) the corners of your mouth.
Keep it tidy by giving it a quick comb through, trimming any longer hairs with scissors. A daily dose of beard oil will keep it looking luscious, as well as preventing itch.
This style requires the least amount of facial hair, making it an ideal go to for the more “follicly challenged”, or those of you just after a quick-fix ‘stache.
Start off by trimming the whole area down with clippers on the shortest setting to give you a neat base to work with. Use a wet razor to shave all the hair below your nose, leaving a thin line along the lip.
As its super short, you don’t need any beard oil for maintenance. A quick scrub with exfoliating face wash followed by a layer of moisturiser and you’ll be good to go.
You’ll need a fair amount of commitment to successfully pull off the handlebar. It can take around 6 – 12 weeks to achieve, so certainly not the best option if your mo is for the short-term.
As tempting as it can be, it’s really important that you don’t trim during the growing stage.
Once you start to get a bit of length, begin parting your ‘stache down the centre, and combing each side out. This will help to train the hairs to grow in that direction, so you get a more defined shape. Repeat this every day, using a beard wax to hold everything in place.
Use scissors to lightly trim any stray hairs in the middle, but you’ll need to keep the length towards the edges in order to achieve the signature curl.
To style the handlebar, start with a damp moustache, and comb through a small amount of beard wax, from the parting right down to the ends. Use a little more wax to create a twist at each end, rolling the hair between your fingertips.
Stage 3 – TLC
Once your mo is fully grown in, it’s easy to forget about the skin underneath. But it shouldn’t be a case of out of sight, out of mind. Skin that’s hidden underneath facial hair is notorious for becoming dry and irritated, as moisture is wicked away from the skin.
Keep your ‘tasche clean and fresh by rinsing it daily with water, and using a beard wash a few times a week. A daily dose of beard oil (making sure you get right to the skin) will make sure everything is nicely moisturised, keeping ‘tasche-druff at bay.