The moustache: undoubtedly the most polarising style in the facial hair arena. Wearing one is perhaps the biggest grooming power move a man can make. However, it’s also one of the riskiest. A cocktail of factors including genetics, face shape and confidence determine whether the end result comes off more Tom Selleck or Michael Cera – and sadly, for the vast majority, it tends to be the latter.
But don’t allow the failings of others to deter you in your own pursuit of a hairy upper lip. From where we’re stood, pulling a moustache off is as much about having an understanding of the best styles and knowing what works for you as it is about having Hulk Hogan-levels of hair coverage.
This considered, we’ve compiled a connoisseur’s guide to the moustache, covering the key types of ‘stache worth considering and who they’re best suited to.
Which Moustache Style Will Suit You Best?
Whether its big and round or long and thin, here’s how to pick the most suitable moustache style for your face type.
Wide cheekbones and jawbones are best complemented by styles that add length to the face. Avoid thick bushy moustaches that sit only on the lip and opt instead for something that stretches a little lower down around the mouth. Think horseshoe if you’re feeling brave or a ‘stache/beard combo like a Van Dyke if you want to play it safe.
Good news – if you’re blessed with a strong, masculine jaw and angular features – there are very few (if any) moustache styles that won’t suit you. That said, for maximum alpha male, we’d suggest going for a strong, classic option like a bushy chevron or the highly fashionable beardstache [see below].
So, you’ve won the face-shape lottery. A well-proportioned, oval-shaped face is the holy grail of bone structures. Your only problem now is deciding which of the many moustache styles out there to pick. First, consider your growth. If the hair on your upper lip is thick and full then there’s nothing to hold you back. Where patchy growth is an issue, opt for styles that make the most of what you have. A pencil moustache, for example. Just try to maintain enough self-awareness to know when it doesn’t look passable.
Heavy stubble and a thick moustache: two of the most masculine facial hair styles it’s possible to imagine. Put them both together and you’re looking at something seriously rugged.
The beardstache has been trending hard for a while and it’s not hard to see why. For those who may have considered growing a moustache but were unsure of whether or not they could pull it off, it provides a neat way to try the look out without going full Magnum P.I. Just look to the chiselled jawline of Henry Cavill [featured image, top] for evidence of how well it can work.
How To Maintain
The beardstache may appear low maintenance on first inspection, but there needs to be some careful grooming behind the scenes if it’s to stay looking good.
A good beard trimmer is absolutely essential when it comes to keeping this style in check. Go over the cheeks, neck and jaw every couple of days to maintain a level of stubble that sits somewhere between a five ‘o’ clock shadow and a full beard. As far as the upper lip goes, make sure to keep it trimmed to just above the top lip and make use of a comb and beard oil to keep it neat and nourished.
The Chevron. It’s surely the ultimate moustache; the moustache all other moustaches aspire to be. It’s thick, it’s bushy, it’s proud, and it will always be a classic.
Popularised by the king of moustaches Tom Selleck, a man whose upper-lip hair might even be more famous than himself, the chevron is a real marker of manhood, and as such, should not be attempted with anything less than very thick coverage. This style’s calling card is its thickness, so if your growth is a bit sparse you’d do well to steer clear. You’ll need some serious space between your nose and lip to accommodate it, too.
How To Maintain
Keep a comb handy, brush up on your scissor skills and don’t be afraid to use a drop of oil or wax if things get unruly. Aside from that, it’s just a simple case of maintaining length. If in doubt, pay your barber a visit.
The Pencil Moustache
In spite of its links with dodgy salesmen and 1990s R&B singers, the pencil moustache shouldn’t be overlooked. This low-profile style was born in response to the OTT facial hair of the Victorian era, becoming hugely popular in the early 20th century. Today, it’s still a style worth considering, particularly for those with less than perfect hair coverage.
If you have a long face and small features, the pencil moustache may be a good fit. The thinness and subtlety will be proportionate to the rest of your face while still creating a focal point.
How to Maintain
One drawback of the pencil moustache is that it requires its fair share of upkeep. This is a sharp, manicured style that doesn’t look good when left to grow out. Daily touch-ups with a quality razor are essential in maintaining the look, as are regular trims with a beard trimmer.
Easily identified by its upwards curling extremities, the handlebar moustache is centuries-old facial hair style that has seen a resurgence in recent years. This is admittedly largely due to hipsters and their propensity for ironic fashion statements. Yet, given the right context, there’s no reason this style can’t still work.
Our advice if you’re considering this ‘tasche would be to keep it subtle. Even in its mildest form, there’s no getting around the fact that it is a bold look, so keep the length modest and the tip curling minimal.
How To Maintain
Moustache wax is a matter of personal preference for most styles. For this particular one, however, it’s mandatory. Without a small amount, the trademark curls that give the handlebar its name won’t stay in place. If it’s your first time trying this style out, it could be a good idea to visit your barber. Seeing how it’s cut and styled by a professional will make it easier when the time comes to do it yourself.