A well-kept moustache can lend a man an air of masculine sophistication. However, an unkempt one can serve as a distraction, or worse, a source of unintentional irony. The difference lies in the way you tame your facial hair up top. With thorough brushing, frequent washing, and a weekly or bi-weekly trim to create shape and take off excess length, you’ll have people focusing on your timeless style sensibilities and not the wildebeest on your upper lip.
EditClipping Your Moustache with a Beard Trimmer
- Comb your moustache to the sides. Run the teeth of the comb through the hairs, parting them in the center on either side of the philtrum (the shallow groove in your upper lip). A thorough combing will not only detangle and separate the hairs, but also stimulate the follicles and get them standing up for easy trimming.
- Use a fine-toothed comb designed specifically for grooming facial hair.
- Always comb out your moustache while it’s dry. Limp, wet hairs will appear longer than they ordinarily do, which could cause you to accidentally cut them shorter than you intended.
- Adjust your clippers to a high guard setting. Somewhere around a 3 or 4 will allow you to prune your moustache without losing too much of the length you’ve been growing so patiently. You can always switch to a lower setting if it’s still too long.
- Should you decide to go shorter, make sure you do so gradually, moving down one setting at a time (a half setting is even better, if it’s an option) just to be on the safe side.
- When you’re first learning how to trim your facial hair the right way, electric beard trimmers are unmatched, since they offer far greater control and consistency than scissors.
- Run the clippers over your moustache. Switch on the clippers and guide the head over your upper lip using smooth, linear strokes. To remove bulk and thin out bushy growth, move the clippers upward toward your nose. If you’d prefer to just even out the length, move them downwards instead.
- Pursing your lips together while you’re trimming will smooth and expose more of your lip, providing easier access for the clippers.
- Touch up outlying facial hair. If your moustache happens to be accompanied by a soul patch, goatee or full beard, this will be a good opportunity to level them out. Make a few passes over these areas, keeping your clippers on a high guard setting and shortening them incrementally as you did before.
- You can either keep beards and goatees uniform all over or opt to leave the moustache a little bushier than the rest.
EditShaping Your Moustache with Scissors
- Comb your moustache down over your top lip. To keep an established moustache neat and tidy, you can use scissors to tend to the finer details rather than buzzing it all off indiscriminately. For this approach, comb the hairs straight down so that they’re hanging over your lip. You’ll be able to see right away how much you need to take off.
- Remember to dry-comb your moustache to get a more accurate sense of length.
- Hold the comb in place and trim any hairs that fall below your lip. Use the teeth of the comb to gather up the hairs to the desired length. Then, snip off everything that extends beyond them, adjusting the comb as necessary.
- Use the bottom blade to gently lift the hairs away from your skin to avoid cutting yourself.
- Work slowly and carefully—making a mistake may force you to cut your moustache shorter to correct the imbalance.
- Work from the center of your moustache outward. There’s a good chance that your scissors won’t be long enough to clip each and every hair at once. To guarantee an even length, proceed one section at a time, beginning with the philtrum area and moving outward to the edges. Be sure to snip the hairs at the same point all the way across.
- Double check each cut before you commit to it. Once it’s gone, you can’t put it back.
- For longer moustaches, trimming the middle section slightly shorter than the sides can create the appearance of shape and body.
- Inspect your handiwork. Look over your moustache from top to bottom and zero in on any excess growth you missed the first time. Once you’ve done this, scan the outer perimeter of your lip for stray hairs. These can also be dealt with using your scissors, though tweezers or a handheld razor will eliminate hairs at or near the root, making them disappear for good.
- Turn and tilt your head to get a better look at your moustache from every angle.
- One or two hairs may go unnoticed at a distance, but they’ll be obvious once you’re face to face with someone else.
EditKeeping Your Moustache Healthy and Under Control
- Trim your moustache every 1-2 weeks. The exact frequency of your grooming sessions will depend largely on how fast your facial hair grows. That being said, most men will want to pull out their clippers about twice a month. If you have thick, unruly hair, you may even benefit from weekly trimmings.
- With regular practice, keeping your moustache properly groomed and finding a length and style that compliments your face will become second nature.
- Even men with longer moustaches should be checking regularly for stray hairs and cumbersome, overgrown patches.
- Shampoo and condition your moustache. It’s essential to treat your facial hair with the same tender loving care you do your hair on top. To keep your moustache silky smooth, invest in quality products that clean and moisturize. You may find yourself surprised by how much of a difference a couple extra minutes in the shower can make.
- For the sake of convenience, you can also pick up a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner.
- You can get away with washing your moustache less often than your head hair. In most cases, 3-5 times a week should be enough to keep it fluffy and supple.
- Scrub with an exfoliating face wash. Daily exfoliation clears dirt-clogged pores and helps remove dry, flaky dead skin. As a result, your face will look and feel healthier. This is especially important if your facial hair is a darker color, as the contrast will make flakes more visible.
- Get in the habit of washing your face with an exfoliant after your morning shower, or just before you go to bed at night.
- Use a dab of wax for effortless styling. Extravagant styles like handlebar or curly-cues are a breeze to pull off with the aid of a wax or similar low-hold styling product. Just work a dime-sized amount through your moustache from root to tip, then coax it into whatever shape you please. Since waxes never dry out, they’ll be strong enough to provide a sturdy all-day hold.
- Many natural moustache waxes (often made with beeswax or other organic derivatives) come with the added benefit of conditioning and waterproofing facial hair, leaving it soft, nourished, and protected from high humidity and freak rainstorms.
- Avoid using too much product in your moustache—it will just end up making it look dull and greasy.
- Keep your head facing straight forward to ensure that your moustache comes out perfectly symmetrical.
- Work in ample lighting. That way, you’ll be able to clearly see what you’re doing every step of the way.
- Nail scissors make a good alternative to traditional grooming scissors. They’re sharp and have long, slender blades, which can help you fine-tune your facial hair without difficulty.
- If you’re still unsure how best to trim and groom your moustache, ask your barber to demonstrate a few basic techniques so you’ll know the right way to do it in the future.
- Be careful when wielding your clippers and scissors. The blades will be extremely close to the sensitive skin of your lips, and the slightest slip could result in a painful nick.
EditThings You’ll Need
- Electric beard trimmer
- Grooming scissors
- Fine-toothed moustache comb
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Exfoliating face wash
- Moustache wax (optional)