A horseshoe mustache is quite a bold fashion choice.
Honestly, not a lot of people are able to pull it off.
But it is possible, as long as you have the correct face type and follow the proven steps.
Doing it on your own is still not a smart way to go about it.
Some professional piece of advice is needed and we are here to provide you with it.
After reading this article you will be able to know exactly how to create, trim and groom a perfect horseshoe mustache.
Additionally, you will learn if this, somewhat controversial fashion statement, is the right choice for you and your face type.
Without further ado, here is how to start your journey towards a perfect horseshoe mustache.
Table Of Contents
- What Is a Horseshoe Mustache
- Types of Horseshoe Mustache
- Most Popular Horseshoe Mustache Styles
- Benefits of Growing Horseshoe Mustache Style
- How Does It Work
- Pros and Cons
- Horseshoe Mustache and Different Face Shapes
- Tools for Styling Horseshoe Mustache
- How to Grow Horseshoe Mustache
- How to Trim and Style It
- Do’s and Don’ts
What Is a Horseshoe Mustache
Also called a biker mustache, a horseshoe mustache refers to a full mustache that features grown vertical extensions on both corners of the lips. You can also see them down both sides of your mouth to your jawline. You can liken this style to an actual horseshoe or a U drawn upside down – with the two long bars pointing downwards and frequently extending to the chin.
Types of Horseshoe Mustache
The horseshoe mustache comes in a couple of types – the tamed horseshoe and the Fu Manchu. Each type requires the use of other beard products to look better. For instance, shave butter maximizes the razor’sgliding, so you may want to use it when styling your mustache.
The tamed horseshoe boasts of a more traditional or robust look. It allows you to grow out the sides in a way that they become bushy. This version of the horseshoe is perfect for men with fair hair or patchier growth as it delivers better results. To make this horseshoe more tamed, you may want to taper the columns.
It is also crucial to trim its entirety. The tamed horseshoe requires consistently thick hair growth, though, which some men find quite challenging. Both corners of your mouth must have thick facial hair growth for this style to work. The needed thickness also makes it necessary for you to learn something about preventing your beard from looking scraggly, making it possible for you to sport this style nicely all the time.
Fu Manchu Horseshoe Mustache
Another possible version is the Fu Manchu. This style is just linked to the horseshoe umbrella family in general and not the exact look of the horseshoe. Note that unlike the exact look of the actual horseshoe, it usually takes a longer time to grow your facial hair into a Fu Manchu. You may also have a hard time growing it.
Basically, this is characterized by cleanly shaving the columns that you can find on the horseshoe. You can also obtain the length using the growth of hair from your upper lip. As for the tendrils, you have to style them down.
The problem with it is that the longer it is, the higher its risk of snapping. You may want to use beard butter and balm in that case. The reason is that the benefits of beard butter and balm often include strengthening facial hair, which helps prevent this style from snapping too easily.
Most Popular Horseshoe Mustache Styles
Do you want your horseshoe mustache to look as unique as possible? Then you may want to try any of its different style variations, including the following:
Third Column Horseshoe Mustache
This specific style features three columns rather than the usual two. While the third column requires a more complex styling process, you can still expect it to look impressive. Just ensure that it stays clean and neat.
Trident Horseshoe Mustache
One advantage of the trident style is that it fits all sorts of men regardless of their job. It is a complex facial hair style capable of bringing out a more solid version of yourself. If you choose this style, pay close attention to shaping its middle part well.
Horseshoe Mustache Good Angles
If you plan to grow a larger horseshoe mustache, you should be extra careful of the angles. If you are not careful, it will not look exactly how you want it to look. Also, integrate a soul patch into the style as it helps make the look more appealing.
Horseshoe Mustache Classics
The classic style is the usual version of the horseshoe mustache. It involves trimming the mustache as a means of covering half of your lower lip. Thus, you can expect its ends to stop at the corners of your mouth. As for the columns, you will notice them starting to run down directly from the tips of your mustache.
However, if you do not prefer going for the classic version, then the bushy horseshoe mustache is ideal for you. It lets you sport a similar shape for the horseshoe while leaving the hair based on your desired length. Don’t forget to shave the remaining facial hair, though. If you don’t, then it will end up being messy.
Picking the horseshoe style gives you several choices regarding the hair’s length. If your hair is sparse, then leaving it longer is a wise move as it helps cover up any bold areas. Just make sure that the length is the same to prevent the final look from becoming messy and untidy.
Another great style is the stubble horseshoe, which is perfect for those who do not need to appear clean-shaven for work or other reasons. For this style to work, just leave a stubble around the mustache. Avoid overdoing it, though, as it may cause the supposedly clean horseshoe to become messy with the hairy background.
This is one of the trendiest facial hair styles you can try right now. To get this look for your horseshoe mustache, just style one column in such a way that it is thinner compared to the other.
Clean Cut Horseshoe Mustache
The clean-cut is also another famous version of the horseshoe mustache. If you choose this style, you should let the topmost part of the gate grow a bit longer than your lip line. It can add space between your mouth and the columns. It is a low-maintenance horseshoe mustache style because it promotes speed when shaving in between each column.
You can also choose to restrict the style to a short one. It is good for you if you want a style that you can easily make. However, remember that you need to add or integrate something to make the final image more diversified – an example would be the soul patch.
Benefits of Growing Horseshoe Mustache Style
Are there benefits to sporting a horseshoe mustache? Of course, there are. Just make sure to have a beard growth kit at home, so you can style it with ease and enjoy the following rewards:
Allows You to Look Badass
Do you want to showcase your masculinity and fierceness? Then the horseshoe mustache will allow you to achieve that. In addition, it can leave an impression that you are a real badass. With that, it is no longer surprising to see several bikers, tough guys, and bouncers starting from the 70s up to today who enjoy this style.
The handlebar mustache goes beyond the lips and offers flexibility to its wearers. The same flexibility is also what you can expect from the horseshoe mustache. This style features a vertical direction that you will surely like to wear due to its versatility and overall appeal. It is versatile in the sense that you can use it to add length to your face. You can also wear it in a bushy way, adding more weight to your face. One more way to wear and enjoy this style is to make it look neat and trim it to establish minimalism.
Looks a Lot Better for Those With Oval Faces
Do you have an oval-shaped face? Then you can make that shape more appealing with the help of a horseshoe mustache. One reason is its ability to lengthen your face. In most cases, it even seems to look a lot better when worn by those with wider faces. Just make sure to also use other beard grooming products, like premium mustache wax, to bring the best out of this beard style.
How Does It Work
Provided it perfectly fits the shape of your face and the kind of personality you intend to portray, the horseshoe mustache can be expected to work by making you look a lot better. It can even bring out your toughness and badass side, which a lot of women find appealing.
Shaped like an upside U, you can attain the horseshoe mustache style by letting a full or circle beard grow out then trimming it after several weeks to a month. It can give you enough time to promote optimal hair growth, especially in those areas with notorious patches. After reaching the desired length, it is possible to shave off the hair found on your chin.
Pros and Cons
- Gives you a more masculine and tougher look.
- Looks great on those with oval faces.
- Promotes flexible styling.
- Easy to grow.
- Time-consuming and challenging to learn at first. The good news is that you will be able to master creating and sporting this facial hair style with practice.
Horseshoe Mustache and Different Face Shapes
The horseshoe mustache can be expected to look different depending on your facial shape. Therefore, it is what we will cover in this section. Here are the different facial shapes and how the horseshoe mustache will look in each one:
Oblong Face Shapes
The horseshoe mustache is the best style for honing this facial shape. This style lets you grow out both sides with columns that you need to widen at the bottom part. In that case, your oblong face will look wider. It promotes growth that tends to strengthen your jawline and chin while increasing the width of your face. It can also make the shape more triangular, allowing you to look tougher.
Square Face Shapes
The horseshoe mustache also fits those with square faces. This facial shape boasts of a well-proportioned and strong bone structure, which effectively carries the style’s weight. Aside from that, it can highlight your chin as it has textured columns that can break up your jawline. It can lead to a more masculine and tougher appearance, which signifies virility.
Triangle Face Shapes
If you have a triangular face, then the horseshoe mustache is also suitable for you. It could be because your facial shape gives you strong jawlines. The horseshoe style works in breaking up your jawline and chin using a more welcoming texture. It can also highlight your pronounced jaw and soften it.
Oval Face Shapes
If you have an oval shape, then go for the tamed horseshoe, as it can give texture to your face without keeping your chin smothered. Be extra careful, though, as this style’s abundant volume may turn against you, making your chin look narrower than usual. It leads to offsetting the harmony of your facial shape.
Round Face Shapes
Those with round faces may not carry the traditional horseshoe that well. The reason is that this style may overwhelm your soft jawline, which can also cause the width to become overabundant.
Still, you can make the tamed horseshoe work for your round face. All it takes is to trim it cleverly, so you can counterattack the issue and add bulk. But, of course, you also have to make the columns stay perfectly straight and perpendicular to your mouth as such can strengthen it.
Heart Face Shapes
For those with heart-shaped faces, the horseshoe mustache is not a good fit. The reason is that this facial shape features a smaller chin, which may only dissolve under. As a result, it can make the face look rounder than normal, even if you wear the tamed horseshoe.
Diamond Face Shapes
If you have a diamond facial shape, then the horseshoe mustache may not suit you well, too. The reason is that this facial hair style grows hair at the corners of your mouth, which may only clash with your concave cheeks and high cheekbones. Therefore, the horseshoe mustache may create gaunt cheeks, which causes your face to look thinner than necessary.
Tools for Styling Horseshoe Mustache
Any style of facial hair can greatly benefit from regular beard grooming routines, like blow-drying your beard at the lowest temperature and using a mustache comb with smooth rounded teeth in most cases. The same is true when you decide to go for the horseshoe mustache style. In that case, you also need some tools and products to make the style more appealing. These include the following:
You may want to use high-vitamin beard oil – one that is truly effective in nourishing your mustache. Your facial hair and mustache can definitely benefit from this product as it also promotes fast and thick growth.
One fact about the horseshoe mustache you have to be aware of is that it requires regular trimming, so make sure to include this in your beard grooming routines. In this case, style your mustache using a high-quality trimmer. You may also want to use the sharpest hair scissors. Just ensure that you gather information on how to use a pair of scissors for trimming your horseshoe mustache to prevent messing up the style.
Another product you need would be a beard conditioner. It helps make your facial hair more manageable and softer.
Beard wax is another valuable beard styling product. You can use it to retain the style for a long time while managing any loose hair. Note that while you can buy beard wax from a wide range of stores offline and online, making your own mustache wax is also a great idea. It is easy to do, plus you can choose what you want to include in the product.
What is great about the horseshoe mustache is that it is highly versatile. This means it lets you experiment with various styles of hair since it can complement most of them.
You also need to include facial scrubs in your beard grooming kit. Using this product on the area, you intend to shave can get rid of the dirt, dead skin, and oil that may also interfere with the razor’s movements.
Prepare a hot towel before shaving your facial hair, too. Soak the towel in hot water first, then put it on your face. It softens your hair, promoting ease in styling and shaving.
Do not forget to use aftershave, too. It is necessary for preventing infections that shaving may cause.
How to Grow Horseshoe Mustache
Step 1 – Trim your beard
In this case, you have to make sure that you are using a comb with the right length on your trimmer. Some trimmers and stylers come with a couple of comb attachments around 2 to 6 mm in length. Choose one that you think fits you the most. You can then start using the trimmer to even out the length of your facial hair.
Step 2 – Define the shape of the mustache
What you should do during this step is to take out the comb attachment in the trimmer. Next, trim the mustache as a means of defining the shape of the horseshoe. You have to trim the hair before shaving to lessen tug and pull during the process. It also helps in preventing blades from clogging. Avoid trimming excessively, though. It should be just enough to even out the look.
Step 3 – Start preparing your face
This step requires you to prepare warm water and use it in rinsing your face. It helps in hydrating the hair, thereby preparing it for the shaving process. After that, lather up the specific facial parts you intend to shave fully using a shave gel. These are referred to as the non-mustache spots. Like the world’s best hair relaxer, shave gel is also an essential product as it helps prevent cuts, irritation, and nicks.
Step 4 – Start shaving
Use gentle and light strokes during this step. Use your razor blade in shaving the area gently and lightly, leading to a close shave. Make sure to rinse the blades you are frequently using during this procedure. It is necessary for preventing hair, as well as the shaving cream you are using (or any unexpected shaving cream substitute, for that matter), from building up in the cartridge and edges. With that, expect the razor to perform excellently.
Step 5 – Use a precision trimmer
As much as possible, use a razor with a precision blade or trimmer built-in. This specific feature works in defining the shape of the mustache while letting you attain clean edges.
Step 6 – Rinse and moisturize
After shaving, you can rinse your face using cool water. Next, dry it off with a towel, then put on your favorite hydrating aftershave lotion. This can help end the process perfectly as it can soften your skin and make it comfortable even after shaving.
How to Trim and Style It
Step 1 – Use a trimmer that has a built-in guard
If you have a long mustache, then this trimmer is a huge help. The built-in guard should be around 4 to 6 mm in length. Trim the sides and any stray hair using a pair of barber shears, too.
Step 2 – Start styling
After trimming the basic horseshoe mustache shape, you can take advantage of a beard or mustache wax for shaping and taming.
Step 3 – Maintain the look with an electric trimmer
Make sure to clean, shave your chin and clip lip hair away. Fortunately, trimming this specific style does not need a lot – a mustache comb and electric mustache or beard trimmer are the only things you need. You may also want to add shape to such a look using a razor and mustache or beard scissors.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Use a high-quality safety razor. You need this in ensuring that the two sides of your face remain smoothly shaven. It is also the key to maintaining the proper form of the pipes.
- Invest in a good-quality beard trimmer. You will also need this to ensure that the pipes or tails, beard, and mustache remain at your preferred length.
- Apply shaving cream. Put it specifically in those areas where you intend to have a clean shave, like your neck, chin, jawline, and cheeks.
- Do not forget to check if this style suits your facial shape. Among the head and facial shapes that match this style better are square, triangle, rectangular, and oval or oblong shapes.
- Do not ignore the importance of growing it at the right length. Keep in mind that you can sport this style correctly by letting it grow at the proper length. Unfortunately, you may have to wait for around three to four weeks to grow your beard before you can style your facial hair into a horseshoe.
When did the horseshoe mustache become popular?
Horseshoe mustache started to become popular during the 60s and 70s. During that time, people fondly called it the biker mustache. It is still a trend up to the present and is mostly favored by bikers and the younger generation.
Are horseshoe mustaches cool?
Yes, they are. This style looks so cool that many bikers and other men who want to show off their masculine and tough look prefer it. The fact that it can add a more masculine touch to your facial hair is also why many younger generations like wearing it, even if it has been around for several decades already.
How long does it take to grow a horseshoe mustache?
It usually takes weeks to grow and style a horseshoe mustache, so it is necessary to have patience throughout the process. You should avoid trimming your facial hair at short intervals. Keep in mind that you need to let your beard grow for approximately three to four weeks, so you can start shaping and styling it into a horseshoe mustache.
Is Fu Manchu mustache offensive?
The Fu Manchu is a mustache style that sometimes causes a problem as it has a strong link to the Chinese villains. It is so prevalent in pop culture that you can see it in several villains, such as the archnemesis of Flash Gordon, known as Ming the Merciless.
Some find it offensive as it is usually used to misrepresent the Chinese ethnicity and is extremely stereotypical. Still, there is no reason not to try this style, provided it perfectly suits you. Note that many still recognize it as an official mustache category, which makes it worthwhile to give it a try, especially if you want to sport your brave and tough personality.
How do you groom Fu Manchu?
If you want to sport the Fu Manchu style, note that it is often more time-consuming and challenging to grow and groom than the actual horseshoe mustache. In this style, you will need to cleanly shave the columns you can find in the horseshoe. You can also groom and grow the Fu Manchu by obtaining its growth and length from your upper lip. Then, you have to style down such tendrils on a long length.
The horseshoe mustache is probably one of the most famous styles of facial hair you can sport at present. Just ensure that you are aware of its different styles and variations and gather all the tools and products you need so you will be able to style your facial hair this way correctly.
Vinnie is one of the members of the Beardoholic writers team. He’s also a barber and hairstylist for 15 years now and he has a kick-ass beard of his own, so he surely knows what makes a magnificent beard and hair and how to achieve them. He’s our go-to guy for all the latest beard and hairstyle trends and he always has a tip or two on how to grow and style a thick beard fast.