Nothing communicates confidence, good style and class better than a well-groomed mustache.
Your beard might be tip-top, but that falls flat if your mustache grows over the lips, looks tangled or has a lot of split ends.
There is a fine line between a kick-ass mustache that’s the envy of all your friends and the tacky one.
The latter one makes you feel like a creep, while a well-groomed mustache is a fashion statement that commands respect.
Whether you’re looking to change things up or you want to rock a manly mustache that compliments your already glorious beard, you need to learn to trim your mustache properly. Especially since it’s oh-so-easy to mess things up and end up looking unkempt.
To avoid that, we asked the experts, but also tested a few things on our own and now we bring you the latest and best tips and practices on trimming the mustache the right way in just 6 simple steps.
Table Of Contents
What Is Mustache Trimming
The mustache has always been a classic look for any man, but after some time, a moustache can grow out and look unkempt.
If you want to grow a mustache and still control the growth and keep it looking clean, then you need to have a few basic grooming products.
Mustache trimming involves the systematic cutting on some hairs from your mustache to make it look even and well-groomed.
While a basic trim works for most styles of mustaches, some like the handlebar mustache require more steps in the trimming process.
What Are The Benefits
Grooming for men has come a long way and what used to be a reserve of women is now being done by even the manliest of men.
At the end of the day, a well-groomed man exudes not only confidence but communicates class and your facial hair is the first step towards that.
That said, here are a few benefits of trimming your mustache that you should be aware of.
Prevents Clogging of Pores
The one benefit of keeping your mustache well-trimmed is that it prevents pores from clogging, dirt and bacteria.
It also makes mustache and face cleaning much easier especially if you have trimmed the beard also.
Getting Rid of Split Ends
Split ends deter healthy facial hair growth and make your mustache look unkempt as well as messy.
Remove Coarse and Tangled Hair
Such hairs are usually stubborn, spiky and most of the time will not stay down even when you use beard care products like waxes and balms. As such, you are better off cutting such hairs off.
Maintains an Even Appearance
Facial hair tends to grow at different rates for different people. Some grow on their left while others grow on their right. To control this, you need to trim your mustache every once in a while for a uniform appearance.
Several research studies conducted all point to the fact that women find men who are well-groomed attractive. And that starts with knowing how to trim your facial hair, especially the mustache.
The mustache trend is here to stay and if you want to win any points with the ladies, you need to know how to trim your mustache properly.
Picking out the right tools to trim your mustache is just as important as the trimming process. While you don’t need to break the bank for trimming tools, you still need to ensure that you get the right quality of tools.
If you are on a budget and can’t afford to buy brand new tools, you could always check online stores that carry second hand quality trimming tools as long as you ensure that you clean the tools before use.
When it comes to mustache trimming tools, the greatest hurdle would be figuring out exactly what you need. There are so many tools on the market and the best way is to determine the style of your mustache so that you can get something that fits into that.
A trimmer is a must-have if you have a mustache and need to keep it well-groomed. With a trimmer, the length of your mustache doesn’t matter, since a good trimmer will always get the job done.
Picking the right trimmer, however, is overwhelming since there are so many options to choose from.
However, if you know the qualities to look for and the factors to consider, you are sure to get a trimmer that fits into your grooming routine.
When it comes to mustache grooming, a pair of scissors is only needed if you are planning to grow your mustache out.
It’s a tool that you must have and must master using if you are to trim any long style mustache.
You can however still use scissors to trim shorter mustaches but you need the right skills to ensure that you don’t end up messing your mustache or worse cutting the whole thing.
How to Choose the Best Trimmer for Mustache
Just like any other home improvement project that you would undertake, trimming your mustache is the same in the sense that you need the right tools.
With that in mind, your grooming toolkit should include a trimmer that is ideal for mustache trimming as well as styling.
This means buying a multi-functional trimmer that you can use for both beard and mustache trimming.
There are certain features that you need to consider if you want to get the best trimmer that will not only get the job done but is durable.
A trimmer is only as good as the blades and a quality blade is the one quality you need in a good trimmer.
Stainless steel blades are recommended since they are sharp, don’t rust and tend to be safer to use than other blades. Such blades are also great for those who have sensitive skin.
As mentioned earlier, mustache trimmers most of the time tend to be multifunctional tools that you can use for mustache, body and beard trimming.
If you are looking to save money in the long run, you are better off buying a versatile trimmer that you can use for other things also.
Cord or Cordless
Trimmers can either be corded or cordless and it’s something that you need to consider when you are buying a trimmer.
A corded trimmer has a power cord and you have to connect it to a power outlet when using. As such, there is one disadvantage with such a trimmer which is that it is not portable. You also can’t use it if you don’t have power.
If you have to buy a corded trimmer, the main thing you need to look out for is the cord length. A shorter cord means less maneuverability so get one with a longer cord.
A cordless trimmer, on the other hand, uses batteries and as such its main advantage is portability.
However, with such a trimmer, check the battery run time because the last thing you want is a trimmer that you have to recharge in between shaving.
Trimmers come in different designs. Some have whistles and bells and as such, cost more while others are just simple.
With the design, what it all comes down to is your budget and your personal preferences. At the end of the day, you are the one who is going to be using that trimmer so it makes sense to get one with a design that you are comfortable with.
Lastly, when all things are considered, your budget determines the kind of trimmer that you get. While you don’t need to break the bank, ensure that you don’t compromise on the quality of the trimmer.
The last thing you need is to get a trimmer that will break down a few weeks later forcing you to spend more replacing it.
Prices vary based on the qualities of the trimmer as well as the brand. Trimmers from well-known brands will cost you more but most of the time they are worth it.
However, there are smaller brands that still have quality trimmers. What you need is to look for other qualities like design, versatility and most importantly blade quality.
How to Trim It
Step 1 – Let it grow
The first step in trimming your mustache is to have enough lip hair to justify breaking out the scissors.
A lot of men are hesitant when it comes to growing a beard and fail to give proper time to let the hair entirely envelop the upper lip.
Remember the “Thing” on Adam’s Family? Okay, let’s not get carried away.
But seriously, to properly trim your mustache you have to have something to trim. So free your upper lip and give it some room to grow! Allow at least one month before you get any trimming ideas.
Now that you’ve got enough hair on your upper lip to do something with, how do you go about trimming and “prunning” your creation for the long haul?
So when the time is right, grab your scissors, a bit of wax (here is a great wax recipe if you want to diy) and get ready.
Related Article: How to Use Beard Scissors Like a Pro
The first step in mustache maintenance is to assess the current stache performance.
Taking a comb, stroke your stache straight down over your upper lip, paying close attention to the main hair line. The lip line the line you are going to use as a guide to trim and prune your excess hair.
Step 2 – Use facial hair comb
Using a comb to trim your mustache is mandatory. If you are not grooming your manly stache to keep those long wild hairs in check, then you’re in for a big surprise.
Not all combs are created equal, however, and when you are nurturing your Movember look, keeping the following tips in mind will go a long way.
Step 3 – Pick the right comb
Cheap combs are made using plastic and presses, meaning big trouble for your beard.
Cheap combs have sharp and jagged edges as a result of the manufacturing process, meaning they are more likely to pull, cut and tear your mustache when grooming.
Depending on your hair density, you need to match your mustache with the right tooth comb. If you have a thick and hearty beard, using a wider tooth comb is recommended. If you have a thinner and finer mustache, then opting in for a small tooth comb will help keep your wild hairs in check.
The size of the comb is another factor when grooming and picking a comb that is big enough to cover half of the lip for each stroke.
This technique allows you to properly groom with fewer strokes, protecting potential breakage and damage to your Mo.
Using single downward strokes to align your mustache gives you a clear picture of where your lip line falls and where to begin trimming.
Step 4 – Make sure your facial hair is dry
When cutting your facial hair always do it dry. By trimming your mustache when it’s dry ensures that you don’t over trim it.
Wet hair can appear longer than it is, making it very possible to chop off your mop without even realizing.
Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t wash your mustache before trimming.
Cleaning your beard of dirt and grime is mandatory, but giving it time to breathe and fully dry is also just as important.
Maintain your mustache while dry also gives your better control over your lip line contour. Learning to use your comb as your trim the dry hairs sticking out through the comb takes practice, but all the pros do it.
Step 5 – Choose a mustache style
Growing out your mustache can be fun, exciting, and unruly. That’s part of being a man. However, deciding how you want your “mo” to represent is another topic altogether.
Finding your form is like deciding on your hairstyle, it’s a part of you. Your mustache style helps to define your personality, shape your face, and drive the women crazy if you’re lucky.
So how do you decide upon which stache is best for you? Well, there are two basic paths to take:
Route 1: Pick a mustache style that compliments your face and facial hair style.
Route 2: Go balls to the wall and free the Mo.
Step 6 – Make sure your mustache is even
Now that your beard is clean, trimmed and healthy, it’s always a good idea to give it a second look. Using your comb, give long single strokes from the upper portion of your mustache downward toward your upper lip.
Check for any straggler’s hairs, test the evenness of your trim, and take a selfie. Yep, that’s right the final stage to check your look is to snap a photo and see how you look to the outside world. Taking a photo will give you an idea if your mustache is actually symmetrical and ready to be revealed to the world.
Finding the right way to trim and maintain your mustache this fall doesn’t have to be a mystery.
Whether you are growing out for the first time or sport the traditional manly winter look, following these basic guidelines will ensure you always look good.
In short, growing a manly mustache can be rewarding and fun.
Following some basic trimming guidelines will not only help you along the way but make sure your mustache is always looking fly.
Let your beard grow for extended periods of time with regularly scheduled maintenance. Pick the right tool for the job.
Always trim your mustache when it’s completely dry and stick to the plan. Committing to a mustache style requires patience and practice.
So put up your razor and break out your trimmers because Movember is right around the corner!
How to Trim a Mustache With Scissors
One of the tools that you can use to trim your mustache is a sharp pair of scissors. Here are a few steps to follow.
Step 1 – Allow the mustache to grow
If you are to trim a mustache, then you need a mustache to trim so the first step is to give it time to grow. The next equation is figuring out how long too long is. After how long should you trim your mustache?
Generally, two to four weeks are enough to have a mustache that you can trim but that varies from one man to another. This is because the rate of facial hair grown varies from one individual to another.
While genetics play a role in determining how fast your facial hair grows, according to numerous studies, other factors also play a crucial role in that such as diet, rest, exercise and lifestyle choices like smoking.
For instance, if you have a consistent exercise routine that includes aerobics, this improves blood circulation and better circulation is the key to nutrients reaching your hair follicles faster leading to the growth of facial hair.
At the same time, if you are looking to grow facial hair, you need to consider your diet. Including foods rich in essential nutrients and vitamins like A, C and E aids in efficient facial hair growth.
Step 2 – Preparing your mustache for the trim
Once you have determined that your mustache is of the right thickness and length to be trimmed, then you can go ahead and begin trimming it.
The first thing you need to do is to get the right tools- a beard comb, trimmer, and a mirror. You will also need to trim your mustache in a well-lighted area, preferably a bathroom and over a sink, towel or a waste bin.
Before you begin trimming, wash your mustache to remove dirt and dust as well as soften the hairs so that they are easier to cut.
Most men choose to use a multi-functional mustache and beard trimmer for the trimming process but if you have a specific mustache trimmer, it will still work. It all depends on what you are comfortable with at the end of the day.
If you are new to mustache trimming however, you are better off using a pair of scissors to minimize the risk of cutting more than you intend.
Step 3 – Comb the mustache
After you have cleaned your mustache, comb it with a mustache comb. Combing just like cleaning, makes trimming easier since you can straighten the hairs so that they are easy to cut.
When combing, comb downwards towards the lip so that you can locate stray hairs in the process as well as split ends that require to be trimmed. Combing, in the end, makes it easy to see the length of the hairs for an easy cut.
The comb you use matters, however. While you may be tempted to use just any comb you find lying around, ensure that you use a comb that is designed for the job, in this case, a mustache comb.
Step 4 – Cut across the upper lip
Begin by cutting the hairs that are closest to your upper lip. Follow the upper lip line making small cuts as you go. How much you cut depends on what you prefer but ensure that you don’t leave too much gap.
The best way to do this is to start at the outside edges of the mustache working your way towards the center. When you are finished with one half of the mustache, start on the outside of the other half repeating the same process.
Step 5 – Trim the upper areas of the mustache
When you have finished the area directly above the upper lip, you can now move to the upper boundary of the mustache. Again, you can use a trimmer or scissors for this section as well but take your time.
Trim the area below the nose such that it doesn’t look like the mustache is an extension of your nose hair. You can cut the mustache at a 45-degree angle towards the lips to give it a fuller appearance.
Lastly, one thing to keep in mind is that your mustache depends on your personal preference as well as your chosen style.
Step 6 – Remember to get rid of the mustache’s bulk
There is a fine line between an overly bushy mustache and one that is too thin for anyone to realize that you are rocking one.
As such, be very careful when you are trimming your mustache’s thickness as well as density. There is no right or wrong density, but you don’t want a mustache that is too thick or too thin so it’s up to you to find the middle ground.
To do that, use a mustache comb and scissors to reduce the thickness. Comb upwards away from the mustache so that the ends of the hairs extend just past the comb’s teeth.
To help thin out the mustache, trim any excess hairs. Once you are done, run the comb through the mustache to see if any stray hairs are remaining. If there are any, use the scissors to cut them to the desired length.
How to Trim a Mustache With a Trimmer
If you are not a beginner or have the right skills, you can use a trimmer to trim your mustache. It can either be a multi-functional beard and mustache trimmer or a specific trimmer designed for mustache trimming.
Step 1 – Soften the hair and dry it out
Hair that grows on your upper lip is usually coarse and thick and as such, you need to soften it so that your blade can glide easily without you putting in too much effort. Use either beard wash or shampoo to clean your facial hair. After that condition it and wash thoroughly to make the mustache smooth as well as glossy.
After you are done, use a towel to dry out the mustache to make it easy to cut since wet hair cuts less neatly.
Step 2 – Comb it down
When the mustache is dry, use a comb to untangle the hair and smoothen it out. Combing makes it easier to clip any extra hairs and gives you an idea of the length of the hair so that you don’t cut too much or too little.
Step 3 – Trim the corners
Start by trimming the corners of your mustache. Trim at an angle so that the mustache can have a well-groomed look.
When trimming follow the lip line and snip small sections that hang over the lip and those that exceed to the lip line. The idea is to trim the mustache in such a way that it won’t fall over the lip but will nicely stay put above them.
Start trimming from one corner of the mustache working your way towards the middle. After that move from the other side towards the center to get a symmetrically-looking mustache.
Step 4 – Trim the top
For that impeccable clean looking trim, shave any hairs that may fall outside the shape of your mustache. Such strands tend to give your face a disheveled look which is what you need to avoid when you are trimming your mustache. As such, look for any hairs that are outside the mustache and trim them.
While at it, use the trimmer to clean out those areas underneath the nose. Hair located on this area doesn’t add to the mustache in any way especially if you want a crisp clean look. Trim such hair at an acute angle but if you want a full look, you can leave it.
Step 5 – Reduce the hair volume
Once you are done shaping the mustache, turn the trimmer on and start reducing the thickness. To get a closely cropped mustache, start by combing the hair and trim the excess strands.
This trims the bulk of your mustache. After that, use an electric shaver to trim any hairs that protrude outside the comb’s teeth.
Step 6 – Check for any untrimmed hairs
Finish off your grooming routine by checking for any hairs that you may have missed. Comb the entire mustache checking for any stray hairs. If there are any, trim then gently using the comb for guidance.
How to Shave a Mustache
Sometimes rather than trim, you may opt to shave your mustache completely. Here are the steps to follow for a clean shave.
Step 1 – Trim the mustache
Start by trimming the mustache with a pair of small scissors or clippers. Shorter hair is less likely to catch in the razor than longer ones and besides, you will have a clearer view when you are shaving.
Step 2 – Take a hot shower
Before you begin shaving, take a hot shower to not only remove dirt and debris from your facial hair but to make the hairs soft for a smooth shave.
Taking a hot shower also opens up the pores to prevent razor burns and ingrown hairs after shaving.
Step 3 – Apply some pre-shave oil
Pre-shave oils are meant to provide extra lubrication as well as protection against skin irritation when wet shaving.
Apply a small amount of the oil to the skin around the upper lip that is likely to come into contact with the razor when you are shaving.
Step 4 – Apply shaving soap or gel
Work the gel into a creamy lather and apply it to the face. Regardless of what kind of shaving gel you are using, apply it using a shave brush to help exfoliate the hair and soften and lift the hairs for a smooth shave.
Step 5 – Shave in short strokes with the grain
Heat a razor in warm water and then make small strokes in the same direction as the grain of your hair.
Since hair doesn’t grow at right angles, to find the grain, run your fingers over the scruff to find the direction the hair feels smooth rather than prickly. How you shave the hair will depend on the type of razor you are using.
If you are using a safety razor, hold the razor at a 30-degree angle without applying too much pressure. Allow the weight of the razor to do the work for you to avoid irritations.
If you have a cartridge razor, ensure that the plane of the cutting surface remains parallel with the skin. The close spacing of the blades will mean rinsing the blade in between shaving so do that for a smooth shave.
Regardless of the razor, stretch the upper lip downwards so that you can have a taut surface especially if your mustache is thick. Avoid passing the razor over the same area multiple times since this can lead to irritation as well as nicks. Reapply shaving gel if you need to.
Step 6 – Rinse with cold water
Once you are done, rinse the face with cold water to soothe the skin and help close the pores.
Step 7 – Apply an aftershave
If you are satisfied with the results, apply an aftershave depending on your skin type. Some aftershaves are ideal for different skin types from dry, normal to sensitive. Be very careful with the aftershave you use especially if you have sensitive skin.
How to Style a Mustache
A well-maintained mustache communicates class. Whether you are looking to make a fashion statement or have a mustache that reflects your masculinity, there is always a style that can fit you.
As such, styling a mustache depends on the mustache style you go for. If you can’t choose a single style, you can experiment with a few basic ones until you get the one that suit your style.
Step 1 – Styling a handlebar mustache
For this style, allow your mustache to grow until the ends reach around the upper lip. Apply some mustache wax to the upper end and then using a comb, spread it throughout the entire mustache. Part the mustache in half and use your fingers to twist the ends up.
A proper handlebar mustache takes about 6 weeks to grow for most people. As it grows, ensure that you trim the hairs around the lip. If you want the ends to curl, you can twist them around a pen or pencil.
Step 2 – A simple Chevron mustache
If you want a simpler look, you can go for a Chevron mustache. Let your hair grow until it brushes the upper lip.
Trim the longer hairs such that the end of the mustache hangs at the top corners of the mouth. To maintain this look, trim any hairs that grow below the upper lip so that the ends don’t end up in your mouth.
Step 3 – Styling a cowboy mustache
This is a longer version of the Chevron mustache and it draws its charm from the scruffiness of the mustache.
As such, let your Chevron mustache grow longer over your upper lip until it touches the bottom one. Use some trimming scissors to neaten the ends of the mustache.
Step 4 – Growing and styling a walrus mustache
A walrus mustache is usually a combination of a cowboy and a handlebar mustache. As such allow the mustache to grow past the bottom lip on the sides and then trim the center around the lower lip creating a horseshoe shape.
Part the mustache in two halves and apply wax to both halves to keep the mustache in place. For most people, the walrus mustache takes about 3 months to grow in full so take your time.
Step 5 – Growing a pyramidal style mustache
Pyramidal mustaches as the name suggests tend to be narrow at the top and wide at the bottom.
To pull off the look, grow the mustache out just above the upper lip and then use a trimmer to make it horizontally thinner at the top, sloping the sides down to achieve a wide bottom. Continue trimming the mustache as it grows past the upper lip to maintain a tidy shape.
Do’s and Don’ts
When growing a mustache, the last thing you want is to end up looking unkempt. Ensure that you have the right tools as well as skills for trimming your mustache. With that in mind here are some tips that you need to remember.
- Do allow the mustache to grow and gain thickness to ensure that you get the best results when you shave it next.
- Ensure that you condition and hydrate since facial hair tends to draw moisture from the skin hence why you need to hydrate often.
- Invest in a good mustache comb and styling wax if you want to grow your mustache out.
- Use a mustache cleanser that contains less abrasive ingredients if you don’t want your mustache looking light and feeling stiff.
- Don’t use electric razors when trimming your mustache but rather opt for a manual razor or simple scissors.
- Don’t touch your mustache often since this can get bacteria in your pores, causing ingrown hairs and making your mustache look oily.
Should I trim the mustache above the lip?
When you are growing a mustache, the hair should cover the upper lip partially but it should not get in your mouth. Use a mustache comb to trim the hair above the lip.
How do you fix an uneven mustache?
Start by cleaning your mustache, apply beard oil of your choice and then use a flat iron if you have a long mustache or a hairdryer on low heat setting and then comb the mustache straight down.
Why is it important to use a mustache comb during the trimming process?
A mustache comb helps make trimming easy by straightening the mustache hairs making it easy to cut them. It also helps you locate any stray hairs as well as split ends.
Where should a mustache end?
This depends on the style you go for but generally, a good mustache should end at the corner of the lips.
How do you trim a thick mustache?
Use a mustache comb to comb away and up from the mustache to extend the ends of the hairs and then use an electric trimmer or a pair of scissors to trim them.
What do I need to use to keep my mustache in shape?
You can use a beard shaper to keep your mustache in shape.
How do I trim the middle of a mustache?
You can use a pair of scissors or an electric trimmer without the guard to trim the middle of the mustache ensuring that you don’t mess up.
How frequently should you trim your mustache?
This depends on your rate of hair growth since it’s different with every person.
A well-groomed mustache speaks volumes and can be a confidence booster. To begin trimming your mustache you need to allow your mustache to grow, have the right tools for the job as well as the skills to get it done. The one thing you need to remember is not to trim too much or too little but at the end of the day, it depends on the style you are going for.