If you want your facial hair to make a statement, nothing works quite as well as a handlebar mustache.
And while the style faded away decades ago, it’s back on the scene and going stronger than ever in 2023.
So we know why you’re here — to grow the most epic handlebar mustache ever! We’ll show you the ropes and how to get a handlebar mustache that will rival the greats.
Handlebar Mustache Basics
Handlebar mustaches are full mustaches styled with (typically mustache wax) products to give them a look resembling the handles of a bicycle. There is some room for freedom, though; you can style handlebar mustaches in various ways:
- A traditional handlebar mustache is when you curl the ends upward — you can even make it into a full loop.
- An English handlebar mustache is similar; instead of curling the ends, they come to a point.
- A petite handlebar mustache is a mini version of the style that’s perfect for those who can’t grow their facial hair long enough for other styles.
- A Hungarian handlebar mustache is the opposite of petite versions; it’s a big, burly handlebar mustache that covers the entire upper lip.
Do you know the key to an epic handlebar mustache? It’s all in the wax!
So How Do You Grow a Handlebar Mustache?
The primary ingredient for a handlebar mustache is time, but your genetics play a role, too. You can expect to spend 4-6 months before your facial hair is long enough to have a full handlebar mustache. And remember that everyone won’t be able to grow one — handlebar mustaches require you to have long, thick hairs at the end of your mustache.
Many men cannot grow their mustaches long enough for a traditional handlebar mustache; all you can do is try!
While growing your facial hair, you can trim your mustache enough to keep it out of your mouth, but don’t touch the corners! You’ll need as much length as possible on the ends.
However, if you want to grow a Hungarian handlebar mustache, don’t worry about trimming it!
Finally, you can grow a handlebar mustache or pair it with different beard styles. For example, Handlebar mustaches go great with a Van Dyke style, stubble, and full beards!
How Do You Trim a Handlebar Mustache?
While a handlebar mustache might seem more like a gruff style, it requires plenty of trimming and grooming to upkeep. Even if you want a rougher look, keeping your handlebar mustache tidy is essential.
You’ll want to keep the middle of your mustache neat to keep a nice, flowing style — you don’t want stray hairs to take away from your mustache’s epicness!
It’s a good idea to use a mustache comb and trimming scissors. In addition, high-quality mustache wax is crucial to keep your handlebar looking its best.
Here’s how to trim your handlebar mustache, whether it’s brand new or if you’ve been rocking it for years:
- Section your mustache into three parts and comb the sides out and middle down.
- Using sharp trimming scissors, follow the curve of your lip and trim away the hairs that pass your lip line — be careful not to trim too much!
- Comb the handlebar parts of your mustache down and slowly trim until the transition to your shorter hairs in the middle looks seamless.
- Using a small bit of mustache wax, style your handlebar as you normally would and make any necessary trims to ensure each side is even.
- Finally, trim any hairs growing underneath your mustache (unless you’re pairing your handlebar with other facial hair — in that case, leave these hairs alone!).
How to Style Your Handlebar Mustache in Three Steps
Now that your handlebar mustache is neatly groomed, let’s discuss your styling options!
First, Train Your Handlebar Mustache
Many bearded men skip this step, but it’s crucial that you don’t! Growing and styling a handlebar mustache comes with some frustrations — the most significant one being keeping it curled all day.
Because your facial hair likes to be wild, training your mustache is essential. To train it, you’ll want to start with a wet mustache, a mustache comb, and a blow dryer.
Apply heat to your mustache while combing your hair into the shape you want to help it keep that shape naturally. And once your facial hair is almost dry, switch your blow dryer to its cool setting to help lock it in.
Then all you need to do is use your mustache wax to refine your hair into the perfect shape! If you don’t train your mustache hair, you’ll have to force it with mustache wax, resulting in a much more messy look.
Related: How to Train Your Facial Hair
Apply Mustache Wax
You don’t want to apply mustache wax when it’s at room temperature — unless you want clumps of it hanging out in your ‘stache.
Instead, warm the mustache wax using your palms and fingers to soften it before spreading it through your facial hair. You can even warm it up with a blow dryer for an easier time!
Then, use a mustache comb or soft bristle brush to spread it evenly throughout your handlebar mustache.
Keep your handlebar looking its best with the right mustache care products!
Curl Your Mustache
Finally, it’s time to curl! Get a little more wax in your hand and use it to smooth out the ends of your mustache. You only need to apply a little pressure to get them to stay together.
You might think that you need to twist the ends to get the handlebar style, but you don’t — doing so will make it look messy.
Then, all you have to do is curl your mustache into whatever shape you want!
Rock Your New Handlebar Mustache!
Before you leave, we have a few more handlebar mustache-growing tips for you!
- Don’t shave near the corners of your mouth (you’ll be tempted, but resist!).
- Use a beard wash regularly to keep your mustache hairs (and the skin underneath) clean and healthy.
- Brush your ‘stache daily using a soft bristle brush.
- Seriously, don’t skip the mustache-training step!