The mustache revival is well upon us, gentlemen. Once a look favored by wartime heroes and 1980s beefcakes, it was only a matter of time before the humble, upper lip-tickler came roaring back in style.
Today, the mustache has become the hallmark of a stylish man. But when left unchecked for too long, your sexy face furniture can start to look sloppy or even downright creepy.
Knowing how to trim your mustache—along with using the right men’s grooming tools for the job—is essential to looking more like Henry Cavill in Mission: Impossible-Falloutand less like a 1970’s porn star. Whether you’re working with a pencil ‘stache or you’ve reached Tom Selleck-levels of business, here’s how to trim your mustache like a pro.
Gather Your Tools
First things first: get the tools you need to trim your mustache. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Mustache Comb: You’ll use a mustache comb to straighten your mustache hairs for a precise trim. If your mustache is on the thinner side, use a fine-tooth version. If you’ve been blessed (or cursed, depending on your viewpoint) with a big, bushy ‘stache, use a wide-toothed comb to keep your hairs in check.
- Mustache Scissors: Get yourself some mustache scissors, as in, a pair of stainless-steel scissors made to groom your mustache. If you even think about trimming your mustache with a pair of scissors you pulled out of your junk drawer, the grooming gods will smite you down where you stand.
- Electric Trimmer (Optional): You can also invest in an electric trimmer and use it to remove bulk from your ‘stache. If you’re sporting some scruff, you can also use it to maintain your beard.
- Safety Razor (Optional): If you want to let your mustache hog the spotlight, you need to treat the rest of your face right. Using a safety razor will help reduce nicks and bumps that can bring down that handsome mug of yours. If you don’t know how to use a safety razor, brush up on your knowledge before you start using this handy little tool.
Start with a Clean, Dry ‘Stache
The best time to trim your mustache is one day after you’ve washed it. Why? Because trimming a mustache that’s sprinkled with food or dandruff flakes is pretty difficult—and also kinda gross.
In addition to your mustache being freshly-clean, it should also be completely dry. This is important, gentlemen! Hair looks longer when it’s wet. If you trim your mustache while it’s sopping wet, you might accidentally trim it too short.
Trim for Shape and Definition
Create a straight line with your mustache by combing it in the direction that the hair grows. Pick up your grooming scissors (or an electric trimmer) and slowly trim the hairs along the bottom of your mustache, starting from the middle of one side and going outwards. Repeat this on the other side.
If you’re using an electric trimmer, always start with a higher guard setting. You can always take off more if you’d like.
Trim for Length
Next, you’ll trim for length. If your mustache is at the point where it’s tickling your nose, you can remove some excess bulk with your electric trimmer. Simply choose your guard setting and trim your mustache with the grain (read: in the direction the hair grows).
Take your mustache comb and run it halfway through your mustache, trimming the hairs that poke out of the comb. Do this until you reach your desired length. Run your comb through your ‘stache one last time and snip away any stragglers that you may have missed.
Add the Finishing Touches
You’re almost done! After you’ve trimmed up your mustachio, it’s time to give it some finesse.
If you’re rocking a longer mustache, you can style it with mustache wax. You can also style it with a quality beard balm or even a pomade.
Sporting a small, but mighty ‘stache? Apply a few drops of natural beard oil every morning to keep your mustache hairs soft and healthy. Not only will it make your mustache look better, but the spicy senorita in your life will also appreciate it. The dreaded beard burn is real, fellas, and it’s a relationship RUINER.
Mustache Grooming Made Simple
There you have it, gentlemen. To keep your mustache in check, aim to trim it on a weekly basis.
One last tip: don’t get carried away with your mustache trimming. Remember that you’re staring at your mustache with your face five inches away from a mirror. No one else—save perhaps your girlfriend—is going to be looking at your ‘stache that close. Easy does it!