Handlebar Moustache Grooming Part 3
Hair Types: My mustache hair is pretty wiry, but generally behaves well and gives me a nice natural curl. In fact, I have a hard time waxing to a straight point. Your hair may be finer or straighter, sparser or more densely populated. Everyone will be different. Don’t regret what you have, just work with it and adapt to create a style that is uniquely yours. Don’t wish your moustache was like someone other guy’s. Honor yourself. It is what it is. I’ve saw a picture of a blond guy with a sparely populated moustache of fine blond hair he had grown out to a waxable two inch curl that looked great. It’s not so much the moustache but how you carry it.
Growing it out: Be aware that your moustache will take some time for all the hairs to grow out to their full length. Early on it may not be so thick, but will thicken up some. If you are starting from bare skin it may take three months to thicken up. If you inspect it you will find some short hairs that have cut ends. These are the ones that were already mature when you stopped cutting it, and they will fall out eventually and then start growing again. Depending on the natural length of your mustache hair it may take many months for the whole team to be on the field at once.
Trimming: As it grows out you will have times when you want to clip. Be patient and give it time to expand and show you what you have to work with. Your personal preference may be to have short curls. You may have some other idea of what will look right on you. Experiment, but don’t be too quick to cut. I’m aiming to hold out as long as I can before I cut it back any.
You may also get a few hairs that are not team players. They go off in their own direction. Give them time rather than cutting them. I’ve found they will often find their way back on track after a few weeks or when they become long enough to wax down securely. Then their uniqueness will be added to the collective….
What style? There are a lot of options, some will be determined by the hair itself. Some you may determine by your target audience or mood. I have several styles I use, which sometimes are coordinated with what I’m doing with my head hair. If my using gel on my hair I will usually put in tight curls. Often I like to wax the main body up a bit and leave soft, unwaxed curls, and sometimes I flare out the tips into more of a feathered/exploded look.
In America at least we also have to contend with the unfortunate impression a cartoon character has left on many people, if only subconsciously: that of Snidely Whiplash. There is a chart on the web of a scale of trustworthiness in mustache and beard styles.
By the way, a shot with a blow-dryer will put a good, lasting curl in my moustache. While it will form it’s own curls when I use wax or gluestick I usually wear nothing or just a bit of gluestick in the middle area to keep it a bit neater. Towel dried after a shower, first thing I do is mold it into shape and then grab and form the curl on one side. With the other hand I use the low setting on my blow dryer to heat set the curl in that side. I hold it until it cools again, then do the other side. I can go all day with no wax or glue in the curls and the curl pretty much stays as I set it. This is a loose, fuzzy curl, but I like this less formal look. But don’t use high heat or you will fry the hair and burn your face.
Curls are unfortunately not perceived favorably by many, whereas Wilford Brimley gets the most trust. So I do adapt a bit. When I had to testify in court recently I left my moustache neat but loose and without waxed curls. I would consider this for job interviews and when dating someone new or looking for someone to date, unless they already show significant interest in you or are more open minded.
Also, be aware that styling a handlebar mustache is subject to a hazard called “fear of what other people think”. This will also be a factor in those days where you hate your handlebar moustache. This is when you are being self-conscious, not self-defining. Remember that everyone has something about them that someone somewhere isn’t going to like or will think odd. With my mou I’m becoming more accepting of other people’s personal choices for styling and beyond. It reminds me not to judge, and not to let others decide what I like. Personally, I don’t want to get too exotic. I don’t want to replace my personality with a moustache, just to enhance and express, but I do want to explore. We shall see. Sign up for updates of this blog so you can watch my 365 Days of Moustache project evolve.