Updated Handlebar Grooming Part 4 – Wash and Wear
Some of us men aren’t used to fussing over something like a handlebar mustache. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of fussing. Some guys already do a bit of fussing over their looks already. We just need to get used to the fact that a moustache of the awesome sort needs some care. It’s not vain unless you get vain about it. Keep it in perspective and you’ll be fine. And you will still probably end up with a pile of moustache care products.
Before you wash it check under it for flakes. If you are getting any accumulation of dead skin cells then use a dry, stiff tooth brush to exfoliate before washing. Just brush in a couple of directions until the flakes are gone. This is healthier for your skin and looks better up close for your closeup moments.
You may likely desire to use wax to style your moustache. This comes with the question of what to do about removing it.
My preferred method is to use a blowdryer to carefully melt the wax, one curl at a time, wiping out the liquid wax by pinching the curl with a paper towel. Be careful not to get it too hot as you can fry the hair. Just watch, and as it begins to melt pause and wipe some out, then go again until you are satisfied. This method won’t remove all of it but is pretty fast, and can actually leave a useful trace of wax on the hair if you want to go semi-natural using that. You can also use the heat to melt wax out of your comb, but be careful you don’t melt a plastic comb.
If you want to get all the wax out you can use an oil mix such as Petal Pushers’ wax removal oil, which has a nice cinnamon scent, or just use Dawn dish liquid soap as it will get anything out. You can use it on your grooming tools, combs and brushes also.
If you use wax and conditioning products such as lanolin, I’m not so sure it’s all that critical what you wash your moustache with as the hair is course and short, and if you use wax that will overshadow any effect the washing agent will have. Even so, it’s a good idea to not use crappy soaps or shampoo as the moustache hair is usually courser, maybe less flexible, and because it is the most important hair on your body, you don’t want to abuse it. Especially with a long moustache, you can get split ends, and it’s important to treat the hair well for that purpose.
That being said, I would suggest you wash your moustache with good shampoo rather than soap. I prefer organic shampoos. Baby shampoo is pretty harsh on hair. A moisturizing shampoo may be a good idea if you go natural with no conditioners, but also remember that your skin produces a fair amount of its own oils and within an hour or two those oils will move onto the hair in your moustache.
For a natural mo, conditioner can have a nice effect. You don’t need conditioner in the curls if you use any sort of wax-like product as the conditioner will be irrelevant when you apply the product, but the body of the moustache would benefit, unless your waxing practices apply any wax traces to the body of the moustache.
Some men like to apply leave-in conditioner or maybe jojoba oil after washing to give it a nice “moisturizing”. Sometimes, after washing, I used to put a tiny smidgen of conditioner on my mo as a leave in conditioner when I wasn’t going to use wax or glue. I now prefer pharmaceutical grade lanolin as a conditioner. You can get a few ounces of it for under ten dollars on Amazon.com. It has almost no scent and you need just the tiniest amount. I expect my jar will last a few years. I very much like the effect. It goes on slightly sticky but that changes and the hair gets a nice semi-waxy feeling. It’s like halfway between a lotion and a wax in the feel.
If you don’t use product on your handlebar moustache then be aware that after you eat it may have food odors on it. If you aren’t using wax or another product you might want to give it a quick wash in the sink, even if you are dining out. You may not want to go around smelling like a burrito or whatever for the rest of the day. If your moustache is waxed or glued and generally out of food’s way, you’re fine. You wouldn’t want to be washing and rewaxing it anyway.
By the way, while eating it’s a good idea to be mindful you can collect some food crumbs on your moustache so you might want to wipe with a napkin frequently during your meal, especially when dining in the presence of others. Tip: eat toast buttered-side down to keep the spread off your crumb catcher.
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