One question that comes up now and then in forums or conversation is what area constitutes legit moustache growth. For a handlebar moustache it will include only hair growing within the upper lip area. This extends out to the sides and usually stops at the smile crease that arch up and in toward your nose. The lower limit is generally at the corners of the mouth. Some men have a bit more strong growth area extending down from there, but for moustache purposes this is to be included only sparingly. Gerard Butler has kindly posed for an illustrative picture. The maximum moustache area – as I see it – is marked in blue lines. Thanks Gerry! You can go wash the blue marker off now.
If your moustache hair naturally drapes down over this area you might include .25 to .50 inches (<1 cm) of area below the corners of the mouth to add some bulk to your handlebar, especially if it’s a bit sparse. I did this for a while, but finally decided to trim it and use only upper lip hair. I felt better about that. Didn’t hurt me any, and I won $1000 with that moustache.
A note: Some men grow the chin hair in vertical columns down to the jawline and call this a handlebar moustache, which it is not. It’s a handlebar goatee. To be a moustache it must include only moustache hair, and that grows only on the upper lip. Also, there are some competitions where a “imperial moustache” is allowed to include a large amount of cheek and beard hair. I feel this is a serious misnomer and should be called an imperial beard. After all, the imperial style was inspired by Kaiser Wilhelm, and his never included cheek or beard hair.