I’m approaching the year anniversary of my handlebar moustache, its been a truly fascinating and liberating experience and one that I recommend anyone taking part in. Of course there have been times of woe with poor product application, more user error than product fault, days when the mo wont go and even terrible decisions to trim. One of the reasons that I started this site was to share in this journey and to show both sides of wearing a great moustache, its easy to share pictures and tales of a life enhanced by beautiful facial hair but to share the downsides is another thing. Its easy to get disheartened by the absolutely stunning moustaches out there when your facial hair is deciding to go all wonky, with curls going in different directions, or the dreaded corkscrew leaving you reaching for the scissors or putting a bag on your head. Fear ye not good sir, below are my tips on how to style your handlebar moustache as I do it, so step away from the scissors and put that ski mask back in the drawer. I’m not saying that this a miraculous offering, it may not work for you. Genetics aside there are many factors that will affect your ability to get a good styling, the local weather, your diet but the biggest is how you approach it.
Over the last week or so I have had a couple of chaps on my various social feeds asking me for tips on styling or facial hair care but mostly asking what wax I use to get a certain look. My answer is always the same, its not the wax that gives you your style as all a wax will do is set what you have going on. They key is your routine before you even warm your wax, so here is what I do. I’ve added pictures but I am aware they are not great quality, I would love to get a video together but until then I hope this will suffice so please sit back and get ready to practice.
If there was such a thing as a Moustache themed Desert Island (sounds pretty awesome) the things I would take are a brush, conditioner of choice but THE most important tool is a hairdryer. A number of guys I have chatted to online do not use a hairdryer and I didn’t until I joined the Handlebar Forum looking for help and I have not looked back since though I do admit on owing my wife a new hairdryer. If you are resistant to this then all I will say just think about a hair salon with banks of ladies sat under dryers “setting” their style. Now I admit some of these ladies will have a had a blue or purple rinse, that’s up to you if you want to go for that look but the reason they sat there reading an out of date magazine was all about getting the look.
Facial hair is tougher to set or style than head hair, if you are like me you most likely have a moustache that seems to go in a different direction everyday, one thing I do have consistently is a forward curl or corkscrewing of my right side but given a bit of time with the hairdryer I can get a pretty symmetrical look. Here follows how I get the best out of a bad situation.
Firstly its imperative that your hair is wet before you try and style it, if you think of your moustache like a wicker basket the only way the willow will flex is if is rehydrated allowing a number of shapes to be created. It is then left to dry and sets firm, your facial hair is the same so I walk wet faced from my morning shower with drips of water cascading off my tash. I assess my moustache and look at things to see which side needs more work and also to see if there is a certain style in the making and go with it, its key to work with what you’ve got.
The next step is to define your centre, I use a Kent Moustache comb for this but any fine tooth comb will do. Once you have done this use your fingers to slowly tuck and roll your moustache visit this great site to learn how to do it.
You will notice a slight upward tilt of your handlebar as you perform the above step and this is key to either use or discard depending on whether you want a curl or not.
Next is to bring the tips together by using the above tuck and roll technique and pulling the hairs out towards your ear, if you want a tighter curl aim for the top of your ear or should you prefer a straighter look pull out towards your jawline. Now here comes the hairdryer, its very important not to have a high heat setting as you do not want to burn your hairs because this will dry them out, also going to work with 3rd degree burns on your cheek is most unbecoming! Aim the hairdryer on low heat setting so that it blows along your moustache out towards your ear, this will help to lay the hairs outwards but be sure to focus on the areas that need more encouragement to style. One trick I found that works well for the corkscrew is to puff your cheek out in the “Half Hamster technique” but this also helps to enforce a slight inward natural looking curl and builds on the start of the curl you noticed following the earlier step. So now puff out your cheek as in the picture and then hold the tips of your curls in tight to your face As you are doing this imagine you are chasing the water out from the centre along the hairs towards the ear but focus mainly on the curl for now. I then centre the heat directly on the curl by moving the hairdryer out at 90° to the face so that you are coming in from the side.
If during styling its not quite working as desired you can wet your hairs again and try to convince the hairs to do as you wish.
This will take some time to perfect but it works really well for me and I hope you get something from it, below are a couple of pics of the moustache without any product. I will work on some wax application posts and how best to condition your facial hair very soon so please do check back, but until then have fun and play with your face in the Hirsute For Happiness!
To see the video for this please have a look here