How to Trim a Mustache for a Well-Kept Look

There’s no classier style of facial hair than a mustache. Whether you’re a suave and savvy gentleman, a biker riding with the toughest of gangs, or an officer of the law dealing with the madness of the streets every day, your mustache may indeed have become part of your identity. However, mustaches, like us, are ever changing and always growing, meaning that you won’t be able to keep that perfect look forever without a bit of maintenance. If you want to keep your mustache looking nice and well-kept, then you’ll need to learn how to trim a mustache.

Reasons to Have a Well-Kept Mustache

Having a well-kept mustache may seem rather small in the larger scheme of things. However, there are actually several good reasons to make sure your personal grooming skills are up to par. While these reasons may not be life and death situations, having a well-kept mustache can actually help to positively influence your life, albeit in some relatively small ways. You probably shouldn’t expect the quality of your entire existence to be altered because you learned how to trim a mustache, but it’s not impossible that some major life decisions could be affected because of it. Think of a job interview, for example.

First Impressions

Some people may like to let their facial hair run wild, as if they have never even heard the word “razor;” but most of us realize that if you’re going to have a beard, lamb chops, goatee, soul patch, mustache, or a combo, they’re going to take some work if you want to keep them orderly. The most obvious reason is that you don’t want others to think you look stupid or unclean. Although it’s an admirable trait to not care what people think about you or how you look, if you want to seem approachable, friendly, and professional, making sure you know how to trim a mustache will be important.

Sadly, there are a lot of people out there who just don’t seem to appreciate a good mustache today. Let’s face it: there are some people who aren’t going to love that caterpillar on your upper lip no matter how pristine it may look. But you do have a better chance of winning a favorable opinion if you make sure to keep your mustache looking great. While we may know that how you look really doesn’t define who you are or the value you have, sadly the rest of the world often doesn’t see things that way; and that old cliche about first impressions rings very, very true.

Pride in Appearance

While there is something very wrong with putting undue emphasis on how people look, there’s also nothing wrong with having some personal pride in how you look. We’re not talking about thinking you’re the greatest thing on earth because you look nice; we’re talking about a confidence and pleasure that you can have in yourself because you took the time to practice some basic grooming and hygiene.

Honestly, there’s perhaps no greater personal pride a man can have in how he looks than that which is associated with his beautiful lip decoration. Keep it looking nice, and you may find yourself feeling better about how you look.

Men typically don’t spend as much time primping as do women, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t care about how we look. The opposite sex knows it, too, and they can tell how much effort you’re putting in. So if you’re looking for a partner (whether it be for the high school prom or that of the lifelong matrimonial variety), taking a little pride in how you look can go a long way. Your mustache may very well be the thing that catches your future wife’s eye and leads you two on the romantic adventure of a lifetime. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-trimmed, mustache.

Famous Mustaches

Before we get to the matter at hand and teach you how to trim a mustache like a pro, we’re going to take you through a tour of some of the most popular mustaches. Who knows? If you’re getting ready to take the shears to the lamb, you might want to change things up a bit and try out a new style while you’re at it.

These mustaches have varying popularity, and no doubt some of them have fallen out of fashion. You could end up being just the one to start a retro trend, though; different mustaches work with different faces, and yours might just be perfect for the one everyone thinks is ridiculous.

The Charlie Chaplin

Charlie’s stache barely broke the width of his nose. However, there’s no denying that the man knew how to trim a mustache! With only a slight bushiness, two totally symmetrical sides, and two gentle slopes on the end, there’s perhaps no mustache more original or classic.

You’d be hard pressed to find somebody wearing it today, and honestly, it’s not recommended. If you’re daring, though, and if you have the right face, then who knows? You could wow the crowds with your nice new nose bush. It’s shorter than your average stache, meaning if you over-trim yours, you could settle for a Chaplin instead of shaving it.

The Handlebar

There are actually a few different varieties of the handlebar mustache. Some handlebars drop down, such as the classic Hulk Hogan stache. Beloved by bikers and police chiefs everywhere, you can put on an intimidating but stylish look by wearing one. Likewise, some handlebars curl up (think of those old school cartoon villains twirling these puppies). They make you look old-fashioned; like a late 19th century bareknuckle boxer. Some simply go straight out to the ends, like a sharp and thin bar of hair that extends from your face in both directions. Hipster-ish, sure, but you’ll definitely catch some eyes with that one.

The Fu Manchu

If there’s any mustache that’s practically never been in style, it’s the Fu Manchu. Named after a villain from a British novel, this one involves a shaved area directly under the nose and two sides hanging down off the surface of the face. Saying that this one’s hard to pull off is an understatement, but if you feel like going for it, then why not?

It’ll take a lot of grooming and some expert trimming, but with some work you could have the most stand-out mustache in your workplace (or even in your state). Depending on how well you do it, you’ll either look like a wise sage or a pathetic fool. Care to take your chances?

How to Trim a Mustache in 5 Easy Steps

Now that we’ve finished talking about the reasons to keep a well-trimmed mustache and some different, classic styles that you might try out if you’re feeling a little risky, we’ve finally reached the point where we show you how to trim a mustache like a pro. Don’t worry; it doesn’t take much skill, although there is a bit of a learning curve. Take things slow, go easy, be as precise as possible, and you will soon have the best looking stache on the street.

Take Out the Clippers

This depends on how long you’ve let your mustache grow. If you need to get rid of a significant amount of hair, start with the clippers to get it in the ball park of the proper length. If you shave it too short, however, it defeats the point. The clippers-first approach is only for those with longer upper-lip hair.

Or, if you want something short and easy, use it to set your desired length and then take the guard off to mark a small perimeter around your new stache.

Comb Thoroughly

You can use a standard comb, but there are mustache combs that will be better suited for the task. They’re antistatic and often made of wood, making them ideal for trimming the hair above your lip. Get all the hair going in the same downward direction.

Trim With Scissors

Some might go the classic hairstylist route by combing out to the end and then using the comb as a guard for your scissors. However, this only really works for longer varieties of hair. This part of the process can be pretty tricky, so be very careful that you don’t cut off too much (or yourself!). Try to cut parallel to your upper lip line and take some hair off bit by bit until you have it at the desired length.

Touch Up

Use a standard razor to go around the perimeter of your mustache to touch it up as much as possible. If there are any unruly hairs wanting to go against the crowd, it may be best to pluck them if all else fails. A few unruly hairs can really ruin the whole look, and this is where a lot of men fall down in this aspect of personal grooming.

Wax It

This step’s optional, but it may help you get a great look for your mustache, especially if you want handlebars. Waxes are different, so follow the individual directions; but you may need to ball up the wax and heat it for just a second. Then, spread it through your mustache in whatever shape suits you.


A mustache can be exactly what you need for that suave, professional, look; but if you don’t keep it well-groomed, it could have just the opposite effect. Make sure to treat your mustache regularly. Keep it well-trimmed and neat, and you could make a real impression on everyone around you.

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