Men have few opportunities to really stand out from the crowd when it comes to appearance. Besides a man bun or Mohawk, there aren’t many of us who use makeup, don spiked hair, or wear extra accessories to really stand out. But we do have one wonderful way to express our individuality, the mustache.
Historically, they have protruded from upper lips on ancient Indian Buddha’s to Hungarian Hussar’s but they really became a thing in the 19th century when many men in the military grew them out as a status symbol.
While beards still reign supreme, many men are giving the mustache the ole tonsorial try. We spoke to the celebrated New York City barber, Michael Haar to hear his thoughts on the trend. A third-generation New Yorker, he has donned a mustache for 13 years and opened his own deco designed barber shop in the West Village in 2017, Haar & Co. Here, he provides some guidance on choosing the best mustache style for your face.
Know Before You Grow
Know your facial shape and what works well with it. You don’t want to accentuate a big round face with a tiny little ‘stache. Also, how big is the space of your upper lip? If you have a barber you trust they can take that into account for you and help decide what mustache could work for you. Don't forget, this is in the center of your face and it will change your whole appearance and how people view you. You may even end up wanting to dress around your new face-essory. You can have the same mustache with a suit or denim and it can go from elegant to redneck real quick. It’s a vulnerable facial hair option but one worth trying out.
Pro tip: Don't treat it like a new child—just act like it has always been there. Please don’t name it. Just play it cool.
Handlebars have become extremely popular recently because they can be fun to play around with. You can really get that tight curl at the end if you let it grow long enough. The hair isn’t falling over the lip so they have an intentionally neat look to them. This style definitely comes with maintenance. We use Proraso’s mustache wax to keep it off the lip and give the mustache the curl at the end. Comb it through and twirl the tips and it will firm up for the rest of the day.
Think Burt Reynolds/Freddie Mercury, this natural, bushy mustache is the simplest to maintain, just comb through it each morning and keep it trimmed so as not to grow into your mouth and to avoid flyaways and you should be golden.
William Powell/John Waters/Clark Gable really owned this look. It can be the hardest to maintain because you must shave just under the nose and it gradually tapers to corners of the mouth. You have to maintain that every time you shave. It's a highly involved process. Some guys even use a little pencil to fill it in if it is really thin. Merkur makes a razor specifically for mustaches but you may want to get your barber to help you out on your first attempt with this one.
To buy: $28, westcoastshaving.com
Wilford Brimley and Sam Elliot are two iconic Walrus wearers. It can fall over the lip, be as full and bushy and untamed as you want it to be, just like its wearer's personality. I recommend grooming this beast once a week with grooming scissors so you can still be understood when talking.
To buy: $9, amazon.com
This is currently a no go. If a client has a beard they usually want to take it down to a mustache or even muttonchops, but never a goatee. This was popular in the ‘90s and just hasn’t made a comeback yet.