What Are the Best Tips for Grooming a Mustache?

M.C. Huguelet
M.C. Huguelet
Regular trimming is one part of grooming a mustache.
Regular trimming is one part of grooming a mustache.

A well-groomed mustache can add a large dose of flair to one’s appearance. Many would-be mustache wearers are unsure of how to care for their facial hair, however, and as their upper-lip region grows increasingly unkempt, they give in to the temptation to shave. Just a few simple tips can take the confusion out of grooming a mustache. These include keeping one’s mustache clean, trimmed, and combed. When grooming a mustache of unusual shape, it may also be necessary to train the hairs using specialty wax.

One of the most important steps of grooming a mustache is keeping the mustache clean. Due to their very close proximity to the mouth, mustaches are prone to harboring renegade crumbs and dried liquids such as soup. Prevent food buildup by inspecting the mustache after each meal, using a comb to brush away trapped food remnants if necessary. Many mustache wearers also recommend cleansing the facial hair each day with a gentle shampoo and applying conditioner to keep the hairs soft and smooth.

Regular trimming is another essential part of grooming a mustache. The bottom of the mustache should be carefully clipped with mustache scissors as needed to prevent overgrowth. Additionally, the outer edges of the mustache should be regularly monitored, and a razor should be used to keep these edges neat by shaving away stray hairs. To prevent bushiness, an electric beard and mustache trimmer can be used to thin the body of the mustache. When clipping, shaving, and trimming the mustache, care should be taken to avoid accidentally altering its basic shape.

For maximum neatness, it is also important to comb the mustache each day. Specially-designed mustache combs can be purchased at pharmacies, barber shops, and from online retailers. The best combing technique depends on the shape of one’s mustache. A natural mustache, for instance, may need only to be combed with a few downward strokes. More elaborate shapes, such as handlebar mustaches, may need to be carefully combed outward or upward.

Finally, when grooming a mustache of unusual shape, it may also be necessary to use mustache wax to obtain the desired appearance. This specialty wax, which is available from many online retailers, barber shops, and pharmacies, is generally applied to the ends of the mustache. The ends can then be curled, extended, pointed, or otherwise styled. Over a long period of time, daily manipulation of one’s mustache may cause the hairs to become “trained” so that they retain the desired shape with minimal grooming.

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Discussion Comments


@ddljohn-- I use baby shampoo. It's both gentle enough and also leaves facial hair very soft. Regular shampoo is too harsh. You can also use facial soap or cleanser. I'm sure that a facial product for oily skin is best if you have acne.

I usually clean my mustache every day. Mine is not very thick or long so it's not like food gets stuck in it. I just wash it to get rid of facial oils. And I think hair grows better and looks better when it's cleaned regularly.

I also apply almond oil once a week as a conditioner. It's a great oil. It encourages more hair to come out and the hair comes out thicker. It smells quite nice too. I leave it on for a few hours before I shower like a leave-in conditioner. Oh and I trim with a scissors, I think scissors damages hair less than an electric razor but I realize that scissors don't work for all styles.


I have a mustache and a beard and I was told by my stylist to use shampoo and conditioner. I have been doing that but I don't think it's working well. The conditioner causes acne breakouts. And when I just use the shampoo, my skin becomes dry and itchy.

What's everyone else using to clean their mustache and beard? And how often do you wash your facial hair?


For those of us who have never had a mustache before, it's a good idea to see a stylist for ideas.

I had my first mustache cut by a stylist and he also taught me how to shave and trim it so that it maintains its shape. There is no way that I could have figured out all of that myself. So it's definitely a good idea to get help in the beginning. And if you haven't bought an electric razor yet, get one as soon as possible and learn to use it.

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    • Regular trimming is one part of grooming a mustache.
      Regular trimming is one part of grooming a mustache.