Three months at least, at that rate of growth, even if you’re not looking to get into the Guinness Book of Records. Styling it is a different art.
The moustache has a long history and the handlebar is no exception. You could be at the very start of your handlebar journey. Or taking your current ‘tache in a different direction. No matter, we have all the details on growing and styling your facial hair for you.
What Is a Handlebar Moustache?
The handlebar isn’t limited to one style of moustache. It’s a loose term used to describe a family of styles.
A Handlebar Moustache is one whose length extends beyond the corner of the mouth. It has ‘graspable’ extremities.
Its tips are usually curved upwards, but not always.
Handlebar Moustache Problems
Depending on how fast your hair grows, a handlebar can take upwards of 3 months to achieve. The length required to produce a proper handlebar moustache is what takes the time.
As it grows, it might not look too great. You’ll need to be taming and tending to it to keep it in place. After a long night out or a day of exercise, this can be difficult.
As your moustache grows and the hair gets longer, the temptation to trim will set in. It will get in the way of drinking and eating. It will try to get into your mouth. It will come between you and your loved ones when kissing, too!
How to Grow One
If you are ready to accept the challenge, here is everything you need to know.
Start with a Beard
Incorporating your moustache into a beard will help disguise how rough it looks as it grows. Once it reaches the desired length, shave the beard off if you wish. Then you can work with the moustache that remains.
Give All Your Hair a Boost
It’ll take at least 3 months to get to a good length. But there are some things you can do to help it along.
Your hair growth depends on your age, hair type, and general health. Your body requires energy to grow hair. So, ensure you’re eating well-balanced meals and taking care of your body. This will support faster growth.
You can also use essential oils to help the process. Pumpkin Seed, Rosemary, and Peppermint Oil can help thicken the hair and keep it healthy.
If you are preparing the concoction yourself don’t use the essential oils undiluted on your skin. Thin them down with a carrier like Castor or Coconut Oil, which can also help to prevent damage.
Using a ready-bought Beard Oil can be more convenient. My mate Dougie recommends Bulldog Beard Oil.
Some people think Keratin Supplements help grow hair but there’s not much science to back that up. But they might encourage shine which can make your moustache look healthier
Facial hair gets itchy because of a build-up of dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria on the skin.
Wash and condition your moustache often. This should help prevent the build-up and relieve itchiness. But avoid using chemical washes, lotions, and foams. They can also contribute to itching.
Relieving itching may ease the temptation to trim. If you trim in haste you are likely to repent at your leisure. Whether you’re starting with a beard or a moustache on its own, try not to cut it while it grows.
It takes a long time to grow and direct the hair so you need all the length you can get.
How to Style Your Handlebar
Here I’ll tell you when to start styling and how to maintain it once you’ve got it where you want it.
You can do this whilst it is still growing.
Start twisting the ends to style them upwards. Spend some time experimenting in front of the mirror. This will give you a good idea of the shape you want to achieve and how it’s going to look.
Wait until you have enough length to start curling the extremities. Then you can think about trimming the edges to achieve your desired shape.
Train the Hair
You’ll need to start training your hair to grow in the right direction. It doesn’t happen on its own.
Once a day, create a central parting in the moustache. Do this by combing under your nose, to the left and right, splitting the hair down the middle. Do this at least every day.
You can also use a blow dryer to train the hair. While the hair is damp, comb your moustache into the right shape and curl the tips around your fingers. You can use a regular comb or invest in a special beard one. Dougie gave me this natty little one for my Birthday.
Use a low setting on the hairdryer to ensure you do not heat damage your hair. Hold the blow dryer at arm’s length and dry the curled edges with the hair wrapped around your finger.
Find Your Style
Consider how long you want your moustache to be and what style you’re going to aim for. The various styles of handlebar are Natural, Dali, English, Imperial, Hungarian and Freestyle.
If you want a large curl handlebar like anything other than the Natural you need to let the hair grow long.
If you prefer your moustache to be small and neat, like the Natural, you can trim the ends into the style.
Moustache Wax v Matt Paste
The received wisdom to getting good points to use Moustache Wax. I prefer label.m Matt Paste. It lasts for several hours as opposed to tens of minutes.
If you find something that lasts all day, please share your secret. Use the On-Reflection Feedback Form at the foot of every page.
Without something, all the training in the world won’t stop your ‘tache from being unkempt.
Choose a time when it’s still damp from cleansing and conditioning. I scrape a small amount of Matt Paste from the container under my fingernail. Then I lift it out onto my thumb tip. A piece the size of a match head is about right.
One slight disadvantage of Paste over Wax is getting it to stick to the balls of your thumbs.
With Wax if you roll it between finger and thumb it softens a bit. This helps it stick to your thumb slightly more easily.
With Matt Paste you just have to persevere.
Twist your chosen controller into the tips of your moustache.
Use a comb to spread it if twisting doesn’t make it disappear enough. Use it both flat to your face and more perpendicular.
Moving outwards, work it towards each end, moving in the direction of the hair, with a little flick up at the points. I wipe any excess wax from the comb onto a tissue. Some hair types may need more wax.
Twist the hair between your fingers and curl the tips upwards and inwards. if the tips do not have enough Paste or Wax, add more to the tips only.
Do not fret if the tips are not completely even. They never are! As even as possible is quite acceptable.
Sometimes I find a little of Wella’s Shockwave Mousse draped onto the tips helps. Leave it to disappear on its own. It will add a little body to your tip hair.
Have you been relentlessly twisting away and your points are still not behaving? Here’s a little tip(!) from one pointellista to another. Try one reverse turn. Sometimes it works! Worth a try.
Look again at the Guy’s Category Header pic on our HOME Page. When you first saw it, you didn’t question that it was a Handlebar Moustache, right? But now that you look again, you can see that the tips are completely unequal!
So, take heart, don’t be too much of a perfectionist.
Maintain Your Moustache
Ensuring that your handlebar is healthy and shapely requires a lot of maintenance. Wash & condition, comb, wax, and curl it as often as you can. Every day is ideal.
For more on the latest in men’s grooming aids, click here.