Crumb Catcher. Mouth Brow. Soup Strainer. Whatever you call a mustache, it’s time you actually grew one. Mustaches are trending hard right now and honestly, they look damn cool. There’s something inherently masculine about a hairy upper lip, especially in a retro lothario kind of way (case in point: Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds, mustache icons of the 1970’s). Wearing a mustache takes confidence and swagger, but can also give more of both of those things.
That’s why all sorts of famous dudes have started to rock mustaches. Whether it’s a full-Selleck like Henry Cavill in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and country crooner Mark Wystrach of Midland or a more subtle ‘stache-scruff combo like Zac Efron and Michael B. Jordan, they know that the power of the mustache lies in its unexpected quality.
The other reason you’re probably seeing more mustaches lately (and why they’re looking more and more appealing) is because it’s about to get damn hot. Think about it: what’s more seasonally appropriate than a full beard, but still gives a little face cover? A mustache. For this summer, we’re talking about a specific kind of ‘stache, what barber Mr. Natty of Tuft Barber calls the Lifeguard Mustache. “It’s very well groomed and a little shorter,” he says. “It doesn’t have twiddly bits on the end.”
Growing a mustache is easier than you’d think. If you have a beard, you’re already halfway there. Trimming and maintaining your new mustache is even easier. Here’s how to do it.
How to Grow a Mustache
“Just about anyone can grow a mustache, even if your beard is patchy,” according to Mr. Natty, who has noticed more and more of his clients sporting ‘staches. The first rule of mustache growing is “to be really bold about it,” he says. Decide you’re going to do it and just unapologetically go for it.
The easiest way is to “grow a bit of a beard first,” he says. “Once you get to your desired length, shape your beard down shorter [than your mustache].” You can do this gradually, each time cutting your beard closer and leaving the mustache alone, so you can see the shape and get used to the look. Eventually you can take the rest of your beard down to stubble or shave it clean off. This method is less jarring and avoids that awkward, dusty Baby’s First Mustache vibe (or, as we’re calling it now, the Nick Jonas).
How to Trim a Mustache
Compared to caring for a beard, mustache maintenance is a summer vacation. The most important thing is to keep the shape, so shave or clip around it often. “Make sure the sides don’t wander off and start creeping down the face like The Village People,” says Mr. Natty. You want a soft pyramid shape, going from the edges of your nose to the corners of your mouth and no farther.
Then keep the length in check. Trimming a mustache is not nearly as time consuming as trimming a beard. Use a beard comb or beard brush to brush the hairs straight down over your lip and then a pair of small, sharp scissors to cut the ends. “Trim it just on the lip line,” says Mr. Natty. “It looks ghastly if you trim too high.”
If this sounds too complicated to you, Mr. Natty recommends finding a few pictures of mustaches you like (might we suggest scrolling back up) and taking them to your barber. Ask your barber to cut in that shape and then all you have to do is maintain it, instead of doing it yourself from scratch.
The Best Products for Mustache Grooming
The final step in mustache maintenance is keeping it groomed, but even that is pretty freaking easy. The golden rule is: less is more. Stay away from beard oils and shaping waxes and anything that is going to make your ‘stache look shiny or oily. “All you need is a beard balm,” says Mr. Natty. Think of balms like a matte pomade for your face and look for lightweight balms with moisturizing ingredients to benefit both the hair and the skin underneath.
I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly ready for the Summer of the ‘Stache.