Handlebar Moustache Guide – Part 5

J. M. DeSantis's Handlebar Moustache Guide

The day has finally arrived; the fifth part of my handlebar moustache guide is now available. I do apologise for the wait (I’ve seen a number of hits on the fourth part since it’s posting), but there were a number of other things I had to blog about in between. Of course, having posted this fifth part, I wonder if it will be the final blog post in this series. After all, what I’ve posted here is only a fraction of what I’ve written for the guide–which is growing longer still–but with tentative plans of turning it into a book, of sorts, I’m unsure that posting any more of the guide would be wise. So, for now, this is the final part, but expect more, in some form or another, in the future. 

Trimming Your Moustache

Whether you’re the type of man whose facial hairs grow like those of a boy who recently came of age, or your five-o’clock shadow begins about five hours earlier in the day, sooner or later you will need to trim your moustache. After all the regular trimming of your moustache will keep the hairs healthy, stimulate their growth, and have them looking their very best. That said, there are some very specific things to keep in mind before you begin.

First and foremost, one must begin by combing their moustache hairs, which you should be doing every day, so this should not be a torturous ordeal for you. If you have decided to either style your moustache more naturally (no wax–ever) or you prefer to keep the middle hairs short, comb your hairs downward, toward or over your upper lip.

Once all of the hairs are neatly combed in one direction, you may use either a scissors or an electric razor to trim back the hairs to the desired length. But bear in mind you are not to touch your moustache curls! Trimming these hairs will come later. Resist all temptation to trim them. I know you’re excited, but you don’t want to wind up with short, inadequate curls. At this stage, your only concern should be to trim the middle hairs of your moustache–unless of course your method of styling is to have all of your hairs combed to the sides and into the curls, then skip ahead.

Your choice of length for the middle hairs is entirely up to you. Some gentlemen prefer a very thick, bushy look, and so such a gentleman may wish to have their middle hairs cover their upper lip. Others prefer a shorter, and so will trim their hairs just above their upper lip. Then of course, there are those gentleman that prefer a thin moustache altogether, and so you may decide to trim the hairs to above the upper lip, but you also may decide to trim the top of the moustache down a ways from the bottom of your nose. Whatever your decision, keep in mind that it will add to the look and character of your moustache.

Just be sure, no matter how long you decide to make the middle hairs of your moustache, you keep access to your mouth unobstructed. After all, a man must eat to live, and you can’t have hair getting in your food. Not to mention, you certainly don’t want to go choking on your moustache hairs in your sleep.

Now, once the middle hairs are attended to (providing, again, that wish to trim your middle hairs at all), you can turn your attention to trimming the curls of your moustache. Unless your moustache is quite long and flows beard-like down your face and neck (as some of the more outrageous styles do), the best practice is to, believe it or not, curl your moustache first, and then trim.

Indeed, when I say curl, I mean the entire process, moustache wax (or your preferred curling substance) and all. The reason is that moustache hairs have a tendency to be an unruly bunch (see the section on Bad (Moustache) Hair Days for more on that). Even when they’re not throwing a temper tantrum like a five-year old child, they don’t always stay straight when you comb them, especially once their properly trained to curl. Thus it’s quite difficult to accurately trim your curls when you have hairs sticking in all different directions. Best to get them in line first and establish some order before assessing the situation.

Of course, it does take a bit of precision. One must be an artist about it, though it certainly does not require the training of a surgeon to trim some a few moustache hairs. The trick is to go in confidently and commit. Have faith in your ability to trim a hair. Just be sure not to go about things like a lumberjack at a wood chopping contest. Overzealousness is not your friend here. Too much trimming and you’ll wind up right back at the growth stage.

Thus it is this author’s advice that you take things slowly at first. Trim just a little back at a time. Take a look in the mirror and trim a little more if necessary, but again, don’t overdo it. It may seem a painfully long process at first, but you’ve gotten this far haven’t you? Don’ fret. In time, you will get plenty used to how much to trim at a clip. And, in the worst case scenario, if you are watching your curls swirling down a watery hole into oblivion, just remember this: your hairs will grow back. It’s not the end of the world, just your moustache–for a while, that is.

That said, when your curls are clipped to the proper size, there is still a bit of work to do. Whether you have chosen to partner your moustache with some other facial hair or let it stand on its own two curls, there are likely a few hairs which grow in very close proximity to your moustache curls, though they don’t curl into the moustache. Likely these are the hairs that grow just to the right and left of your curls, or just behind them, or they grow just below the corners of your mouth.

Given, you could decide to just grow them out and curl them into your moustache; however, more likely than not, you will find these hairs actually make curling your hairs a little more difficult. They tend to wish to break away from their brothers and cause all sorts of trouble. Best to weed them out. A razor (electric or standard) is useful for the job. Just make sure to use your fingers (on your opposite hand, that is) to move your curls out of harm’s way.

Once done, any additional shaving or trimming to your remaining, non-moustache facial hair should be done with your moustache still properly curled. And voila! You’ve now a neat, trimmed handlebar moustache.

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