Mustache Styling 101: From Classic to Contemporary Looks

Young smiling mustache man talking on cellphone happily looking in camera on city street

The mustache: a timeless emblem of masculinity and style, evolving through the ages from the thick, full handlebars of the 19th century to the more refined and varied styles of today. Whether you’re a novice to the world of facial hair or looking to switch up your style, understanding the fundamentals of mustache styling can transform your look from ordinary to extraordinary. Let’s navigate through the basics of mustache styling, from classic to contemporary looks, ensuring you have all the knowledge needed to curate your own signature style.

The Foundation of Mustache Styling

Before delving into styles and maintenance, it’s crucial to understand the foundation of any great mustache – patience and grooming. Allowing your mustache to grow out sufficiently gives you more flexibility in styling, while regular trimming and care keep it looking sharp. Investing in quality grooming tools like a reliable trimmer, sharp scissors, a fine-toothed comb, and styling products such as mustache wax or beard balm is essential.

Classic Mustache Styles

1. The Chevron: Popularized by icons like Tom Selleck, the Chevron is thick, wide, and covers the top lip. It’s relatively low maintenance but requires regular trimming to keep its shape and prevent it from becoming unruly.

2. The Handlebar: Known for its distinctive curled ends, the handlebar mustache screams vintage elegance. Achieving this look requires length and patience, as well as a good-quality mustache wax to hold the shape.

3. The Pencil: Thin and precise, the pencil mustache evokes a certain old-school charm reminiscent of the golden age of cinema. Regular trimming and careful shaving are necessary to maintain its defined, narrow appearance.

Contemporary Mustache Styles

1. The Walrus: Bold and bushy, the Walrus is for those who aren’t afraid to make a statement. This style requires letting your mustache grow out extensively and minimal trimming to achieve its characteristic over-the-lip look.

2. The Petit Handlebar: A modern twist on the classic handlebar, the Petit Handlebar is shorter and less dramatic, suitable for those looking to dip their toes into styled mustaches without full commitment.

3. The Van Dyke: A combination of a mustache with a goatee (without the sideburns), the Van Dyke is a stylish choice for those looking to add sophistication to their look. This style requires precise grooming to keep the mustache and chin beard in perfect harmony.

Tips for Mustache Styling

* Start Clean: Always start with a clean, dry mustache for the best styling results.

* Wax On: A little mustache wax goes a long way in holding your style throughout the day. Warm the wax between your fingers before applying it evenly through your mustache.

* Comb Through: Use a comb to evenly distribute wax and style your mustache, starting from the center and working your way out.

* Trim Regularly: Regular trims not only keep your mustache looking neat but also encourage healthy growth.


Mustache styling is an art form that allows for personal expression and a dash of flair in your daily presentation. Whether you gravitate towards the timeless elegance of classic styles or the bold statements of contemporary looks, the key to a great mustache lies in proper grooming, patience, and experimentation. Embrace the journey of growing and styling your mustache, and don’t be afraid to try different looks to discover what best suits your personality and face shape. With these tips and a bit of practice, you’ll be well on your way to mastering Mustache Styling 101.

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