How to Train a Moustache

Man with a moustache
Photo: Wayhome studio/Shutterstock
Q: How do you train a moustache?
A: The thing to keep in mind is that mustaches are made of hair. The hairs just tend to be coarser and can be of a different color and wave pattern than the hair of the scalp. Because of the difference in the texture and wave of facial hair, many men find it necessary to “train” their mustaches in order to get the look they want.
What we’re really talking about here, though, is styling. You need all the basic elements of hairstyling to coerce unruly facial hair into the formation you desire. Because facial hair is HAIR, it has the same structure as the scalp hair. It responds to heat and moisture in the same way as scalp hair, and it often needs the assistance of product to get lasting results.
The three main facets of facial hair grooming are: Cut, Styling Technique, and Product.
Depending on the specific look you want, you need to start by cutting the mustache accordingly. For the full, walrus-looking mustache, you obviously will keep the lip whiskers longer, and likely blunt cut along the line of the mouth (or maybe with a slightly beveled edge). A neat, trimmed look, obviously necessitates the layering of the lip hairs to keep the bulk to a minimum.
These trimmed mustaches usually follow the line of the top of the upper lip. There are, of course, myriad shapes and styles of mustaches. So, pick what you think your facial hair will support (thick, dense brushy whiskers, may not be suited to a good-looking pencil mustache) and start a plan.
Once you have the cut you want, the next step is styling. The best bet is to use a hot, moist towel and lay it across the upper lip (or over the lower half of the face), and allow it to sit for a few minutes. The steam and heat will make the lip hair more pliable and you can then comb the whiskers in the direction you want them to go.
As mentioned, sometimes the hairs don’t want to stay in this shape, so you want to use product to get the hair to stay in place. There are specifically formulated, wax-based products for styling the facial hair, but most any pomade-style product will work. Just take care to avoid the ones that are heavily perfumed or fragranced, because you’re going to be placing them directly under your nose.
As you perform these steps, day after day (or at least on a regular basis) you’ll find that the hair is easier to direct. This is usually because you don’t do enough to break the styling pattern in your other grooming routines, but it is what most people refer to as “training” the hair.
See also:
Men's grooming
How to grow a moustache
Basic styles for moustaches and beards