How To Grow A Handlebar Mustache With A Beard

A handlebar mustache is one of the more eye-catching facial hair styles, unmistakable for its upturned extensions at the side of the lips. Sporting this memorable mustache requires some commitment because it requires maintenance to keep the handlebar look. Growing a handlebar mustache with a beard takes a bit longer because of the extra work it takes to keep the two styles in check. But by following the right steps, anyone can have a stylish handlebar mustache in a matter of weeks.

The first thing to keep in mind when growing out a handlebar mustache with a beard is that they require different maintenance styles. The mustache needs to be kept short and neat while the beard is kept longer. This is because the longer beard you have, the more the handlebar will stand out and the fuller it will look. Using scissors and a comb to trim the mustache into the desired shape is necessary, however if using a trimmer set the longest guard onto the trimmer before cutting.

Following the initial growth of the mustache and beard it’s important to use the right hair products. Mustache wax is necessary for any serious handlebar mustache and is used to keep the ends of the mustache in place. Apply it after showering and twirling the ends of the mustache with your fingertips. A softer wax can be used while the mustache is still growing but a firmer wax should be used once the desired length is achieved. Beard oil or beard balm is also important to keeping the beard well hydrated and styled. Apply these after a shower on the mustache and beard to help keep them hydrated and conditioned.

Another important point to keep in mind when growing a handlebar with a beard is consistency in maintaining the look. Trimming the mustache regularly and the beard weekly will ensure that the handlebar look is kept intact and in the desired style. Use tweezers to pluck away any stray hairs that may sprout and keep the beard groomed and styled with daily combing.

Finally, the use of heat to adjust the shape of the handlebar is a technique that has been growing in popularity. Men’s Health magazine has even gone so far as to advocate its use due to its effectiveness and convenience in achieving a well groomed handlebar look. Heat the wax in a bowl of hot water and comb it through the mustache. Snip off any stray hairs and then use a blow dryer set to a low heat setting to create the curves of the handlebar. This should be done carefully and only once the desired length is achieved, as overdone heat could make the mustache brittle.

Best Practice Tips

To ensure that your mustache does not overpower the rest of your look, keep the other face and chin hair trimmed to a neat length and squared off. Facial hair styling should be taken into account when deciding on the best hairstyle to complement it – a wild hairstyle can make a handlebar mustache look even more outrageous, while a sleek and tidy hairstyle like an Ivy League cut can make the mustache even more striking. There are also more subtle options like a side-parted quiff, that won’t take away from the mustache but still create a sharp and sophisticated look.

What Facial Shape Goes Best With a Handlebar Mustache?

Handlebar mustaches tend to look best on men with a round face shape, thanks to its already-rounded and full shape. The handlebars can add definition to the cheek bones and jawline, and make the face look wider than it is. Those with an oblong face should opt for a shorter version of the handlebar, as the wider shape of the handlebars can elongate the face. Square-faced men may find themselves struggling to make the handlebar mustache look good as the square edges of the mustache may add emphasis to an already strong and masculine jawline.

What Essentials are Needed to Grow a Handlebar Mustache?

Growing a handlebar mustache does require some commitment and accrues some financial investment. In terms of tools, all you need are scissors, a comb and a trimmer. As for products, beard balm and/or beard oil, styptic pencil and/or styptic powder, as well as mustache wax, can help in growing, training and maintaining the handlebar. All of these products help to keep the mustache nourished, conditioned and in place. However, not everyone needs all of these products and some trial and error will be needed to find out which ones are necessary.

Pointers For Women Who Want To Grow A Handlebar Mustache

There isn’t much difference between mustache styles between men and women. The growing and maintenance methods are essentially the same, however takes a bit longer to achieve better definition as women’s facial hair tends to be thinner. Women can also use a slightly lighter wax to achieve a natural look that won’t look overdone. To keep the handlebar mustache feminine, grow the mustache a bit longer than the straight handlebar look and then have the ends twirled inwards.

Key Considerations To Keep In Mind When Growing A Handlebar Mustache

When growing a handlebar mustache with a beard, patience is key. Considering the time it takes for the beard hair to grow and the fact that the mustache needs to be kept short to maintain the handlebar shape, it may take a few weeks or even months to get the desired look. On the other hand, in the early stages it may not be immediately obvious where the handlebar should end and, while it is important to be precise with the lip line and tongue, there is no need to be overly precise. The key is to adjust the style as it grows, eventually leading to the desired look.

Preparing The Skin For A Handlebar Mustache

Handlebar mustaches require the skin to be prepped for the look. This means regularly exfoliating the upper lip to remove any dead cells and dirt, as this can clog up the hair follicles and hinder growth. During the growth period, use a gentle exfoliant like a cleanser with a soft bristled brush or a dry exfoliator in a circular motion. This will help keep the skin soft and the mustache nourished.


The handlebar mustache requires some commitment due to the additional maintenance it requires to keep up the desired look. However with the right knowledge and products, anyone can achieve the look within a few weeks. Keep the mustache trimmed, the beard styled, use mustache wax and beard oil to keep the hair nourished, and practice some patience and consistency – the handlebar look can be achieved.

Paul Richardson is a master barber and an expert in men's beard care. He has been cutting hair for more than 15 years and loves to help people look their best. Paul specializes in styling beards, offering advice on the right products and techniques to use, and providing grooming tips that will keep your beard looking great.

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