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Mustache Trimming: What You Should Know in 9 Steps

Mustache Trimming

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On its own or with a beard, a well-maintained mustache shows the world that you care about the little things. Let it go, though, and an overgrown mustache sends exactly the opposite message. Making mustache trimming work for you doesn’t have to be hard. This brief guide shows you how to achieve and maintain a mustache that presents you at your best.

Prepare Your Grooming Area

Trimming your mustache, like trimming your beard, involves a bit of mess. You’ll thank yourself later for spending a few moments preparing your grooming area.

Step 1: To start, lay out your tools. For the best results, you’ll need the following:

Step 2: If you’re new to mustache trimming and maintenance, consider investing in a mustache trimming kit, which should include all of the above. Many men benefit from a moisturizer immediately after a trim. If you have a supply of argan or jojoba oil, keep it at hand.

Step 3: Next, line your surface with discardable paper. Newspaper is a popular choice. Even if you’re trimming your mustache at the sink, you’ll want to do what you can to keep stray hairs out of the drain: even small bits of hair can join forces to clog your drain. Alternatively to a newspaper, you could use a beard hair catcher apron which can be easily stowed away and comes in handy on the go or when traveling.



Prepare Your Mustache For Trimming

Remarkably few men prepare their mustaches appropriately for trimming. It might seem like a bit of extra work at first, but a clean, thoroughly combed mustache is the often-overlooked key to an impressive trim.

Step 4: Wet your mustache and cleanse it with a good beard shampoo. If you don’t have dedicated beard shampoo at hand, regular shampoo will do in a pinch. Just don’t overdo it: regular shampoo is designed to remove a denser matrix of natural oils and can strip beard hair of its luster while leaving the underlying skin dry and itchy.

Step 5: Rinse the shampoo and apply conditioner. Again, a proper beard conditioner will give you the best results. Among other things, it relaxes beard hair just enough to achieve a clean trim; beard conditioner can also help prevent ingrown hairs.

Step 6: Dry your mustache thoroughly before combing it. When your mustache hairs are all falling in the same direction (this takes a bit more work for some of us than for others), you’re ready to begin trimming.

Trim Your Mustache

Before trimming, look directly in the mirror and assume a completely neutral, relaxed facial expression.

Step 7: With your electric mustache trimmer, follow the contour of your upper lip until it is completely revealed. For men with curly or wavy hair, this might take two or three passes.

Step 8: Next, use your electric trimmers to trim the hair directly beneath each nostril. This area can harbor some wildly eccentric mustache hairs, so feel free to trim it down closer to the skin than the rest of your mustache.

Step 9: If your mustache has grown woolly or otherwise too full, you may want to thin it out a bit. Keeping your beard comb parallel with your skin, lift it until just a bit of mustache hair remains proud of the comb’s teeth, Remove this hair with barber shears or scissors, and repeat the process until you like the results.

Leave No Trace After Mustache Trimming

Apply moisturizer if you choose, style your mustache per usual and you’re…nearly done. Carefully gather the paper lining you laid over your grooming surface (you didn’t skip that step, did you?), and make one last check for stray hairs.


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I’m Jonathan Harris, the guy behind Beard Whiz. What started out as an interest has turned into a full-on passion for gutsy beard enthusiasts. I'm excited to share more rad tips on how to grow and maintain your beard. Life is more than awesome with a beard!

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