Fashion | February 3, 2014

How to Trim Your Moustache

Moustache trimming
Moustache trimming (Scissors not drawn to scale)

Whether you’re a cop, a matador, or Sgt. Pepper, your moustache makes a statement. “Bold!” it declares, attracting attention from across the battlefield. “Sensual,” it whispers as it wafts in the breeze. Your moustache speaks volumes about you, but as every man knows, there comes a time when it must be turned down.

Trimming a Bushy Moustache

As you go through your day-to-day life, taming lions, busting myths, or what-have-you, you probably don’t pay much attention to your moustache. It’s understandable. Take a closer look, and you will notice that your moustache hairs are uneven. Wet your moustache and comb it forward. You will find some extra long hairs droop well beyond the average length. Spend a moment looking in the mirror. Don’t be afraid of seeming vain, for you will spend less time gazing upon your reflection than those uptight narcissists who shave every day. Plan your moustache accordingly.

My friends who wear their moustaches walrus style know the longest hairs are more susceptible to getting in the mouth. As one devours Philly cheesesteaks, the long hairs are bitten off. This results in a rugged, natural trim. For this reason, walrus moustaches are best suited to those who live a walrus lifestyle—not giving a shit what human women think of them.

If you curl your moustache into a handlebar, these outliers can poke you in the eyes or nostrils. Find the average length moustache hair. Trim the longest hairs to be about 50% longer than the average hair. Now wax your moustache up. Carefully even out the frayed tips. Cut the hairs that dangle idly at the sides of your mouth, too short to fit into the macho curls of your moustache. It’s important to note that hair growing from the sides of the mouth, the chin, and anywhere except the top lip is not a moustache in the same way that turkey bacon isn’t bacon: they are different beasts.

Working with a Working Class Moustache

Suppose you want an ironic moustache. You want the kind of moustache that makes people a little nervous. Maybe you just want facial hair that doesn’t require much effort to maintain. This is the style for you. Simply cut all of your hairs to the same (short) length. This is where the geometry gets a little tricky: square off the sides making a nice, neat rectangle.

Grooming a Thin Moustache

By far the most complicated style is an ultra-thin, slanted and perfectly symmetrical moustache. Prince, John Waters, and Little Richard are among the few men who sport these sophisticated ‘staches. You will need very small scissors and a steady hand. Cut in at an angle above your lip toward the center. Turn your nose up at everything. That’s how Prince does it. Once you’ve got this even, you can begin tidying up the other sides. The final step is working up the confidence to cut off the top and/or bottom of your moustache. You just have to go for it. I have lost many moustaches to this style.

Starting Over

If you’ve followed along this far, you may have no moustache left. Don’t despair. If you end up bare faced, you can grow your ideal moustache with more frequent trimming. In this case, you would simply reverse the above steps. Enjoy a Guinness or some bubblegum in the meantime!