Men's Grooming

How to get the perfect handlebar mustache

1.45 min read – 02:45 video
Handlebar mustache mobile

Master the handlebar mustache in six steps

The handlebar mustache is the pinnacle of the mustache world, combining elegance and style with a vague hint of absurdity. It is not a necessity, but an art form, a slightly frivolous style that pushes boundaries. Intrigued? Here’s how to grow a handlebar mustache – and trim it – in six simple steps.

How to get your handlebar mustache

Growing a handlebar mustache is easy. To start, stop shaving your beard and mustache, simply keeping them clean and observing proper maintenance for a month, trimming around the lips and applying beard oil to keep hair soft. When you reach the point of full beard coverage (no patchiness), you’re ready to begin. Here’s how to trim a handlebar mustache for the first time:
Handlebar mustache img

Step 1

Using your usual mustache trimmer, bring down your overall mustache length to about 1/8 to 1/5 of an inch. Choose a longer setting for the whiskers around your mouth.

Step 2

Using a precision trimmer, start defining the shape of your handlebar mustache. Trim downward, following your lip line to the corner of your mouth. Leave a strip of hair about 5mm – 10mm wide.

Step 3

Follow this up with a mini foil shaver, being careful to keep it upright. Use it to create clean edges and tidy up any stray hairs around your handlebar mustache.

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What you need


Philips Norelco OneBlade


    Philips Norelco OneBlade


    Trim, edge and shave any length of hair

    The Philips Norelco OneBlade is a revolutionary new hybrid styler that can trim, shave and create clean lines and edges, on any length of hair. Forget about using multiple steps and tools. OneBlade does it all. See all benefits

    Suggested retail price: $34.99

Step 4

Create a neat parting with rounded edges in the middle of your handlebar mustache. The shape should look somewhat like two old-school bike handlebars, as shown in the video below. You can use a comb and wax or (if your hair is too stubborn) a razor.
Handlebar mustache video

Step 5

Give yourself a clean shave on the cheeks, chin and neck, taking extra care around your mustache. Using a rotary shaver, move in a gentle, circular motion.

Step 6:

Your handlebar mustache is now complete. Keep it waxed and styled for maximum impact.

Styling, maintaining and trimming your handlebar mustache

The most important part of the styling is the wax. Waxing (applying wax, not painful depilation) will become part of your daily routine. Find a wax that works for you, and apply it liberally before leaving the house. Wax should be applied using the thumb and forefinger, rolling the mustache out to a point.

Trimming a handlebar mustache is a pleasure, not a chore. It should be undertaken every few days to ensure it retains its shape. Simply trim back any hairs that fall out of line and let the mustache fill out.

Pulling off a perfect handlebar mustache

Handlebar mustaches get their name because they look a little like the gracefully upturned handlebars on a bicycle. Growing a handlebar mustache was a popular pastime and fashion statement in the 19th century, especially among cowboys in the Wild West. Clearly, you’ll need some serious flair to pull off the handlebar look, so don’t be afraid to consider new trousers, sharp shoes and maybe a pocket watch or pipe to complete the look.

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