Shaving to Grow: The Challenges of Growing a Moustache
Introduction: Who wants a 'stache anyway?
"Moustaches?" you may say. "Ew!"
If you're not British, or otherwise a member of the Commonwealth, you may instead say "Mustaches? Ew." (But I won't hold it against you.)
Moustaches may not be everybody's favourite thing, but done properly they can be absolutely fantastic! Furthermore, they can provide an excellent way to express your personality. With a well-groomed moustache, you look more refined than you otherwise would. Conversely, if you want to look wild and perhaps a little uncivilised, nothing does the job better than a riotous profusion of facial hair.
Regardless of how you choose to express yourself, though, the moustache remains a valuable tool. It's the secret third tool in a man's "image" repertoire, and one that's all too often ignored in today's society.
Insane Artist, Refined Society Person, Wild Man or Military Powerhouse. The choice is yours:
Moustache typesClick thumbnail to view full-size
To get started on growing a good moustache you will need, somewhat counter-intuitively, to shave your face a lot.
If your facial hair already grows fast (to the point where you have to shave daily) then you can probably skip this step, but if you're one of those baby-faced individuals who can go 2 weeks without shaving and have the world be none-the-wiser, you will need to shave daily for a few months to a year.
This may seem like a waste of time, but it's the only way to kick-start your body into providing you with more hair. Once you start to notice that "five o'clock shadow," you can move on to step number two, in which you stop shaving and start growing.
Don't bother with those fancy electronic razors, either. They're a waste of money. You can achieve results just fine with the cheaper manual ones, or with those disposable ones if you're tight on funds.
Let it all out
Now that you've successfully pent up your hair's latent desire to get out of your body, give in!
This stage can be a little harrowing for friends and family, as they witness your transformation from a well-groomed male of the human species into something resembling a genetic cross between a Grizzly Bear and a hillbilly.
But don't be discouraged! Tell them it's only temporary, and that you are going to become a beautiful swan. Then, when they tell you that the hair is starting to affect your brain, tell them that you were only kidding, but that it will look better once you have enough hair to start shaving again.
This stage of the shaving/growing process should last about a month, or until your entire fizzog (that's face) is covered with a layer of fuzz.
Now you're ready to start shaving down to just the parts of your face where you want that hair to stay.
The "puny moustache" stage
OR Helping your moustache to grow
After you shave off all that excess hair, you may be distraught to find that what you're left with is... well, less than impressive.
Don't worry about it! In a few months your 'stache will look good, and then you can burn all those photographs people took of you because they thought you looked like a used-car salesman or some kind of creepy sex offender from a cheesy 1970s government propaganda film.
In the mean time, it's important to keep up with your shaving. Shave the parts of your face that you don't want to grow hair on a regular basis, at least two or three times a week. Don't worry about it being too perfect just yet. Just get people used to the idea of seeing you with hair on your face where you want it, and you'll soon be on the right track.
Learning to Cope
One of the problems that's rarely mentioned when discussing moustaches is the fact that it's a little weird to get used to having one there.
First, there's the intolerable itching - Just fight past it though. Eventually, you won't even twitch a lip when your moustache starts to itch.
Then there's learning to enjoy the taste of hair - For some of us (with long hair) this is not a new phenomenon. Still, you'll get used to that tugging on your lip when you bite into a sandwich that tells you "Oops, you bit into your moustache too." Remember to open your mouth extra-wide when you eat things that are likely to pull your moustache into your mouth.
Finally, there's people not recognising you - While this is a pretty amusing side effect of new moustaches, it can still get annoying at times.
Of course, on top of all these non-shaving annoyances, there's the considerable time drain of shaving every few days, and the added expense of new razors (they ain't cheap).
Making it look presentable
One secret weapon in the arsenal of the moustachioed men of the world is shaving wax and trimming scissors.
The steps to waxing:
1) If you have a tub of wax (like Clubman's) it's often beneficial to run the tube under hot water for a few seconds. This softens up the wax and makes it easier to apply to your facial hair.
2) Squeeze or otherwise apply a portion of the wax onto your moustache brush (Note: do NOT use your shaving brush for this, if you have one! You will ruin it.)
3) Brush the wax into your moustache. Try to be fairly even with it, but don't worry too much about it.
4) Take your moustache comb and brush your moustache so that it looks roughly how you want it to look.
5) Repeat if needed.
6) Fine-tune with fingers and wait for wax to set.
Check the two pictures of me below for a "yes" and "no" example.
Waxing: Wrong and RightClick thumbnail to view full-size
Links for Moustache Fans
- World Beard and Moustache Championships
Lots of great pictures of incredible beards and moustaches.
- uBeard.com - Home
uBeard.com - A Place for Beards. Join the community of beards and friends of beards and chat about anything from moustaches to beards.
- The Glorius Mustache Challenge
An amusing documentary about growing a moustache under the age of 30.
- The Chap - MAGAZINE
A journal for the modern gentleman. Not strictly about moustaches, but they are afficionados, so it's worth a mention.