July 06, 2021 4 Comments

If there’s one thing that always turns heads, it’s a handlebar mustache! People simply cannot resist a second look at one of those beauties. Talk about the ultimate confidence booster!

The handlebar is the iconic definition of sophisticated masculinity. I mean, really, is there a mustache more distinguished or refined? Is there any symbol of manliness more distinctive? Has there ever been a more perfect blend of ruggedness with gentility and nobility? 

If you’ve always longed to grow a handlebar mustache, now’s your chance. Before you go for it just know that, like developing and shaping your beard, growing one of these bad boys requires commitment, patience, and know-how.

That’s our cue to help you earn your wings with the ultimate bro-mo.

Choose your style of handlebar

Yep, there are several. While pretty much all handlebar mustaches have a part in the middle, there are some distinct varieties. Check ‘em out and decide which is really you. Of course, we recommend growing one to accompany an awesome beard for double the impact, but it’s up to you.



Not too bushy, not too thin, just right. The Goldilocks handlebar with points that curl up and round.




Bushier throughout. Even the hairs under the nose are long and thick. The Hungarian handlebar is brushed outwards into a wave of hair that curls a little at the edges.



Much like the Hungarian, but not quite as bushy and with more flamboyant twirls that point upwards rather than curling right around.



Think Sam Elliott or the late Wilford Brimley, the “diabeetus” guy. Think First World War soldiers, especially those from eastern Europe. This big, long lip-forest droops down below the top lip all the way along, hiding your mouth entirely. You can still brush it outwards and twirl it at the corners. This is a commitment to ruggedness that we stand and applaud. If you can do it, mad respect, bro.



Time for a spot of tea with cucumber sandwiches while watching cricket, eh? The English handlebar is well trimmed to be quite thin and the ends point straight out instead of twirling. The longer the points, the better!



A thin, sculpted handlebar where parts of the upper lip above and below the mustache are kept shaved clean. This style involves the most maintenance but can have the sharpest, cleanest lines all the way along with wiry side curls of immaculate precision.

Growing your handlebar mustache

The key to a handlebar mo is to let the side hairs near the corners of the mouth grow long. The basic rules are…

  1. The wider across your upper lip you can let hairs grow, the better.
  2. The longer you let your mustache hairs grow, the more amazing the handlebar curls can be.
  3. Be patient. Let it grow and look nasty for a while. Shaping comes later.

💡 Tip: Grow a full beard first. Then when you let the mustache corner hairs grow and grow, they can blend in with your beard and not look so weird. On its own, a fledgling handlebar can look weird to those that are not privy to your majestic mo plans. Do not trim, no matter how badly you want to!

Growing it from scratch? You’ll need to allow three months (or more) to fully develop that puppy.

Growing it from your existing mo? You won’t have to wait so long, but still expect at least a month or two to get those edge hairs long enough to twirl.

Other growing tips...

  • Resist all urges to shave near your mouth corners. Err on the side of growing too many hairs. Even if you’re growing a manicured or English handlebar mustache, let more hair grow and trim/shave later.
  • Don’t trim the itchy hairs poking at your upper lip. Developing length to those hairs is essential. The itchiness goes away after a couple weeks. Let them get long enough to brush to the sides.
  • Wash your mo regularly, just like your beard. Three times a week with a dedicated Beard Wash designed to nourish facial hair and skin. Never use soap or regular shampoo. On non-shampoo days, rinse it with plain water.
  • Brush daily with a coarse brush, like a wild boar hair beard brush. The coarse bristles massage and clean the skin, remove dead skin flakes, and help coax hairs to point where you want. Brush outwards from the center line under your nose to develop a part in the middle. Some guys use a comb for delicate shaping and precision, but a comb doesn’t spread oil/balm and help your skin like a good beard brush does.
  • As the hairs start to be coaxed to brush outwards, start using a touch of beard oil and beard balm to tame, sculpt and nourish them. Brush the oil and balm in well.

In about two to three months, your handlebar mustache will be taking shape clearly and distinctly. Now keep going!

Beard Balm or Mustache Wax?

Without some product in it, your handlebar mustache will simply be a hanging-bar mustache. That’s great if you’re going for the Walrus style. But otherwise, gravity is not kind to those wings.

This is where products come in so you can start creating the distinctive handlebar shape and curls.

Depending on your style and needs, a good Beard Balm and Mustache Wax will be your best friends. They will help train the direction of hair growth and blend growing side hairs in with your beard. 

As the handlebar ends really develop, a touch of wax on those points may be what you need, especially if you’re looking to create really fine points or narrow wisps that hold in place all day. Here's how to apply Mustache Wax, in case you need some pro tips.

If you’re going for the bushier Imperial, Hungarian or Walrus styles, beard balm wins, hands down.

Trial and error will get you through.

Prepare for a new eating and drinking experience

A handlebar mustache isn’t called a soup strainer for nothing! As your mo lengthens and the side hairs develop a life of their own, you’re gonna have to practice eating and drinking so as not to get stuff all over that epic lip forest. It becomes a magnet for crumbs, liquids, sauces, you name it. Watch out especially for messy foods like wings, ribs, soups, milk, cereal, toast… hell, just practice.

And be sure to use a napkin regularly. A true gentleman always does, anyway.

Now go forth and handlebar up! Follow these tips to the letter and be sure your facial hair grooming routine is A-1 and you’ll develop a distinguished lip-rug that will be the envy of all the other bros, even the most rugged.



4 Responses


February 20, 2023

Eating a bagel with cream cheese can be a nightmare with a handlebar stash. To make it easier tear the bagel in half or thirds and flip it upside down so the cream cheese is facing the floor. Makes it much easier to eat. Cream cheese sucks to get in your stash.


November 30, 2022

I currently have a horseshoe mustache growing it’s a couple months old, I use plenty of wax and comb daily, always using the beard wash as well. But my question is is this still a good start to do the handlebar as the end corner Hairs continue to grow downward?

The Rugged Bros
The Rugged Bros

July 05, 2022

Hey, man. Great question! We would not recommend shaving your philtrum. Mustaches generally grow downward – whether your philtrum is thin, wide, deep, shallow, bare, or full of hair. Besides how big of a gap you have once your mustache is trained, the size of your philtrum will not matter and this will not help the process.

While a defined philtrum can help you part your ’stache in the same spot consistently, we would not recommend shaving it if you do not naturally have a gap.

John Wiiliam Mize
John Wiiliam Mize

July 05, 2022

Should I shave the philtrum(dip on the center of the upper lip) in order to make it easier to separate the 2 sides of the mustache?

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