July 28, 2022 4 min read
Really, the title of this blog should have been “Top 8 Beginner Mistake You Would Have Made Waxing Your Moustache if You Didn’t Read This Article”, but that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as well.
I love moustaches. I first grew mine in my early 20s just to see if I could, and it stuck! I think more folks should have moustaches, but I understand feeling hesitation if you’re follicle-challenged. I’m here to tell you to go for it, regardless of your whisker count! When I first grew mine, it was ratty and only visible from a foot away, but its since grown into a proud bushy soup-saver. One of the factors that can make or break a new moustache is moustache wax and how you use it. I’m here to share the mistake I’ve made and seen others make over the years, so you can skip the frustration and have a great stache right away!
First, let’s help you choose the right wax. Finding one with the right properties for your ‘stache is half the battle!
1. Wax that’s too soft. The goal of any wax is to point your hairs in the right direction. Some folks want fancy curls, while some just want it off their lip. Either way, shorter hair is more challenging to control, and in the beginning, soft waxes will have no discernible effect (besides making your lip oily). You’ll want a wax that’s stiff enough to keep your hair in position for more than a minute, something like Bartigan & Stark’s Grip or Mammoth Beard Co. I would avoid D.R. Harris and Bartigan & Stark’s regular waxes, as they don’t do much for short hair.
2. Wax that’s too stiff. While you want a good amount of stiffness in your wax, you’re unlikely to start with Captain Fawcett Expedition Strength, which is closer to candle wax than moustache wax. Stiff waxes have their applications, but I don’t recommend them for short staches or fine whiskers as they can yank out hairs as you apply them. Uncle Norman’s & Captain Fawcett are among my favourites, but I suggest upgrading to them after you’ve had a little waxing practice.
3. Using the wrong colour of wax. Believe it or not, colour matters here. While all waxes will blend well with blonde and brown beard hairs, folks with very dark or gray moustaches won’t want to use waxes with a strong yellow colour. I find Captain Fawcett especially guilty of this, while Norman’s is relatively neutral once applied. D.R. Harris is totally clear, and Bartigan & Stark is also quite safe.
Choosing the right wax is key. Once you've got that, the rest is easy!
Okay, we’ve got our wax picked out! I suggest Mammoth or Bartigan & Stark Grip for beginners, although Uncle Norman’s & Fawcett are great for those who already have a thick, established beard. Bartigan & Starks regular wax is suitable for those with very long staches who just want a little tameness. Here’s what you might mess up when using your wax:
4. Using too much moustache wax. It’s easy to load too much of this stuff on, especially if you’re excited about having a rad curly moustache! I’m here to remind you to start slow and take your time. You can always add more, but it’s not so easy to use less. It'll be pretty obvious if you pile on the wax, and we’re going for subtlety here.
5. Using too little wax. Conversely, you still need to use some of this stuff for it to work. A gentle wipe from your fingertip on the top of the tin won’t do a thing to your stache. Don’t be afraid to dig in a little!
6. Not warming up your wax. Now that you’re ready to go, dig the back of your thumbnail into the top of the wax to scrape off a small amount. Transfer it onto your fingertip, rub it between your forefinger and thumb, and don’t stop! Out of the tin, moustache wax is very stiff.
Applying it directly will give you a clumpy moustache with lots of wax particles between the hairs. Not a good look. It will also yank out way more hairs. Instead, get it nice and warmed up between those fingertips until it feels and looks smooth.
7.Applying wax to a wet moustache. Oil and water don’t mix; the same goes for this stuff. If you had a shower or brushed your teeth recently, get in there with a towel before you wax. Otherwise, it will clump like crazy and look truly awful. Dry whiskers only!
8. Not waxing the whole stache. Dry whiskers, warm wax, you’re ready to roll. Using the tips of your index finger and thumb, gently work it through the entire length of the stache, coating each hair evenly from root to tip. If you only wax one part of the stache or the ends of the hair, the stubborn roots will betray you, and your beautiful moustache will fall apart. By waxing the whole thing and coating each hair from end to end, you’re helping the hairs to stick to each other as a cohesive unit and ensuring everything points in the right direction.
At this point, you have two main options for style: curly or natural. To curl, bring your index finger behind and over the end of your stache. Then, curl your whole hand forward at the wrist and curl the hair around your finger. Right hand on the right side, left on the left. Avoid rolling the ends between your thumb and finger like a cartoon villain; this makes the hair go everywhere.
I used to rock a curled moustache every day. It's a lot of work, but it's fun!
For a natural look, simply run a good comb or beard brush through the whole length of your ‘stache until you’ve achieved the style you’re after!
9. Overthinking it. I realize the irony of this one, but it's my most important tip. Yes, following all these steps will make you better at waxing your stache, but constantly fretting over them will have you fiddling endlessly and pulling all of your wax off onto your fingers. Confidence looks good on you, even if it’s feigned at first. Real confidence will follow in no time. Relax, have fun, and keep a spare tin and small comb in your back pocket for touch-ups!