The Handlebar Moustache - How to Grow a Handlebar Moustache

Author: The Beard Struggle

Published at: May 24, 2023

The Handlebar moustache is one of the most famous facial hair styles out there and it’s been around forever. This type of moustache was really popular in the 19th century and has gained traction in recent years by being associated with the hipster subculture.

A handlebar moustache can be described as a thick growth of upper lip hair that surpasses or ends at the edges of the mouth and has curved ends that resemble bicycle handlebars. Rocking a handlebar moustache is definitely part of a statement look that will never fail to attract attention. Read on to find out more about this iconic moustache.

What You Need to Know Before Growing a Handlebar Moustache

This fancy moustache style is really amazing to behold. Unfortunately, it also requires a tremendous amount of commitment. It takes a long time to grow and you need quite a bit of patience in the early stages, before it really starts to resemble something fashionable.

Another thing your moustache needs is permanent styling. You have to use products like moustache wax to shape your upper lip hair into your desired form.

And if you’re new to facial hair, you should know that a moustache requires the same upkeep and grooming specifications as a full beard. You’ll need to have an adequate care routine for your facial hair to keep it looking clean and healthy.

The Benefits Of Being A Handlebarrer

Having a handlebar moustache is an achievement on its own. Seriously, give yourself a pat on the back, sit back and enjoy the admiration of your fellow peers. You might even want to join the famous Handlebar Club. Here are some of the benefits.

A Classy Look That’s Never Out Of Style

When it comes to facial hair, you can never go wrong with classy looks. Thing is, they never really go out of style. The same can be said about the handlebar moustache and its many variations. Some of the most famous styles of handlebar moustaches are the Imperial, English, and Hungarian moustaches.

The fact that a handlebar moustache requires so much patience and perseverance to grow and maintain means that you won’t see half the population sporting the same look as you are. As a result, you’re guaranteed to always stand out in a crowd.


Acne and Facial Protection From UV rays

Having facial hair can have many benefits besides an obvious, eye-pleasing appearance. Facial hair can act as a shield against harmful UV rays, dust particles, and germs.

Another important fact is that having a moustache means switching from shaving to trimming. Shaving can sometimes cause small lesions in your skin and leave your face vulnerable to bacteria. Some men tend to have acne flare-ups after a close shave, and if you can identify with this issue then maybe facial hair is the thing for you.

Cost-effective looks

If you decide to grow a moustache you’ll be using a small quantity of product for its maintenance, so it’s way more cost-efficient than a full beard.

And if you decide to pair your handlebar moustache with a beard style, you’ll save some money on your shaving supplies or barbershop trips. Either way, it’s a style that saves you money and looks fantastic.

How To Grow A Handlebar Moustache

This statement moustache style requires a lot of patience and dedication. We won’t lie to you, it won’t be easy. Just like a full beard, a handlebar moustache will require quite a bit of time to fully form. Sometimes, the easiest way to grow a moustache is to pair it with a beard because it will look better during the first few weeks of growth.

You can speed things up with dedicated products that encourage hair growth, and it’s important to remember that any facial hair requires a proper care routine with regular washing, brushing, and hydration. After the initial stages of growth, you can start trimming and styling to your heart’s desire.


Growing a Handlebar Moustache 101

A handlebar moustache will be fully formed after about three to four months. This might sound like a lot of time, but during the growing process, you can tame your facial hair and still keep it looking great.

Let your moustache grow, and limit trimming to a bare minimum in order to achieve a full and natural look. Use moustache wax to tame your hair and especially to curl the edges of your moustache into the desired handlebar shape.

Remember that your facial hair requires proper daily care. You need to keep your skin and facial hair clean, and hydrated. One important rule for any facial hair upkeep is using good beard oil. This product keeps your moustache from getting dehydrated and makes it look healthy, tamed, and perfectly groomed.

Handlebar Moustache - The Easiest Ways To Grow One

Because it takes such a long time to grow a handlebar moustache, some men prefer to start off with a full beard or a goatee to make the initial growing stages more esthetically pleasing. After about four weeks, your moustache hairs should be long enough to tickle your lip.

A big part of the growing stage is not giving in to the desire to trim your moustache hairs. Some men tend to get annoyed when the long hairs reach over the upper lip, but applying a bit of moustache wax can be a great fix for this problem.

Applying wax and combing are some of the ways in which you can “train” your hair to grow in a certain direction and not curve over your lip and inside your mouth. You find the center, part your hair, and arrange the hairs left and right to form the halves of your desired handlebars.

How to create the perfect handlebar look with moustache wax

To grow a handlebar moustache means that you have to invest in a good moustache wax. You need this product from the growing stages of your facial hair, when you “train” your hair to orient itself in a certain direction, as well as for the daily upkeep of your handlebar style.

An ideal product should have a strong enough hold to keep your whiskers in place and should be friendly with your skin and hair. We recommend premium products for your facial hair because they tend to use more natural ingredients, and fewer chemicals with a potential irritant quality.

Try looking for products without parabens, petrochemicals, or artificial fragrances. These are not ingredients that you want to use daily on your face.

Washing your Moustache

Hygiene is important. More so when it comes to the handlebar moustache. Using the right products and maintaining a proper cleaning routine is essential to having a good-looking moustache.

Your moustache hairs tend to gather up all sorts of dust and grime throughout the day. Another thing that needs cleaning up is your moustache wax. You have to check regularly for wax buildup and use a good beard shampoo as part of your grooming routine.

After washing, remember to hydrate your moustache hair by applying beard oil. You can supplement if needed with products like conditioners and hydrating masks.


Trimming your Moustache

Trimming should be avoided in the first weeks of growth. When you’re about halfway through the growing stage, and your moustache really starts to fill in, you can begin trimming the hairs that are clearly out of place. These will be the ones growing above your moustache line, or hairs that are just plain old stubborn and resist all attempts of taming with moustache wax.

Trimming your moustache into a final shape and style should be ideally done by a trained professional. It is surprisingly easy to end up with an uneven finish, especially when it comes to achieving symmetrical ends to your handlebar look.

Oils May Help Grow Your Moustache

Using products like growing oils can help a lot in the early stages of your hair growth. Scientific studies show that a 3% Peppermint Dilution Oil can help speed up hair growth and boost hair density. This can be a natural alternative to products like minoxidil, which usually have a certain amount of side effects.


How To Style and Maintain a Handlebar Moustache

There are many handlebar moustache styles to choose from:

  • The Imperial style
    • requires the hair beyond the corners of the mouth to be shaved, while the hair above the lip is brushed to the sides and forms the handlebars.
  • The English style
    • is similar to the Imperial, the difference being that the ends are styled into straight points.
  • The Hungarian style
    • requires the hair to grow beyond the edges of the mouth, while keeping the hair long, resulting in a bushy moustache with a natural appearance.
  • The Chevron style
    • is very straightforward, with hair growing beyond the edges of the mouth, trimmed relatively short, with no curling of the edges.
  • The Walrus style
    • requires the hair to grow beyond the corners of the mouth and for the hairs to be brushed downwards instead of side to side. It is usually very bushy and the hair surpasses the edge of the upper lip.

How to Choose a Handlebar Moustache Style Based On Your Head and Face Shape

There is no general rule for choosing the right moustache style for you. When picking a handlebar moustache style, there are some guidelines to help you take your first steps. However, keep in mind that, with a bit of confidence, you can rock any style you want.

Oval Face Shape

You have an oval face if your forehead and jawline are similar in width, and your chin and jawline are rounded. This means that your features are proportional, so you might want to be careful and pick a more toned-down handlebar moustache style. Your moustache should complement the harmony of your features, not disrupt them. The Imperial Handlebar Moustache would be a great fit for an oval face shape.

Square Face Shape

You have a square face if your jawline is square and broad, with your forehead and jawline of similar widths. Having such strong features means that you can play around with any moustache style you want. No matter how extravagant, a handlebar moustache will only add to the masculine traits of your face.

Round Face Shape

You have a round face if the length of your face is similar to the width of your cheekbones, and your jawline is rounded and soft. While this face shape is sometimes considered to be the most beautiful, it is not really suited for flashy facial hairstyles. A handlebar moustache will set off the proportions of your face, by reducing your chin height.

How To Shape Your Handlebar Moustache With A Blow Dryer

After your cleaning and hydrating routine, comb your moustache down after creating the two symmetrical halves. Apply a sufficient amount of wax from the center to the edges, then guide the hairs into your desired shape and use a blow-dryer to help set the style.

When using blow-dryers, remember to pick a low setting for the temperature and airflow. Too much heat can damage your hair and lead to curling and split ends in the long run.

Apply Moustache Wax To Achieve The Handlebar Look

Moustache wax can help you achieve the classic handlebar look. After applying your wax, twist the ends of your moustache into the desired shape. This shape can be pointed straight up, curled as you would see in the Imperial and Hungarian styles, or straight and pointy for the English style.

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Consistency Is Key When Shaping Your Handlebar Moustache

To grow a handlebar moustache you’ll truly have to embrace pogonotrophy, or the art of cultivating facial hair. Shaping your handlebar moustache begins in the early stages of hair growth.

You start by applying wax and directing your hair to grow in a certain direction. That way you are less tempted to trim the longer hairs.

This process of taming and shaping with moustache wax is an everyday process. You need to keep the hair from your upper lip from curling downwards into your mouth, and you need to keep your ends perfectly shaped, in a pointy or curled style. Consistency is key if you want to achieve that polished classical look of a true handlebar moustache.

How to Maintain a Handlebar Moustache in 4 Simple Steps

Growing a handlebar moustache is only half of the battle, the rest of the work goes into maintaining your desired style. The truth is, maintenance is the same when it comes to all facial hair. If you want your beard or mustache to look healthy, you need a good grooming routine and quality products.

Keep Debris Out Of Your Moustache

A handlebar moustache can be a bit much, and more so for beginner facial hair enthusiasts. You have to constantly keep your moustache properly styled and the hairs oriented to the sides and out of your mouth, especially when you’re eating and drinking.

You also don’t want food and drink getting stuck in your moustache. These particles end up harming your hair, not to mention the fact that you’re creating a perfect environment for bacteria.

Have a Daily Cleaning Routine

The best handlebar moustache care routine involves a daily cleaning ritual. You can wash your moustache with a beard shampoo, followed by your hydrating beard oil.

Make sure to brush out your moustache with a dedicated comb. Brushing your hair facilitates natural oil distribution and prevents your styling wax from clumping your hair. Make a habit out of checking for wax buildup. You have to regularly remove the styling wax with a beard shampoo.

A Healthy Diet and Exercise Can Help

Eating the right things and exercising have a lot of benefits for your health, and they have an indirect impact on your hair growth.

If you are healthy, then you have a good hormone balance, a good circulatory system, a good immune system, and good skin. This means that your body will be able to grow a healthy moustache.

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Moustache Oils, Balms and Care

After washing your moustache and before applying your moustache wax, always remember to properly hydrate your hair with beard oil and beard balm. These products will prevent your hair from losing moisture.

Keeping your moustache hydrated might not seem like such a big deal, but if your hair is dry it starts to curl, and it becomes brittle and unruly. This makes your moustache very hard to style and shape.


A handlebar moustache is a statement facial hair style. It’s been around for ages and it’s never going to go out of style. But as the saying goes, “good things come to those who wait”. It takes about three months to grow and it requires constant grooming and attention. If you’re ready for commitment, then a handlebar moustache is the right thing for you.

Visit The Beard Struggle and find out how to grow a moustache worthy of Skaldic tales

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