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Should You Comb Your Mustache Down Or To The Side?

July 31, 2023
Should You Comb Your Mustache Down Or To The Side?

So you have grown your mustache successfully – now how do you go about maintaining it? More specifically, should you comb your mustache downwards or to the side? 

When the mustache hairs are short, it’s generally best to comb in a downward direction. Once you reach around two months of growth, consider combing to the side – this should guide the hairs to lie in position and prevent flyaways from getting into your mouth. 

Whether you want an ‘all-natural’ look to your mustache, or aspire to a more manicured handlebar style, combing your mustache regularly is an important aspect of mustache maintenance.

4 Situations Where You Might Comb The Mustache To The Side

If any of the following situations apply to you, you will probably want to comb to the side. 

1. You Are Sporting A Longer Mustache Style

Once your mustache is established and reaches a certain length, you should consider combing it to the side instead of down.  

This is mainly for practical reasons – it is a lot easier to eat and drink without hairs constantly getting in the way of your mouth. 

You will usually start finding the need to comb to the side at the 2-3 month mark of mustache growth. 

Having said this, there is no hard and fast rule and some men with a longer mustache style do still prefer to comb downwards for a different aesthetic.

Just bear in mind that this can be a nuisance with eating and drinking.

2. You Are Aiming For a Handlebar Mustache Look

The classic handlebar mustache look involves growing a mustache that is particularly long at the ends, which can then be fashioned into a twist with the use of some balm or wax. 

From 123RF

So if this is the look you are aiming for, combing to the side is going to be the best option for you. 

3. You Have A Thick Mustache

If you have a mustache that is well established and is longer in length, it will likely also have more volume. 

Thicker mustaches are more likely to maintain a full-bodied look with sideways combing.

As a result, combing sideways often suits a thicker mustache.

4. You Also Have A Long Beard 

Having a long beard adds an extra layer of complexity to your grooming – but it can be a great way to balance out your mustache, especially if you have a longer mustache style.

If you have a long beard, combing your mustache to the side can give you great symmetry, and prevent your mustache from simply ‘disappearing’ into your beard. 

Combing sideways can also add some width to your mustache, making the mustache ends more prominent. 

Long beards can often steal the limelight, but by adding some length and style to your mustache using this simple technique, you can avoid this. 

When Should You Comb Your Mustache Down?

Here are a couple of situations where you might want to. 

1. Your Mustache Is Early

In the early stages, combing downward is often preferable.

In fact, combing to the side isn’t even possible; the bristles simply aren’t long enough to allow it.

But they may still be long enough to benefit from combing. Simply straigtening them out in a downward direction can leave the mustache looking neater and fuller.

The beauty of it is that the relatively short bristles shouldn’t end up in the mouth, despite the downward combing.

2. You have a short mustache style

If you prefer to keep your mustache short, then combing downwards is the ideal option.

Combing a short mustache in a downwards direction achieves a much neater look than if you were to comb it to the side. 

Examples include:

  • The Walrus: A thick, bushy mustache that sits just above the upper lip, extending only slightly downward.
  • The Chevron: A thick, full mustache that sits just above the upper lip and extends slightly downwards at the corners of the mouth. Classic, timeless, elegant.
  • The Horseshoe: A thick mustache that also sits above the upper lip and extends downward to the jawline on either side.

Additional Mustache Styling Tips

Although combing is an important part of mustache maintenance, it’s not the only thing you can do to maintain and style your mustache. 

If you and your mustache are in it for the long haul, it will be worth your while to invest in some mustache balm or wax. 

Applying a bit of mustache product can help keep a longer mustache out of the way.


So there you have it – there are several things to consider when deciding whether you are going to comb your mustache down or to the side. 

Whichever technique you choose, make sure to get comfortable with your own grooming routine and have an end goal in mind for what you want to achieve with your mustache. 

By doing this you will find the process of maintaining your mustache can actually be enjoyable.