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The Goatee With Handlebar Mustache: A Complete Guide

July 31, 2023
The Goatee With Handlebar Mustache: A Complete Guide

The “goatee with handlebar” is a fantastic hybrid style worthy of analysis and discussion. Put simply, it adds a touch of sophistication and elegance to the timeless classic that is the goatee. 

The other main benefits of this style are its surprising versatility and appreciation of the mustache. But it comes at a price of a slightly increased maintenance requirement. 

It can be difficult to put a finger on exactly what styles should be labeled like this. There are several different variants of this style and it’s important to know what they are to help you style your own. 

What I want to do in this article is to give you a clear understanding of what this style actually is – what it looks like and what it’s core benefits are.

I’ll finish up by talking you through some crucial styling tips to take your goatee and handlebar mustache to the next level. 

What Is The Goatee With Handlebar Mustache?

Whenever a hybrid style is explained, it’s important to break it up into its core components. This is the easiest and simplest way to understand what it truly is. 

A “goatee” is any style that consists of hair on the chin but not on the cheeks. The modern-day definition only needs to fulfill those criteria. Because of this, these days a goatee frequently incorporates a mustache. 

Many decades ago, however, a “goatee” would only consist of hair on the chin – nowhere else. Those days are over, although the purist, traditional goatee enthusiasts may beg to differ. 

A handlebar mustache is a classic, immensely popular mustache style where the edges are curled upward. This produces an appearance strongly resembling that of the handlebar of a motorcycle. 

Putting these two together usually leads to phenomenal results. To sum it all up, the label can be applied to any style where there is hair on the chin but not on the cheeks, and where the edges of the mustache are curled upward into a handlebar. 

Because of the various different goatee styles possible, the “goatee with handlebar” can take multiple different forms. It’s such a fluid definition that there are several different styles available to choose from. 

Sure, a handlebar is a handlebar. But the goatee aspect is what gives you so many options. Let’s talk through them. 

Examples Of The Goatee With Handlebar Mustache

Here are a few options. They aren’t the only ones by any means. But this should give you a good understanding of the core principles underlying the style. Plus, it should give you some serious style inspiration. 

The Van Dyke

It’s the style in the Featured Image above.

What a glorious and majestic style this is. It oozes sophistication; even the name itself. Having said this, it’s a name and label often used incorrectly. 

This is understandable considering its definition seems to shift shape so often. It’s hard to pin people down and get a solid, concrete definition. 

It’s true that the handlebar mustache is integral to the Van Dyke style. But other crucial aspects of the style include the fact that it is a disconnected goatee. In other words, the chin beard and mustache do not connect. 

Another key component is the shape of the chin beard. An iconic feature of the Van Dyke is a chin beard that’s loosely sculpted into a downward-facing triangle. 

A style that meets these criteria can be safely and confidently labeled a “Van Dyke”. For a more detailed comparison between the Van Dyke and regular goatees, check out this article

It screams elegance and is a great option for men looking to turn heads. It’s an attention-grabbing style that has no time for subtlety. The style is a great option for more formal affairs worthy of facial hair with a sophisticated edge. 

The Full Goatee And Handlebar

bald man with handlebar goatee

A Full Goatee is one where the chin beard and mustache connect, encircling the mouth as they do so. It’s probably what a lot of people think of when they hear the term “goatee” these days. 

It grew popular a couple of decades ago and has continued to enjoy massive popularity around the world. It’s hard to go a day without seeing it. 

The “Full Goatee and handlebar” is exactly what you’d expect. A Full Goatee with the chin beard connecting to the mustache, and with the mustache curled upward into a handlebar. 

The main benefit of this style is that it’s relatively easy to maintain compared with the Van Dyke. The trimming requirements are certainly less. You don’t have to worry about maintaining a finely-sculpted chin beard. 

However, you’ll still have to ensure you’re trimming a neat, symmetrical goatee with sharp borders. 

But that’s about it. After that, it’s just a case of curling a mustache you already have into a handlebar. 

The Chin Puff And Handlebar

The Chin Puff is also a timeless classic. A goatee for the ages. One that would please even the most traditional of goatee enthusiasts. 

chin puff and handlebar mustache example

A Chin Puff is a patch of hair on the chin. It’s formed by a soul patch that blends seamlessly downward into the chin beard. The exact shape can vary and isn’t set in stone. 

But blending the soul patch downward into the chin beard is what truly defines this style. 

As you’d expect, it isn’t hard to achieve. Maintaining such a small area of facial hair really doesn’t take a huge amount of effort. 

Adding a handlebar mustache into the mix can make for a very interesting hybrid style, once again. It adds a unique twist to a fairly basic goatee style. Plus, the mustache can add a sense of balance to an otherwise “chin-heavy” style. 

Benefits Of The Goatee With Handlebar

Although there are many, there are two main ones I wanted to focus on. These are versatility, as well as mustache appreciation. 

1. Surprising versatility

It’s important to realize that this style isn’t exactly subtle.

A handlebar mustache, in my opinion, could never be considered subtle. It’s designed to attract attention, but it does so for all the right reasons. 

Attention-grabbing facial hairstyles aren’t typically known for their versatility. They’re usually better suited to formal events, or sometimes even for comical effect and irony. 

But what makes this style different is the addition of the goatee. The goatee is such a universally appreciated and accepted style that it makes this style work in most contexts. 

There are hardly any situations when a standalone goatee wouldn’t be considered “appropriate”. Adding the handlebar mustache doesn’t reduce its versatility. It simply enhances its uniqueness. 

2. Mustache appreciation

It’s no secret that the mustache isn’t quite as popular as it was 30 years ago. Don’t get me wrong – it still enjoys a strong global following and it does seem to be trending upward right now. 

But beards do seem to be taking center-stage at the moment, with mustaches occasionally turning up for a cameo appearance. 

What I love about the goatee and handlebar style is the way in which it holds the mustache in such high regard. It’s front-and-center, enjoying the glory. It’s almost as though it’s being propped up by the goatee, allowing it to shine and absorb all the praise for once. 

That’s why this style is perfect for men with goatees who also appreciate the intensely masculine benefits of a properly styled mustache. 

Styling Tips For The Goatee And Handlebar Mustache

Now that you’ve learned what it is and why it works, it’s time to go through some tips on how to make it great. It’s a style that people can find difficult to perfect. Here are some ways in which you could make some solid, incremental gains. 

1. Work around patchiness

Patchy goatees aren’t fun. In fact, they can be quite a nuisance. Although they can drive a beardsmen mad, there are ways in which they can be tackled. 

One simple way is to work around it. A common problem is the area between the chin beard and mustache being patchy. As a result, the goatee doesn’t connect and this can cause a lot of frustration indeed. 

The easiest way to solve this issue is to pick a goatee with handlebar style that doesn’t connect. Choose a Van Dyke, a Chin Puff, a Soul Patch – anything that doesn’t require a connection between the handlebar mustache and the chin beard 

A simple solution to an otherwise potentially endless source of frustration. 

2. Don’t forget to use balm or wax

It wouldn’t be wise to assume that a handlebar will stay the way you want it to during the course of the day. The main reason for this is that it isn’t a very natural position for the mustache to be in. 

Without some added support, it’ll most likely fall out of place sooner than you may think. 

Using a small amount of product with a reasonable level of hold is a great way to keep the style in place and also flattening out any stray hairs sticking out.

Your options would include mustache balm or wax. Balm is usually lighter and more moisturizing, with its main benefit being that it doesn’t feel overbearing. However, it doesn’t have as strong of a hold as wax does. 

It’s worth experimenting with the two to see which one you prefer. As a serious mustache groomsman, it’s probably worth having both in your toolbox in any case. 

3. Mustache combing can go a long way

Before you apply any product, it’s definitely worth combing the mustache downward and parting it in the middle. 

This won’t just make it much easier to style, although this is also a crucial point. It’ll also allow you to assess the mustache for any stray hairs creeping over the border of the upper lip. 

If you see any of these, it’s a good opportunity to trim the edges with a pair of mustache scissors. 

It can be easy to let this basic mustache grooming habit slip when you’re styling it into a handlebar regularly. 

But be sure to continue practicing it whenever you get a chance. It’s important to continue to stick to the basics even when the styles we choose become more complex. 


As with all facial hairstyles, it won’t be for everyone. But there’s so much going for it that I’d be surprised if this article didn’t swing it for you. 

A well-groomed, carefully selected goatee and handlebar style can work on just about anyone. It’s important to experiment regularly before settling on one. 

Enjoy the process – it can be so much fun.