Mustache styling and grooming is back in full swing and there is no better time to hop on the wagon. Nowadays, we’re leaning towards less comical and more chiseled and tapered looks. You’re about to learn how to trim a long mustache like a pro.
Well grown and well-groomed mustaches are a symbol of masculinity and virility. The way you trim your mustache can also say a lot about your personality.
Maintaining it regularly is the key to achieving a modern, intentional style, rather than a comical, untidy, or “accidental-looking” one.
Having the competence to trim it yourself will not only save money and tedious trips to the barbershop. You’ll have the know-how to achieve whatever style you have in mind without having to try and explain it to a professional.
Plus, you can do it right from the comfort of your own home. Neat, right?
How To Trim A Long Mustache In 7 Steps
This is a brief, yet comprehensive tutorial on how to do it with scissors. I do have other tutorials explaining how you could do it with clippers or trimmers, if you wanted to check those out as well.
1. Decide upon a style
What look are you trying to achieve?
There are many styles and lengths you could go for, whether you are wanting a regular mo, a handlebar, or something more exotic or festive.
You may consider the functionality and comfort of your mustache when choosing length. Do some basic research before you choose your personal ‘stache style.
Do you like the feeling of a long mustache brushing against your lips when you eat? Before you reach for the scissors, be clear on the shape you’re wanting to achieve before you start snipping.
Some prefer a little longer, but be sure that it’s not long enough to slip into your mouth. This is never a good look. Even creeping over the top of the upper lip turns some people off. Of course, it’s down to personal preference at the end of the day.
2. Preparation is key
Ensure you have the right tools necessary: good quality mustache or beard scissors, a beard comb, and beard shampoo.
We recommend using a specific mustache comb. Sandalwood and pearwood combs are popular and often hand-cut. They’re usually anti-static and glide through mustache hair extremely easily, causing minimal damage in its path.
A cheap, synthetic comb may have small edges that can wire out or damage mustache hairs, causing split ends.
Good lighting and a mirror are crucial – you don’t want to look like you’ve cut your ‘stache in the dark.
Cutting your mustache in the bathroom, over a sink or bin is also a good idea for an easy cleanup.
3. Wash it properly
Use a Beard Shampoo to wash that long mustache and that glorious beard. We recommend washing before trimming a long mustache to get rid of any pollutants, dirt and build up.
A mustache loaded with mustache wax is also hard to judge and measure. With a wash and trim, you’ll be feeling a lot fresher too.
Be sure that your mustache is gently towel-dried before combing or cutting. Your mustache may appear longer when wet, leading you to cut off more than desired.
Comb your mustache downward with a comb. Get a feel of the length you desire. It is important that everything is even before you start cutting. Combing will allow you to see the true length of your mustache.
We recommend sectioning your mustache into 4 parts, 2 inner sections, and 2 outer. There is no right or wrong way on where to start, but starting from an inner section is usually a good idea.
4. Start snipping
Part I. The Inner Sections
It’s time to trim! Be sure to keep a natural facial expression and mouth. Moving or pouting your mouth will affect the shape of your mustache.
Using your comb as a guide, start trimming your mustache from the inner two sections, cutting outwards towards the edges.
Start off more conservative – you can trim more length off later if required.
Cutting off too much to start can be a total disaster and ruin your long mustache look.
Part II. Outer Sections
On the two outer sections, toward the ends of the mustache, tilt your scissors upwards and outwards to create a taper.
If you like a longer handlebar or your mustache is curly towards the ends – twist the handlebar and trim off the excess hair.
Another trick is to comb the outer section towards the middle of your face and trim conservatively. Re-evaluate by combing back to your natural ‘stache, and repeat if needed.
PRO TIP: When cutting a long mustache, watch the angle of your scissors. If you are looking for a thick, straight style, angle your scissors horizontally and straight. Tilting your scissors upward can create a tapered or softer look.
Re-evaluate the length and style until you achieve the desired look. A good idea is to sleep on it – and get back to it tomorrow if you’re unsure of the final length.
Finally, tilt your scissors upwards and tidy any strays along the lipline. With a longer mustache, you may want to do this in between trimming sessions to keep the length comfortable for eating and talking.
5. Oil it
This may not be essential, but it’s definitely wise. A long mustache, just like a longer beard, needs nourishment. The longer the hair, the more tangled, dry, and brittle it can become. Split-ends are something you’ll want to avoid at all costs.
Applying a few drops of beard oil is a great way to quickly nourish the mustache hair as well as the underlying skin.
Comb it through afterward to distribute it evenly across your mustache and beard.
If you were going to do it, doing it in this order would be the most effective. Trim, then oil, comb, and style.
6. Style it
Comb your mustache to finish off and use your fingers to tidy the edges. Apply a little mustache wax, especially if your mustache is a little longer, curly or wiry. It’s really the only way to confidently keep a long mustache in place over the course of a day.
If you like a little handlebar, warm the mustache wax and style the handlebar outwards and upwards with your fingers. This is called ‘coiffing’, or creating a little curl upward.
7. Perfect it
Sometimes sleeping on it is the best thing you can do. If you’re still experimenting with your final look, re-evaluate the length and style the next day. If you want to go a little shorter or want to re-style, go for it.
Achieving a custom long mustache style that suits your face and is comfortable and functional may not happen on the first try. So be patient and cut conservatively.
Growing it has taken time and effort – so don’t make any sudden moves or rash decisions.
Should Trim A Long Mustache With Scissors Or Trimmers?
Learning the art requires the right tools for the trade. First of all, we must differentiate between scissors, trimmers and clippers.
Electric Clippers are commonly used for haircuts or for trimming longer beards. Clippers come with different attachment combs for different cutting lengths and styles. They have the ability to trim large chunks of hair with ruthless efficiency.
Electric Trimmers tend to be more precise and for closer shaves – but not quite as close as a razor shave. Most trimmers also often come with attachments for different cuts such as edging and outlining.
Ultimately, using a pair of clippers or trimmers will be quicker, simpler, and more efficient. If time pressure is a significant factor with your morning routine, this is something you’ll need to strongly consider.
Trimming a long mustache with scissors will be much more precise than using electric trimmers or clippers. You will have more control over the trim, and it is much more predictable. A slight mishap with the trimmer can be much more detrimental and could end in disaster.
Using scissors will allow you to maintain a thicker and fuller mustache than clippers. Clippers and trimmers and their comb attachments tend to thin out the mustache. If this is what you’re aiming for, however, it may be for.
The beauty of using scissors to trim is that you can gradually trim and decide on your look as you go. You may even want to sleep on it and trim more off in the morning if you’re feeling it.
Using a trimmer to trim your long mustache can be quicker, but requires a lot of practice and skill, as it is much more unforgiving if you don’t have a steady hand.
If you’re looking for a more custom, tapered look, and want to master the art quickly, start trimming your mustache with scissors. Even a beginner can get to grips with it.
Stay away from those old scissors in the top drawer! You’ll need specific mustache or beard scissors that will give you good control, allowing your trim to be precise and on point.
You’ll make fewer mistakes, the cut is sharper, and the handles are usually ergonomic.
Start your relationship with your well-trimmed ‘stache on the right track. It’s definitely worth making the small investment now to prevent any future mustache mishaps.
Additional Grooming Tips For Long Mustache Care
1. Pay Attention to Your Nose Hair
You don’t want your nose hair to blend in with your mustache – this is NOT a good look.
Trim your nose hair with a nose hair trimmer, or at the very least with a pair of small scissors. Tidy up any stray hairs above the mustache, if you have any.
2. Wash it regularly
Just like washing your face, your mustache needs some cleansing too. Beard shampoo is recommended rather than regular hair shampoos.
If you like your mustache long, personal hygiene is key. As your mustache is so close to the lips you use to eat and kiss with, it’s so important to keep it clean. Yesterday’s lunch doesn’t look or smell good on the mustache.
A modern, long mustache brings attention to your face and your skin. A common dry area of skin around the mustache is underneath and around the nasal flares.
Pay attention to your skincare regime and exfoliate any dry areas. A mustache can easily hide dry skin and inflammation. It will eventually manifest as flaking, however.
Debris, dust, dirt, natural oils and dead cells are more likely to accumulate if you choose to wear a long mustache or beard.
Exfoliating with a physical scrub before you start trimming is a great way to remove this top layer of gunk from the skin.
This reduces flaking and also leads to a more even trim, as the blades are able to glide through unobstructed.
Mustache wax and beard oils are great for styling, but don’t go overboard, you don’t want these products to clog your pores.
4. Plan, Plan, Plan
The worst thing you could do to sabotage your mustache is to improvise. Research and get ideas from the internet, Pinterest and Instagram well in advance. Never change your style on impulse.
Choose a style that you think would suit you, your face shape, and the texture of your mustache hair.
For example, would the style suit your curly hair? What about straight, thick, or patchy?
Be sure that it will be functionally appropriate for you too. For example, if you hate hair touching your upper lip, opt for a shorter style. Simple.
Don’t touch the scissors if you’re not sure about a style or if you don’t have the correct tools yet. If you need more help with choosing, a good barber might be able to help you with the process and your first trim. Snatch their ideas and techniques before adopting them as your own.
When trimming a long mustache, preparation, the right tools, and technique are key. You might not get it 100% perfect the first time, but practice makes perfect.
Trimming with scissors is the best way to achieve a custom look, is easy for beginners and is precise. Scissors are much more forgiving than electric clippers or trimmers if you don’t have the steadiest hands.
Growing a solid mustache is hard work, so you wouldn’t want to sabotage volume or thickness by clipping or trimming excessively. Using scissors to trim it is much more effective at maintaining thickness rather than using clippers or trimmers.
After choosing the right style, tools and technique, the most important thing, ultimately, is that you achieve a look that you feel confident in and comfortable with.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.