Lip rug. Crumb catcher. Bro-stache. Whatever you want to call it, it’s an iconic facial hairstyle that refuses to fade away. So, what exactly does a mustache say about a man?
A mustache says that a man takes grooming and style seriously. It also says that he’s bold, thick-skinned, patient, and probably has a dominant edge.
Although that’s the gist, there’s a whole lot more to mustaches than initially meets the eye.
Also, there are plenty of different mustache styles out there. So many, that you wonder how it’s even possible. I mean, it’s just such a small area of hair – right?
But the ingenuity of mustachioed men worldwide has led to the creation of dozens (if not hundreds) of styles that each say something unique.
That’s why I wanted to dig deeper. I’m about to lay out the most important things a mustache can say about a man while referencing the different styles as well.
Without further ado, let’s get to it.
9 Things A Mustache Says About A Man
Whether you’re already rocking a mustache and just curious, or you’re a clean-shaven man wondering whether to take the leap, read on and enjoy.
1. He Takes Grooming Seriously
Put it this way – there’s no such thing as an “accidental mustache”.
You can get an accidental beard. In fact, it’s pretty easy. You just don’t shave for a couple of weeks. It isn’t pretty, but it’s a beard nonetheless.
Practically speaking, a mustache could never be “accidental”. The chin, cheeks, and neck would have to be shaved or trimmed down to stubble at the very least.
This takes time, energy, and commitment. It’s proper grooming and it’s intentional.
It takes dedication to groom and maintain a mustache, because even the untidy ones need a certain level of time and energy to maintain them.
You can’t just let the full beard grow out because – well, it would no longer be a “mustache”.
But trimming, shaving, and shaping aside, there’s plenty more that the more serious mustache lovers do to keep things in check.
You’ve got brushing, combing, oiling, balming, waxing, and so on. Handlebars are a good example of a high maintenance mustache style that do require this level of attention.
When it comes to men that look after their mustaches to this degree, you can safely say that it’s a man that takes their grooming seriously.
In fact, so much so, that you can usually make certain other, non-mustache related assumptions about him as a result.
You could assume that he takes his skincare and his hair care seriously as well. What about his sense of style and fashion? Surely a man that takes care of his mustache so diligently would care about the clothes he wears too?
You could go even deeper.
What about his personality? A man that cares for his mustache with so much energy and focus will probably know how to look after things.
Maybe he cares the same way for his work and his family?
Of course, we’re starting to stretch things a little here. It probably isn’t wise to make so many far-fetched assumptions about a man based on his ability to groom his mustache.
But it’s just worth thinking about.
2. He’s Patient
Mustaches don’t grow overnight.
Even the hairier men among us will need to play the waiting game to achieve the mustache of their dreams.
In addition, it’s a road paved with troubles and frustrations. You’ve got awkward phases of growth to deal with, riddled with patchiness, itching, and doubt.
Even once you’ve got enough length, you’ll still need to groom it with persistence and dedication before it starts to look the way you want.
It takes patience to grow the length in the first place, and then even more patience to make it look the way you want it to.
But there’s more to this patience than just time and focus.
Men with mustaches also need to put up with a certain amount of discomfort.
Take eating for example. Bits of food getting stuck in the mustache is a problem that many men will face. It’s particularly troublesome with mustaches such as The Walrus where the hairs really do reach quite low down over the upper lip.
Eating with a mustache such as this takes patience.
What about shaving?
Men with mustaches need to shave their cheeks and chin on a regular basis in order to stay well and truly mustache’d and not bearded.
Again, this takes time, persistence, and patience.
So, if you come across a man with a tidy, well-maintained mustache, it’s safe to say that he’s got at least a certain level of patience.
3. He’s Bold
Let’s face it. Mustaches draw attention.
They just aren’t as common as beards, for one. A man with a mustache is more likely to be the topic of discussion – maybe even behind their back – than a man with a beard is.
It isn’t always a mean comment. People are just drawn to that which is uncommon and like to talk about it – that’s fine.
But men with mustaches often don’t mind the attention. They either thrive on it, are used to it, or just ignore it.
They’re bold enough to buck the trend and stand out in a crowd.
They know that their mustache will turn some heads but they don’t care.
The mustache they’ve dedicated their own time to is for them and only them.
You need to be bold and unafraid to stand out from a crowd and that’s yet another thing a mustache can say about a man.
This is especially true when it comes to the “bolder” mustache styles such as Handlebars and even the more uncommon ones like Walruses.
These mustaches are bound to turn some heads and catch the eye of some passer-bys – are you bold enough to tolerate it?
4. He Has A Sense Of Humor
Mustaches aren’t always grown with the most serious of intentions.
They often do have a certain comic effect to them. Again, this is definitely true of the more uncommon mustache styles.
Yes, there are men that take their mustache very seriously. In fact, there are plenty of them. The more seriously they take it, the neater and better maintained they’ll usually be.
But there are also men who grow their mustaches ironically, as a sort of statement to show the world that they don’t take themselves too seriously.
It’s a great conversation starter, for one.
“Love your mustache bro”. A slight chuckle and a “thanks” to follow that up is a fantastic way to strike up a fun chat with a stranger.
It all comes down to the fact that mustaches tend to stand out because they’re just not as common as they used to be.
Yes, some people will admire it and some people will love it. But there will be those that think it’s kinda funny too. Men with mustaches are often great at laughing at themselves and there’s nothing more charming than that.
5. He Knows How To Give Attention To Detail
We’re dealing with a small strip of hair here.
A full beard covers a large area of the face. To maintain one you can afford to make broader strokes with a trimmer and be a little more careless with it (to an extent).
But with a mustache, there isn’t much room for error.
A snip in the wrong direction or a snip that’s simply too deep could undo weeks’ worth of growth.
Because of this, a well-kept mustache often says that a man is good with his hands. He knows how to give attention to detail.
He needs to be meticulous, intentional, and careful to prevent any mistakes.
The more complex and intricate the style, the more dexterity and focus you’ll need. Handlebars are an example of this.
Dali mustaches, Imperials, and even Pencil mustaches require the same sort of attention to detail too.
If you aren’t a fan of needing to pay such close attention when trimming, grooming, shaping, and styling, a mustache may not be for you. A full beard would probably be more appropriate.
6. He’s Thick-Skinned
Mustaches haven’t gone through quite the resurgence that beards have in recent years. They aren’t as “mainstream” as beards are.
As with any outlier style, there will definitely be people who don’t really care for them.
Mean, snide, and back-handed comments will come your way.
Taking them on the chin and even turning them around is the key to getting used to them.
Men with mustaches often either don’t care or laugh at themselves in any case. The occasional mean comment isn’t enough to dissuade them from their furry ambitions.
It’s a lifestyle and a movement. There will be plenty of people that absolutely love them – the odd hater here or there isn’t going to make that less enjoyable.
So, men with mustaches often develop thick skin. If they didn’t have thick skin before, there’s a good chance they’ll have it once they’ve grown their mustache and kept it for a few years.
It builds resilience in a way that the safer play of a full beard usually doesn’t.
7. He’s Charitable
We’re not just talking about Movember and men’s health charities here.
There are plenty of kind-hearted men who grow their mustaches for a cause. They do it to raise money for a charity or organization they feel strongly about and want to contribute toward.
Considering how mustaches generally aren’t that common, seeing a man with a mustache these days should make you wonder whether he’s doing it for charity or not.
Even if they aren’t raising money, they may be growing it to show solidarity with people who are.
There’s no way of knowing for sure and it obviously won’t be true of everyone with a mustache.
But it’s worth thinking about. If you aren’t sure – ask them. Mustached men will often have a story behind their commitment to growing a mustache, and that story may well be a philanthropic one.
8. He May Be In Law Enforcement
The mustached cop may be a classic stereotype of the ‘70s and ‘80s, but there are still plenty of men in law enforcement that do choose to wear the ‘stache.
Perhaps it’s a homage to their predecessors. But it’s more than likely there’s a very practical and mandated reason behind it.
Although dress codes and regulations in law enforcement may vary between states, municipalities, and districts, full beards are often forbidden.
In fact, facial hair is so strictly regulated that permitted measurements are often given for what is allowed and what is not.
Sideburns often can’t extend beyond a certain point of the ear. They also usually need to be less than a maximum width in inches.
Mustaches are often the only true facial hairstyle that’s allowed, but even they’re regulated. You’ll usually get permitted measurements pertaining to how far the corners of the mustache can extend beyond the corners of the lip.
So, that’s probably where the whole “copstache” thing came from.
This one may fall into the “fun fact” category, but I’ll say it anyway. It may be a stretch, but if you’ve got a mustached man in front of you, they might be in law enforcement.
9. He’s Got A Dominant Edge
A 2009 study commissioned by the American Mustache Institute indicated that American mustached men made 8.2% more money than clean-shaven men, on average.
This isn’t to say that financial success equates to “dominance” – it doesn’t. But there’s something about that statistic that does suggest a certain level of ambition and drive behind mustached men – it’s hard to ignore.
A 1990 study looked at how facial hair influenced how hiring managers perceived their job applicants. Men with facial hair were consistently rated higher than men without it when it came to perceived competence and composure.
Although men with beards scored higher than men with mustaches, mustached men scored much higher than clean-shaven men.
That’s the workplace. But what about competing for female attention? Is that why men grow mustaches?
You’d be surprised.
Studies haven’t shown that females are more attracted to mustached men than their clean-shaven counterparts.
In fact, it’s more widely recognized that the goal of growing a mustache is often not to attract a mate, but to establish dominance over other men.
There are studies which indicate that men with facial hair are perceived as more masculine and more dominant than men without facial hair.
Overall, yes – a man with a mustache could be said to have a “dominant edge”. A drive to compete and ambitions that may be a little loftier than those of most men.
There you have it.
If you were ever on the fence about growing a mustache, this one may have just tipped you over the edge in either direction.
It’s by no means a facial hairstyle for everyone. But those that grow one often see it as a movement and learn to love the lifestyle.
If you aren’t sure, there’s no harm in trying a mustache style out to see for yourself.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.