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25 Different Types of Mustaches

You don't need to be Tom Selleck to grow a mustache. Get to know the many different types of mustaches to find the style that will suit you best and even give Selleck a run for his money.

Man wearing a fake paper mustache.

If you are ready to join the mustache renaissance, it’s time to decide which style best suits you. The first thing to remember is there is no best mustache. Every man has a combination of factors — the shape of the face, hair texture, the density of growth, etc. – that determines what style might be the best for you.

Let’s face it, if everyone could grow a full Selleck there wouldn’t be anything so special about the actor’s famous ‘stache. But if you can grow any facial hair at all, there is a style of mustache your face can handle.

Where to start

Chart of 16 Mustache Styles

Here are a few quick tips on how to get started with your quest for the perfect mustache for you.

Do some research

The good news is that just about every male celebrity has sported a mustache at some time in their public career. A few hours on Google or Pinterest will find you a doppelganger who can’t look as good as you would with the same mustache style.

Buy the right tools

Your mustache is likely as good as the tools you have to groom it with. Quality mustache scissors are the easiest way to snip a straight line and spot-check those stray hairs. A good trimmer is essential, whether you need to snip a few strays off your lip, shear off the top rows of hairs, or shave everything bur your upper lip.

Get the right mustache care products

Mustached wax will keep you from pulling the hair you’ve already been able to grow. A mustache generally doesn’t style itself. It doesn’t take but a sliver of quality wax to shape that growth into something you can manage.

Beard oil is important as thick or bristly hairs grow dry. When that happens, those dry hairs irritate both you and your bedfellow. Do yourself and that significant other a favor by getting some good beard oil and keep your whiskers soft and approachable.

Don’t be shy — use some dye if you need it

Maybe your mustache is a little blonder than your hair or your facial hair is salt and pepper while your hair is brown. If you have blonde whiskers, the right kind of dye can transform that new growth from “I think he’s ‘trying’ to grow a mustache to “Wow, check out the dude with the mustache.”

Be cautious though. If you’re dyed red hairs, don’t she away from the fact you colored it. If someone asks, and you reply kindly, “Yes, I died it. Nobody will question your decision.

Don’t forget to be nice to the rest of your face

Most men shave the rest of their face to highlight their mustache. Use the right products to take care of those irritations and bumps so the focus stays on that killer beard and not hasty shaving techniques.

Do Some Research

The good news is that just about every male celebrity has sported a mustache at some time in their public career. A few hours on Google or Pinterest will find you a doppelganger who can’t look as good as you would with the same mustache style. Here are some of the best styles to choose from.

The Best

The Natural

Neither an extravagant bush style like the Walrus or a trim Clark Gable, this is usually the starter mustache for those new to the facial hair game. The Natural is really for everyone because it has no rules. This is the style of those who want to express their masculinity in an unfussy and unstated way.

Dali

Named for surrealist painter Salvador Dali’s signature curly whips, the Dali is great for men with scanty mustache growth or just want to make a statement. Magicians of an earlier generation often sported a Dali, probably because it radiates an air of mystery.

If has been said that the Dali is a Handlebar pushed to the max. One thing is for sure, if you see someone sporting a Dali you won’t forget it. This style of the mustache is best suited for men with a shard edged face that has a well-defined diamond shape.

This is not an easy style to pull off because of its unique look. It is often associated with comic sinister types but those whose personality truly fits a Dali find it quite striking. A reporter once asked the ever-eccentric Salvador Dali if he invented his unique style of mustache in “jest” or to be humorous. His immediate response was that his mustache was the only serious thing about him.’

 Since I don’t smoke, I decided to grow a mustache – it is better for the health. However, I always carried a jewel-studded cigarette case in which, instead of tobacco, were carefully placed several mustaches, Adolphe Menjou style. I offered them politely to my friends: “Mustache? Mustache? Mustache?” Nobody dared to touch them. This was my test regarding the sacred aspect of mustaches..  – Salvador Dali

Plumber (Mario)

Plumber (Mario) Mustache

The Plumber or Mario mustache is associated with the character in Nintendo’s 1981 video game Donkey Kong and then Mario Brothers. Much of the design and shape of Mario’s facial hair had to do with the limited number pixels game designers had to work with. The result was a mustache that both interesting and memorable.

A plumber mustache has an upward curve to the top that appears much like a smile. The bottom has a scalloped design. This style works best for men with rounded and less angular faces.

Since its inception, Mario has remained consistently popular. It requires less maintenance than many other styles, so tradesmen find the plumber mustache a great fit.

Professor

Professor Mustache

As its name implies, Professor Mustache originated from an old English style used by many professors. Made popular in movies, this style lends an air of maturity and playful wisdom.  Men over the age of 35 and want a more classic look often find the Professor as a perfect option for them.

This is not a style for those with sparse facial hair. Strong growth is essential to this style. That means a thick mustache that while rugged also speaks of discipline and chivalry. The style goes well with V-neck sweaters and trousers. While casual in nature, a Professor works great with brogues, derbies, and oxford footwear.

If you’re looking for a more mature and dependable look, you may want to give this one a try. The Professor has always been a fashion that speaks of maturity.

El Bandito

El Bandito Mustache

El Bandito mustache is one of the most popular styles and is suitable for men of all ages.  The classic El Bandito is probably the one style that brought the mustached look back into fashion.

A classic Spanish style, the El Bandito is a slim mustache with curved upper ends. Because the style is fairly easy to achieve and requires little maintenance, it a great choice if you don’t have a very strong mustache game.

Men with a narrow facial structure or a well-defined jawline often find the El Bandito as the style of mustache that best suits their face.

Lampshade

Lampshade Mustache

Because this style is popular for actors playing authoritarian roles, it is often misunderstood. This style usually works best for more mature men with chiseled features. This style’s angled edges give it the signature appearance of a lampshade.

This is a great ‘stache for men with a square face. If you’re a National Hockey League you’re probably getting a mental image of longtime coach, Dave Lewis.

Fu Manchu

Fu Manchu Mustache

This is an iconic mustache that is instantly recognizable when someone can’t remember what it’s called. A Fu Manchu is a straight yet full mustache that generally begins at the corners of the mouth and extends downward in long trailing tendrils.

Men with a diamond-shaped face find this style most suited to them. Famed New York Jet quarterback “Broadway” Joe Namath sported a dashing Fu Manchu during his playing days. Joe never had trouble attracting the ladies, disproving the accepted convention this classic film depiction of Asians characters can’ be worn with style by younger men is a myth.

The Fu Manchu saw a big revival in the 1980s. Always popular with Harley Davidson enthusiasts, this became the go-to style of pro-wrestlers and a younger generation that followed them.

The Fu Manchu, is, however, often the best choice for older men.

Asterix

Asterix Mustache

Like the Plumber, this style is fairly easy to grow but may require a bit more grooming. To visualize an Asterix mustache just thin two Asterix symbols sitting atop each side of your top lip. This style does not work well with men who have long, thin faces.

Handlebar

Handlebar Mustache

One of the most recognizable styles around, this long and upwardly curved at the tops bears a sticking resemblance to its namesake – the handlebars of a bicycle

Men who have longer faces do well with this style but is worth a try no matter the typeface you have. The men who have sported the iconic style include Wyatt Earp, President William Taft, and former Oakland A’s a pro.

Once a favorite of cowboys in the 1800s, the handlebar made a big comeback with 21st Century hipsters.

But beware; this mustache requires a little more patience and patience than your everyday standard-issue mustache. You’ll need to train your mustache to curl upward to achieve the classic handlebar look. A quick daily use of a mustache comb some mustache wax and you’re good to go. Unlike many other styles, the Handlebar requires effort, but the results are worth it.

English

English Mustache

The English is a well-kept mustache that is parted in the middle and trimmed straight out into thinner strips that extend beyond the cheeks. To produce more visual ‘pop’, many keep the corners of the mouth clean.

Because the English Mustache draws attention away from the lower pointed edges of one’s face, it is an ideal style for men who have a long, thin face. Men with long thin faces look great in an English Mustache because the style distracts attention away from the lower, pointier face edges. This is the classic English Gentleman’s mustache that exudes an elegant and classy style.

If you aren’t sure what an English style looks like, think Walt Disney. Perhaps no one sported a more classic English mustache than the late great actor Vincent Price. The English is perfect if you want to add a little mystery with style to your persona.

Horseshoe

Horseshoe Mustache

Also known as a biker mustache, the Horseshoe is a straight-out masculine mustache that sports vertical extensions grown on the corners of the lips and down the 2sides of the mouth to the jawline. The name derives from the fact this mustache looks like an upside-down horseshoe.

Though achievable for most facial types, the Horseshoe is a style that can be difficult to achieve and maintain.

Hogan was once offered a two-million-dollar sponsorship deal that involved shaving his trademark blond Horseshoe mustache. He recounts:

When I talked about it everyone went crazy. Loads of people began jumping on it and the next thing I knew people were like, ‘Oh my god he’s shaving his mustache off!’ The next thing I know is I had one of my sports agents calling me saying, ‘Don’t shave it off!’ I’ve heard from Gillette, Right Guard. They said we may have a deal, so I said I’d wait for a while.

The Horseshoe will make you look a little less approachable and a lot cooler. If you already have an overly long face, you may want to pass on this one. Otherwise, men of all facial types should consider giving a Horseshoe Mustache a try.

Chevron

Chevron Mustache

The Chevron is a classic man next door style. This is a full and bushy mustache without appearing comical. Trim it so that the hairs don’t flow past the upper lip and the Chevron gives a fierce yet net look.

Though the Chevron is a great look for men with oval-shaped faces, it usually good on almost everyone. Take one look at actor Tom Selleck’s proud bush and any mustache lovers first though is to bow and say, I am not worthy.

To achieve Selleck’s look, keep your Chevron trimmed fairly close and make sure the sides don’t extend past the lips. Though the Chevron became dated, the retro look has brought it back into favor.

My mustache now has its own representation in Hollywood. — Tom Selleck

Walrus

Walrus Mustache

The Walrus is marked by thick, bushy hair that droops below the upper lips. If you have larger – not longer – facial features, the Walrus should work for you. Straight, thick facial hair offers the best chance at having a Sam Watterson silent cowboy look.

Perhaps the best-known Walrus of our time is that of actor Jamie Hyneman of MythBusters fame. Back up a century or so and the most iconic Walrus of all time has to belong to author Mark Twain.

Pencil

Pencil Mustache

So, called because it is thin enough to have been drawn by a pencil, this style features a thin line of hair just above the upper lip and requires simple yet consistent grooming.

This style requires some really strong trimming and expert styling. Unless you really believe the visual results are worth the effort you may want to consider something else.

From Errol Flynn to Sammy Davis Jr. to Prince, the Pencil mustache has been a staple for men who wanted to make a statement. In more recent times, Hollywood director John Waters has made the Pencil something many creative types are clamoring for.

When I was 19 I wanted to be Little Richard, and so I grew it in homage to him really. I wanted to be the only white man in America who had one, and I still might be” and on how he takes care of it, “you just shave it every day. I don’t even realize I have a mustache anymore, I’ve done it for so long. I just shave it from the top every day, clip it about twice a week from the bottom, and if I miss I just draw it on! – Actor John Waters

Imperial

Imperial Mustache

A full, large mustache that grows from both the upper lip and cheeks, the Imperial makes a bold statement. This style is best suited to a rectangular or large square face. This style is one for more mature men and is the college should probably avoid it.

Actor Mel Gibson often combines a chin puff with an Imperial mustache. For an even larger-than-life statement.

To avoid messy look Gibson often has, wear your Imperial with clean-shaven cheeks and chin.

Toothbrush

Toothbrush Mustache

Sometimes called a Soul Patch for above the upper lip, the Toothbrush is often chosen by men who have a rounder face and thicker lips.

Charlie Chaplin sported a legendary Toothbrush Mustache, but it’s a style that became a source of ridicule once worn by Adolph Hitler.

Chaplin’s mustache became a lens through which to look at Hitler. A glass in which Hitler became merely Chaplinesque: a figure to be mocked more than feared, a comic villain whose pretensions would collapse of his own disproportionate weight like the Little Tramp collapsing on his cane. Someone to be ridiculed rather than resisted. – Author Ron Rosenbaum

Honorable Mention

Hipster with stylish red mustache and berd.

Dallas

As its namesake implies, the Dallas will give you the hint of Cowboy with the air of an oil tycoon. This style is a great choice for men with square faces and a strong jaw. You’ll need to shampoo and trim it regularly (unless you want to smell like you’ve been wrestling steers) but other than that, this is an easy style to achieve and maintain.

Pyramid

Pyramid Mustache

This style works with almost any shape of the face and is easily maintained with a precision or stubble trimmer. The Pyramid is a sophisticated style that is characterized by a wide base that narrows slightly as it reaches the nose.

Zappa.

Lile Frank Zappa himself, this style is a bit one-of and fits oblong faces best. The Zappa combines a full mustache with a wide soul patch. The style requires minimal maintenance and stubble compliments the look well.

Rap Industry Standard

This style combines a thin mustache with a slim goatee and chin strap. You’ll need a sharp razor and steady hand to get a Rap Stache just right. This style works fine with almost all facial shapes.

Cop Stache

Also called a Military this style of mustache has curved top edges that don’t grow over the lip. This is a style that also goes best with a square face and a well-defined jawline. If you want others to think you might be wearing a badge, the Cop Stach is for you.

Petite Handlebar

Follows all the rules of Handlebar but a good choice if you’re a less intense look. The Petite Handlebar looks best with an undercut hairstyle and clean-shaven face.

Anchor

The Anchor style combines a pencil or pyramid mustache with a pointed beard. If you want to better define your chin of jawline this is a good choice. Robert Downey Jr., Christian Bale, and Johnny Depp all sport an anchor most of the time.

A La Souvarov

An old-style mustache named after a Russians General, the A La Souvarov combines long sideburns that connect to a mustache. Because this style required thick sideburns, growing a full beard and then trimming it back is the easiest way to achieve this effect.

Yosemite Sam

This is a version of the Walrus where you allow your mustache to grow long at the mouth and then shape to angle outward. Short men tend to shy away from this style because the result can appear comical rather than serious.




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