Because it’s such a small patch of whiskers, it often looks middling when compared with beard styles.
Symbolically though, nothing beats the mustache in terms of its masculinity. A beard may send a signal to females that the owner is a perfectly suitable mate, but a mustache will send a signal that it is the most suitable of all the suitable mates. It’s a statement of masculinity, or as researchers would term it, a symbol for performative masculinity.
And research would seem to prove it.
In a survey of 6,000 American men, it was revealed that men with mustaches make on average 8.2 percent more money than men with beards, and 4.3 percent more than clean-shaven men. So that means, if you want to establish yourself as an alpha male, there’s no better way to do it then getting a mustache.
History of the Mustache
Even during the previous centuries, the mustache has always set itself apart from the more pedestrian beard styles. During the time of Queen Elizabeth, a mustache was the height of male fashion, well within the circles of royalty. It never really suffered any decline in popularity in the years forward, unlike beards which saw a period of rise and fall in public favor.
Even when the world wars came about and beards were forbidden because they interfered with the gas masks, mustaches were permitted among certain elite ranks in the military. This continued on, post-war, when culturally important personalities embraced the mustache as a defining aspect of their personal brands. The artist Dali wore a mustache, paving the way for celebrities to join the mustache wagon.
Today, the mustache continues to be a widely accepted and complimented form of grooming style among fashionable metrosexuals. It has in fact a number of variations that have been the preferred styles of Hollywood celebrities. It’s not uncommon for young men to adopt a mustache style these days.
Most get it from their friendly neighborhood master barber. However, if you don’t have the time or the resources to make daily appointments, (because, yes, maintaining a mustache can become a daily routine), you can always do it yourself with a straight razor.
How to Shape a Basic Mustache
When shaping your mustache, it’s best to use a sharp and clean straight razor because of its single blade and narrow profile. In this particular case, a 5/8 straight razor will work best for clean-ups because it’s smaller and you can handle it easily while shaving the small area where the mustache is to be formed.
There are two elements to look out here: how wide do you want your mustache to be and how neat do you need them to be.
The best guide to ensuring that your mustache is not too wide is to basically not go past beyond your pupil line. However you want your mustache to be, only shave within this area.
If you want to maintain a thick mustache, shave with the grain but if you want to lessen the bulk, go against the grain.
Now in terms of how to maintain your lip line so that the mustache will look neat, one can never wrong with the smile technique. Just smile in front of the mirror and then slowly shave along the lip line so that the mustache’s edges are trimmed straight.
Sometimes though, one needs to shave off the mustache for whatever reason. If you don’t have the time to go to a master barber, here’s how to do it yourself.
How to Shave a Mustache with a Straight Razor
Depending on how thick it is, you need to trim it first before shaving it off. You can use a straight razor to lessen the facial hair but if it that’s a bit difficult for you, the easiest way would be to get a small pair of scissors to carefully snip the hair. Or if you’ve got a trimmer at hand, that will be much easier if you are doing this on the go or while traveling.
Afterwards, prepare your skin for shaving. You can do this by washing your face in warm water, taking care to clean your facial hair. Alternately, you can simply wring out a towel after running warm water on in and place it over your mustache for a minute.
Put on some pre-shave oil. The pre-shave oil works to give a glide to the blade. It also contains natural essential oils which provide the skin with an extra layer of lubrication to protect against cuts and irritation.
Apply shaving lather from a shave soap. Use a synthetic brush to work it into a rich lather over your mustache. The brush action also makes your whiskers stand up so that it’s easy to shave them off with a straight razor. It’ll also exfoliate your skin.
Use a straight razor that’s freshly stropped. This means stropping it before using it. A freshly stropped razor blade makes for easy shaving because it’s really sharp.
Shave in slow, small strokes along the grain. You want to hold the straight razor at a 30-degree angle with your little finger on the tang—the little curved bit—and your other three fingers on the back of the shank with your thumb on the front of the shank beneath the blade. This will give you the most control and precision with the straight razor. However, you can adjust this slightly in order to follow the contours of your face.
Do not apply pressure. Rely on the weight of the razor blade instead, and guide it with your hand.
To form a taut surface, flatten your lip downward. You can also use your free hand to tilt your nose up slightly, which will additionally tighten the skin on your upper lip.
Never under any circumstances use the blade in a sawing motion, or else you’ll have another lip on top of your real lip.
After shaving, rinse with cold water to close the pores. Splash some aftershave to disinfect the area and finish with a dab of moisturizer to protect the newly bare skin.
Get a Naked Armor Blade
Here at Naked Armor, our straight razor blades are made from world class Japanese stainless steel. This gives it a really sharp and hard edge. Overall, this makes your shaving experience easier and comfortable and very luxurious.
Our blades are also designed as a hybrid of a full and a half hollow grind. This makes the blade versatile and easy to use. Whether you’re trimming a mustache or shaving off a full beard, a Naked Armor straight razor will give you an awesome result. Check out our stuff now.