If you feel a little overwhelmed with choosing your mustache style, you have come to the right place. We have created a comprehensive guide of the most popular mustaches and the steps to find the one that perfectly complements your style and face type.
How to Choose A Mustache Style
Before growing out your hair and picking a mustache style, you need to consider your face shape and facial features, be realistic about your facial hair limits and know the amount of time you have to commit to grooming.
Learn Your Face Shape
Make sure to match your mustache to your face shape! Not every man can pull off a horseshoe or a pencil mustache. Your face proportions and features significantly impact how different styles compliment or don’t compliment your face. If you don’t already know your face shape or need a refresher, we will go over how to determine which of the seven face shapes you have and what styles work best for each face type later in this post.
Consider Your Facial Features
Before diving into a mustache style, consider how different mustaches can complement and balance your unique features. For instance, some men with thinner lips may choose a bold and full mustache style to balance that out. Others might use a mustache with sharp edges to balance their softer features. Focus on choosing a style that brings out your best features instead of highlighting your less appealing ones.
Understand The Maintenance Needed
Some mustache styles require more maintenance than others. In general, mustaches require a little more care than the average beard as they need to be kept tidy to keep their shape. You want to ensure you know the time each style takes to maintain and groom before committing.
If you are new to growing a mustache, we have included a few starter grooming tips below to get you started.
General Mustache Grooming Pointers
- Invest in quality beard balm or mustache wax
- Make sure you have a mustache comb or a beard comb with a smaller side
- Learn to snap and twist the ends of your stache to style
- Commit to trimming and training your mustache into shape regularly
Pay Attention To Your Hair Growth
Once you have committed to growing facial hair, keep an eye on it. Is it thick and dense or thin and patchy? You will want to know what type of facial hair you have and what your facial hair limits are before you pick a mustache style. Some styles work better for denser, curlier hair types, while others pair well with thinner, straighter strands.
But don't get discouraged! There is a facial hair style for everyone. Much like growing a beard, a mustache requires patience and discipline. It will take a while for facial hair to grow nice and bushy so you can shape them. Some men find it easiest to grow a full beard and then trim their way to their favorite stache style. Once you have about an inch of growth, you are ready to transition from beard to mustache style.
Determine Your Face Shape In 3 Steps
There are seven different face shapes: Oval, Oblong/Rectangle, Round, Square, Diamond, Triangle, and Heart. You can determine your face type by breaking the facial features into three parts and comparing their measurements.
Let’s break the face into three main parts:
- The forehead and cheekbone width
- The jawline
- The face length
Let’s break down how to use these to find your face shape.
First - Evaluate the shape of your jaw
Take note of the shape of your jawline. A short or round jaw can mean you have a round or oval face. If your jawline is pointy and narrow, your face type is most likely heart or triangle. A jawline with sharp angles is a characteristic of a square face.
Second - Determine the widest part of your face
Look in the mirror and determine which part of your face is the widest. You can do this with your eyes or grab a measuring tape for a more exact dimension. The widest part varies for different face types. If your cheekbones are the widest point, your face is either round or heart-shaped. Oval and triangle head shape’s widest part is the forehead. If your forehead and cheekbones seem evenly wide, you probably have a square head shape.
Third - Take your face measurements and compare them
If you are still debating which face type, measuring the width of your forehead, cheekbones, and length of your face and jaw with a soft measuring tape can be helpful. You will want to start by standing in front of a mirror, and jotting down the measurements so you can compare them later.
7 Most Common Face Types
Hopefully, you were able to determine your face shape from the measurements above and are ready to move forward in picking the best mustache style for you. If you still need a little clarity about your face type, check out our detailed face type characteristic chart from our beard guide.
Find your face shape below and read up on the characteristics and best/worst style recommendations for each.
Oval Face Shape
With a rounded shape at the top and bottom and a longer face with little jaw definition, the oval is of the most versatile face shapes. Oval faces are proportionally balanced, so guys with this face shape can experiment with almost any mustache style. Most men look best in a more understated style like a simple handlebar, pencil, or small pyramid style as extravagant and large styles can throw off the already even proportions of this face shape.
Characteristics: Longer than they are wide, rounded chin, the forehead is the widest part
We Recommend: Pyramid, Pencil, or simple Handlebar mustache styles
Avoid: Your facial hair options are almost limitless with this face type, so experiment and figure out what styles you like best
Square Face Shape
When choosing a mustache style for a square face, ensure the defined angular jawline is highlighted. Avoid big bushy styles that cover your sharp features and make your face look wider.
This strong defined face type can play around with most mustache styles. You can rock a thick, extravagant mustache and still emphasize the masculine traits of your face. However, smaller mustaches can sometimes not fill out the upper lip area, creating the illusion the mustache is floating.
Characteristics: Wide hairline and angular jaw, dimensions are as long as it is wide, the forehead, cheekbones, and jaw are the same width
We Recommend: A Beardstache, any stubble beard, thicker Pyramid mustaches, Handlebars
Avoid: Mustaches that add width like the Pencil mustache styles
Oblong/Rectangle Face Shape
The oblong face shape is longer than wide, so guys with this face type will want to avoid mustache styles that might make your face seem longer. The large surface area of this style makes it perfect for full, bushy styles like a handlebar or chevron style. Go for big and wide mustaches to help even the proportions of the face and add width to the cheekbones while avoiding thin styles like the pencil that can make this face shape seem larger and unproportionate.
Characteristics: Similar to the square face shape except longer than it is wide; forehead to the jawline is the typically the same width, square jaw
We Recommend: Beardstache, all kinds of stubble, bushy full mustache styles like the Handlebar, Chevron, or Walrus
Avoid: Mustache styles that will elongate your face like Pencil styles
Round Face Shape
Stick to small angular mustache styles with sharply defined edges to complement the rounder features of this face type. Narrow styles like pencils can help create height between the nostrils and upper lip, lengthening the face.
Characteristics: Short with soft features, the widest part is the cheekbones, forehead, and jawline are similar widths
We Recommend: Pencil and Pyramid style mustaches
Avoid: Walrus, Handlebar, and thick style mustaches
Diamond Face Shape
Men with diamond-shaped faces have wide cheekbones and narrow jaw and brow lines. This face type benefits from having some facial hair. This face shape benefits from a narrow, bushy mustache that offsets the cheek without adding too much width. Softer styles like a handlebar or thicker pencil can soften the sharp features of this face.
Characteristics: Pointy chin, cheekbones are the widest part of this face shape, narrow forehead and jawline
We Recommend: A mustache like the Pyramid style, Horseshoe, and thicker Pencil mustaches that soften facial features
Avoid: Wide bushy styles like the walrus that will make a face unproportionate and draw attention to the pointy chin
Triangle Face Shape
This face shape does best with a style that adds width to the narrow jawline and helps fill out the small pointy chin. Simple mustache styles look best with this face shape. Softer, small mustache shapes help contrast the sharp jawline, while large mustaches can widen the appearance of the cheeks offsetting the narrow jawline. Avoid thin styles like the pencil mustaches that make a triangle-shaped face seem larger and disproportionate.
Characteristics: Jawline measures broader than cheekbones, narrow browline, the jawline is the widest part
We Recommend: Pyramid and Handlebar styles to add width to cheekbones
Avoid: Narrow mustache styles like The Pencil as it can make a face seem disproportionate
Heart Face Shape
This face shape has a relatively broad forehead and a narrow, pointed chin. Choosing voluminous styles help balance the more top-heavy proportions of this face shape. Modest and refined mustache styles can help create the illusion of width for this face type. Narrow and angular mustache variations square off the upper lip creating contrast against the small chin of this face shape.
Characteristics: Cheekbone widest part of this face, narrow and pointed chin
We Recommend: Pencil or Pyramid style mustaches
Avoid: Van Dyke, Handlebar style mustaches
We have compiled a list of the most popular mustache styles along with visuals, the length needed for each style, and which face shapes we recommend and don’t recommend. Of course, these are all just guidelines, and ultimately you get to decide what style you want to rock.
The Handlebar is a classic style demonstrating a real commitment to growth and grooming. Defined by a thick mustache parted in the middle with the ends grown long enough to curl upwards over the cheeks, the ends are waxed and shaped into fine points. You can choose to pair this mustache with or without a full beard. To pull this style off, you will need lots of grooming as it is essential to keep the center of the stache neat.
Length Needed: Need long hairs to shape, at least 6 months maybe more
Best For: Oblong face shapes as larger styles help even out longer proportions, Square Face shapes, Diamond or Triangle face shapes
Worst For: Round and Heart face shapes as this style can emphasize the smallness of their chins
Petite Handlebar Mustache
A petite handlebar is the smaller version of the standard Handlebar Mustache. Shorter in length, the handlebars don't go past the corners of the mouth, with the ends mildly styled upwards in more of a wave than a curled shape. If you like the look but aren’t able to grow the length needed for the full version, this is a great option.
Length Needed: 2-3 months of growth; ends require less length as the shape is more of a wave instead of a full curl
Best For: The smaller version of this style is more versatile and goes well with most face shapes, particularly an Oval face shape or smaller face types like the Diamond
Worst For: Large face types like the Rectangle
Timeless and classic, the chevron is one of the most well-known mustache styles. To shape, draw an imaginary line from the middle of the nose to the edge of the mouth, creating an inverted v. The bottom follows the line of the upper lip, sometimes partially covering it, and the ends can extend past the corners of the mouth. This natural style requires little grooming and is a great starter stache.
Length Needed: 2-3 months of growth to get the thickness and length needed
Best For: Oval, Triangle, and Square face shapes; Versatile style that can work for most face types
Worst For: Works for most face types but could potentially be too overpowering for Round or Heart face shapes
Like a handlebar, a proper English mustache is divided in the center, usually with a hard part at the philtrum (indent under your nose), and requires good grooming. This style is tight and narrow, so those with full mustaches will need to do some extra trimming. While some length is necessary, ends should narrow and ideally be styled horizontally into a straight line with wax. The longer the points, the better! You will want to avoid hair covering the lips.
Length Needed: 4-5 months of growth, need ends long enough to style into horizontal point
Best For: Oblong, Square, and Triangle face shapes
Worst For: Round and Heart face shapes
Big, Bold, and a little wild, this style resembles walrus whiskers that hang over the walrus’ mouth and droop lower on the sides. With less maintenance than other beard styles, the hair is combed straight down and not curled into handlebars on the edges. Longer hairs cover the top lip and can flow onto the bottom lip. A lot of length and volume is needed for this style, so not every man may be able to grow one.
Length Needed: At least 6 months of growth
Best For: Men with Oval, Square, and Rectangle face shapes
Worst For: Round and Heart face shapes
Ready to make a statement with your mustache? This big and bushy style is the most prominent style of the Handlebar mustaches. Grown like the walrus and then shaped to have long swooping handles, it sits lower on the cheeks and requires less grooming than the standard Handlebar. The corners of the stache are curled up a bit while still looking natural.
Length Needed: 1.5 to 2 inches of growth, at least 4 months of growth
Best For: Oblong face shapes,on its own or combined with a big, bold beard style
Worst For: Round, and Heart face shapes as this style can emphasize the smallness of the chin
Named after its most famed wearer, the last german emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II, this style is regal and rugged. Similar to a handlebar mustache, the imperial has a more natural appearance, and the ends are larger with looser curls not styled into a point. This mustache requires thick growth on the upper lip that extends to the upper cheeks using the corners of the mouth to guide curls upward. It can be best to grow a full beard and shave it down once it reaches the appropriate length to avoid awkward stages of growth. As an advanced style, especially with the addition of cheek hairs, a barber’s assistance may be necessary, especially when starting out.
Length Needed: 4-6 months of thick and heavy growth; often easiest to start with a beard and shave everything but the stache
Best For: Triangle,Oval, Oblong, and Square face shapes
Worst For: Round, and Heart face shape as this style can emphasize the smallness of their chins
Many connect this style with policemen and military officers since this clean look meets servicemen's regulations. As the name suggests, this mustache is shaped like the shade of a lamp, being narrow under the nose and gradually widening as it reaches the corner of the mouth. Usually worn short, wearing this stache requires some grooming. Edges of the mustache should be neat forming diagonal lines from the corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth. As a unique but not uncommon style, the grower can keep the length bushy or trim it a little shorter, making it versatile.
Length Needed: Two to three months of growth, versatile length that can be worn bushy or short
Best For: If kept thick great for men with Square faces; also works great with Oval, Heart, and Diamond faces
Worst For: Oblong face shapes; this face type needs a more oversized mustache to avoid making a face even larger than it is
Also known as the “mouth-brow,” this subtle mustache style adds character without overwhelming your other facial features. It gives a suave, sophisticated look that tends to add a bit of formalness to your face. This look involves a thin, narrow mustache with hair sitting low right above the top lip, no wider than the mouth. The short length and regular shaping keep this style looking intentional instead of a dusting of forgotten hair. Because of the shortness, this style tends to work best for men with darker, thicker hair.
Length Needed: Keep short; you will need about two to four weeks to grow, maybe a bit longer for lighter hair colors
Best For: Oval, Heart, and Round face shapes, Thicker style pencils pair well with Diamond face shape
Worst For: Triangle, Square, and Oblong face shape as thin mustaches can make their face appear more prominent and unproportionate
Parted Pencil Mustache
Probably the most iconic and well-known of the pencil style, this mustache is reminiscent of classic Hollywood stars. Grown and groomed the same way as the pencil with a hard line at the indent above your upper lip. The ends of the wings are kept straight or trimmed into angled chevrons. The width of the gap is up to you, but for most men, the thinner, the better. Pencil styles look best on a clean-shaven face, so a bit of shaping and grooming is involved daily.
Length Needed: Keep short; need about two to four weeks to grow, maybe a bit longer for lighter hair colors
Best For: Oval,Heart, and Round face shape, Thicker style pencils pair well with Diamond face shape
Worst For: Triangle, Square, Oblong face shape as thin mustaches can make their face appear more prominent and unproportionate
Painter’s Brush Mustache
As the name suggests, this style is shaped like a painter took a quick brush swipe under the nose. Part of the pyramidal mustache family, this stache is thick like the chevron but with no angle and rounded edges. The hair goes straight across the area under the nose, with the edges not extending corners of the mouth. With minimal grooming needed, this style is excellent for a guy who doesn’t want to spend a ton of their morning grooming their facial hair.
Length Needed: Two to three months of growth
Best For: Diamond and Heart face shapes
Worst For: Oblong or Rectangle face shapes; those face types need a more oversized mustache to avoid making the face look even larger than it is
The horseshoe mustache is a distinctive and bold style shaped like an upside-u or a horseshoe.
It is distinguished by a thick full stache that connects two parallel strips of cheek hair starting at the corners of the mouth and extending to the jawline. Unlike most other staches, this style has cheek growth. The best way to grow one is to start with the circle beard and then shave away the goatee and soul patch.
Length Needed: a solid three to six months of growth to get enough length
Best For: Round face shapes as it draws the eyes downward, making the chin seem longer
Worst For: Long narrow face shapes like the Diamond and Oblong face shapes
This mustache is just as it sounds, a broad base tapering into a point just under the nose with or without a part in the center. Sophisticated and simple, the pyramid resembles a lampshade but extends farther down past the lips. The width and density of how this style is worn will vary from person to person. The pyramid mustache is relatively easy to maintain and an excellent choice for those not looking for a lengthy grooming routine.
Length Needed: one to two months of growth, length extends past the lips
Best For: Diamond, Heart, Oval, Round, and Triangle face shapes
Worst For: Oblong or Rectangle face shapes; this face type needs a more oversized mustache to avoid making a face look even larger than it is