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What is Mustache Wax? – All You Need to Know

What is Mustache Wax? – All You Need to Know

So far as unruly upper hairs go, mustache wax is the drill sergeant that never takes No for an answer. In this article, we’ll tackle the question what is mustache wax and go over trusty alternatives you can try.
What is Mustache Wax?

Whether you’ve just decided to go the way of the mustache, or add a handlebar to your beard, you may be wondering what products are out there for you. You’ve definitely got a decision to make. 

We’ll be the first to confess that the men’s facial haircare market can pass for a free-for-all. With all the furor about oil, pomade, wax and clay, the entire din can be downright confusing. 

We’ve entertained many questions from those that try to make sense of it all. And for mustache lovers, a crowd favorite has often been: what is mustache wax? 

Well, you’ll get all your answers here and more. To help answer the question what is mustache wax, we’ll explain what the product does, what it’s made of and when it makes sense for you. We’ll also talk about one or two alternatives that will be just as handy in getting your ‘stache oiled and sexy. Let’s get in.

What is mustache wax?

First off, let’s get two things clear. There are many types of waxes, which are put to different effect, even for facial hair. Several have found their calling as the last hope for middle aged women looking to get rid of the pesky Fu Manchu sprouting on their upper lip. Mustache wax is not one of those. 

And mustache wax will not magically give you a Magnum to rival Tom Selleck’s glorious upper lip bristle. Its qualities are a bit less obvious, but no less dramatic, when applied to effect. 

That said, mustache wax is a popular styling tool that helps shape and nourish the mustache. Although it comes in a variety of consistencies and scents, the various brands all boil down to one thing: a thick wax that provides the necessary stiffness for styling and still conditions facial hair for comfort. 

Depending on how long your mustache is and what style you’re gunning for, you can find waxes in different grades and firmness. Some provide a very loose hold that creates a natural look while others provide very stiff holds for more dramatic presentation. 

Although you may feel you don’t need mustache wax, you’ll find that those hairs will have an inconvenient habit of finding their way into your mouth. So if you don’t want to be chewing on your own facial hairs, it might be necessary to give them some training. 

A brief history of mustache wax

Depending on who you talk to, you’ll probably hear that mustache wax is a sort of pomade. While that’s not exactly true today, it does have some roots in the history of the product. 

European tribes that lived during the era of ancient Rome were said to keep magnificent tufts of upper lip hair. Word is that they were known to use soap as a means of keeping their riotous hirsute appendages in style, and in check.

It was the use of soap that eventually became known as pomade, a French word for ointment. Pomades were popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, then commonly made from bear fat. 

From the 20th century onwards, more ingredients began to make their way into mainstream hair and mustache products. Petroleum jelly, lard and beeswax have become a staple of the scene ever since. 

What ingredients does mustache wax contain? 

That’s an important question. As you’ll already know if you have read a bit about facial hair grooming, what goes into your facial hair care products should concern you. 

This is because the skin on your face is quite sensitive, much more than that on your head or the rest of your body. So, what you use on your beard or mustache can have profound effects on your face. 

Mustache wax is meant to be much more than just wax for your face. It’s also meant to nourish your mustache and help it grow healthy. It can help repair and nurture your facial hairs, depending on what ingredients are added to the base. This will be even more important as the hair grows longer and becomes more prone to breaking. 

Two main ingredients go into all mustache wax products: beeswax and carrier oils. The wax is for stiffness and the oil is usually meant for nourishment. Really good mustache wax products will contain beeswax, shea butter and natural oils. 

For the oil base, coconut or olive oil is commonly used, although it’s not unnatural for some to contain a spot of jojoba oil. The butter and oils are meant to provide a wee bit of a shine and the nourishment that your beard will need. 

When should you use mustache wax? 

The best answer would be: as soon as your ‘stache takes on a life of its own. You should ideally wait 10-12 weeks after deciding to grow out your mustache. This gives you a pretty good idea of what its natural growth inclinations are and how much it will interfere with the foam on your morning cappuccino. 

This is a pivotal time because it’s where your hard work will start to pay off. Although the hairs might be wriggling their way into the corners of your mouth, whatever you do, don’t trim them. 

Mustache wax will help you get those errant hairs growing the desired direction, and also ensure that your beard stays healthy. It also helps with the interim itchy phase you may be experiencing. The essential oils in the wax will soothe the skin of your upper lip and help ease out the irritation. 

For daily application, you don’t need more than a fingernail sized blob rubbed between your fingers and worked carefully into the hair. Most waxes need to be warmed up a bit before use. Putting it on a warm radiator, or simply swirling your finger over it until it softens, should do the trick. 

Is it possible to make your own mustache wax? 

As it turns out, Yes. The internet is practically overflowing with DIY tips on how to make your own mustache wax. 

All you need to pull it off is a handy canister of beeswax, some shea butter and coconut oil, if you can manage the grease. You may also decide on which to choose between carrier oils, petroleum jelly and resin. Here’s the difference between them.

Carrier oils are a staple in beard products. They help give your mustache some texture, locking moisture in to keep your facial hair hydrated. That said, they also provide the weakest hold, just enough to tame your mustache. 

Petroleum jelly provides medium hold and harder feel, for those with stubborn facial hair. You want to avoid the scented jelly though, unless you’re looking for a quick death from fragrance overload. Always purchase unscented petroleum jelly.

Resins will provide you with the maximum hold. In order to use them, you’ll have to melt them first, that’s how stiff they are. 

Regardless of which you choose, it’s a good idea to add a few drops of carrier oil into the mix so you have that added bit of nourishment. 

What is the best alternative to mustache wax? 

For styling your mustache, there’s hardly any product better than mustache wax. It provides all the stiffness you need to hold the ‘stache in place and helps you achieve the most dramatic presentation possible. 

But as far as sheer versatility goes, beard clay trumps mustache wax. Capable of providing shape without the stiffness of wax, beard clay is a great alternative that also helps nourish your mustache, perhaps, even more so. 

Quality beard clay products are made from a blend of essential oils, beeswax and botanical extracts. The aim is to soften coarse hair and help you achieve a well-groomed look that appeals to the senses. 

Vainglory’s beard and mustache clay is one of the finest around. Created and developed by a Special Forces (Green Beret) medic, our mustache clay is made to the highest standards possible. 

Our powerful blend of ingredients is not proprietary and that’s what makes our beard clay stand out. We don’t just want to style your upper lip hair, we want to give you the ‘stache of legend. So head on over to our shop to try it out and take your place among the greats.