Helpful Tips & Tricks

How to Trim Your Moustache


For whatever reason, the moustache became uncool at some point. Like most trends of the past, it has reemerged and is one of the biggest trends in facial hair, since the goatee in the 1990s. But just like the goatee and the equally popular beard, a moustache requires a certain level of maintenance to look good and avoid that scraggly unkempt look that can easily happen if you don’t know how to trim your moustache. This guide will walk you through the steps and teach you how to keep that moustache well-trimmed and looking good.

Growing Out A Stache

Before you attempt to trim your moustache, let it grow out. But how long should you let your stache grow out before you trim it? The best moustache styles should work with your face shape, length, and the length of your hair. Don’t allow the hair to grow below your upper lip. You’ll need to use the proper tools, such as beard scissors, which are specifically designed to handle facial hair.

The tools you use to trim your stache is really up to you. Some men prefer using a dedicated moustache trimmer, while others prefer using scissors. A trimmer may be a better option since these will come with guides that will prevent you from overdoing it and cutting your moustache too short. Nothing is worse than over-trimming your facial hair and having to shave and start over. Of course, using scissors will give you more control over the cut, especially if you have to keep the ends of the moustache longer and only trim the hair above your upper lip. In the end, the choice is yours.

So, how long will a moustache take before it gets thick enough to trim? Typically, it will take three to four weeks. It ultimately depends on how quickly your hair grows.

Preparing for a Trim

Now that your moustache is thick enough, it’s time for a trim. Of course, it’s important that you have all the right tools on hand. Aside from a pair of scissors, you’ll also want to pick up beard combs and brushes. These grooming tools are also specifically designed to handle thin and thick moustaches. In fact, most combs will have a double side, with one side dedicated to beard care and the other side is designed specifically for moustaches.

Washing your moustache before you trim it will help, especially if you’ve let it get scraggly. Use a special shampoo that’s specifically designed for facial hair. This will help to soothe any itching and flaking, which can occur if your beard isn’t hydrated and is also a common problem most moustache and beard wearers deal with during the growth phase. Washing your moustache prior to trimming it will also soften the hair follicles, while soothing any dryness and irritation.

The Trim

Handsome senior man

There’s really no wrong or right way to trim your facial hair, since the process itself really depends on the style you want and the look you’re hoping to achieve. It will also depend on how thick or fine your hair is. Additionally, some men will only need to make a few snips to keep their stache looking good and well-groomed. This is especially true for men with thicker moustaches.

  • If you want a certain moustache style, such as a walrus, which involves the moustache hanging over the top lip, then the first step will be attacking those longer hairs that have begun to grow over your top lip. Not only does a well-trimmed upper lip look better, but you also won’t have to deal with chewing on your moustache while you’re eating or have your moustache floating in your drink.
  • So, if you’re pretty low-maintenance with your facial hair, and your moustache in particular, at the very least, make sure you trim the hair above your upper lip. However, when you’re attacking these longer hairs, you need to make sure that you don’t go overboard, otherwise, you may end up with a large gap between your upper lip and your moustache, which is a common rookie mistake and one that looks pretty ridiculous.
  • Begin by cutting the hair that’s the closest to your upper lip, following the line of your upper lip. Make sure you make smaller cuts. How much you cut off will be up to you. If you’re using a trimmer instead of a pair of scissors, then gently press it to the top of your lip, pulling it away in order to make the cut. When you’re trimming your upper lip, your best bet will be to begin at the outside edges and work your way to the center of the moustache. Once you’ve done half of the moustache, then begin at the outside of the other end of the moustache, and again, work your way to the middle of the moustache.
  • Once you’ve taken care of the upper lip, it’s time to head to the upper boundary of the stache. You can use scissors or trimmers for this part. Whichever tool you decide on, make sure you take your time.
  • Be sure and trim the area right below the nose, so it doesn’t look like the stache is an extension of your nose. The top of your moustache should be cut at a forty-five-degree angle toward the lips. This will give the moustache a fuller appearance. Or you may want to experiment with a slightly different angle. The shape of the stache is entirely up to you.
  • You’re not just trimming the length of your moustache, but the thickness as well. This means you need to keep some of your moustache’s bulk while adding a nice shape to it. Using a trimmer is a better option over scissors, when you’re focusing on tackling the thickness, however, some men still prefer using scissors for this step, since it gives them more control over the process.

Thinning a Mustache

As I mentioned earlier, trimming the length of a moustache is just one of the steps you need to follow to groom your stache and keep it looking good. Thinning out your moustache is another important part of the grooming process and it’s one that can have a big impact on the results and whether or not your facial hair will vibe with your look. When you’re thinning out a moustache, you’ll want to be careful not to go overboard and thin it out too much, or not enough so that you’re left with a bushy, unkempt looking stache. While you may normally use trimmers to shorten your moustache, I recommend using scissors and a comb for thinning. To thin, you’ll comb upward from the moustache. If done correctly, the hairs will extend past the teeth of the comb. Then, you’ll trim off any excess hair using your scissors to thin it. If your trimmer comes with guides then you can use the appropriate settings that eliminate the need for a comb. However, you’ll want to avoid applying a lot of pressure with the trimmer and make sure you use the longer trim setting. While it’s true that you can always trim more, you can’t replace the hair you’ll be missing if you end up cutting off too much. Try to trim only a little bit of hair at a time during this step. Make sure you take your time and don’t rush the process.

Once you’re finished thinning out your moustache, make sure you run a comb through it to see if you’ve missed any stray hairs. If you have, then take your scissors and cut those unruly hairs to the desired length.


There are a variety of moustache styles to choose from. If you’re new to moustache life, then you’ll probably want to do a little experimenting to find a style that works for you and your face shape, length, and your personal style. If you’re having a hard time choosing a style, keep in mind, the thickness of your moustache will play a big factor when it comes to which style will work the best for you. There are also many styles to choose from that will require minimal trimming and upkeep, while there are other styles that will require careful shaping and frequent maintenance.  Search for a style you like and then determine if you have the skills and time to maintain it.

For a clean-shaven look that will make your moustache really pop, click here to read my guide on how to shave your face.

Final Thoughts

You’re probably surprised to learn that there’s more to trimming your moustache than just clipping a few stray hairs. However, the level of maintenance your moustache will need will ultimately depend on the style you choose. Learning how to trim your moustache will allow you to style it and shape it any way you want. Aside from shaping, trimming, and thinning out your stache, you’ll need to find products that offer the type of hold you need to keep your moustache manageable and looking good. How often you need to trim will depend on the style you’ve chosen, how thick your hair is, and how fast your hair grows. In most cases, you’ll find that you need to trim it a little once a week. With the types and techniques I’ve included here, you should have no problem keeping up on grooming, styling, and maintaining your facial hair.