While a mustache can attract with its rugged manliness, it also has the ability to repel with its rough texture. Getting up close and personal with your ‘stache can result in a prickly situation.
Many men’s mustaches feel wiry or coarse and can be unpleasant to the touch. To soften these hairs, follow a daily mustache grooming routine. Add mustache (and beard) conditioner to your normal shower routine. Then use a moisturizing oil or balm to hydrate your whiskers, and use a natural bristle brush to comb the oils through and tame them.
Read on for more about these three simple grooming tips plus some great product recommendations to soften up that symbol of style and virility!
Why is your mustache so rough or coarse?
If your scalp hair is fine and soft, you may wonder why your facial hair tends to be rough and coarse. There’s some science behind it.
Mustache hair is rough and coarse because it is androgenic hair. The dermal papillae size of facial hair is four times larger than that of scalp hair. This results in thicker hair which has a coarser texture.
The same androgens responsible for puberty and pubic hair are also responsible for your mustache. The hair follicles in these places grow larger with the addition of androgens like testosterone. This growth leads to thicker terminal hair.
While it’s normal for your mustache to feel different from your head hair, environmental and lifestyle factors can also contribute to the wiry feel. Sun, wind, poor diet, and lack of hydration are all texture culprits.
Tips for making your mustache softer
The good news is you don’t have to suffer from rough and coarse facial hair forever. Following a few simple steps each day can give you a ‘mo that not only looks good but feels good too.
Follow these 3 steps for a soft upper lip:
To keep your mustache feeling as soft as possible, condition, moisturize, and brush it often. When choosing softening products, pick those with natural oils and fats. Avoid sulfates and petroleum-based products as they can be drying.
Just like conditioner leaves your scalp hair noticeably softer, facial hair conditioner will soften your mustache.
After a quick face wash, apply a facial hair conditioner like Cremo Beard & Scruff Softener. Let it sit on your mustache until you finish your shower and give it a rinse.
Avoid scalp hair conditioners as they often contain agents that can be drying and irritating to sensitive facial skin.
The key to a soft beard is a combination of both oils and fats. Oils like coconut, jojoba, argan, and vitamin E help smooth the hair cuticle. Fats like shea butter and avocado penetrate deeply and provide much-needed hydration.
Look for facial hair products with a combination of high-quality fats and oils. Honest Amish Beard Balm is a favorite. It boasts coconut oil and shea butter to soften dry, brittle hair.
If your mustache is extra dry and frizzy, use a combination of balm with separate beard oil for added hydration and shine. Luxurious Bastard Beard oil combines a whole host of penetrating oils to nourish your mustache.
Using a natural bristle brush on your mustache has several benefits. First, it helps distribute the softening products you’ve applied. It helps them penetrate deeper too. Second, brushing smoothes frizz and makes your ‘stache look neater.
If a longer mustache style is your preference, brushing removes any tangles and reduces the appearance of split ends.
Fun Fact: Throughout history, some interesting ingredients have been used to soften and tame hair. The French used beef marrow, bear grease, and hazelnut oil. During the Rennaissance period, a conditioner was made from dead lizards boiled in olive oil. It was followed up with a styling gel made from lizard tallow and sparrow droppings.
How long does it take for a mustache to soften?
If patience isn’t one of your virtues, you may be wondering how long you have to wait before your mustache is transformed from cactus-like to touch-worthy.
While you can feel some immediate softening results from conditioners, balms, and oils, consistent use is key. With daily or twice-daily use of products, noticeable softening should occur within a few weeks. If your mustache is in its beginning stages, the longer it grows, the softer it will become.
Deep hydration and softening do take some time, especially if your upper lip hairs are desert dry. If you’re just starting out on your mustache journey, it’s important to note that new hairs are prickly and sharp by design. Once you let them grow out a bit, you’ll notice they soften.