The mustache celebration that is No-Shave November is over, but chances are decent that you've grown fond of that fuzzy little caterpillar that's crawled onto your upper lip. But instead of leaving it by its lonesome, why not give it a little grass field to play on? Or, to put it in a way that isn’t a weird metaphor, why not accompany your manly mustache with some equally manly stubble?
When people usually think of mustaches, they tend to think of them as solo facial hairstyles. However, a mustache and stubble can be a powerfully attractive combination. “The look can be very masculine, but it doesn’t look as gruff as a beard,” says pro stylist Todd Hanshaw. “It's kind of the ‘in’ thing to do, and has been for the last few years.”
“If you’re going to do it, you need to commit to the mustache,” says Hanshaw. “It can't just look like a bushier version of what's on your face. It has to be groomed, combed, and look like it could stand on its own.” In other words, the mustache needs to be visibly defined against your stubble through even trimming, careful pruning with grooming shears, and possibly even the use of wax or pomade to help it keep its shape. This unfortunately means that if your mustache is too thin and scraggy, you might not be able to pull this look off.
You also need to do just as much maintenance on your stubble as you do the mustache. Trim it regularly to make sure the length is uniform, but also so you can keep the edges clean and clearly defined. This look only works if it’s absolutely clear you’ve done it purposefully, because otherwise it looks like you’ve just been shaving haphazardly (which would effectively be true).
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As for figuring out what stubble length best matches your ‘stache, err on the side of it being too long; as always, it’s much quicker to give it another trim than to wait for it to grow back out. Do all this, and soon that caterpillar on your lip will blossom into a beautiful...um...larger, more attractive caterpillar? Sorry, we really haven’t thought this one through.