Mustache Styles for Black Men
The first question you have to ask yourself is whether or not there are unique mustache styles for black men. My research seems to converge on the answer that mustache styles for black men are pretty much the same as mustache styles for all men. The distinguishing factors are caught up in the physical and psychological reasons why men grow mustaches at all. The Beard Institute puts out an entertaining ultimate mustache guide that does not identify any unique styles for black men.
Neither does the American Mustache Institute. Styloss.com does talk about the individual mustache characteristics for mustaches that look good on black men. We’ll focus on those features for now while putting a neutral label on the actual distinctions. The bottom line is that if you can grow facial hair, any of the styles in the feature image are possible.
Staches for Black Men and WhyThe combination goatee mustache and beard is an admired choice for both the young and old. The excellent features for the dark complexion are its soft lines and the ability to tailor the length of the beard to flatter the jaw line by stretching the round face into a longer profile. The rest of the face must be cleanly shaven to enjoy all the benefits of a well-groomed and well-maintained goatee mustache.
Even a light stubble from not shaving daily will blur the clean lines and make the style less effective. You may see this technique referred to as the Van Dyke as well.The French braided mustache is a favorite of black men. It offers the opportunity for a highly stylized and unique appearance. Obviously, you have to allow the length of the mustache to extend in longer strands of hair so that the French braid can be created. This kind of mustache styles for black men is a bit more forgiving regarding having to keep the cheeks clean-shaven, but it’s still recommended so that the braided features are the focal point.
There are several variations of the style such as coloring the braid tips red or brown to give it distinguishing and personalized qualities. That kind of fashion statement makes this style of mustache a favorite among the Hollywood set including the fans who follow these leading black men as they imitate and identify with them. This is a more substantial mustache and requires the frequent attention of a salon stylist. The French braid is a variation of the classic horseshoe mustache depicted in the feature graphic.The classic chevron mustache accompanied by a full beard is a preferred style of the black man. This one is not an effort to take lightly as it will require time to fill in and become the vision of what you want. Facial hair grows in different directions on different parts of the face so early on, the style will look a bit disorganized and unkempt. There are many variations as well depending on your ability to grow facial hair and the patience you have to wait for it to take the shape and appearance you want. The shorter, five o’clock shadow look shown to the left is one way to do it.
However, to make it a compelling look, the lines must be clear and concise which requires some careful grooming techniques, the right tools, and a steady hand. The fuller version on the right is really a labor of love for the mustache and beard aficionado. It takes time to achieve the look and after its what you want it to be, the shaping and grooming are significant to keep the hair from going wild leading to an unkempt, mountain man appearance which is a definite turn off for the ladies. In this style, the mustache can be thick and full or take on a more pencil-like appearance as shown to the right. The opportunity to make a strong personal fashion statement with this style is excellent.
Considerations for Growing a Mustache and Facial Hair
Believe it or not, the decision to grow a mustache and an accompanying beard is usually based on compensation for some other physical appearance or psychological reason. In all cases, the bottom line is to improve your appearance, impress the ladies … usually both. The funny thing is that when you look in the mirror trying to decide IF you want to grow a mustache or beard or both, you are usually basing your decision on a comparative basis by looking at other black men with mustaches and beards.
What you don’t know is why they chose to do it in the first place. You need to give that some consideration before you adopt a style that’s great for the guy in the picture but maybe not so great for you.
Let’s look at the physical facts and try to set things up so you make an informed decision. The truth is, you are considering these characteristics, you just don’t know it. Most men, black men included, go through an iterative, trial and error process to decide what to grow and what not to grow. It can be a bit embarrassing and stretch out the time to success by months rather than days. So, here’s the scoop on what physical characteristics to look for from someone who knows the black man.
- Length of your mouth
- Size of your nose
- Fullness and size of your upper lip area
- Thickness of facial hair
- Texture of facial hair
- Color of facial hair
- Shape of jaw and chin lines
These things are considerations, not an exhaustive list. A mustache can give a round face a more balanced, elongated look. If your jaw definition is a bit soft from a few too many pizza slices, a beard can solve that problem. Do you have an overbite where the lower jaw is set back further than the upper jaw? A nice pencil mustache with a bushy Van Dyke style beard can compensate … or you can have your jaw broken and reset; ouch! The Van Dyke might be the less painful option.
Deformities in the skin from acne, childhood diseases such as measles and discolorations can be easily camouflaged under a mustache and beard. You don’t have to do this alone and as a matter of fact, I strongly recommend you seek the advice of a woman you trust and a professional hair stylist to get second opinions and a sanity check on what’s rolling around in the chaos of your mind. It’s not hard to do some rationalizations and decide to do the wrong thing.
The psychological factors are an exercise in stress and frustration as they are hard to explain. Every black man has a unique perspective and psychology is not an exact science. However, some of the more likely factors can be discussed.
- Statement of Masculinity – let’s face it, the ability to grow facial hair is a man thing. Growing a mustache is confirmation of your masculinity. Embrace it and be who you want to be.
- Impress the Ladies – this is definitely an outgrowth of the masculinity issue. In essence, you’ve convinced yourself that women like facial hair. In general, the minority of woman like facial hair and in many cases, the ones that do like it in small doses and properly groomed. If there is a special lady in your life that you’re trying to impress, ask her first. The element of surprise IS NOT an advantage here. If you need some moral support, read this story. The alternative viewpoint is interesting.
- Cosmetic Surgery Syndrome – we always seem to find fault with our appearance whether it is warranted or not. In the case of mustaches and beards, we take the easy way out and try to improve an appearance that doesn’t need improvement. The decision not to grow a mustache or beard for the right reasons is just as important as deciding to grow facial hair for the right reasons.
Tools of the Trade
The one thing we haven’t talked about yet is what you need to take care of your mustache and beard. Combs, electric trimmers, and scissors are what most guys think is the extent of the paraphernalia necessary to maintain facial hair properly. You would be wrong. There is much more and it’s all about maintaining a groomed appearance and providing your significant other a pleasant experience.
Mustache and beard hair can be coarse and wiry and uncomfortable to the touch of the lips and sensitive cheek skin. Conditioners, creams, and oils are a necessary part of the maintenance kit to make sure you maintain the grooming standards expected from those close to you. Believe me, if your mother gets scratched by your mustache or beard, you will hear about it and in a not so pleasant way … and mother-in-laws !!
Amazon carries an excellent selection of mustache and beard grooming products beyond the obvious combs, brushes, scissors and trimmers.
They come in full-featured sets as well as separately. What are they good for? These products allow you to style the hair (waxes) in ways that the hair stays in place. They soften the hair (conditioners and oils) to make contact with their hair more pleasant (remember the Mother-in-Law). Plus, you can buy the scented and unscented versions of most items. Never underestimate the lean-in power of an irresistible aroma coming from your mustache or beard. This Beard Pack along with the beard balm recommended to use with it is an excellent example. This everyday care set of scented oil and wax is designed to be carried with you when you leave the house.
Bonus – Moustache versus Mustache
Hey, I’m a word guy at heart and it always peaks my interest when two words refer to the same thing. Mustache is the more accepted term in the United States, but moustache has been around longer and is the more traditional spelling in English speaking societies outside of the U.S. Then, there are the Italians who use mustachio which is said to represent a grand vision of the mustache. The website Grammarist, who else, gives a good accounting of the different spellings.