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Handlebar Moustache - the 1st 12-months LOL


One Mans lighthearted look at 12 months of growing one

Ah, the handlebar moustache, a thing of legend, ridicule and a part of the human existence. Outlaws,Movie Stars, and Gentlemen in high standing have all worn this legend. The following will chronical my 12-month journey in the never ending growth of a handlebar moustache.

It should be noted that, we all know the guys who can go to bed one night clean shaven, and the next morning they have a perfectly formed lip rat. I have a friend who was very supportive during this past year’s cultivation, and we play dominos on a regular basis. We left his home on a Saturday night and the next weekend he went from a clean lip to a perfect handlebar. I, unfortunately I am not one of the lucky hair growing machines.

In the DNA lottery pool, I ended with a mixture of German and Puerto Rican. I don’t know about you, however I don’t think when Columbus discovered Puerto Rico he was greeted with a ton of Taino Indians sporting moustaches. So, (sigh) I was blessed with possibly the slowest facial hair growth on the planet.

If you are considering growing the pinnacle of Moustaches,by all mean do, however my only suggestion is to start with a clean slate, so to speak, rather than trying to re-configure a current style, as I did, as the whiskers have an agenda that you were not briefed on.
In my case, I had been sporting a fully connected moustache and goatee for a number of years before embarking on this curse. So, this was going to be an easy transition. Oh how wrong I was.

Like many here, I lurked for a few months and discovered this forum and began to peruse the various topics and photos, and came across those gents sporting handlebars. I was hooked. Did I tell my wife? No. More on that mistake later….. Shall we get started?


It was a Saturday morning; the sun was shining, the birds singing, and me standing in front of the mirror with a DE razor. Now I had spent the last month or so allowing my current lip clothing to expand its horizons. As I lathered, I wondered
“What am I doing?” DONE!

Earlier, I had done my research, and settled on the fact that with good care you could expect growth to be about a ¼ of an inch per month. So, based on those calculations, within a year I should be sporting over 3-inches of wonderful lip covered nirvana shaped and coveted by all. But not knowing my hair growth is one step above a naked mole rat, and the fact there are variables to this growth such as Dead loss, razor mishaps, comb removal, whisker biting, napkin kidnapping, and trimming, I was in for a trip that would haunt me for 12-months, so far, and will be with me for the foreseeable future.

I was advised to not trim at all, and to make sure that you did not shave above the “lip crease”. Let’s discuss that shall we. As you all may know the lip crease is the corner of your mouth, where the bottomand top lip meet at the sides. Easy,right? Wrong. As this moves when you contort and stretch your face when you shave, so what is the optimal location? This pre-occupied my 1st month; as if you were to low you looked like you had dirt under the tips of your moustache, and if too high you looked like a goof.

I should also mention that my wife was now informed of my decision and… well…. She was less than thrilled. I had been clean shaven for many years, and it took some time before she warmed up to my previous facial fashion, but liked it. Now, that I had determined to have a handlebar she was less than thrilled, and began the slanderous name calling such as Earp, Holliday, Professor Fury, and her favorite, up until the premiere of Mortdecai, Dick Dastardly.

She went on to threaten nocturnal trimming, lack of kissing,and many other things, but unabated I put my foot down.
It should be noted that my wife is very easy going and, although she did not want to support this decision, she did cheerlead me by laughing every chance she got, and name calling on a daily basis.
Most of our friends were neither interested nor cared; however they would give you the Atta boy, and then go to that secret room where they could laugh uncontrollably.
The rest of month one was rather boring and the growth as stated above was on geological time.


This was an exciting time in the journey. A good amount of growth and the training of the “stache” was going fairly well even though there were a few rebels in the crowd, that try as I might, would not adhere to the moustache wax rules. It was also a time where middle age really showed up. As if in a protest many of those same rebel hairs had decided to go albino, as if to say, go ahead we will make you look old.

My wife was coming around too. The name calling was reserved to just a few times a week, the threats had stopped, and the laughing had been reduced to a few snickers from time to time. She even kissed me once!

The problems during this time were twisting the tips without them ending up looking like a cats whiskers, as they would not hold together,and whiskers now growing over the lip which drove me nuts. Many a morning I stood in front of the mirror about to surrender, but I was determined!


This was by far the most trying time in the trip of lip nirvana. The length was now getting good, I had finally determined what the “crease” was and was shaving it correctly, but, this was also the most annoying 2 months.

Now it was just over the lip, I was able to keep it parted in the middle, and the tips were taking shape.
Good Stuff Right? Wrong again grasshopper!

Now I found myself inadvertently, raising my lower lip to feel the whiskers, so many clients and my loved ones thought I may have developed a neurological disorder. Many whiskers lost their lives during this time, not to mention eating had now become a lesson in how many napkins should be used in a single meal.

Also this was the time of experimentation when it came to moustache wax as well. Some held ok some left your stache a soppy mess and even others would allow your moustache to droop over the day, and finally there was one that was not even a wax, but took a jackhammer to get out at the end of the day.

But, it was getting there. I did notice though, that it was not growing evenly. What is this? I know looked as if I was always taking a left turn and one side was literally a ¼ inch longer that the other. This would not do!

So, (and I advise strongly DO NOT DO THIS) I took out the new pair of barber shears and my trusty new counter mirror and began to trim. Did I say this already? DO NOT DO THIS, JUST LET IT GROW!

Well like trimming a tree, if you mess up, you just trim the other side a bit. Well, I had literally destroyed 2-months worth of growth just to make the tips even, and further changed when all the whiskers would be joined together in uniform length and perfection.
The scissors were placed in a safe and I determined to not do this again, PERIOD! These two months were the closest I got to killing it permanently, but I was invested now, not only in time spent, ridicule received, and I was not a quitter.


A good time in the journey of moustache enlightenment, my wife was coming around, it was shaping well each morning, and even my friends were being much more sincere in their support. Strangers were now complimenting it; however it was a bit creepy when someone asked to touch it. I was now finally able to create a nicesmooth curve at the bottom of the stache leading to swoop and curl, and the whiskers were finally falling in line with each other.

There were days, of course, when the Moustache decided to do what it wanted, but at the length it was at now it also left options on how to wear it. Albeit, English, western, fullcurl, or just natural. I now had about ¾ of an inch of whiskers that were the same length toward the tips so I was able to get a decent curl, and it would stay.

I was confident I had reached a turning point. I was happy, my wife had not insulted it in a month and even complimented it a couple of times, and more and more of my clients and even strangers were taking notice in a good way. The most apparent were the others who were in the “Brotherhood”. It was a nod, like a secret handshake. I felt accomplished, I was almost there.
Again, how wrong I was, as I began to shave with a straightrazor, and the movie Mortdecai came out.

MONTHS 10-11

Although due to the reviews, we did not see it in the theatre, we finally watched it on video and I found it very funny in a slapstick Terry Thomas sort of way that indeed was enjoyable and gave me creed to the journey I had been on. However, my nice, lovely wife what must have been waiting for this to pounce. To those that have seen it, you know the banter between Mortdecai and his wife and the lovely adjectives that the Handlebar is called. Well…. My wife now had fodder for many years to come, but has also evolved into a sort of time release capsule, and only fires when she feels I really need it.

This movie had also caused folks to bring it up as “oh look,you moustache is like Johnny Depp”, although most of these same people had seen it during the previous 11-months. Like it just magically appeared.

I had about ¾ of an inch at the tips now and all was well. I had found a perfect combination of waxes that worked in the heat of the summer, and shaping the handlebar was taking less and less time. That was until I was on shave #3 of my new straight razor and got a bit too close to my upper lip, and found out what the term “Hair popping” means. As I began shaving around my upper lip the razor slipped and mowed down a small piece of real estate. I shrieked in terror, and yet again after all this time, I almost took it all off. But now steadfast in almost a year of growth I would rather look like a goof for a few weeks than have the regret of taking it all off.

MONTH 12 and beyond

As I approach the one year mark and now having about an inch of tips, well-shaped, fairly easy to maintain, I look back and have to laugh at the comedy of growing one of these things. Has it been worth it? ABSOLUTELY! My wife now supports it, or rather has resigned herself in knowing it is not going away, actually compliments it from time to time and seems to be on board. I know due to my whisker growth that I am at least probably a year away from where I want it to be, but I will get there. Trimming is now just in the middle of the lip to keep the part and all is well


This has been my journey so your experience will certainly be different than mine, but was written more to have a laugh, but also to pass along to others thinking about growing a handlebar. It is also to thank the many gents here who have Epic handlebars that have given me the motivation to keep going.

If you are thinking about growing the pinnacle of MoustachesI would humbly give you thee points
· Do not trim at least until it gets to below the bottom of your lower lip
· The tips will grow at different rates. Don’t trim them let it go
· Start from a clean lip
· Get good wax and start training early
· Invest in a napkin company
· Keep wax with you at all times
· Stay focused as there will be times you want to give up
· Get friends and family on board, even as a joke
· If you want one, get , it is your face

Have Fun
I am sure there are a ton of other points that I am sure I missed, but please feel free to add to I hope you enjoyed this light hearted look at the handlebar Moustache

Again, is itworth it?

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Well, as stated, my facial hair grows on Geological time, rather than normal so this is 11 months as of today. plus was in a hurry this morning so not the best, but as requested. and the SR mistake is still growing back

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