When deciding how to groom your beard, one of the more important considerations is the thickness of the mustache in relation to the rest of the beard. While standard wisdom dictates that the mustache is kept shorter and thinner than the rest of the beard, are there ever any times when that may not be the case? Let’s examine some of the factors that go into the way a mustache looks with the beard, and whether it is ever acceptable to have a thicker and more substantial mustache than the rest of your facial hair.
One of the primary considerations when contemplating mustache to beard thickness is the type of facial hair itself. Generally, the thinner and sparser the facial hair, the more full and robust you want to keep the beard in relation to the mustache. An already thin beard can appear even more wispy and uneven when juxtaposed against a formidable and bushy mustache. Keeping the mustache short and unobtrusive can help accentuate a thinner beard and make it appear fuller by comparison.
On the other hand if you have thick and dense facial hair, a fuller and more substantial mustache can look elegant and regal when combined with a well-trimmed beard. The differences in length should by no means be substantial, but a tightly trimmed beard, something just beyond a five-o clock shadow for instance, can look fantastic paired with a full and slightly longer mustache. This is especially true of styled mustaches. The most important factor is that both appear groomed and purposeful. You do not want to give the appearance that you simply failed to remember to trim your mustache during your last shave.
Face shape also plays a large role in how a thicker mustache will look on top of a beard. You want to make sure you have strong chin and jawline before attempting to go for a lengthier mustache. A full beard adds girth and fortitude to the chin and jaw, so when you trim the beard back, and further magnify its reduced nature with a full mustache, you can greatly weaken the jawline as a result. This is not a problem with the prototypical masculine chin, but for those of us not so blessed it is a risk.
Ultimately, the choice of facial hair is a personal one. While it is certainly important to consider how you will appear to others, and whether you are projecting the image of yourself that you wish to project, you should choose the facial hair that makes you happy. A mustache that is thicker and longer than the beard may not be traditional, but in the right circumstances, it can be a good look. Just remember to consider the density of facial hair, your face shape, and potentially other factors like facial hair color. But no matter what style you end up choosing, remember that the best looks are always worn with confidence, facial hair included.