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Should your beard cover your upper lip?

Linked to full article: Well, in this article we are going to cover some of the most important aspects of your moustache and answer the question: should your beard cover your upper lip?

If you have a shorter beard you should consider having a moustache that is trimmed closely to the top line of your lip. Longer beard will require longer moustache lengths so that they can balance out the weight of the beard at the chin. As long as you are happy with your style that is all that matters!

If you are growing a beard for the first time the upper lip is one of the first areas that becomes annoying. As the beard hairs grow over the top lip the sensitive lip skin can become irritating as it is tickled by the hairs. It is at this point that most people consider trimming the bottom line of the moustache.

The answer as to whether or not you should trim up your moustache so that your lips are visible is not such an easy question to answer and depends on a load of factors. Below, are some of the reasons why I used to trim around my lips so that they were fully visible.

Should I trim my beard around my lips?

Trimming around your lips is a style and irritation decision in reality. Everyone likes the idea of having a really thick moustache that is waxed to the side, but it takes a while for a long moustache to grow and you have to put up with a lock of hair in your mouth before it is long enough to scoop to the side.

It is for these reasons that I decided, in the early days of growing a beard, that I would trim above my top lip level so that my top lip was fully visible. You can see in one of my earlier beard growing videos on YouTube that I kept a fair bit of distance between my top lip and the bottom of my moustache:

These are the reasons why I decided to keep my beard completely away from my mouth.

Easier eating

There is no doubt that having hair near your lips makes for harder and messier eating. The biggest issue was when I was drinking a cup of coffee with foamy milk and the foam would become completely embedded and entrenched in my moustache to the point where I couldn’t always get all of it out.

This meant that whenever I was eating I always had to have a napkin ready and also be very selective of what types of food I ate. For example, I love cream cakes with cream on top but that would create a nightmare of a mess in my moustache.

I think now that my moustache is a little bit longer I have got used to the action of eating so that I minimise the amount of mass that is generated in my beard. Some of my friends actually laugh at me because I now open my mouth significantly wider so that I don’t have to quickly mop myself with a napkin.

Annoyance

As I mentioned above, the tickling and irritation of a moustache on a lip is something that you never really quite get used to.

It’s kind of always there once it gets to a certain length. When people talk about beard itching there are two places where each is the most the first one being where your neck joins your head and the top lip. For people that are growing a beard I always recommend that they trim these areas up first. There’s nothing more annoying than hair tickling you when you want to focus on the long-term goals. Growing a beard is about staying in it for the long run and removing any of the small irritations early will help.

For people with long moustache chairs that tickle their upper lip, there is something subconscious that we all do. It’s play with it with our lips or our tongue.

Yes, that’s pretty disgusting, but it is a reality. My partner had to tell me to stop licking the corners of my mouth where I had the greatest irritation from hairs. I did it without even noticing and I found that even today I still do it. I tried to make sure that my beard doesn’t Gross anyone out but when you see a grown man licking the hairs of his moustache I can understand why people would say that that is a horrible thing to watch.

Easier kissing

As my beard was growing I realise that my relationship with my partner was changing. Not in a necessarily bad or good way but it was just different. In the primary thing that was affected was the ability to get my lips close to hers.

Having a substantial moustache that goes over your top lip can impact how easy it is for you to kiss your partner. At the moment my moustache is relatively long and it covers a significant portion of my upper lip. This means that my bottom lip is much easier to kiss them my top lip. After I have trimmed up the moustache it can also become quite spiky and it means that when we do case it is much more of a peck than a French kiss (or in the UK we would say a snog).

If you want to make sure that your partner is still into kissing your face and has easy access to your lips you should trim your beard and moustache so that your lips are neatly visible and there is no hair obstructing the path.

Style factors

Besides all of the practical reasons that I stated above you could just also decide to trim up your beard around your mouth because you like the way it looks.

When I’ve been for a beard trim with a professional barber they quite often trim up the beard so that he is relatively short. It’s far shorter than I would have done myself but I assume that they are following the latest trends and styles.

You know what, you don’t even need to have a moustache with a beard. In my other article I go through everything you need to know about the best beard without moustaches and produce an insider list for you to get some inspiration from – click here to be taken to the article.

Beard without mustache - header

All of these “shoulds” can make people double gets their style choices. I am a big believer in the fact that your beard should make you feel more confident. If you are using your beard to get external recognition then it may not work out the way you want it and you will not be internally motivated enough to grow it out to a decent length way you can have fun with it.

Choosing a style is a very individual decision and you have to be 100% behind your choices to see you through the times where your beard may not be looking as good as you. You have to have a vision and see it through to that end.

Balance out a shorter beard

Another reason why you may want to be trimming up around your mouth is to balance out a shorter beard. Shorter beards tend to look better with shorter moustaches. However, to every rule there are exceptions and that is if you are trying to grow what is known as a beardstache – will talk about those below.

Some people like to trim their moustache as close as their beard. This means using a set of good quality trimmers with a guard to trim the hairs to the same length.

No matter what your decisions you just have to make sure that you are comfortable with the one that you make!

Let’s take a look at the other side of this coin where you let your moustache grow out over your lip.

Should I let my mustache grow over my lip?

Letting your moustache grow over your lip can be a challenging decision to make. This is because you have to go through a time where the hairs are significantly itchy and irritating to your top and bottom lips. It’s not until your beard and moustache get to a certain length where you are able to use beard balm and wax to sweep it to one side.

Growing your moustache out over your lip will come with a series of challenges such as those highlighted above. However, if you are willing to push yourself through the uncomfortable stages of having a long moustache then beard Nirvana is waiting for you.

Balance a long beard

Now that I have a much longer beard (I actually went for two months without cutting it at all) I found that having a shorter moustache doesn’t really balance out the density that I have in my chin.

Another thing that I have found is that to have a substantial looking moustache the top hairs need to be long enough to completely cover the bottom hairs. This kind of gives the impression of a curtain of hairs and makes the moustache look far more dense and meaty.

If you want to go for the ultimate moustache you need to become familiar with how to get to the ultimate moustache which is a beardstache.

Check out this YouTube video of a more recent post where I have a much longer moustache that covers my top lip. I feel like I needed to balance out my longer beard:

The Beardstache

A beard start is essentially a really thick and long moustache which is not necessarily supported by a lot of growth or density on the lower parts of the face.

The beardstache became popular in about 2014 which is when the beard and undercut combinations started making waves. In general a beardstache can be described as a moustache that is much longer than the beard. And it is relatively easy to achieve for most men which is probably why also became quite popular.

Growing a moustache is something that most men can do with ease but maintaining a beardstache is much more complicated than you would think. You see, people’s moustaches tend to become asymmetrical very quickly. Therefore you should always trim up the moustache quickly and stay on top of any messiness. Using a good strong beard wax is one way that you can tame this difficult to control style.

If you decide to go down the beard start beardstache route you should accompany it with a little bit of stubble, not too much, and a clean neckline and top cheek line to really make it pop!

Should you shave the top of your mustache?

Shaving the top of your moustache can help make your beard and moustache look much more intentional. We all have stray hairs that can easily rise above the top line of the moustache and cause it to look a little bit more messy.

Shaving the top of your moustache allows you to get rid of any of these lonely hairs and gives the appearance of a much sharper top line that blends nicely into your beard’s cheek line.

The good thing is that it doesn’t take much to make this look great. All you have to do is get yourself a single blade safety razor and gently remove these lonely hairs. Investing in a good quality single blade safety razor is going to be one of the best investments you make as it reduces the irritation and improves the accuracy of your shaving. I bought one a couple of years ago and I haven’t used a multi-blade or cartridge razor since!

Here is everything you need to know about trimming up your moustache so that it suits your beard and makes your style extra sharp.

How to trim your mustache with a beard

Trimming up your moustache is as easy as looking after three things:

  • the top line
  • the bottom line
  • the blend into your beard

Looking after these simple things will mean that your moustache will look much tidier and will fit nicely with the style of beard that you have chosen.

Bottom line

The bottom line of your moustache will dictate how annoying your moustache will be on a daily basis. As we talked about, above, you can choose to move your moustache bottom line to as high as you want to avoid the annoying aspects like being unable to kiss or eat creamy or milky foods without getting it all in your moustache.

A good rule of thumb for trimming up your moustaches bottom line is to follow your lip.

Follow your lip

Use a pair of scissors or a small narrow heady trimmer to gently remove hairs that fall below either the top line of your lip or the place where your lips meet. As you are going continue to brush your moustache down in a straight direction so that the hairs lie vertically.

Using your lip lines as a guide is one of the easiest ways to make sure that your beard matches the shape of your face and that it stays symmetrical. There is nothing more annoying than having a moustache that is slightly longer on one side. It is easy to do, however, because as you are trying to move the scissors to different directions you will invariably be able to cut one side much better than the other depending on whether or not you are left or right-handed.

Blend into the beard

The bottom line of the corners of your moustache should be blended into your beard. This is one area that I often forget about and the beard can get quite long before I realise that they need to be blended in a little bit better.

If you want a handlebar moustache this is the area that you would ignore while trimming so they could be waxed up into a particular shape.

Blending into the beard can be done freehand with a pair of scissors or it can be made a little bit more exact by using a trimmer with a specific length guard on it.

Next you need to think about the top line of your moustache. This is one of the easier things to do.

Top line

The top line of your moustache should be a single line of hairs and you can achieve that by removing the small little hairs that are nowhere near the main density of your moustache.

Shave the stray hairs

Shaving the stray hairs on the top line of your moustache is one of the best things you do to make sure that your beard always look sharp. Every single person has hairs on their cheeks and above their moustache that just are all on their own. Removing these hairs are going to be one of the best ways to trim up the top line.

All you have to do is take a single blade safety razor and carefully remove the hairs without accidentally cutting into the main bulk of the moustache. This same scarier than it is but practising on your cheek line 1st may give you a little bit more confidence and give you an idea of where the blade that you use actually cuts.

Trim up nose hairs

This part is one of the most under talked about and little-known parts of your moustache. Make sure that there isn’t a continuous bridge from your nose hair to your moustache. Sometimes you can forget that your nose hair has got particularly long and it can become intertwined in the top line of your moustache.

Simply grab a sharp pair of scissors that cut all the way to the end and separate the nose hair from the moustache and it will look much better and people will not stare at your nose hair moustache when they are talking to you.

Summary

Whether or not a beard should cover your top lip is completely up to you. It tends to be a combination of whether or not you want certain style features and how to much you are willing to put up with the irritation and slight lifestyle changes required of someone with hair that is almost in their mouths all the time.

Whatever you decide to do you need to make sure that this is an internal motivation and that you think your beard looks better for it. The great thing about all of these decisions is that there is no right or wrong answer and you can comfortably wear whatever style beard you one as long as you wear it with confidence.

Happy beard growing!

The Author


Andy Stapleton

Andy is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. He has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He is an avid beard grower and after many years of growing and trialing different beard styles, he started this blog to share the tips, tricks, and science that he has learned along the way!