As the moustache reclaims its place in contemporary fashion following Vicky Kaushal’s strong screen presence in and as Sam Bahadur, a male grooming expert shares tips and tricks to ace the look
Vicky Kaushal plays the role of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw in the movie. Pic courtesy/Youtube
Not long ago before the beard craze took over, and men of all ages started beelining to their hair stylists asking for primly trimmed, outlined, and shaped beards, there existed a much humbler reigning symbol of masculinity — the moustache. If the prominence of the moustache needs any testament, moochein katwana (shaving off one’s moustache) was once considered one of the gravest insults and tragedies that could overcome a man. Fast forward to recent times, Vicky Kaushal was recently spotted proudly sporting a sophisticated, twirled handlebar moustache in his new released, Sam Bahadur, which has the Internet abuzz, celebrating the revival of this classic facial hair style in contemporary fashion. We consult a grooming expert who shares his tips on mastering the art of the perfect moustache.
Choose the right mooch
Prathamesh Sawant, stylist and owner, Nomad Barber India, tells us that while going wrong with a beard is relatively unusual, moustaches require a deeper analysis of your face shape before you choose the right style. For square faces, he recommends the classic chevron, a thick, wide moustache that angles downwards towards the mouth. If you prefer an old-school look, let the stache grow wider and even over your upper lip to achieve the walrus style. These styles were popularised by icons like Freddie Mercury, Henry Cavill, Nick Offerman and probably every Indian dad in the ’80s.
“Handlebars and English moustaches work best for men who have a round or heart-shaped face, a subtler version of the handlebar is the petite handlebar, which requires lower maintenance and suits heart-shaped faces better,” he shares. The handlebar — a thick, twirled moustache that turns upwards towards the sides which takes around two to three months to grow, is a versatile option that can be paired with a goatee for the classic Hollywood bad guy look or sported by itself for a disciplined, gentlemanly look, much like Kaushal’s character in the recently released movie.
For those with diamond-shaped faces, the stylist suggests balbo or pencil styles — thin, trimmed staches that run along the upper lip and sit at a longer distance from the upper lip as well as the nose. The trademark facial hair style of the tuxedo-clad gentlemen from ’30s and ’40s Hollywood, variations of the pencil moustache made a comeback with Brad Pitt’s thicker version of the classic.
Cleanliness is next to manliness
Nestled between two of your most vital sense organs, moustaches can quickly turn into the root of a slew of health concerns if not taken due care of, shares Sawant. He suggests a routine to make sure you’re always on top of your hygiene game. “Begin by washing your moustache gently with a mild face cleanser, once towel- dried, apply beard oil or balm to keep it soft and hydrated. As a regular practice, use a comb to detangle the hair. Once the moustache is set, avoid touching it throughout the day; it can trap the dirt and dust off your hands,” he notes.
Skip the stache?
Sawant shares his views on the fleeting nature of grooming trends, “Fashion tends to be cyclical, and facial hair trends often follow suit. You don’t have to jump onto every trend. A moustache might not be a good idea if you have sparse or uneven growth. If you frequent professional settings, an extravagant moustache might not be deemed fit. A moustache could clash with a very youthful appearance or contradict someone’s overall style. It’s essential to feel confident and comfortable with the chosen style, regardless of guidelines or prevalent trends.”
The Indian cricketer’s take on the classic handlebars are a testament to the fact that moustaches are not only for the few blessed with thick facial hair. The signature thin twirls towards the ends, groomed to perfection with a trimmed beard make it a breezy, yet bold look.
Known for frequently cycling through looks, the actor has sported some classics over time. His English moustache with layered, long hair were the perfect choice for his rugged, man-next-door roles. Recently, the actor took to Instagram to share his new look, the classic handlebars, complemented by a clean-shaven beard and slicked back hair.
From the iconic standard military moustache in the film Inglorious Basterds (2009) to a modern goatee in Killing Them Softly (2012), the Hollywood star has sported it all. Yet, the one that stands out is Pitt’s spin on the pencil stache, which ushered the vintage style back into limelight, much like anything the star does.