Handlebar Beard: Mastering the Classic Look

When it comes to facial hair styles that exude elegance and confidence, few can match the timeless appeal of the handlebar beard. This classic look has been donned by gentlemen throughout history and continues to make a bold statement in the modern world of men’s grooming. I’m here to guide you through the art of mastering the handlebar beard. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know, from understanding the style’s intricacies to grooming and maintaining it with finesse.

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding the Handlebar Beard
  2. Face Shape Considerations
    • Step 1: Determine Your Face Shape
    • Step 2: Measure Your Face Proportions
    • Step 3: Assess Your Face Shape
    • Step 4: Consider Personal Preferences
  3. Growing Your Handlebar Beard
    • Step-by-Step
  4. Shaping and Trimming Techniques
    • Invest in Quality Beard Trimming Tools
    • Comb and Brush Your Beard
    • Define the Center of Your Mustache
    • Create Gradual Length Towards the Ends
    • Tame Stray Hairs
    • Practice Makes Perfect
  5. Products for Handlebar Beard Maintenance
  6. Styling Your Handlebar Beard
    • Length and Thickness
    • Comb Your Mustache
    • Shape the Handlebars
    • Daily Maintenance
    • Seek Professional Help (Optional)
  7. Embracing the Handlebar Beard Lifestyle
  8. Handling Challenges and Expectations
  9. Common Mistakes to Avoid
    • Over-Trimming
    • Using the Wrong Products
    • Skipping Regular Trims
  10. Conclusion
  11. FAQs

1. Understanding the Handlebar Beard

The handlebar beard is characterized by its distinctive shape, where the mustache is grown out and styled to curl upwards and outwards, resembling the handlebars of a vintage bicycle. This suave facial hair style exudes charisma and sophistication, making it a popular choice among men who desire a distinguished and eye-catching look.

2. Face Shape Considerations

Before embarking on your beard journey, it’s essential to consider your face shape. While this style complements various face shapes, some tweaks might be necessary to ensure it accentuates your best features:

Step 1: Determine Your Face Shape
The first step is to identify your face shape. Common face shapes include oval, round, square, heart, diamond, and oblong. Stand in front of a mirror and pull your hair back to clearly see the outline of your face.

Step 2: Measure Your Face Proportions
To accurately determine your face shape, measure the width of your forehead, cheekbones, and jawline. Note the length of your face from the hairline to the chin. These measurements will help you understand the proportions of your face and assist in identifying the most suitable handlebar beard style.

Step 3: Assess Your Face Shape
Now that you have your measurements, let’s delve into the characteristics of each face shape and how they align with the handlebar beard style:

  1. Oval Face Shape:
    • Characteristics:
      The oval face shape is considered the most versatile and well-balanced. It features balanced proportions and a slightly curved jawline.

    • Handlebar Beard Style:
      Lucky you! The oval face shape works well with most beard styles, including the handlebar. You have the freedom to experiment with different beard lengths and curl styles.

  2. Round Face Shape:
    • Characteristics:
      The round face has softer angles, with the width and length being almost equal. The jawline is less defined and more rounded.

    • Handlebar Beard Style:
      A handlebar beard can add length and definition to a round face. Opt for a longer beard that elongates your face, and style the mustache curls slightly upwards to create the illusion of added height.

  3. Square Face Shape:
    • Characteristics:
      The square face is characterized by a strong and angular jawline, with the width and length being fairly equal.

    • Handlebar Beard Style:
      The handlebar beard can soften the angles of a square face. Allow the beard to grow slightly longer around the jawline to add curvature and balance to your features.

  4. Heart Face Shape:
    • Characteristics:
      The heart-shaped face has a wider forehead that narrows down to a pointed chin.

    • Handlebar Beard Style:
      A handlebar beard can complement a heart-shaped face by adding volume to the chin area. Focus on shaping the mustache curls to draw attention away from the forehead and towards the chin.

  5. Diamond Face Shape:
    • Characteristics:
      The diamond face shape features wide cheekbones and a narrow forehead and chin.

    • Handlebar Beard Style:
      The handlebar beard can enhance the proportions of a diamond face. Keep the beard well-groomed and opt for more subtle curls to maintain the balance between the cheekbones and chin.

  6. Oblong Face Shape:
    • Characteristics:
      The oblong face shape is longer than it is wide, featuring a straight and elongated jawline.

    • Handlebar Beard Style:
      A handlebar beard can add width to an oblong face. Keep the mustache curls pronounced and style them slightly wider to create the illusion of a broader jawline.

Step 4: Consider Personal Preferences
While face shape considerations are essential, personal preferences should also play a role in choosing your handlebar beard style. Experiment with different curl shapes and lengths to find the look that resonates with your style and personality.

3. Growing Your Handlebar Beard

Growing a beard requires patience and commitment. Follow these detailed steps to achieve a full and well-groomed mustache:

  1. Commit to the Growth Phase:
    Embrace the growth phase and resist the urge to trim or shape your mustache too soon. Let it grow freely for at least four to six weeks, or until it reaches your desired length.

  2. Maintain Overall Beard Health:
    A healthy beard starts with a healthy body. Eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and exercise regularly to promote hair growth.

  3. Keep Your Beard Clean:
    Wash your beard regularly with a beard shampoo to remove dirt, oil, and debris. Cleanliness promotes a healthy environment for beard growth.

  4. Condition Your Beard:
    Use a beard conditioner to keep your facial hair soft and manageable. Conditioning also helps to reduce itchiness and beardruff (beard dandruff).

  5. Avoid Trimming the Mustache:
    During the initial growth phase, resist the temptation to trim your mustache. Allow all hairs to grow to the same length, even if some parts seem unruly.

  6. Brush or Comb Daily:
    Use a boar bristle brush or a wide-toothed comb to train your mustache to grow in the desired direction. Regular brushing helps prevent tangling and encourages straighter growth.

  7. Use Beard Oil:
    Apply beard oil daily to moisturize your mustache and the skin underneath. This will prevent dryness, flakiness, and itchiness while promoting healthy growth.

  8. Be Patient with Patchiness:
    It’s normal to have some patchy areas during the initial growth phase. Be patient, as these patches will often fill in over time.

  9. Resist Trimming During the Awkward Phase:
    Around the two to three-month mark, your beard may enter an awkward phase where it’s not long enough for styling but too long to look neat. Avoid trimming during this stage to allow for even growth.

  10. Consider Using Beard Balm or Wax:
    As your mustache grows longer, you may start to train it into a handlebar shape. Consider using a beard balm or wax to provide hold and keep your mustache in place.

  11. Consult a Barber:
    If you’re unsure about the best way to shape and groom your handlebar beard, visit a professional barber experienced in styling facial hair. They can offer personalized advice and recommendations.

  12. Stay Committed:
    Growing a beard takes time and dedication. Stay committed to the process and be consistent with your grooming routine.

4. Shaping and Trimming Techniques

Shaping and trimming are essential steps in maintaining a well-groomed handlebar beard. Follow these techniques to achieve the desired shape and style:

  1. Invest in Quality Beard Trimming Tools:
    To shape and trim your beard accurately, invest in high-quality beard trimming tools. You’ll need a pair of sharp, precision scissors or a beard trimmer with adjustable length settings.

  2. Start with Clean, Dry Facial Hair:
    Always begin the shaping and trimming process with clean, dry facial hair. This ensures a more accurate trim and prevents tugging or pulling on wet hair.

  3. Comb and Brush Your Beard:
    Before trimming, comb or brush your beard to remove any tangles and ensure all hairs lie flat and in the same direction. This will make trimming more precise and even.

  4. Trim the Excess Length:
    Use the scissors or trimmer to remove any excess length from your mustache. Trim gradually, taking off small amounts at a time, as you can always trim more if needed.

  5. Define the Center of Your Mustache:
    Decide where you want the center of your handlebar mustache to be. It’s usually just above the philtrum (the indentation between your nose and upper lip).

  6. Trim the Sides:
    Starting from the center of your mustache, trim the sides in a straight line towards the edges of your mouth. Use the center as a guide to maintain symmetry on both sides.

  7. Create Gradual Length Towards the Ends:
    To achieve the iconic handlebar shape, create a gradual length increase towards the ends of your mustache. Trim the hairs on the sides of your mouth slightly shorter than the ones at the ends.

  8. Curve the Ends Upward:
    To achieve the classic handlebar look, curve the ends of your mustache upward towards your cheeks. Use mustache wax to help shape and hold the curls in place.

  9. Tame Stray Hairs:
    As you shape and trim, check for any stray or uneven hairs. Use the scissors or trimmer to carefully tidy up your mustache and create clean lines.

  10. Regular Maintenance:
    To keep your beard looking sharp, maintain regular trimming sessions. How often you trim will depend on the speed of your beard growth and how defined you want your handlebar to be.

  11. Practice Makes Perfect:
    Shaping and trimming a handlebar beard can be challenging at first. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a few attempts to get the shape you desire. With practice, you’ll become more confident in your trimming skills.

5. Products for Handlebar Beard Maintenance

To keep your handlebar beard looking sleek and well-groomed, incorporate beard grooming products into your routine. Beard oil and balm can help soften and condition your facial hair while taming flyaways. Additionally, invest in a mustache wax to shape and hold those signature curls in place.

6. Styling Your Handlebar Beard

Styling a handlebar beard is an art that requires patience and attention to detail. This classic and sophisticated beard style exudes confidence and personality. Here’s a more detailed guide on how to style your handlebar beard:

  1. Length and Thickness:
    To style a handlebar beard, it’s essential to have a sufficient length and thickness. Allow your beard to grow for at least a few weeks to achieve the desired volume and length. The longer and fuller your beard, the more options you’ll have for shaping and styling.

  2. Use Beard Balm or Wax:
    Beard balm or wax is your best friend when styling a handlebar beard. These products provide the necessary hold and control to shape your mustache into the classic handlebar shape. Start with a small amount, warm it between your fingers, and evenly distribute it through your mustache.

  3. Comb Your Mustache:
    Using a fine-toothed mustache comb, comb your mustache hair downwards and away from your mouth. This will help in identifying the natural part and the areas that need shaping.

  4. Trim with Precision:
    Using small, sharp scissors, trim any overgrown or stray hairs from your mustache. The goal is to create a uniform length and remove any uneven patches.

  5. Shape the Handlebars:
    To achieve the distinctive handlebar shape, start shaping the ends of your mustache. Take a small section of hair between your index finger and thumb and twist it slightly. Curl the twisted section upwards and outwards, forming a loop or curl. Repeat on the other side and adjust until both sides are symmetrical.

  6. Train Your Mustache:
    Training your handlebar beard takes time and patience. Use your fingers to twist and curl the ends of your mustache in the desired direction. You can also use a small mustache comb to coax the hair into place. Regularly apply beard balm or wax to help hold the shape and make it more manageable.

  7. Daily Maintenance:
    Styling a handlebar beard requires daily maintenance. You may need to reapply beard balm or wax throughout the day, especially in humid conditions. Use your fingers or a comb to reshape the handlebars as needed.

  8. Be Patient and Experiment:
    Creating the perfect handlebar beard takes time and experimentation. Don’t be afraid to try different shapes and styles to find the one that suits you best. Be patient with yourself and your beard as you work towards achieving your desired look.

  9. Seek Professional Help (Optional):
    If you’re unsure about styling your handlebar beard or want to refine your technique, consider visiting a professional barber. A skilled barber can offer expert advice, demonstrate various styling techniques, and provide personalized tips to enhance your handlebar beard.

Styling a handlebar beard is a rewarding experience that allows you to express your individuality and showcase your grooming prowess.

7. Embracing the Handlebar Beard Lifestyle

The handlebar beard isn’t just a facial hair style; it’s a lifestyle. Embrace the classic and sophisticated persona that comes with this look. Pair your handlebar beard with tailored suits, vintage accessories, and a confident demeanor that complements your distinguished appearance.

8. Handling Challenges and Expectations

While the handlebar beard can be a statement of style, it also requires dedication and maintenance. Be prepared to invest time in grooming and styling your beard regularly. Additionally, set realistic expectations about your beard’s growth and appearance, as each man’s facial hair is unique.

9. Common Mistakes to Avoid

Achieving a perfect handlebar beard requires careful attention and dedication. Along the way, you might encounter some common mistakes that can hinder your progress:

  1. Over-Trimming:
    Avoid trimming your mustache too aggressively. Over-trimming can lead to uneven lengths and disrupt the handlebar shape you are trying to achieve.

  2. Neglecting Maintenance:
    Handlebar beards require regular maintenance to keep the shape intact. Neglecting maintenance can lead to unruly hairs and a less polished appearance.

  3. Using the Wrong Products:
    Choose high-quality beard balm or wax specifically designed for styling. Using subpar products may not provide enough hold, making it challenging to shape your mustache properly.

  4. Rushing the Styling Process:
    Styling a handlebar beard takes time and patience. Rushing through the process can lead to uneven curls and an overall messy look.

  5. Overloading with Product:
    Using too much beard balm or wax can make your mustache look greasy and weigh it down. Start with a small amount and add more as needed.

  6. Skipping Regular Trims:
    Regular trims are crucial for maintaining the shape of your handlebar beard. Skipping trims can result in straggly hairs and an unkempt appearance.

  7. Ignoring Natural Hair Growth Patterns:
    Work with the natural growth patterns of your mustache to achieve the best results. Trying to force it into an unnatural shape can lead to frustration and an unnatural look.

10. Conclusion

You’ve now unlocked the secrets to mastering the classic handlebar beard. Embrace this iconic facial hair style with confidence, and remember that grooming and styling your beard are expressions of self-care and personal style. With dedication and the right techniques, your handlebar beard will turn heads and leave a lasting impression wherever you go.


  1. Is the handlebar beard suitable for all face shapes?
    While it complements various face shapes, slight adjustments may be needed to accentuate your unique features.

  2. How often should I trim my handlebar beard?
    Regular trimming is crucial to maintain the shape and neatness of your handlebar beard. Aim to trim it every two to three weeks.

  3. Can I use regular hair wax for my mustache?
    It’s best to use specialized mustache wax, as it’s designed to hold the curls and provide the necessary firmness without damaging your facial hair.

  4. Can I still style my handlebar beard if it’s short?
    While a longer beard allows for more elaborate curls, you can still style your handlebar beard even when it’s shorter. Use a minimal amount of wax to create subtle curls.

  5. How long does it take to grow a handlebar beard?
    The growth rate varies from person to person, but on average, it may take several weeks to a few months to achieve the desired length for a handlebar beard.

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Max Groomer

I'm Max Groomer, dedicated to inspiring and educating men about grooming. My goal is through informative articles, product reviews, and grooming tips to empower men to embrace their best selves with style and confidence.

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