Moustache and Beard Blog | CanYouHandlebar Moustache and Beard Co.

Primary vs. Secondary

Quick tips: Primary moustache wax has a medium hold and is great for daily use.  Secondary is a firmer wax perfect for more aggressive hold and styles. 

One of the most common questions we hear is "Should I use Primary or Secondary Moustache Wax?"  We appreciate customers wanting to make an informed choice - we're happy with the quality of our products and we want you to be confident in, and happy with, your purchase.  Feel free to peruse this brief explanation of the differences between our moustache waxes, and contact us with any questions. 

A thoughtful recipe

We have nothing to hide with our moustache wax.  Our ingredients always have been, and always will be, printed on the label for you to see.   Both of our waxes contain local (Michigan) beeswax, lanolin, castor oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and Vitamin E.  After much experimentation, this is the combination of ingredients that we came up with to best style your moustache while being conscious of your facial hair's health as well.  The same care that went into crafting the final recipe also went into the design and materials of our labels.  Like with our traditional beard oils and Beard Dry Oil, the labels on our tins of moustache wax are oil proof and water proof. 


In our description of our Primary Moustache Wax, we ask the question "Are you a laid back gentleman that would prefer to encourage your hairs rather than resort to force?"  If so, this is your wax.  Primary wax is a medium hold wax that is great for daily use.  As we discussed in How to grow a handlebar moustache, training your moustache is an important part of the handlebar process.  Primary is an excellent product to train your moustache, not only to shape a handlebar but also to encourage your moustache to lay the way you'd like, whether that be for the simple purpose of keeping it out of your mouth during the day or to help you cultivate your own moustache style.  However, as Primary is a medium hold wax, it does allow users to craft more aggressive stylings that will hold up throughout the day. 


Our Secondary Moustache Wax is simply, "a firmer wax".  If you are looking for a moustache wax that will allow you to craft the most detailed of stylings and keep it in place throughout the day and night, this is the wax for you.  While Secondary was not designed with competitive facial hair events in mind, it has shone through as an ideal wax for competitive purposes; one that allows you to style your moustache and keep it in place throughout the rigors of competition as the night goes on.  You'll notice that Secondary is firmer in the tin than Primary and thus requires more heat to make the wax malleable, but the application process is still straightforward and easy to do with some practice and the aid of simple tools like our wax lifters, Kent Moustache Comb, and a flat iron and/or a hair dryer on a low heat setting.

Don't be afraid to use wax on a daily basis

Regardless of whether you choose to use Primary or Secondary, don't be afraid to use moustache wax on a daily basis, especially if you are training your moustache.  Knowing how to effectively use moustache wax is an important step in making sure that your moustache always looks its best.  We designed our wax with daily use in mind, not just in the wax itself, but even in the tins themselves.  Our tins have a slim profile that fits easily in even the smallest of pockets, making it a perfect addition to your every day carry.  While you may not need to reapply moustache wax throughout the day, it is always handy to have on your person in case you need a touch up.  Still haven't been able to decide which you would like?  No problem; take advantage of our discounted Get A Pair package. Keep in mind, while we have been discussing the differences, Primary and Secondary work well in concert with each other.  There are a number of customers who use Primary to wax the middle hairs of their moustache and then use secondary for the curls in a handlebar and other styles that may require more hold.  Good luck, and happy waxing! 



What is Beard Dry Oil?

Quick tip: Beard Dry Oil is a conditioning product made of a mixture of base oils for conditioning, essential oil for scent, and beeswax to make the product solid and offer you mild styling capabilities.  The end result is a product designed to keep your beard healthy and looking great.

Beard Dry Oil is CanYouHandlebar’s premium beard balm. You are likely familiar with beard products on some level, and you may have even read our recent post asking (and answering) the question – what is beard oil? Now we’re back with another post designed to give you some more information on just what it is that you’re putting into your beard. As a producer of beard and moustache products, CanYouHandlebar wants to make sure you’re informed about the products you’re using on your beard. You take the time to cultivate your beard, so it makes sense that you would want to take the time to learn a little more about what you put into it.

Beard oil, with a twist

Simply put – our Beard Dry Oil is a premium hand-crafted beard oil, with a twist. Like traditional beard oils, Beard Dry Oil is a topical conditioner designed to keep your beard healthy and looking great. What makes this beard oil a “dry oil” is the addition of beeswax. We add just enough beeswax to make the Dry Oil (or balm, if you prefer), solid at room temperature.

Beeswax can help you style and train your beard

In addition to having the benefits of a traditional beard oil (read more about those in our post, "What is beard oil?"), the beeswax in the Beard Dry Oil offers hold that will help you to style your beard. The styling properties offered in the Beard Dry Oil are not the type to aggressively style your beard, but rather give you the ability to shape your beard for the day offering you a nice groomed look. Additionally, the beeswax will allow you to train your beard. As your beard gets longer, you may notice that the natural curve of your facial hair gives your beard an unruly appearance. Once you have applied the dry oil, either with your fingers or one of our Beard Oil Brushes (click here for tips on application), you can brush your beard in the direction you want your hairs to lie while using a hair dryer on a low heat setting. Repeating this process on a daily basis will train the hairs to lie the way you’d like.

The consistency of the Beard Dry Oil is thicker and slightly heavier than traditional beard oils. This can be beneficial to your beard in times where your beard is in need of extra conditioning. The beeswax works to give your facial hair an extra coating that helps hold in the oils longer which will in turn more fully condition your beard.

Our Beard Dry Oils are available in the same scents as our traditional oils, Wisdom, Initiative, and Classic (unscented). Regardless of which one you choose, our Beard Dry Oil will keep your beard conditioned and looking great throughout the entire day.

How to grow a handlebar moustache

Quick tips: Be aware of your genetics, be patient, remember a true handlebar moustache starts in the middle, and start training your moustache early.

One of the most common questions we get is “how can I grow a handlebar moustache?” While a great handlebar cannot simply be grown on advice alone, we would like to offer you a few tips as you set out on your manly quest. Remember that your ability to grow a moustache will depend somewhat on genetics, and your own facial hair coverage. If you have grown a moustache before you should have some idea about whether or not a handlebar is in your future. If you haven’t attempted to grow a moustache before, take a moment to commend yourself on this most manly of pursuits. Then, sit back and wait. It will likely take you a few months of uninterrupted growth before you realize your moustache’s true potential.
A true handlebar starts in the middle
Uninterrupted simply means no trimming. As your moustache starts to grow, you will soon find that it starts to hang over your upper lip – embrace this and resist the urge to trim. A true handlebar moustache starts in the middle and all of the hairs are swept towards the edges of your lips to form the handlebars. Some growers trim the middle section of their moustache but leave the sides long to style them into handlebars. While this may generate a similar effect, it is not a true handlebar and can sometimes produce an awkward looking moustache. Instead of trimming, take the time to train your moustache.
Train your moustache
Training can come in a number of different ways. (Cue Rocky theme music and training montage.) One of the easiest ways, once your moustache gets a little length, is to comb your moustache every day. Use a comb meant for moustaches like our Kent Moustache Comb. Starting at the crease right above your upper lip, comb your moustache out towards the edges of your lips. Do one side, then the other, repeat, and do this every day. The repetitive motion will train your hairs to lie that way. You shouldn’t expect your moustache to stay that way once you’re finished combing as the hairs will be tempted to fall towards their natural laying pattern, but this repetitive motion will help you give the hairs a new laying pattern. You should also find this helps keep your moustache out of your mouth which will further help you resist the urge to trim. You can enhance the effects of this training with some of our Primary moustache wax. This will keep the hairs in place once combed and work to speed up giving the hairs a new laying pattern.
Beards and moustaches grow at different rates
If you are growing your moustache in concert with a beard, remember that despite being connected, your moustache and your beard will likely grow at different rates, and for those who have particularly dense facial hair, remember that when you are training and styling your moustache, you are training and styling your moustache, not your beard. When your moustache is long enough to style into a full handlebar, resist the temptation to include some of your beard hairs in the styling to make your moustache appear longer. According to the World Beard and Moustache Association, hairs more than two centimeters past the edge of your lips are considered part of your beard. Granted, that rule is more for competition purposes than anything else, but it’s an easy guideline to follow. Regardless, don’t get frustrated if your moustache doesn’t seem to grow as quickly as your beard. Most men’s don’t, and it doesn’t mean your moustache won’t eventually have some length.
Remember your training
Finally, once your moustache has gotten long enough to style, after taking another moment to commend yourself for making it this far - remember your training. But now, instead of just sweeping the hairs out from the center of your lip, add in a step of using the moustache comb to help curl up the ends of the moustache to begin shaping your handlebar. This can also be accomplished with a flat iron or small curling iron, but be sure not to singe your moustache – you don’t want to damage what you have spent such a long time cultivating. Continue to use our Primary wax, or for more aggressive and longer lasting styles, pick up a tin of our Secondary. If you’re wanting to try both, take advantage of our discounted “Get a Pair”. Good luck, and happy growing!

What is beard oil?

Quick Tip: Beard oil is a conditioning product made of a mixture of base oils for conditioning and essential oils for scent, designed to keep your beard healthy and looking great. 

What is beard oil?

You may be new to the world of beard products, you may consider yourself an old pro. But outside of knowing that beard oil can help your beard look and feel better while also keeping it healthier, have you stopped to ask yourself – what is beard oil? As a producer of beard and moustache products, CanYouHandlebar wants to make sure you’re informed about the products you’re using on your beard. You take the time to cultivate your beard, so it makes sense that you would want to take the time to learn a little more about what you put into it.

Beard oil supplements what your body naturally produces

Beard oil is a conditioning product, but if that statement doesn’t tell you enough, think of beard products as a topical supplement designed to give your beard the things it needs to stay healthy and looking great. Daily life or an employment situation that doesn’t expose your beard to the elements can still wear on your beard. Even washing your beard, which is something we recommend of course (with a proper beard soap), can remove some of the oils that keep your beard healthy. So we offer beard oils to help fill in those gaps.

We care about what goes into our beard oils, and you should too

When we first introduced our oils to the CanYouHandlebar community, we wrote: “The base oil was designed to help your beard look great and maintain its health. The aroma is made of high quality essential oils with no cheap fillers. The attention to detail extends to the labeling. Knowing that your beard oil will likely be stored in your bathroom where water and small amounts of oil will get onto the label, we spent a little extra and used water- and oil-proof labels! Your oil will look as good from the day it arrives until you've used the last drop!”

Our beard oils will keep your beard healthy and looking great

With all beard oils, the base oil blend provides the conditioning aspects that keep your beard healthy and help tame it. With a properly produced beard oil, the scent comes only from essential oils, no fragrance oils and certainly nothing that includes alcohol as an ingredient as alcohol can quickly dry out your beard. After applying our beard oil (see more information on How to Apply Beard Oil here), you should notice that your beard looks better and smells great (unless you choose Temperance, our unscented beard oil). While the scent will fade gently throughout the day, the conditioning will not. Our beard oils will keep your beard conditioned as you go throughout your day.

How to fix an uneven moustache

CanYouHandlebar Handlebar moustache

Quick tips: Start with a clean moustache, comb your moustache straight down to check evenness, trim if necessary, or work to adjust your styling technique.

One of the most common questions we receive from fellow growers of facial hair is “My moustache (or handlebar) is uneven how do I fix it?” We are not experts, but we have been around the block a few times, and here are a few tips we have learned that may help you along the way.

Start with a clean moustache, comb it straight down

Especially when considering uneven handlebars, you must make sure that it is your moustache that is uneven and not your styling technique. Start with a clean moustache, fresh out of the shower after a good wash with Every Day Beard Soap, apply the beard oil or beard dry oil of your choice and then use a flat iron (if your moustache is long enough) or hair dryer on a low heat setting, and moustache comb, and comb your moustache straight down. Don’t be afraid to make multiple passes to make sure your moustache is lying as flat as possible.

Check your moustache closely for evenness

Check your moustache closely in the mirror. Does it appear even? It may not look even all the way across, but you want the parts that are directly opposite each other to be the same length, so the outermost tips should be the same length, the innermost parts right above the split of your upper lip should be the same length, and so on. Should you decide that a trim is in order, do so judiciously and with caution, trimming even just millimeters at a time. Place a ruler or even a level flat across your moustache to help you gauge the evenness on the outermost points.

Style your moustache to check your work

Once you have trimmed, if that was necessary, take some time and use some Primary or Secondary wax and style your moustache as you normally would. However, a quick caveat; if you did use a beard oil or dry oil when straightening your moustache, take a moment to wash that out prior to styling.  The extra oil can degrade the wax mixture and reduce the styling capabilities of the wax.  However, don’t hesitate to utilize the flatiron or hairdryer here, to make sure the wax is evenly distributed through your moustache as an uneven amount could cause uneven handlebars. Check for evenness, repeat the early steps if necessary, or sit back and admire your handiwork.

"I swear by my beard..."

CanYouHandlebar I swear by my beard

Maybe your beard makes other people uncomfortable or maybe it is as natural as breastfeeding and they need a life lesson about body acceptance.

Maybe you missed the trend or maybe you'd rather just settle for good looking and authentic, than trendy.

Maybe some guys think your face is more punchable with your moustache or maybe you need a good punch. You know what you did...

Maybe it is "just a beard" or maybe it means something more than that to us.
May 25, 2014


Examined Life ›

About the CanYouHandlebar Community

When I started this business I thought success was how many cans of wax and bottles of oil I've made. Success is how many friends I've made and how much of a difference in creating some sanity and goodwill in this world I have made. Thanks for helping me learn that through your fine examples. View full article →

Tip for entrepreneurs and idea people: how to get out of first gear

Long Version:

I have had a variation on this conversation with a few people recently and so I figured it might be helpful for some of you. Here is the scenario

  1. You have lots of good ideas
  2. You tell your friends about your good ideas
  3. They say "yep, sounds like a good idea"
  4. You feel a sense of satisfaction that you have a confirmed good idea
  5. You get stalled and never ship that idea
  6. You beat yourself because you have a habit of quitting as soon as you have solved it in your head

Deja Vu

Does this sound familiar? Perhaps a year or two later you see "your" idea in the marketplace and you poke your wife, husband or friend in the ribs and say , "remember when I thought of that?!" When I thought about starting CanYouHandlebar I felt like there was a gap in the market for a brand that was:

  1. Upfront with ingredients. So many brands have proprietary mixes and I wanted to know what was in the wax that would invariably get in my mouth from time to time
  2. Awesome at customer service. This was never meant to be a get rich quick business. It was meant to be built one relationship at a time and I give my customers the benefit of the doubt more than maybe I should. I tell the truth about when I have screwed up even when I could get away with bending the truth a little
  3. Designed for people that appreciate a simpler time. If you don;t have any sense of nostalgia then my brand probably doesn't appeal to you. I miss the idea of living in a neighborhood where neighbors knew each other and smoking was healthy. I with we all could meet up every night at Cheers and grab a drink and catch up
  4. Really high quality. I don;t cut corners I could cut that you'd never know the difference. I make stuff I am proud to wear and I am not the cheapest guy in town because of that. I think making something the right way is worth it for everyone.

So. That was my idea. I mulled it over for a year and filled pads of paper with notes and took lots of screen shots that inspired me. I also stalled. I found ways to put off important next steps and I got discouraged. Then I had the idea that got me out of first gear and eventually launch on November of 2012: I leveraged my own pride. I don't know if I read this from somewhere or made it up myself. I just knew that if I could force myself into a situation where my pride was threatened enough I would follow through. First, I paid for a logo before I even had my recipe down for my first two waxes. That got me going for a couple weeks. When I felt myself stalling again, I bought 10 pounds of lanolin that I sat on my desk as a reminder that I was "all-in" as far as my ego was concerned. What was I going to do with that much lanolin if I didn't follow through? I know that lanolin would haunt me unless I sold enough wax to get rid of it. That did the trick for me.

Short Version:

If you have doubt, laziness or anxiety keeping you from following your dream, put your pride on the line and you'll be amazed how your mind goes from noisy to focused. I hope this Wisdom helps you take Initiative!

How often should I wash my beard or moustache?

Photo: jenny downing


If you ask four people how often you should wash your beard, you will get five answers. The following is my take, but I trust you'll experiment and find what works for you. But before I offer my $.02, I know guys with amazing beards that swear by weekly shampooing and others that go daily. So, it is not like one or other other is a guaranteed terrible idea. I shampoo every day or two and I always use conditioner. I shampoo more or less often depending how messy of an eater I have been more than anything, (or if I have been around smoking or other things that stick to hair). More important that HOW OFTEN is HOW you condition. 

Things to consider as part of your beard hygiene regimen:

Soaps and Shampoos

If you use a soap or shampoo that is not too harsh and you scrub the skin under your beard well, you will clear out the microorganisms that cause a lot of itchiness and flaking. (This is the same reason we scrub our underarms with soap). You know I sell some great beard soap. Try it, if you haven't yet. It does a good job of getting you clean without being too harsh, without pulling hairs our prematurely,  and it smells great in the morning. No matter what you will lose a few hairs per day. This is normal.

Use a good beard oil

Use a good beard oil every day or every other. You don't need a ton. Just a nickel sized pool in your hand. Start at the ends and work your way toward your face. Contrary to what you may have heard, the goal isn't to coat your chin skin with oil like putting maple syrup on pancakes. Your skin already produces oils. You are getting the parts of the hair that your sweat doesn't reach. If you have flakes--skin conditions notwithstanding--it is your cleaning regimen NOT a lack of beard oil that is to blame. 

What I have learned from the experts

Like I said above, there are LOTS of strong opinions. Mine come from experience and from conversations with barbers, Title Beard and trainers at the Aveda institute so I tend to take them at their word as experts. The good news is, it is relatively inexpensive to experiment and find out what works for you! Be sure to check out the TitleBeard Facebook page again for tons of reviews and tips! 

    Here are some thoughts from Brian at TitleBeard that are along the same line:

    "...I wash my beard everyday. Many beardsman advocate only washing once or twice a week, but I have always said that with proper cleansing and conditioning products, daily washing is fine.  But if you don’t like washing your everyday, don’t!  Also, on average, I condition my beard in the morning after I get out of the shower, and again before I go to bed, and if I decide to use a beard wax to achieve a particular look that day, I may end up using anywhere from 3-4 different beard products throughout the day.  Do you have to do this?  Absolutely not, it is simply what works for me." 

    Getting back into growing a moustache

    The Handlebar (Moustache) Club / LONDON / 07-03-2013

    The Handlebar (Moustache) Club / LONDON / 07-03-2013

    Building back a solid moustache

    Sometimes life gets in the way of a perfectly good moustache. Be it military service, an ultimatum from a lady, or the curious hands of a toddler that uses your facial hair as a walking aid, from time time time, a moustache must be abandoned for a season. This post if specifically for those looking to get back into the game.

    Switching from tube wax:

    The tube stuff works a little different than a real beeswax based wax like mine. Tube "wax" is sort of a glue and it has some real vocabulary building ingredients. The reason it works is that it dries out allowing the product to set. The upside to this style is that it is easier to put in. The downsides are that once it is in it cannot be adjusted without adding more product. In this way, it is sort of like hair gel. Many guys end up with clumps where the "wax" isn;t combed through sufficiently. This isn't to say that this sort of product is "bad," it is just that real beeswax based moustache wax is generally a better and safer option.

    What real moustache wax is like: 

    My wax is the real deal and the firmness is achieved when the wax cools off to room temperature. Since it never totally hardens it can be reformed throughout the day. In this weather, you can form your curls in the bathroom and then stick your head out the back door for 15 seconds and it will set up just right.

    Tips for application: 

    As for tips, be sure to warm the can in your pocket or under the hot water tap for a bit until it can be scraped easily with the back of your thumbnail. them rub it between your thumb and forefinger and apply from the inside to the outside. A moustache comb is worth its weight in gold. The tines on the comb are close together to remove clumps and keep it looking sharp without any streaks of clumped together hairs. 

    Getting started: 

    If you can spare the cash, grab a pair of my waxes and a comb. You'll not be disappointed. Primary is a great everyday wax and Secondary is for tight curls at the end or for a night out when you want a strong hold. Now that secondary takes a little more effort to apply, but when you want maximum hold, you'll find the effort worth it. Here's a couple links that may help. First, get a pair of waxes [$19] and a comb [$10]. Then check out these videos. 

    In conclusion: 

    Having a moustache or beard is a pretty cheap hobby (about $30 to buy the whole kit and caboodle) that brings a lot of guys a lot of joy. It may not bring in buckets of money or solve world hunger, but there is an appeal to growing out facial hair. Maybe it is the chance to be both an individual and still be part of a tradition that goes back to the first caveman. In any event, with a little practice and patience you'll have a pretty admirable moustache gracing your upper lip and if you are like a lot of my customers a real sense of satisfaction. I wish you luck and invite any further questions as




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