The decision to grow a handlebar moustache can be made in a day; however, the work required to actually grow a handlebar to full maturity requires about three months (aka 90 days, 12 weeks, or a quarter of a year--whichever seems the shortest to you). If you know this you are ahead of the game and have the opportunity to prepare your mind and your face. Here are the phases and what you need to know for each.
This phase is the easy one. You may be a lucky would-be handlebar moustache wax wearer and already have some sort of goatee, a moustache or a full beard and moustache combo. If that is the case, skip to Phase Two. If you are converting your Movember growth to a manly handlebar, you have already gone through this and come out the other side with some growth. Here are some tips for this. Tip: 1. err on the side of not shaving hairs you may need later. 2. Use a natural coarse bristled brush to massage the skin and keep the skin on your lip healthy and free of dead skin and hairs that have bailed. 3. Start using your moustache wax to train the hairs to the sides and condition the hair underneath.
This is when you will be tempted to trim at the lip line because it is itchy and starts to creep into your mouth. DON'T. You need these hairs later. The itchy phase is where most guys bail. Hang tight because this phase only lasts a couple weeks before the hairs are long enough to stay put when you comb them to the sides. Tips: 1. Use wax every day at this point. Use the least necessary to maintain the hold and protect your skin. 2. Use positive affirmations like "nothing worthwhile happens overnight" and then suck it up and stick it out to Phase Three.
This is the big pay off. After around six to eight weeks you will have an adolescent handlebar moustache. The middle won't have grown all the way to the ends yet, but it will look like a fully fledged handlebar from a couple feet away. Buy the time you hit the three month mark--you are there! Congratulations! Tips: 1. Focus most of you wax in the tips since your nose is breathing out nearly 98 degrees and will soften the wax anyway. Since you are three months in, all of your hairs are growing alongside one another and so, if you get the tips waxed, the middle will largely take care of itself. Tips: 1. Focus on the tips. 2. Twist the tips gently toward your face not "out" since your head is sort of a sphere and you want the tips to hug your face, not point out like bull horns. 3. Help someone else by becoming a handlebar moustache mentor!
(Update June 2018) Our new video “How to Use Moustache Wax” shows you how to warm and apply moustache wax. You can view the video below or enjoy the same 'how to' guide in a blog post format with easily-followed GIFs and some additional information. Feel free to read along here.