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Growing a mustache and goatee is not difficult, but it requires patience. One must start the growing process with a concept of what he wants the mustache and goatee to look like. After that, he must eat right, resist the urge to trim too soon and practice good hygiene habits with the hair and skin of the face.
Even though fashion can play a role in what mustache and goatee style a man chooses, the primary factor that decides what a man does with his facial hair should be what is practical for the man given his facial structure. For instance, a man with very strong jaw lines may look better with a more angular mustache and goatee. Similarly, if a man's facial hair is patchy due to genetics and the location of the individual hair follicles in the skin, then going for a full beard look may be impossible, even if the man likes the way a full beard looks on others. One's barber can give a man advice on styles that make sense given these factors, and a man also can look through magazines or websites for styles worn by men with similar characteristics.
The first part of growing a mustache or goatee, stopping shaving, is the simplest, but the skin in and around the mustache and goatee area is not accustomed at this point to the grown-out hair. As a result, itching and irritation can occur, as can clogged follicles. To soothe this irritation, men sometimes find hydrocortisone lotions helpful. One must wash the skin and new hair regularly, but washing every day may be too much for some men, as excessive washing can dry out the skin and cause further irritation. Removing the natural oil on the hair in the mustache and goatee also makes the hair less soft and exposes it more dramatically to the environment.
During the initial growing-out stage, the mustache and beard often look scraggly. Some men have trouble resisting the urge to shave because the mustache and goatee can look so unkempt. The best thing to do, however, is to leave the mustache and goatee alone. Individual follicles on the face and other parts of the body are in different stages of the growing cycle at any given time, so shaving prematurely can give one a false sense of the ideal mustache and goatee shape.
As a man grows out his mustache and goatee, he should eat a diet rich in the vitamins that promote healthy hair growth. The B vitamins are essential to healthy hair, with biotin being particularly important. Foods high in protein and essential fatty acids also help. Iron, zinc, calcium and copper contribute to healthy hair, as well.
Once a man's diet is in order and he has gotten past the scraggly stage of hair growth, he can proceed to shaping and trimming the hair. A sharp, clean razor is always best for this, as dull razors cause irritation and razor bumps. A nose hair trimmer is a good tool for trimming the inner boundaries of a goatee. Depending on how fast a man's hair grows, trimming two to three times a week usually is sufficient. Leaving a day or two between shaping and trimming may reduce any irritation that the blades can cause.
I now wear a mustache and goatee, but it's not by choice. I tried growing a full beard, with a thin line from the ears and along the jawline. The lines never really filled in, and I think it's because I had really bad acne as a teen. Some of those hair follicles were probably damaged beyond repair. Those sideburns had some very noticeable bare spots, so I shaved them off and went with a mustache and goatee style.
A mustache by itself doesn't seem to look right on my kind of face, and a goatee without a mustache looks too "young" for me. I keep my facial hair trimmed with an electric razor and blade guard, so it
isn't scraggly at all. When I first started growing it, however, it looked terrible. My wife asked me to shave it all off more than once. I stuck with it, however, and after I trimmed off the patchy sides it didn't look so bad. I do use a special hair dye to eliminate the gray patches on the goatee.
I have a full beard now, but when I was in my late 20s and early 30s, I had a mustache and goatee. It was a popular style among guys my age, but it wasn't necessarily popular with the women we were trying to impress. I've even heard people call the mustache and goatee style a "butthole beard". A goatee without a mustache was even more divisive. I think older men could pull off the mustache and goatee look if they keep it trimmed close and neat.
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