If you battle to grow facial hair or don’t have the patience to grow out a full, thick version like the Walrus or Handlebar mustache, then the Pencil mustache may be the style for you.
Of all the facial hairstyles, this is one of the most minimalistic. The styling of the facial hair is so thin it looks as though you could have applied it with a pencil, hence the moniker “pencil mustache”.
What is a Pencil Mustache?
The Pencil mustache is a unique and rather sophisticated-looking mustache hairstyle. This look sees an exceptionally thin strip of hair across the upper lip. In addition, a sizeable gap sits between the nose and the mustache, which generally sits closer to, but not touching, the top lip.
This mustache will either sit as a thin line the entire way across the upper lip, or it will break at the Philtrum, leaving a gap between the two halves of the mustache hair.
Celebrities with a Pencil Mustache
This unique and rather slick-looking stache has been a favorite of Hollywood stars and other notable celebrities for decades and became synonymous with actors that set the silver screen and young women’s hearts alight.
Clark Gable played a significant role in bringing this mustache into the spotlight. He sported the look for many years, with many of the characters he played on screen wearing the style too.
Australian actor Errol Flynn shot to fame during the Golden Age of Hollywood, all while sporting his famed Pencil Thin Mustache.
Vincent Price, a famed actor of the silver screen, sported a slightly angled Pencil mustache, a style that complemented the shape of his lips and gave them the appearance of being fuller.
Brad Pitt wore a Pencil mustache for a while, but what makes this stache so famous is that he is one of the few fair-haired men to pull the look off.
English actor David Niven is also known for sporting a remarkably thin Pencil mustache.
American filmmaker, actor, and writer John Waters is synonymous with the ultra-thin pencil mustache, which he wore close to his top lip.
Sammy Davis Jr
American singer and Rat Packer Sammy Davis Jr are possibly best-known for his song “The Candy Man.” However, he is also known for sporting a wicked Pencil Thin Mustache.
American singer Little Richard is loved for his classic hits “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “Tutti Frutti.” However, the artist who passed away in 2020 was most easily recognized by his long dark ringlets and Pencil Thin Mustache.
Surrealist artist Salvador Dali is known for his unusual paintings and drawings and his eccentric look, which included a rather impressive pencil mustache. Dali would often curl the ends to create a hybrid between the Handlebar Mustache and Pencil Mustache.
What Face Shape Best Suits the Pencil Thin Mustache
As with goatees, beard styles, and head hair, not every look will suit all face shapes.
The Pencil mustache is perfect for softer shapes such as the heart-shaped or oval face as it adds a slight edge and touch of definition to the structure and evenly divides proportions.
Men with a diamond or square-shaped face can also carry the look, although they are better suited to fuller mustache styles.
If you have an oblong face, the Pencil mustache is one style you’ll want to steer clear of as the thin line it creates only serves to emphasize the length of your bone structure and can make you appear gaunt.
Men with a more rounded face can pair it with a goatee for a look that breaks the roundness of the face and gives the chin a more narrow look.
How To Grow a Pencil Thin Mustache
Step One: Grow it Out
You’ll want to start by growing out a regular mustache that you can then trim down to the size and shape you desire. The thicker the mustache, the more impact it will have. Also, you want to have more hair to play with to prevent cutting off too much.
Step Two: Get Your Tools and Template
Find a style of Pencil mustache that most appeal to you to use as a guide and a template for styling your own. Then, gather the tools you’ll need, such as a Gillette razor and clippers or beard trimmer.
Step Three: Mustache Prep
Wash your mustache and pat it dry, then comb it out with a mustache or beard comb using downward strokes.
Step Four: Make the Cut
Using a longer guard comb on your clippers, trim your beard down until all the hairs are the same length and that which you prefer.
Step Five: Create Definition
Using a precision trimmer or Gillette razor, create the clean-shaven edges around the mustache. Carefully work the trimmer in a downwards motion from your nose to the line of the mustache and then from the bottom of the mustache to the top lip. This will create gaps between the mustache and the nose and lips.
Step Six: Trim the Sides
Edge off the ends of the mustache with a taper or vertical line, keeping the edge in line with the corners of the mouth.
Step Seven: Grooming
Apply a small amount of beard oil or beard balm to your new mustache to give it shine and to keep it looking sleek.
Remember, this look will require a fair amount of maintenance to keep it looking on point, especially those areas above and below the stache and at the corners of your mouth.
The Most Popular Pencil Thin Mustache Styles
Like with any looks designed for facial hair, there will be variations of variations because this is what we as human beings do, customize a look to suit our tastes.
Here are a few variations of the Pencil mustache:
Long and Thin
This look sees a remarkably thin and straight sliver of hair that runs the length of your upper lip. It is ideal for men with thinner lips as it makes them appear plumper.
This version sees a tapering or narrowing at the ends of the mustache while the part of the mustache that sits over the Philtrum is thicker, giving a slight shape to the way the mustache looks.
The Toothbrush or Chevron
This is a slightly thicker version of the Pencil mustache and boasts a look similar to the bristles of a toothbrush. A gap at the Philtrum often characterizes the look.
The Middle Part
Here we see a version of the Pencil mustache that features a prominent gap over the Philtrum, dividing the stache into two separate parts.
The Messy Look
This is the Pencil mustache version of the Walrus. It features a thicker, messier version of the original and requires less grooming and maintenance.
Placing the mustache in the dead-center of the upper lip instead of the more traditional placement just above the top lip will give you a more modern take on the mustache style.
Take it a step further by pairing it with a soul patch, and you have a contemporary look the ladies will love.
Whether you want to grow an impressive mustache in support of Movember or looking for a unique look of your own, the Pencil mustache makes an excellent option.
It is simple to grow and, while perhaps a little more tricky to style and maintain, the effort is, in our opinion, well worth it in the end.