Upper lip curtains have been fashioned by poets, authors, movie stars and even royalty, so it’s no wonder that the trend has gained popularity. Moustaches come in all shapes, sizes, lengths and styles and are intensely attractive to all the pogonophiles out there. But for those who didn’t inherit the ‘tash gene, growing a lip scarf could be a challenge.
Even those who aren’t naturally blessed with luscious face locks can take measures to encourage growth.
A few simple tweaks to your lifestyle, grooming routine and product selection will help you to grow a mega muzzy - but more on that later. First, let’s look at why some people struggle to grow facial hair.
Why can’t I grow a moustache?
Unfortunately, facial hair growth largely depends on genetics (for both beards and moustaches). When it comes to facial hair, genes are crucial because our DNA determines how our body responds to male sex hormones (such as testosterone), which influence hair growth.
A large study also found variations in our genes could predict hair colour, baldness, curliness and beard thickness, further shedding light on how our genes play a major role in the growth of our locks.
But genetics aren’t the only factor that drives hair growth and poor genes won’t necessarily prevent a man from overcoming a lagging beard.
Other than genetics, the following conditions could be responsible for sparse facial hair:
- Hormones: Low levels of testosterone could be responsible for an uninspired beard as DHT (a derivative of testosterone) seems to play a role in beard growth. However, this is a much less likely cause than genetics and if you have low levels of testosterone, you’re likely to notice other side effects, such as erectile dysfunction and fatigue. Take a blood test if you want to measure your levels of testosterone.
- Stress: Severe stress attacks a number of bodily functions and a side effect may be hair loss. Unlike male pattern baldness, hair loss triggered by stress (telogen effluvium) isn’t determined by DHT, meaning one of the most effective hair loss treatments, finasteride, isn’t suitable. Stress may also induce facial hair loss as severe psychological trauma interferes with hormone production. The best way to overcome stress-related hair loss is to find ways of managing your stress. If you’re suffering from severe stress, it’s important to speak to your doctor.
- Alopecia barbae: Alopecia barbae is a type of alopecia that’s specific to facial hair and results in a patchy beard and moustache. It’s an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the cells mistakenly identify hair follicles as foreign substances and attack, causing the hairs to fall out.
- Age: Although puberty brings on most of the bodily changes in early teens, growing facial hair is a surprisingly long process and you may still be developing a bushy beard well into your 20s. Patience is key.
How long does it take to grow a moustache?
Just like with head hair, facial hair goes through several stages of the hair cycle.
The 3 phases of facial hair growth are the following:
- Anagen phase: This is the active stage of the hair growth cycle and lasts the longest period of time (a few years). At any given moment, the majority of hairs will be in the anagen phase.
- Catagen phase: This is the “transitional” period where the hair stops growing. It only lasts a few weeks and just a small percentage of the hair will be in this phase at any given time.
- Telogen phase: This phase is the resting period where hair growth ceases. Instead, the hair follicle prepares new hairs (re-entering the anagen phase) that eventually push out the old hairs. This is why it’s normal to shed numerous hairs every day.
The rate at which your hair grows largely depends on individual and environmental circumstances but in general, the average daily growth rate of beard hair is between 0.3 and 0.5mm. That means you need around 2 to 4 months to grow a thick beard.
5 simple tips to grow a moustache
Growing a strong moustache isn’t easy but a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle will give your upper lip all the support it needs to create a beautiful garden. Follow our 5 top tips to get the most out of your muzzy:
1. Use the correct grooming tools
A proper grooming routine won’t just improve the appearance of your moustache but given the right tools, you can even encourage facial hair growth. Make sure you wash and comb your moustache (but avoid overwashing as this will strip it of its natural oils). Select a beard grooming kit that includes a derma roller as this will incite beard growth by gently creating micro-punctures that stimulate dormant follicles and activate the body’s natural healing process.
2. Apply minoxidil for beard growth
Minoxidil for beard growth is a recent discovery as the treatment was previously only marketed for head hair in the hair loss industry. After men reported astonishing results when using it on their beards, the product gained traction as a treatment for facial hair as well as head hair. You can purchase minoxidil as a topical spray that should be applied daily and can be used to target patchy areas of beard growth or for your beard and moustache as a whole.
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3. Dye your moustache
An easy way to give your moustache an instant revamp is to dye it. Dying your moustache darker helps it to stand out and gives the appearance that it’s thicker and fuller than it looks when it’s your natural colour.
4. Follow a healthy diet
A good diet packed with protein, vitamins and minerals gives your hair the tools it needs to flourish. Micronutrient deficiencies can trigger hair loss as nutrients play a role in the normal functioning of the hair follicle cycle.
Eat a diet that’s rich in fruit and vegetables and packed with protein. For a healthy diet that incorporates these elements, follow our 7-day high cholesterol diet plan or 7-day acid reflux diet plan.
Alongside a healthy diet, make sure you’re getting a regular amount of exercise. Aside from the physical and mental health benefits of exercising, activity also boosts your levels of testosterone - an important hormone for beard growth.
5. Sleep well
Sleep is vital for the rejuvenation of several bodily functions, including brain function, memory consolidation and hormone regulation. Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for the healthy function of important growth hormones.
How to make a moustache grow faster
There are 3 essential elements to bear in mind when it comes to reaching the ultimate potential for your moustache growth goals:
- Facial hair care: To make a moustache grow faster, make sure you take proper care of your ‘tash, washing it with a shampoo designed for facial hair and being careful not to overwash it (which strips it of its essential natural oils).
- Grooming products: Use a beard grooming kit with minoxidil for beard growth, which is found to be an effective treatment for facial hair. It works by increasing nutrient-rich blood to the hair follicles and extending the growth phase of the hair cycle (anagen phase).
- Lifestyle: A good diet, regular exercise and plenty of sleep allow your body to function to its highest potential. This is because a healthy lifestyle promotes the normal production of hormones, which are essential for hair growth.
The numan take
Growing a moustache isn’t easy if you aren’t blessed with impressive beard genes, but a few simple life tweaks could give your ‘tash the boost it needs to flourish. Our top tips include: following the correct grooming routine, applying minoxidil, dying your moustache, packing your diet with vitamins and nutrients, exercising and getting plenty of sleep.
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