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Patchy Mustache? 9 Things You Must Know BEFORE You Take Action

Tried growing out your mustache for Movember only to be filled with patchiness, disappointment, and despair?

Don’t worry; we still think you are awesome!

Today we are going to cover all things mustache.

Including everything from growth patterns of mustaches (and where patches occur), solutions to make your mustache appear fuller, and even talk about a few pro-tips that avid beardsmen have come to rely on over the years.

So with that, here is our list of the nine essential things you should know before you try to take any actions to fight a patchy mustache:

1. First And Foremost, It’s Best To Let Your Mustache Grow

No duh, right?

I mean, why would you even be reading this article in the first place if you haven’t tried this already?

While this may seem obvious, it’s worth stressing right off the bat.

Many men often think you should have a full Tom Selleck style mustache within the first couple of weeks – but the reality is this:

That simply won’t happen.

If you have a patchy mustache, you should give it a couple of months to grow before you fully evaluate whether or not it truly is patchy.


And this is incredibly important for the men out there with some western European ancestors:

If you have lighter hair color (i.e., light brown or blonde), some of the areas on your mustache may just be extremely light in color (nearly translucent), making it appear like it’s patchy.

For most men, these hairs tend to appear darker as they grow longer.

Therefore, you will want to follow the advice above and let it just simply grow out for a couple of months before you completely rule out your mustache thickness.

2. No Mustache In The Middle?  No Problem!

Seriously, don’t take that tiny patch in the center of your upper lip too seriously.

Take a minute to Google the following actors (can’t show images due to copyright reasons):

  • Johnny Depp
  • Kit Harington
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • James Franco

All of the men above are missing a spot in their mustache directly under their noses.

While having a few million bucks in the bank would probably make up for this odd patch of mustache, rest assured that it’s nothing to fret over and normal.

3. Shaving Your Mustache Won’t Make It Thicker

Seriously, if there was one misnomer about shaving that I wish to see gone entirely by the day I die, is this notion that if you shave your hair, it will grow back thicker.

As a bald man, I can fully attest that hair doesn’t begin to grow in new areas every time I shave.

The same goes for your mustache too.

So, if you find yourself wondering after a few weeks of growth if the mustache will grow back thicker, the answer is this:

It won’t.

Give your mustache more time (again, at least a couple of months) to fully see how the growth is coming along.

Setting your growth back to day 0 isn’t going to help with a patchy mustache.

4. Supplements Or Minoxidil MAY Work

In the past couple of years, tons of hair growth vitamins have hit the marketplace.

Nearly always loaded up with Biotin (Vitamin B7), this vitamin is mainly responsible for the growth of your hair and nails.

So, if you are looking for a boost, it may work.

But we want to caution why it likely won’t work at all:

If you take a multivitamin daily, it likely already contains biotin.  Therefore, taking additional Vitamin B7 will not yield any marked increases in either mustache or beard growth.

Should you have a diet that includes beef, nuts, eggs, beans, etc., you are likely already getting plenty of vitamins in your regular diet.  Again, taking additional supplements is probably unnecessary and a waste of money.

While we would all love to think that a magic pill can make a mustache and beard look and grow thick, your genetics has a more significant impact.

If there was a single solution that may work well for a patchy beard, it’s going to be the application of Minoxidil.

The same active ingredient found in Rogaine is proven to help some men regrow their hair.

Minoxidil was intended for scalp application only.  Additionally, some side effects are serious—consult with your doctor before using.

Disclosure: I am not a doctor; the above shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. Consult with your doctor if you want to learn more.

5. As You Get Older Your Mustache Will Likely Fill Out

If you skew a bit to the younger side (teens or early 20s), then a reason why your mustache may be a bit patchy is that it simply hasn’t fully matured.

Men can’t grow a full beard the moment they hit puberty.  Instead, their hair begins to grow in patches first and then gradually fills out over several years.

While we would love to give you a solid answer and say that 25 years old is the mark when you should expect a full mustache, this simply won’t be true.

Men’s facial hair grows at varying rates, and just like we were eluding to above, genetics has a significant role in how your mustache will develop.

Therefore, look to the men in your family and see how their beard filled in over the years.  This may give you some indication of what to expect.

6. Mustaches Tend To Take Longer To Grow For Some Men

Oddly enough, for some men, their beards tend to grow in at a rate much quicker than their mustache.

And this offset can be especially pronounced when you are growing a patchy mustache as well!

Therefore, after about a month of growth on your beard, we would recommend that you head to the barbershop to tend to your facial hair and scale it back.

A regular trim will keep the hair on your cheeks and chin in line with the length of your mustache.  

7. Oh No!  Now The Mustache Isn’t Growing Evenly

Let’s face it:

Hair is a part of our body and just simply doesn’t always act how we want.

Instead, it goes off and does whatever it wants (i.e., like growing long on freckles/moles for some reason).

The same is true for your mustache.

Just like we covered above, beards and mustaches may grow at different rates.  But also, the very hairs along your mustache may grow in at different rates as well too!

What is a man to do?

Either one of two options:

Get yourself a beard trimmer where you can set the length to your preference and trim your mustache, or simply have the barber clean up the lines the next time you get your hair cut (better choice).

While this will help to get the hairs all at the same length, it will also reduce the appearance of any visible patches on your mustache.

8. Brushes Can Work Wonders

closeup of a beard brush

When you use a brush designed for the naturally rugged and thick whiskers on your face, you have much more control over training it.

Yes, that’s right – you can train your mustache hairs.

No, not, in a cheesy P.T. Barnum way, but rather like this:

When you use a thick bristled boar’s hair brush regularly, you can alter the direction of beard growth.

So, if you have a mustache with some wispy hairs that curl into your mouth, which is incredibly annoying when eating food, you can brush your mustache to the side.

After a few weeks, the hairs will naturally start to grow in this direction.

As a man with a patchy mustache, you can see where this is going.

Using a beard-specific brush, you can get your hairs to cover up those stray patches to give you a much better look.

9.  Mustache Wax To The Rescue

Mustache wax doesn’t get enough love in the men’s grooming world.

I don’t know why.

It’s genuinely the lifesaver of anyone with a bit of a patchy mustache or one who wants a bit of style control throughout the day.

Primarily made from beeswax plus a few conditioners, mustache wax is perfect for getting even the most stubborn whiskers in check.

Therefore, if you follow the advice from above, you should have a relatively kempt mustache that retains its hold no matter if it’s humid or dry during the day.

Check out our in-depth comparison of some of the best mustache waxes we loved. Of course, you can always make your own mustache wax.

Sounding Off On A Patchy Mustache

Patchy or full, thick or thin, the most important thing to remember when growing out and handling your mustache is to embrace it.

A mustache gives you character.

Even with a slightly sparse mustache, rocking facial hair is something fun we can do as men and adds a layer of style to our overall ensemble!

Sean Miller

As co-founder of Tools of Men, Sean Miller has nearly a decade of experience in male beard and grooming care. He started the site in 2014 after discovering the lack of quality men’s grooming information online. He is a nationally recognized expert in hair, beard and skin care for men, and has been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Vice, and more. He is also a frequent contributor to various online and print publications.

Sean Miller has dedicated his career to helping men understand the basics and fine details of proper grooming. He's traveled the world, testing products and learning from industry insiders to gain the knowledge he shares on Tools of Men. With a special focus on the trends, technology and products specifically designed for men he provides an educated, honest and informed perspective.