A man with mustache (Left) and the other with a full beard.

Beard or Mustache: Which is Easier to Maintain?

by Glenn Lompon | May 28, 2024

So, you're contemplating diving into the world of facial hair styles, huh? It's like standing at a crossroad – on one path, you have the rugged allure of a beard, and on the other, the sleek charm of a mustache.

Both present unique vibes and, let's be real, their own sets of maintenance challenges. The key question we often find ourselves asking is, "Do I really want to spend my mornings locked in battle with my facial hair?"

Because as much as men's grooming is an essential part of our routine, nobody wants to waste precious minutes wrestling with a comb and trimmer. 

So, when it comes down to beard maintenance versus mustache care, which one truly is the easier path to looking sharp without the high upkeep?

Let's break down the pros and cons of each, and perhaps we can settle this age-old debate.

Beard Maintenance: The Lowdown

A man getting a beard treatment at a barbershop

Ah, the art of growing a beard. It's a rite of passage, a journey into the depths of men's grooming that can evoke envy and admiration from those around us.

But with great beard comes great responsibility, and mastering beard maintenance is crucial if you want to keep your facial mane looking sharp, suave, and sophisticated.


So, let's dive a bit deeper into what it takes to properly maintain a beard and dissect the pros and cons with a finer comb.


  • A Canvas for Self-Expression: One of the biggest draws to embracing the bearded life is the sheer versatility in facial hair styles it offers.

Whether you're aiming for a rugged stubble or a full Gandalf, each style allows you to express a different facet of your personality.

This variability is a major plus in the world of men's grooming, giving you the freedom to tailor your look to fit your mood, occasion, or simply to experiment with something new.

  • Aesthetically Pleasing Contours: A well-maintained beard can work wonders in enhancing your face's shape and structure.

Beards have the magical ability to sculpt, define, or soften your facial features as needed. Want to add some angularity to a rounded face?

Let the beard grow on the sides. Aiming for a fuller look to balance out a narrower chin? A voluminous beard can do just that. It's like having a natural contour kit at your disposal.


  • The Time Factor: Let's face it, achieving that effortlessly groomed look is anything but effortless. Beard maintenance doesn't just fall into your lap, it requires a dedicated slice of your daily routine.

Trimming, shaping, washing, oiling—the list goes on. Each step is vital in keeping your beard from venturing into the unkempt territory, which can quickly happen if left to its own devices.

  • Comfort vs. Style: While a thick, bushy beard might score you points in the style department, it doesn't always fare well in the comfort arena.

As many of us who venture into beard maintenance quickly learn, with great volume comes great heat retention—making summer days feel a tad too toasty beneath your facial hair.

Not to mention, the initial stages of growth can be downright itchy, challenging even the most patient of us.

  • Skin and Hair Health: To keep a beard from looking like a bird's nest, you need to dive deep into the world of men's grooming products—beard oils, balms, special shampoos, and conditioners designed to keep both the hair and the underlying skin healthy.

Neglect this, and you might face dandruff, splitting hairs, and irritation, not to mention the dreaded ingrown hairs that lead to more serious skin issues.

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Mustache Care: The Scoop

A man trimming his beard at home


  • Efficiency in Grooming: At face value, mustache care seems to promise a quicker grooming routine. After all, it's just that strip above your lip, right?

This can be particularly appealing for gentlemen who favor efficiency in their men's grooming regimen. A well-oiled trimmer and a bit of shaving around the edges might be all you need on a daily basis.

This simplicity is a significant draw for those of us looking to look polished without the time sink.

  • A Statement of Refinement: There's something undeniably dapper about a well-groomed mustache. It can be the centerpiece of your facial aesthetics, offering a touch of elegance or boldness, depending on the style.

A mustache is also incredibly versatile, capable of complementing various facial hair styles from the completely clean-shaven look to pairing nicely with stubble or a goatee, allowing for dynamic men's grooming expressions.


  • Precision is Key: The major caveat of mustache care is the level of precision it demands.

Unlike a beard, where you might get away with a slightly uneven length here or there, a mustache requires accuracy in trimming and shaping.

Those clean lines and curves that give it its character are not achieved without effort. One wrong move with the trimmer and you could be looking at a lopsided situation that's hard to disguise.

  • Styling and Maintenance: While the grooming might seem more direct, styling a mustache to keep it looking its best can add layers to your men's grooming

Whether it's applying wax to achieve a particular shape or using a specific comb to train the hairs to lay just right, your mustache can demand a level of attention that rivals, if not exceeds, that of a full beard.

  • Itchy, Patchy Phases: Much like its beard counterpart, the mustache also goes through awkward phases, particularly in the early stages of growth.

This can range from itching as the hair begins to sprout to dealing with patchiness that isn't as easily hidden as it might be within the fuller context of a beard.

Such challenges require patience and commitment to push through to achieve the fuller, more defined facial hair styles that come with a mature mustache.

  • Social Perceptions: It's also worth noting that mustaches carry their own set of social perceptions and stereotypes.

Depending on the style, it can elicit a range of responses, not all of which might be what you intended.

This factor makes mustache care not just about physical grooming but also about navigating the social intricacies associated with different facial hair styles.

The Verdict: And the Winner Is...

Drumroll, please... if we're talking strictly about ease of maintenance, the mustache takes the crown. Mustache care, while needing its fair share of attention for precision, generally demands less time and product compared to full beard maintenance.

With a mustache, you’re working with less facial hair, making it an efficient choice for gentlemen who prefer to keep their men's grooming routine streamlined yet effective.

That said, the choice between rocking a beard or a mustache—or both!—ultimately boils down to personal preference, style goals, and honestly, how much time you’re willing to dedicate to your men's grooming routine.

Whether you lean towards beard maintenance or favor mustache care, embracing your chosen facial hair styles with confidence is the real key to making it work for you. 

Remember, at the end of the day, facial hair styles are a fun way to express your personality and style. So whether you're team beard, team mustache, or somewhere in between, the best look is the one that makes you feel like your best self.

Happy grooming, gents!