The Bearded Outdoorsman

What Makes a Great Mustache Wax?

Things to consider when choosing a mustache wax.

When I first started growing my mustache and realized I didn’t enjoy a mouth full of whiskers, I decided I’d get a mustache wax and that would be the end of it. Then I hopped online and found a bunch of different ingredients with uncorrelated claims of hold strength. After applying the medium hold mustache wax I chose, a long-time friend immediately asked why my mustache looked so disgustingly greasy. It didn’t hold too well either. 

So, I bought two more. These were better, but one didn’t smell too great, and the other kept their ingredients secret. I’d like to know what I’m putting between my nose and mouth. They also didn’t hold as well as I had hoped. Though I’d continue to try more mustache waxes, this is when I decided I’d make my own; A wax with an all-day hold, all-natural ingredients, and a great natural scent that doesn’t linger too long. Here’s what I’ve learned in the process of creating SavvyJack Bullet Lube & Mustache Wax.

Mustache Wax Texture & Hold

You’ll mainly find medium hold and strong hold mustache waxes, with the strong holds either containing more beeswax or something like pine resin or lanolin. The almost universal problem is that strong hold mustache waxes worth their salt are hard. Hard to the touch and hard to apply. They often require a heat source like a blow dryer or hot water to first soften them up.

This is where SavvyJack Mustache Wax really proves its worth. Owing to its fine-tuned ingredient ratios, and top-secret mixing process, SavvyJack mustache wax provides an all-day hold, while remaining easy to apply. In the colder months, it’s still worthwhile (but not necessary) to stick it in your pocket for a few minutes, but if you don’t agree that it provides a great hold and is easy to apply, send it back for a full refund.

After creating SavvyJack, I don’t find medium hold mustache waxes very useful. They’re easier to apply than a strong hold wax, but as far as hold goes, they’re weak and short lasting. You don’t need a medium hold wax to achieve a natural look. You’re much better off using a small amount of a strong hold wax and then roughing it up a bit with your fingers or a comb. Strong hold mustache waxes aren’t just for handlebars!

Mustache Wax Ingredients

The base ingredient in the vast majority of mustache waxes is beeswax. It’s an excellent natural wax with great strength and durability. However, though the hold is fairly consistent from one beeswax to the next, the amount of processing varies greatly. A fresh beeswax with minimal processing retains not only a great scent, but antimicrobial properties that’ll keep your mustache wax fresh. At SavvyJack, we purchase our beeswax straight from a 4-generation family of beekeepers in Florida and South Dakota. It’s truly top notch stuff!

After the beeswax, companies use all sorts of different ingredients to temper, reinforce, and add additional properties to their mustache wax. These range from carrier oils, to lanolin aka wool wax (the component that made my first handlebar attempt so greasy), to pine resin, nut butters and fragrance oils.

The ideal outcome is a final texture that’s easy to apply, a hold that’s durable and long lasting without being rock hard, and a scent that’s enjoyable or non-existent.

Beeswax: (+) Beeswax is secreted by wax glands on the underside of a bees abdomen. It is only produced when there is nectar flow, as it takes about 4 lbs of honey to produce 1 pound of wax. Beeswax has great textural, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties that can’t be reproduced synthetically. It’s really the best base for a mustache wax, which is why almost every mustache wax uses it.

Lanolin: (–) Also known as wool wax, lanolin is a greasy, slightly tacky substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep. It’s very similar to petroleum jelly. Though it’s a good skin and hair protectant, it makes a mustache wax greasy, and due to its water-repellant properties, difficult to wash out.

Pine Resin or Rosin: (+) Though often used interchangeably, a resin is what is initially secreted from coniferous trees to protect and heal a damaged area, while the rosin is formed once the more volatile compounds evaporate off, leaving a hard, protective shield. Pine resin is very sticky and resilient, providing excellent hold in a mustache wax. Too much, however, and the wax will be hard and even brittle. It’s a great mustache wax ingredient, but be sure to look into how easily-applied mustache waxes are that contain pine resin.

Carrier Oils: (+) Carrier oils such as Jojoba, Coconut, Argan, Almond, and Avocado, to name a few, bring some smoothness to the final texture of a mustache wax. The balance is crucial, because too much and hold will deteriorate. These oils can also provide some healthy conditioning to your mustache hairs. Look for carrier oils at the end of an ingredients list.

Butters: (+) Nut butters such as Shea, Almond, and Cacao, or seed butters such as Mango or Kokum, can sometimes be found in mustache waxes. As the name suggests, these butters have an intermediate texture between waxes and oils, and can be used to further smooth out a mustache wax without compromising the hold by using too much oil. Most butters are also excellent skin and hair moisturizers, providing further protection so that your mustache doesn’t become too dry from using a wax every day. Look for Butters in the middle or end of an ingredients list.

Petroleum Jelly: (–) Also known as petrolatum or soft paraffin, petroleum jelly is synthesized from oil and used in many cheaper skin care products and industrial lubricants. Like lanolin, it makes for a greasy mustache wax, and should be avoided.

Mustache Wax Scent

You can find mustache waxes in a variety of scents. These range from woodsy, leathery, or musky, to citrus, peppermint, and vanilla. This one is all about preference and olfactory sensitivity, but there are a few things you can look for.

Generally, every mustache wax will have some type of scent just from the ingredients used, but the presence and intensity will vary greatly depending on the ingredient’s source and method of preparation. Beeswax may or may not have a honey scent, pine resin may or may not impart a pine scent, and cacao butter may or may not have a chocolate scent. Hopefully there is a description of the scent, but natural scents typically dissipate rather quickly after application, so that you’re left with a scentless mustache wax.

For intentionally scented mustache waxes, you’ll find they use either essential oils, or fragrance oils.

Essential oils are distilled from plant parts and contain a large variety of naturally occurring chemicals, making them fairly complex. There are many claimed health benefits to essential oils, which are absent in their synthetic counterparts. Take Vicks Vaporub. It’s effective because of the Eucalyptus and Camphor essential oils. A synthetic version may smell the same, but would not produce the same results. If your wax is scented with essential oils, you can probably count on the scent sticking around for a few hours.

Fragrance or Aromatic oils are synthetic chemicals designed to mimic natural aromas, and engineered to stick around longer. This means your mustache wax will most likely retain its scent longer after application as compared to essential oils.

Mustache Wax Color

Mustache waxes typically come in some shade of white, yellow or brown. To some extent, it's good to match the wax color to your hair color, but this is most important for men with white or blonde mustaches. All natural waxes of any color typically go on fairly clear, but brown waxes are most likely brown from some type of coloring and can stand out more. Yellow blends well with any stache, but is more likely than a white wax to become visible in a white mustache.

If you have a dark mustache, go with brown or yellow. If you have a light brown mustache, go with yellow or brown. If you have a white mustache, go with white or yellow.

No need to risk it!

I hope this article has helped answer your, “How to choose a mustache wax?” questions. I believe SavvyJack is the best mustache wax out there, and we stand behind that with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied, send it back for a full refund! Get your SavvyJack Mustache Wax here!