Beards are all the rage right now, just as much as they were in 1977 and 2016. And as I always say, a mustache is the centerpiece of a great beard. It’s also the most neglected part. Although mustache wax is an extremely niche product — much like a cigar-holding whiskey glass or edible underwear — it has its place among your grooming regimen, especially if you’re sporting a beard with it or are sans beard as you fulfill your duties as the local volunteer fire chief.
Either way, I decided to try each one of these popular mustache waxes for a day to see which ones held up. Several provided a strong hold, one was a let down entirely, and another reminded me of eating Elmer’s glue in elementary school back in ’89. Read on to see my hands-on reviews, so that you can make an informed decision about which mustache wax best suits your upper lip crumb duster.
Author’s Note: I have six years of experience using mustache waxes. I gave each mustache wax below its own dedicated day for use (8/30 – 9/3). I also made sure to spend some time outside in the heat and humidity on each day. For reference, I have a full beard and a longer mustache that can easily be curled with a wax. My mustache is similar in length to Rollie Fingers back in his heyday of playing baseball, as seen here.
Peckerhead Mustache Wax
Best For: A Strong, All-Day Hold
This stuff is tough, and tacky. If Patrick Mahomes were to rub a bit of this on his fingers before the season opener, he’d likely add another 20 yards to his hail Mary pass. In all seriousness though, It’s a fine wax, and does what it promises. When I first opened the tin, I was expecting it to be a bit softer, but no soft wax ever created a strong hold. While usable at its room temperature, I decided to put the tin of wax in my pocket for 15 minutes to allow my body’s heat to warm up its contents, as the brand’s website advised me to. This helped me to scrape enough out without risking breaking my thumbnail to do so.
I applied a pea-sized amount to my mustache at 9:02am, paying extra attention to my handlebars. By 9:07am, my mustache was decently stiff and had formed a perfect curl. Perfect. But I live in the state of Georgia, so a quick mile run out in the summer humidity was in order to put this wax to the test. At 91 degrees fahrenheit and 80% humidity, the wax began to wilt a bit, but the mustache kept its overall shape. Upon reentering my 70-degree home the wax began to harden once again. The main bullet point of this presentation is that Peckerhead Mustache Wax softens in the heat, but never really melts. A true contender for the best mustache wax.
Peckerhead Wax held my handlebars well into the evening until I went to bed. The only time I had to apply additional wax was after lunch, and only to the middle of the mustache wax that had touched my food. My handlebars remained in good shape. When I woke up the next morning, there was a fair amount of wax left, enough for me to re-style my mustache with minimal effort.
Ingredients: Beeswax, Pine Resin, Lanolin
Scent: Subtle scent of pine, with a hint of beeswax.
Why I Like It: The name itself. We’re all peckerheads, we just need a mustache wax to remind us of that. Second, it holds, period, as long as you use enough. And it holds for the next day as well. I also like that its not greasy and trades that grease for a sturdy, tacky concoction only a serious, handle-bar wearing beardsman would consider using.
This wax never really melts, not even in your pocket or under a blow dryer, it only softens. The subtle scent of pine resin that resides above your upper lip after application is another reason to love this stuff. The shipping was also fast. I had the product in my hands 42 hours after ordering, including a sticker of a shirtless dude riding a motorcycle in the desert. I can only assume this guy is the “peckerhead” the wax is named after.
Why I Don’t: It’s a hard wax. And as i’ve stated before, you can’t have a soft wax and a strong hold. But alas, it’s tough to remove a substantial amount of wax from this tin at room temperature, but warming in your pocket does the trick, no blow dryer necessary.
“This stuff works as advertised.. I’m currently on a jobsite, sweating profusely in the South Florida heat and my bars still look great. I apply a generous layer about once a week and thats all I need.” – JeffroTull, Amazon Review
Death Grip Mustache Wax
Best For: Curling longer mustaches, and those who like things extra tacky
An Amazon favorite by many, consider Death Grip Mustache the hair pomade of mustache waxes; you’ll get a slicked-back, styled mustache perfect for those black tie occasions when you need to look squared away. And the name fits, as once you load up your mustache with it, it’s in there for a while whether you like it or not.
Upon opening the tin, it’s easy to tell that this wax is pine resin-heavy. I was pleased, as I prefer tacky mustache waxes. The tin also comes with a guitar pick to scrape out the desired amount of wax, in an effort i can only assume is the save your thumbnail from the hard, tacky concoction that lies within; a nice personal touch that goes a long way in my opinion. Many of the review I read on Amazon advised to warm up Death Grip with a blow dryer. This is not necessary at all, and only proves that many folks don’t know how to navigate a wax. Much like the mustache wax above, warming the tin in my pocket for a good 15-20 minutes proved worthwhile in my endeavor the easily scrape out enough of the contents to twirl my mustache. Once warmed, the wax takes on a gooey form that can best be described as like the caramel you would find inside of a snickers candy bar.
Once warmed, I rubbed a pea-sized amount between my thumb and index finger and began distributing the product evenly throughout my mustache at 11:26am. By 11:28am everything looked sharp and slick. Again, I want to reiterate here that simply warming the tin for a little while with my body heat did the trick. I’m still not sure what all of the fuss is about needing to use a hair dryer. I have learned, however, that most people are high maintenance and are the reason why we have warning labels on everything; but I digress.
Eight hours later, the wax never really hardened, but do to its high concentration of pine rosin, maintained a great hold the entire day (approximately eight hours) and washed out fairly easy with a bar of soap and warm water. I did take my waxed mustache outside for 20 minutes to shoot some basketball for a couple of hours after application, and like any wax would in this ridiculous humidity, my mustache began to droop a bit. Once inside, however, i was able to restyle the mustache to its original form.
Ingredients: Beeswax, Lanolin, Pine Rosin
Scent: Almost no scent except for the very subtle hint of pine resin, which is in no way overbearing.
Why I Like It: I didn’t expect to like Death Grip wax, but I really liked the gooey consistency and tackiness of it right from the beginning. Once on the mustache, it reminded me of hair pomade, never turning rock solid like glue but maintaining its shape nonetheless. The high resin content also contributed to the slicked back wet look that I think looks really good in the right setting.
Why I Don’t: I think Death Grip could use more beeswax. While the above reasons state why I like the high amount of pine resin, it’s not the best hot weather mustache wax in my opinion, as it did lose all of it’s hold in 88 degree weather after a few minutes. For 70 degrees and under, i believe it can’t be beaten.
“Such an amazing Mustache wax. Very tacky and strong hold. Definitely won’t be disappointed with this.” – Louis Lambert III, Amazon Review
Firehouse Wacky Tacky Moustache Wax
Best For: Darker mustaches, and for a strong hold for both short and long mustaches
We’ve covered Firehouse Mustache Wax before on GearMoose, namely because it’s been around for so long — well over a decade — and it’s a favorite among the beard and mustache wax community, including me. I’ve used this wax regularly in the past for my own mustache, and am no stranger to it. This stuff works, period, and offers one of the best holds you’ll find for the least amount of product/effort used.
When you open the tin, you’ll notice that this wax is much darker than other waxes, and looks more like a black or dark brown shoe polish than a tin of mustache wax, and barely has any noticeable smell to it.
It’s a little bit softer than Peckerhead Mustache Wax and Death Grip, but warming in your pocket for about 10 minutes makes application much easier anyway. Just a little of the product goes a long way with Firehouse, which is why I scraped out half of a pea-sized amount onto my finger and began working horizontally across my mustache, twirling the sides into a magnificent handlebar. The wax hardened within two minutes, and the hold lasted the next 12 hours until I went to bed. The wax had disappeared by morning, so there were no issues removing the wax.
I should also note that Firehouse Wax behaved the same way as the previous two outside in the 90 degree heat, proving that in the south, nothing short of commercial-grade super glue will stay completely stiff. By now, this wax and Peckerhead are my two contender for the best all-around mustache wax.
Ingredients: Inconclusive. The brand’s website does mention beeswax and petroleum jelly, but there is no official ingredients list. The website also states: “Our waxes contain no nuts, corn, gluten, coconut, dairy, almond, soy, lanolin or resin.”
Scent: No discernible scent could be detected.
Why I Like It: Despite the shoe polish appearance, this stuff straight up works. It’s a little bit easier to work with than Peckerhead wax, and dries to a stiff hold minutes later. It’s a wax that holds all day, even while using just a bare minimum amount of the product.
Why I Don’t: I’m not a fan of the shoe polish-like appearance, but it doesn’t seem to turn my light brown mustache a darker color. I’m also not too thrilled about not knowing the entire list of ingredients. The wax definitely works and is a lot of fun to work with, but more transparency would really add to the value of this product.
“It holds great, honestly the best mustache Wax I have used yet. It seems like I have tried every brand and this one is by far my favorite and the best wax around. All day hold, easy to apply, and smells great. Not much else you can ask of a mustache wax. Side effect of looking like a badass isn’t bad either.” – Brandon, Amazon Review
Clubman Moustache Wax
Best For: A medium hold, and for use as an everyday wax for shorter mustaches
I found Clubman to be the most interesting mustache wax i’ve ever come across. Clubman wax (I say wax, but it really can’t be classified as a wax per se) has been around for over 20 years and comes in a tube similar to a toothpaste. The consistency is much softer than other mustache waxes, of which I would describe as a paste or glue, and the color is white. The product also came with a miniature comb with which to spread the product into my mustache.
To be honest, I didn’t want to like Clubman Mustache Wax. I was biased from the beginning because it’s such a soft product, and doesn’t require that you warm it up prior to using it. I had low expectations but was pleasantly surprised.
I used more of this than the other waxes on this list, squeezing out about a dime-sized amount of the product before rubbing it into my mustache horizontally to both ends. I then used a comb to brush the product though my mustache. Simple enough. Like I said previously, I wasn’t expecting much. Almost immediately after brushing it into my mustache, it began to harden into place to form a medium hold similar to Elmer’s glue you buy on the store shelf in the crafts section. Not only did it make it a cinch to style my mustache, but the result was better looking than any other wax on this list.
The wax definiteley hardened, but never became outright stiff like Peckerhead Wax, so if you’re needing something to hold a handlebar in place for 24 hours, this isn’t your wax. It does, however, provide a suitable hold that looked great and lasted about 6 hours in total. For an everyday wax that’s easy to use and looks great, Clubman should be on your radar.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua, Eau), Beeswax (Cera Alba, Cire d’abeille), Sodium Tallowate, Sodium Cocoate, PEG-32, PEG-7M, BHT, Fragrance (Parfum), Citral, Limonene, Linalool, DMDM Hydantoin, Potassium Sorbate.
Scent: No discernible scent could be detected
Why I Like It: This wax is incredibly easy to work with. A comb is required (provided) to brush the product evenly through the mustache, but you’re not in any danger of accidentally ripping out any strands of hair. I also found that it made my mustache look better overall. I think this was due to the softer consistency of the product, and being able to evenly distribute it throughout my entire mustache with a brush.
Why I Don’t: I’m fairly certain this isn’t an all-natural mustache wax, because it contains some ingredients that I can’t even pronounce correctly. If using an all-natural product so close to your mouth is important, then this wax isn’t for you. Secondly, the hold was good, but not strong. Having a longer mustache means that a touchup or two throughout the day may be in order, especially during the warmer months. Lastly, clumps of white are visible in your mustache unless you brush it completely through. This isn’t that big of a deal, and is easily remedied by using the included brush or your own.
Price: $6.00 – $7.00
“It’s almost like a sticky putty – a little goes a LONG way! That said, make sure to thoroughly work it through your mustache so it doesn’t glob up on you. I bought this to tame my savage mustache & keep it out of my mouth. It works great! Cleanup is quick, too. It deactivates and washes out quickly with just water. Good stuff!” – Hijinx1812, Amazon Review
Fisticuffs Strong Hold Mustache Wax
Best For: Conditioning your mustache, and for those who like a wax with a pleasant smell
At the time of writing this, Fisticuffs is the #1 best selling mustache wax on Amazon and has an average star rating of 4.3 out of 5. People love this stuff. I personally do not. This is just personal preference, and everyone’s mustache is different. What works on one mustache may not work on another. It does, however, smell better than any other wax on this list.
The wax is almost pure white in color, and has a strong yet pleasant scent of citrus combined with what I believe to be smokey/pine smell. Whatever essential oils they have combined to make this scent, it works. My wife loved the smell when I went in for a kiss, which is more than I can say for a couple of others on this list.
The consistency of the wax is soft, soft enough to where you can scrape the product out with your finger instead of your fingernail. I would describe it as more of a beard balm than a mustache wax. It is quite greasy as well, probably due to the three main oils used in the concoction, along with the essential oils that give it its scent, and the petroleum jelly.
After applying a nickel-sized amount to my mustache, my mustache remained mostly wet for the next 4 hours, before absorbing almost completely into my mustache. There was essentially no hold, but my mustache did smell good, and the hairs were surprisingly soft. My recommendation is to use Fisticuffs as a beard balm only and use one of the aforementioned waxes for styling your mustache.
Ingredients: Beeswax, Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Petroleum Jelly, Pine Sap, Some Essential Oils
Scent: A robust citrusy scent mixed with a pleasant woodsy smell. Can best be described as the smell of a men’s aftershave or cologne.
Why I Like It: It smells really good and adequately conditioned my dry, wiry mustache hairs.
Why I Don’t: Due to the amount of oils in the ingredients list, this wax is way too soft to offer much of a hold. It may offer a medium hold for shorter mustaches, but for my longer mustache, only a light hold was obtained. The use of petroleum jelly also removes it from the list of all-natural waxes. I don’t personally see petroleum jelly as a problem to use, however, as those purchased on store shelves are generally safe for use, and typically smells better than lanolin.
“I have fairly thick course mustache, when using this according to directions and it’ll stay put for a few hrs. Also smells great.” – Atlas, Amazon Review
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