If you’re looking for a unique mustache style the Fu Manchu might just be the one for you. Even saying the name Fu Manchu is fun and sounds cool, it rolls off the tongue so easy. Anyone wearing a Fu Manchu mustache is definitely showing some personality since not a lot of men are walking around with this facial hair style.
The Fu Manchu Mustache originated and was made famous from a fictional character named Dr. Fu Manchu created by the English author Sax Rohmer. This character appeared in books, film and television from the 1920’s to around the 1960’s.
If you’re thinking of wearing a beard check out this overview of all our top beard styles.
This would be a very interesting style to try for Movember.
What is a Fu Manchu Mustache?
A Fu Manchu is a mustache that grows from the corners of your mouth and extends all the way down past the chin. This style is always waxed and straightened out as long as possible and should look quite thin. What you have is two tendrils that extend past the jawline and beyond. With this style you need to have the rest of your face clean shaven to pull off the traditional version of this mustache. Also take note that the centre of you upper lip needs to be shaved clean, about the width of the nose. Of course this can vary depending on your face but the Fu Manchu is meant to grow from the corners of your mouth.
A Case of Mistaken Identity
A lot of people seem to mistake the Horseshoe Mustache for a Fu Manchu. There is one major difference between these two styles. In the Fu Manchu style the hair is grown out from the mustache, in other words from the corners of the lip. If you look at the Horseshoe style the hair is grown on the chin and goatee part of your face and shaped into a horseshoe. Some horseshoe mustaches keep growing past the chin and can get quite long but these are still not considered a Fu Manchu Mustache.
If you look online the majority of articles or information on the Fu Manchu are showing horseshoe mustaches and not true Fu Manchu’s. My goal with this guide is to get you the correct information. See our Top 5 list below for 5 actual real Fu Manchu styles.
See the pic above for an example of a horseshoe mustache.
Fu Manchu VS Handlebar
There is also a bit of confusion between these two styles. A handlebar mustache is a style that is grown from the corners of the mouth but curves upwards and styled with mustache wax. See picture above. There are many different shapes and styles but the key difference is that you don’t have the mustache coming straight down. Handlebar moustaches are some times referred to as imperial moustaches. There are many styles of handlebar mustaches so this is a topic for another article.
Fu Manchu Mustache Styles
Check out our Top 5 Fu Manchu Mustache styles.
1. Original Fu Manchu Mustache
The original style would be the one associated with the character Dr. Fu Manchu as mentioned above. This style is distinguished by long tendrils that come down way past the chin. Its also very important to have the middle part of the upper lip shaved clean to get the separation.
2. Fu Manchu Mustache with Goatee
This style is a mix between a traditional Fu Manchu and a goatee. To achieve this style it’s recommended to have a long pointed style goatee. It can even be braided to get a more unique look. Expect to grow the goatee for quite some time to match the length of your Fu Manchu. If that’s not your style you can also wear a short Fu Manchu with a goatee. You can see both examples above.
3. Fluffy Fu Manchu
If you want to wear a Fu Manchu Mustache but not have to wax and shape it every day consider this style. Essentially all you need to do is let it grow as long as you want and don’t use mustache wax. This can work great for older gentleman as beard hair can get more brittle as you age. Also this style looks the best when the tendrils are grown out long, this can also be paired with a goatee if you like.
4. Fu Manchu With a Soul Patch
This is a pretty easy variant to try out. The only difference to a traditional Fu Manchu is the addition of the soul patch. Your soul patch can be short or grow longer, either way can look great.
5. Short Fu Manchu
This is perfect for someone who doesn’t want their mustache to be too long but still wants the unique style of the Fu Manchu. Typically in this style the Fu Manchu comes down a few inches off the lip and is also styles straight down like the traditional style above. This variant can also be paired with a goatee or a soul patch.
How to Grow a Fu Manchu Mustache
Growing a Fu Manchu is going to take some effort but with some patience it can be achieved. Typically you will need around 4-6 months of growth if your trying to pull off the traditional style Fu Manchu. Since the tendrils are meant to come down quite a bit past the chin you can keep growing it out after you have styled it. Follow these steps to grow out your Fu Manchu.
My best advice is to grow a full beard first, this will cut down on how awkward it may look in the initial phases of growth. Keep in mind that the hairs on the end of the mustache can look pretty thin at first so be patient. As your beard grows you can groom the mustache so only hairs at the end are aloud to grow.
Once you have achieved enough beard growth you can start shaping the Fu Manchu. Use some beard trimmers and start taking off all the hair you don’t need, be careful not to accidentally trim something on your mustache area.
You can now use a regular razor and shave gel and shave the rest of your face clean. Again be careful not to shave anything you need. Only apply shave gel to the areas that need to be shaved and not your whole face, this can help make sure you don’t shave something off you want to keep.
Now all you need to do is style and maintain your Fu Manchu Mustache.
How to Style and Maintain the Fu Manchu
The easiest way to style your Fu Manchu is use some mustache wax and keep the tendrils nice and tight and pointed straight down. Make sure and pull down as you’re applying the wax, this should train the hairs to point downward. There is one exception to this. If you’re going for the fluffy style of Fu Manchu Mustache you don’t need wax and can let it be more free.
When it comes to maintenance you should be shaving every couple of days so as to not have stubble. This style can look unkept pretty easily if left on its own for too long. Make sure and use trimmers and trim it down if its getting too long for your liking and clean shave all the bare areas of the face. When your trimming make sure only hairs at the end of the mustache are able to grow. To manage the overall length of the mustache you can let it grow for a few months at a time then use beard scissors to trim it down to your desired length. Make sure as with any beard or mustache style your using beard shampoo regularly to keep it clean and fresh.
If you’re looking to be original and show some personality a Fu Manchu can definitely help with that. Maybe the Fu Manchu is not for you, if that’s the case no problem. There are so many other beard and facial hair styles to try. Check out our guide for some inspiration.
If you want to know more about the Dr. Fu Manchu character check this out.
Check out this video of guys trying iconic facial hair styles.
Drop a comment below and let us know what you think of the Fu Manchu.