You don’t need to grow thick, bushy facial hair in order to sprout a really great mustache. That’s because are thousands of mustache styles out there, each one uniquely expressed by its wearer. If you and your best friend choose the same type of mustache, you’ll both grow something slightly different from one another. On top of that, you yourself can modify any existing mustache just slightly—a snip here, a little wax there—and it will transform your face entirely.
But of all the types of mustaches out there, which ones are best for you? The rules of geometry aren’t so rigid here (at least not as prominently as face shape determines the best hair styles, beard styles, and glasses for every guy). There are a few mustaches that can visually enhance, say, a super circular face shape or a square jaw, but you’ve more or less got carte blanche when it comes to picking a mustache; it’s more a matter of what your growth potential is, and from there you can consider the rest.
GQ’s resident grooming pro Matty Conrad outlined his favorite mustache styles, as worn by some of Hollywood’s most famous names. You can watch that above, or read below for a few additional pointers on how to get the most popular mustache styles. Yeah, we said there are thousands of options, and that’s still true, but most of them will use the below as a starting point.
Read More: How to Grow a Mustache—Plus the Best Tools and Products for Maintaining One
The 2 Parts of a Mustache
First things first: Conrad points out that there are two distinct parts of every mustache. Understanding these will help you visualize a mustache style, especially in how it needs to be grown out, trimmed, or physically styled.
The Peak: When trimming your mustache, it’s usually smart to trim the upper rows of hairs more, so that they don’t build bulk atop the more stylable lower and outermost hairs. This uppermost point is the peak, and Conrad says its shortness and neat perimeter are maintained mostly so that you have more functional control over the flourishes.
The Points: These are the longer parts of the mustache, at the ends and sides of the whole thing. They are easier to style, too, since they have more maneuverability and will bend to the wills of your mustache wax.
3 Alternatives to a Standalone Mustache
If a bold, standalone mustache is an intimidating idea for you (or maybe just a mountain your facial hairs can’t seem to climb), then consider some of these mustache-ish options instead.
1. The Anchored ‘Stache
As Seen On: Michael B. Jordan, Eddie Murphy, Steven Yeun