7 Tips to Fix a Patchy Mustache (Grow it Thicker)

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patchy mustache

If you’ve ever tried to grow facial hair only to find that your hair is missing in some spots, don’t worry – it’s called a patchy mustache. Most guys start out with thin, patchy facial hair when young and grow into a thick, mustache style with time.

A patchy mustache is typically characterized by thin hair along the upper lip with spare hairs in certain spots, denoting a “patchy” appearance.

Mustache growing patterns vary from person to person, and it’s largely dependent on age range or whether you’ve ever stopped shaving for even a few days.

Why is My Mustache Patchy?

If your mustache is patchy, it may simply be a lack of maturity if you’re in your mid to late teens. Many young men can grow facial hair towards the end of puberty around age 15. However, for some men, hair grows in patches and growing thicker after 21 and others into their late 20s to early 30s.

How to Grow a Thicker Mustache

We put together a list of tips to help with your patchy situation so you can move on and start growing the best mustache.

1. Allow Your Mustache to Grow

The first step to any new facial hair style is letting your hair grow in. It’s the same for a patchy mustache. You’ll spend at least 2 to 3 weeks waiting for hair to fully grow in along your upper lip.

You won’t be able to get that walrus style or Tom Selleck mustache for at least a few months. These mustaches take way more time to grow because they’re full, thick mustaches that grow in stages.

Don’t believe us? Check out these celebrities with known patchy mustaches that have become part of their signature style: 

Johnny Depp Hipster Goatee and patchy thin mustache.
Johnny Depp’s patchy thin mustache.
Ryan Gosling thin mustache with patches.
Ryan Gosling – thin mustache and stubble beard. See more Ryan Gosling beard styles.
Pharrell Williams patchy mustache.
Pharrell Williams with vertical patches.
Keanu Reeves patchy mustache
Keanu Reeves Beard Patches. See more patchy beard styles.

Not to worry, these same celebrities kept up with their patchy mustaches and eventually grew into thicker lip sweaters: 

Johnny Depp patchy mustache
Johnny Depp is known for his Van Dyke facial hair.
Ryan Gosling patchy style mustache.
Ryan Gosling sports a thick mustache with stubble beard.
Pharrell Williams mustache and goatee.
Pharrell Williams grew out his mustache into a thicker goatee style. See other black men goatee looks.
Keanu Reeves thick mustache
Keanu Reeves is also famous for his not being able to grow a beard or mustache, but here he owns his thicker mustache and beard.

As there are all kinds of hair textures and growth patterns out there, you should check what parts of your mustache are actually missing in action. If you have lighter, wispier, or blonde mustache hair, it may take a while to grow thicker, darker mustache hair. 

2. Mustache Won’t Grow in Center

You really don’t have to worry about this patchy mustache issue. Many celebrities like Johnny Depp, James Franco, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Billy Dee Williams (aka Lando Calrissian) have had issues growing facial hair in this part of the upper lip.

Take a look at some of their patchy mustache problems:

Sparse Mustache Growth

Thinner growth at first starts to come in heavier on sides, leaving the middle a bit bereft of hair. Younger men tend to grow hair along the sides of the upper lip first. 

Justin Bieber patchy thin mustache
Justin Bieber has always had a thin mustache with a few patches.

Parted at the Middle 

Some mustaches just don’t grow in the center for a few weeks after you stop shaving. For others like Johnny Depp, this bald spot becomes an intentional part in the middle.

Johnny Depp patchy mustache
Johnny has a few small patches in his mustache.

This growth pattern can be continued with a mustache comb and trimming scissors. The Tom Selleck mustache still has this somewhat neatly parted look even though it can take months to get the same thickness. 

Pencil Thin Mustache

Other men go through a pencil thin mustache style phase that eventually grows into a full beard with a mustache. 

Terrence Howard patchy mustache.
Terrence Dashon Howard sports a thin mustache with a center patch. See more black men mustache styles.

3. Use Growth products

One huge myth is that shaving will make your facial hair grow in thicker. That’s actually not the case. Guys who shave their head know this all too well, but many still hope for mustache and beard growth after clean shaving for many years.

So, if you want to thicken your mustache, there are a few different products that dermatologists and barbers recommend. Some of these methods are linked to hair growth, while others condition your beard so that it grows in thicker and healthier over time.

  • Biotin creams: Best for natural hair growth, uses B vitamins to support hair follicle
  • Beard balms: Will condition and moisturize the skin underneath your facial hair.
  • Beard oils: Use beard oils to moisturize and add shine to your mustache hair.
  • Hair growth shampoos: These may be helpful if you’re looking for gentle, daily medicated shampoos that contain biotin, keratin, zinc, and other hair growth ingredients.
  • Hair growth vitamins: Vitamins and supplements may work best if you have a deficiency causing hair loss.
  • Change your diet for hair growth: What you eat can directly affect your hair health. Try adding more leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale to increase your vitamin intake.

Ultimately, you’ll need to give your mustache hair a little bit more time to grow in after trying these products. If you trim your beard and mustache every day, just brush through with a mustache comb and massage the skin with a hair growth cream to maximize results.

4. Use Minoxidil for Mustache Growth

Some Reddit users have had good results from using minoxidil mustache growth. While it hasn’t been studied, there are some who say that using Rogaine creams for facial hair growth actually works.

By massaging minoxidil into your upper lip, you may see new growth. The active ingredient has been proven to help most men regrow hair, though it may come in wispy at first.

You should talk to your doctor before trying a medicated cream.

5. Groom Your Uneven Mustache

Since mustache hair grows in at different rates, you may wind up with a mustache that has thicker hair on one side. It’s easy to fix this using a mustache trimmer or a pair of mustache scissors.

You don’t want to cut your mustache off completely, so take it slowly and look for a mustache style that you can fill in over time. Most beard trimmers have attachments such as a liner that you can use to define the shape of your mustache.

You may want to try a beard pencil, which works just like an eyebrow pencil, to shade in patchy areas.

However, unless you have a very large spot of hair missing that’s noticeable, you shouldn’t shave down your mustache so much that it loses its length on either side.

6. Try a Microneedle Derma Roller

Also known as a beard roller or derma roller, these are helpful tools that prick the skin to induce a collagen boost and hair growth. Some users have reported that these work well with beard growth serums with biotin.

7. Never Give Up on Your Mustache

If your mustache is coming in at a slower pace, you may simply have to wait until you’re older to get thicker growth. While some young men can grow their teenage beard by age 15, most men don’t hit their facial stride until after the age of 21 and others into their early thirties.

Whether thick, thin, or patchy, your mustache is your own, so just embrace your growth pattern and work with a style that will aid you in looking sharp while you continue to grow out your facial hair.

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I'm the co-owner of B&B. I live in Northeast and I've been obsessed with bald & beard styles plus trends for over 20 years.