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Mustache vs. Beard: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 18, 2023
A mustache is facial hair grown specifically above the upper lip, whereas a beard is facial hair that grows on the chin, neck, and cheeks.

Key Differences

A mustache is a distinct strip of facial hair located above the upper lip. In contrast, a beard encompasses a larger area, covering the chin, cheeks, and sometimes the neck.
Maintenance and styling differentiate mustaches and beards significantly. Mustaches often require precise trimming and grooming, while beards can vary from short, neatly groomed styles to long, untrimmed growths.
Cultural and historical perceptions of mustaches and beards have varied. Mustaches have often been associated with specific professions or movements, while beards have been seen as symbols of wisdom or ruggedness.
The growth pattern of a mustache is limited to the upper lip, making it a more focused feature. Beards, however, can display a wide range of growth patterns, covering a larger portion of the face.
In fashion, mustaches offer a way to make a statement with a minimal amount of facial hair, whereas beards provide a broader canvas for expression, ranging from the carefully sculpted to the naturally full.

Comparison Chart


Grows only above the upper lip.
Grows on the chin, cheeks, and sometimes the neck.


Often requires precise trimming and grooming.
Ranges from neatly groomed to untrimmed.


Associated with specific professions or movements.
Seen as a symbol of wisdom or ruggedness.


Limited to the upper lip area.
Covers a larger portion of the face.


Offers a statement with minimal facial hair.
Provides a broader canvas for expression.

Mustache and Beard Definitions


A symbol of maturity and masculinity in many cultures.
He grew a mustache to look older.


Facial hair growing on the chin and cheeks.
He combed his beard thoughtfully.


A strip of hair left to grow above the upper lip.
His mustache was neatly trimmed.


Variable in style from short to long.
He trimmed his beard to a neat stubble.


A key feature in some historical fashion trends.
The handlebar mustache made a comeback.


A feature often associated with masculinity.
His beard made him look more rugged.


A facial hair style exclusively above the lip.
He dyed his mustache black.


A symbol of wisdom or status in various cultures.
The sage had a long, white beard.


Sometimes used as a signifier in art and literature.
The villain in the play twirled his mustache.


Can be a fashion statement or natural choice.
His beard added to his hipster look.


The hair growing on the human upper lip, especially when cultivated and groomed.


A growth of hair on the chin, cheeks, and throat of a person, especially a man.


A group of bristles or hairs about the mouth of an animal.


A tuft or growth of hairs, bristles, or other hairlike threads on a plant or animal.


Distinctive coloring or feathers near the beak of a bird.


Food or drink sticking conspicuously to the upper lip
Wiped the milk mustache from my face.


(US) moustache.


That part of the beard which grows on the upper lip; hair left growing above the mouth.


A West African monkey (Cercopithecus cephus). It has yellow whiskers, and a triangular blue mark on the nose.


Any conspicuous stripe of color on the side of the head, beneath the eye of a bird.


A stain or discoloration on the upper lip of a person; as, wearing a milk mustache.


An unshaved growth of hair on the upper lip;
He looked younger after he shaved off his mustache


What is a mustache?

A strip of hair grown above the upper lip.

Can a mustache be styled differently?

Yes, there are various styles like handlebar, pencil, etc.

Do beards affect job prospects?

In some professions, they might, depending on the company's policy.

Do beards offer protection for the face?

Yes, they can protect against some environmental elements.

How do you maintain a mustache?

Through regular trimming and grooming.

What does a beard signify?

It can symbolize wisdom, status, or fashion.

How do you groom a beard?

By trimming, washing, and sometimes using beard oils.

Is a mustache a popular fashion choice?

Its popularity varies over time and across cultures.

Are mustaches common in all cultures?

They are present in many cultures but hold different significance.

Can everyone grow a full beard?

Genetic factors influence beard growth; not everyone can grow a full beard.

How long does it take to grow a mustache?

It varies, but typically a few weeks to a few months.

Can beards cause skin problems?

Poor hygiene can lead to skin issues under the beard.

Do mustaches go in and out of style?

Yes, like all fashion trends, mustache popularity fluctuates.

Are mustaches associated with certain historical figures?

Yes, figures like Salvador Dali are known for their mustaches.

Is it hard to eat with a mustache?

It can be, depending on the mustache style and length.

Are there age restrictions for growing a mustache or beard?

No, but they typically grow during and after puberty.

Can beards change color over time?

Yes, like head hair, they can turn grey or white.

Is a beard warmer in winter?

Yes, it can provide some additional warmth.

Can a beard change the perception of one's face?

Yes, beards can alter perceived jawline and face shape.

Is it possible to dye a mustache or beard?

Yes, they can be dyed, similar to head hair.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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