D.I.Y. Moustache Wax
The first suggestion came from our member, Ron Polton, who found the following old recipe for "Hungarian Pomade for the Moustache". I reckon the quantities used would make enough to last a lifetime!
"Melt by a gentle heat ½ pound gum-arabic, and ½ pound of oil soap, in 1 pint rose water, then add 1 pound white wax, constantly stirring. When of a uniform consistency, add 1 ounce attar of bergamot, and ½ drachm attar of thyme, for perfume."
I asked if anyone who tried it would please let me know how successful they were, and got the following response from John of Colorado, USA:-
"I made the 'Hungarian Pomade for the Moustache' from your website. I just drastically reduced the amounts and used different wax.
I substituted beeswax for the white wax and used liquid soap for the soap oil. I also left out the essential oils as I don't like anything very heavily perfumed. It turns out very, very stiff but using a blow dryer helps in the application.
One thing I really like is that the wax washes out with water, a very nice touch. I might try modifying it to make it less stiff and when I do I will tell you about it."
Subsequently I had a message from David Hoehn:-
" I made small batches of this recipe and upon cooling found it lumpy, firm and crumbly - nothing like what is available elsewhere. It wasn't until some experimentation later that I realized the recipe was fine but the next step to make it wonderful in application was omitted from the instructions.
I found out that shearing the solidified mass against a glass slab with a smooth steel mixing spatula will create a smooth and thick cream. Add water to this mix slowly while still shearing and it will create a light water soluble paste.
It works wonderfully well!!! It dries clear and does not ball up. I've been using it this weekend and I tend to favor it over anything I've used. I'm amazed!"
And Bud Peppers has produced the definitive recipe.
I also received an e-mail from Kevin Hufnagle in the States who said:
"I came up with my own wax recipe that might interest some of your members, especially that poor guy in Canada who's been dismantling his toilet. Actually the base of my recipe is the same as a toilet seal, Bees wax.
I melt ½ pound of bees wax in a double boiler, when it is completely liquid, I add approximately 4 ounces of white petroleum jelly. The same stuff you put on a baby's bottom. We call it Vaseline in the States.
You'll want to heat this mixture thoroughly and stir it well. Pour it into whatever container you favor, let it cool and you're done. Has about the same consistency of Sandhal's brand wax. Makes about a quart jar's worth. The amount of Vaseline you add depends on how you like your wax. Soft and greasy or as I prefer, dry and stiffer with wicked holding power. Nothing worse than having my 'stache tickling my eyebrows when I'm going down the road on my Harley!
When adding the Vaseline, start with a lesser amount and sample the wax off the spoon as you go to see if it is to your likening. Add more Vaseline if too dry or more wax if greasy. I consider it neutral in color. It will look white when you first apply it but since bees wax melts at body temperature, it goes transparent once it warms up. It will have a mild honey smell which is nice.
Bees wax can be purchased at most craft stores that sell candle making materials. I would not recommend using paraffin wax since it's melting point is quite a bit higher than bees wax and it will not go transparent on your mustache.
Voice of experience."
Followed up by an e-mail from Greg Dunn saying:
"Experimenting, I found the following 2 variations of the original to be perfect for the hot humid summers around Washington DC and the cold winters.
1) Summer mix - follow Kevin Hufnagles recipe except use 4 parts beeswax to 3 parts Vaseline.
2) Winter mix - follow Kevin Hufnagles recipe except use 4 parts beeswax to 4 parts Vaseline."
An alternative way to make the wax stiffer, suggested by Ed Broders, is to use equal amounts of Vaseline and gum arabic. He says:
"It seems to work well. After a few minutes the warm breath makes the wax invisible and the
mustache doesn't have a wax appearance and still retains its shape."
A different approach suggested by Chuck Leggett is to melt some pure beeswax, and when it is liquid dissolve in it an equal volume of Pinaud "Clubman". He comments:
"The result was quite stiff, but workable. I think next time I may add a couple of drops of vegetable oil, or maybe a little petroleum jelly, to make it slightly easier to work in, though."
Another Ron, who lives on the banks of the Paraguay River, and is something of an expert on D.I.Y. wax has also contributed to the debate with his recipe and advice. (Ron's own web site is at www.aikidoparaguay.org)
Now, Peter Lacelle, one of our Canadian members, has tried Ron's method to make his own wax and reports:-
"Eureka! It worked, and I'm very impressed that it works so well. Having recently had -25 degree temperatures, a big test was the frost build up on one's upper lip, that occurs when one spends lots of time outdoors, as I like to do. I found that this did not occur, as it did with some other wax.
Basically I used 4oz. of bees wax and melted it in the microwave oven in a Pyrex measuring cup. Next, I added petroleum jelly to the melted liquid. I used approximately 50/50 ingredients, and found this to be the right consistency for my liking. Others may adjust according to individual preferences. Then I poured the liquid into an empty lip balm dispenser and let it cool. This allows for easy transportation and application anywhere, anytime."
René Schmetz from Holland, a member of ENS, (www.geocities.com/reneschmetz/) has also used this method successfully. He adds:-
"Because the wax is brown/yellow from the beeswax I put in some black shoe wax, to get it the right color as my black/grey moustache, and it works!
Now I make the moustache wax for my moustache-friend Johann Scheers too, but in white because he has a nice big white moustache. I add 1½ or 2 teaspoons of white shoecreme to the beeswax and the vaseline. He can swim and sport now and his moustache keeps in form. We keep our moustaches now 24 hours in form and they are water and rain-proof!!
Tip: Make the wax warm with a hairdryer until it is glossy and then put the wax with your fingers into your moustache and wait a minute. The wax will be dry and strong. So now you can form your moustache in whatever way you wish. Repeat this till your moustache is totally fine."
René and Johann
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© MMVII / MMVIII TED SEDMAN