DIY Moustache Wax
by Renaud OLGIATI,
17th Dan Tetsu Hige Jiutsu
After a year of growing "an appendage with graspable extremities" and experimenting with various hair-gels and patent moustache waxes, I have decided to try the DIY route as I was not completely pleased with any of the products I had tried, not to mention the costs and bother of getting the specialist stuff sent here in Paraguay from abroad.
The results are completely satisfying to me, and in addition to the pleasure of doing it myself, have brought the added advantage of substantial savings.
Here are the results of my research :
I use a mixture of 60% pure natural beeswax and 40% Vaseline (petroleum jelly) (Petrolatum).
The proportions are given by weight.
The above proportions give a rather stiff wax, that holds a bit more than Pinaud's Clubman.
You can always try to vary the stiffness of the wax by changing the proportions: less Vaseline will give you a stiffer wax; just experiment to suit your taste !
Melting and casting
I was told I should use a double boiler, but have found it simpler to just melt the beeswax in a glass container in the microwave oven, then when it is all melted I stir in the Vaseline.
I get a better, more regular melting using the microwave oven a longer time at a reduced setting.
The molten wax-mixture is then cast in cylindrical sticks, about 13 mm diameter by 50 mm long (½" by 2" to the un-metric heathens).
To this end, I use an off-cut of copper pipe of the correct inside diameter, a small cork or stopper, some aluminium foil and a piece of wood round dowel turned to a tight fit inside the pipe.
Plug one end of the pipe; cut a piece of foil that will just wrap once round the wooden dowel, and use it to line the inside of the pipe.
Fill the pipe-mould with molten wax mixture, stand it in a glass of boiling water (without getting water in the pipe ;-), cover and leave to cool.
Once cold, unstop the pipe and use the wood dowel to drift the stick of wax out; peel off the foil, and the wax is ready to use. It you have trouble getting the wax-stick out of its mould, a quick dunking of the mould in boiling water helps.
How to use the wax
Unlike modern hair gels and waxes that are water-based and set by drying, this product softens with heat and sets by cooling.
An easy way to apply it is to heat the moustache with a hair-dryer, and rub the wax on; then, while still heating, use a comb to spread the wax in and put the hair in shape; you can then stop heating, and use your fingers to gather together the extremities, curl them upwards, or whatever.
You will find that you don't have to apply new wax every morning, it is often sufficient to heat up the moustache with the dryer and reshape.
Before shampooing the moustache, it is advisable to heat it up and spread the hair out with a comb so the shampoo can get to where it is needed more easily. If you still have trouble removing the wax completely, warm the hair up with the drier, work into it a small quantity of vegetable (cooking) oil, and then wash with shampoo.
Blow-dry the hair out completely before applying the wax.
The wax has a neutral colour, and a very faint natural smell of honey; my dog seems to like the taste too, and I have to keep the wax sticks out of his reach.
I have found since I wrote the above that I can improve the stickiness of the wax by adding a small proportion (3% to 5%) of Cobbler's Wax to the above mixture.
The Cobbler's Wax has a higher melting point than the beeswax, and the best way to proceed is to melt the Cobbler's Wax in a small quantity of beeswax, mix thoroughly, and only then add the rest of the ingredients as above.
The addition of Cobbler's Wax gives a wax of a dark brown colour that will cover and hide any white hair you may have in your moustache. Flip side: if you sleep on your face,
you may leave "skid-marks" on your pillow, which might annoy She Who Must Be
I have found that it is not really necessary to line the pipe-mould with foil, casting works just as well without it.
Wrapping the wax stick in several turns of ordinary paper, with a lick of glue along the edge, makes the stick easier to use, and more resistant to breaking; just keep about
15 mm (½") of wax free at the end.
Whatever mix you use, the copper pipe used as a mould must be cleaned thoroughly (hot water, detergent and brush) after use; otherwise, the wax residue left on the inside of
the copper pipe promotes surface oxidation, and the next stick you cast will come out covered in green ;-3(
If you want more information, or just want to discuss various possibilities, ingredients, etc. you are welcome to contact me at email@example.com
© Renaud OLGIATI 2002-2003