Posted: Nov 17 2014
With the follicular phenomenon known as Movember now in full swing, every true gentleman will be trying to grow out his facial furniture to help raise awareness for men’s health.
But the prospect of cultivating one of these masculine nose neighbors can be daunting, and even the most seasoned ‘tache trainers will have questions about the mythic mass of hair known as the moustache.
So here we try to help you begin what is surely going to be the manliest journey of your life, and answer any questions you may have about those bristles that may be starting to sprout above your lip.
Whether you’re a veteran, or more modish mo-grower, you’ll surely find some useful information below.
Q: Is the moustache for me?
A: In a word, yes! With the moustache being globally recognised as the utmost symbol of masculinity, the chances are that if you’re a man, a little lip foliage will suit you down to the ground.
But if you’re not, there’s no reason why you can’t join in too. A handsome £800 was raised by a woman in 2013, putting non-participating men to shame. So that should give you adequate mo’-tivation to get involved.
Although many have been bested by the less-than-beastly moustache, given the exceptionally well-intentioned circumstances of Movember, even the most embarrassing lip-lining caterpillars should be grown. And if you do get any grief, make sure to point out that you’re growing your mo’ out for charity.
Q: How do mo’s grow?
A: Contrary to popular belief, growing a moustache does not require extensive travel, or partaking in excessively manly tasks like woodworking or scotch drinking (although a little extra gentlemanliness will surely do your mo’ growth no harm).
Rather, the key to producing a good moustache is much the same as growing a good beard. Albeit limited to your upper lip.
You need to give yourself plenty of time to let your bristles bloom, and make sure to keep your skin in pristine condition while your ‘tache takes off.
Although periods of extreme itchiness and dissatisfaction with your follicular growth are normal, both can be alleviated.
For the former, be sure to keep your skin well cared for. Use a high quality exfoliating cream no more than twice a week to excise any troublesome skin cells, and follow this up with some soothing moisturiser to help relieve any irritated skin you might have during Movember.
More difficult to deal with is the latter.
Whilst some mo’ growers will have a passable set of bristles come Movember 30th, the vast majority of moustaches grown for this worthy cause will, by normal standards, be atrocious.
But resist the temptation to mow your mo’.
Given time your burgeoning bristles will develop and any sparse patches will, at least in most cases, fill in, leaving you with a glorious, if somewhat underdeveloped, moustache.
Whatever your outcome, just remember that you’re growing a moustache to raise awareness for men’s health, a cause surely worthy of a suspension in ridicule.
Q: How did the moustache come about?
A: As long as there have been men, there have been moustaches.
But whilst Neanderthal man was known to have shaved using sharpened stones for razors, the oldest portrait displaying a gent sporting a full moustache dates back to Syria in the year 300 BC.
From here the trend skyrocketed, taking in such luminaries as celebrated German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, scientific mastermind Albert Einstein, king of slapstick Charlie Chaplin, football broadcasting behemoth Des Lynam and the immortal Tom Selleck, to name but a few.
Q: What is it about a hairy top lip that makes men just so darn sexy?
A: One of the many enigmas surrounding the mighty moustache is the desire it stokes in the fairer sex.
Although there is no exact explanation as to why moustaches make a man that much more appealing, if they do at all, there are a few theories floating about which may explain this peculiar phenomenon.
Whilst factors such as association to masculine celebrity figures and current trends in fashion and style may account for the preferential perception of the moustache, perhaps the strongest answer to this question is the association in the mind of the beholder between moustache and maturity.
Although the clean-shaven face is a look which is often desirable to many of your admirers, it is a style which screams youth, or more precisely, immaturity.
With recent studies showing that many women prefer the follicularly endowed precisely because his moustache gives him the air of an older, and as such more mature, gentleman, this is quite possibly the answer to the enigmatic attractiveness of the moustache.
Q: Why do many men have ginger in their facial hair and none in their normal hair?
A: A common query for those looking to bring out their bristles.
This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that the human body has the capacity to grow hair of a few varied colours and shades, depending on the person’s DNA..
Those who have recessive red hair genes may find that among the blonde and brunette bristles, a few fiery follicles appear from time to time. Meaning that you could, feasibly, grow hair of a different colour to your ‘‘normal’’ hair colour anywhere on your body.
Q: How long is the average fashion cycle that dictates whether it's cool to have a moustache or not?
A: As we all know, the moustache has come and gone around the world with years at a time between its rise and fall. As such, it is impossible to predict when, and for how long exactly, facial hair will be favoured.
Throughout history, famous figures such as Alexander the Great and Walt Disney have disallowed facial hair. Unsurprisingly, the polar opposite has also been enforced: the shaving of the upper lip was forbidden thanks to the Queen’s Regulations for the Army during the 1860s.
Although Movember has no doubt helped the popularity of moustaches, the ‘tache’s recent resurgence has almost certainly come about as a reaction to the great beard and moustache drought of the 90s and early 2000s. With baby faced boy-bands the social norm for such a significant period of time, it was only natural that a more rugged visage should come back into style.
Q: How do I groom it?
A: The easy answer would be with a moustache comb, of course.
But if you’re to keep those bristles above your lip looking their best, your grooming routine will have to be a little more rigorous.
On top of the aforementioned skin care routine which is essential to facial hair growth of any kind, you’re going to need to invest in some beard shampoo, as well as a fine moustache wax to ensure that your 'tache stays clean and smelling fresh throughout the masculine month of Movember.
Simply work a little beard shampoo up into a lather work into your moustache and wash out (much like you would with a shampoo designed to care for the hair on your head). Then lightly pat your ‘tache dry with a towel, comb through and apply a little moustache wax to ensure that your facial furniture remains un-hampered by dandruff, fly aways or split ends.
Of course, if you wish to adopt a more shapely style, and if you plan to keep your moustache past Movember the 30th, you will certainly need to invest in a good quality beard trimmer to keep those tresses on the top of your lip looking neat and tidy.
Q: How strong is a Moustache?
A: Good question.
A moustache’s strength can be gauged in two ways: the physical capacity to bear weight and level of ‘‘striking’’ in its appearance.
In the first instance, a strong tug conducted by the beard owner should prove the sturdiness of the beard, so long as hairs aren’t wrenched free.
The visual strength of the beard is based of the viewers own criteria for fullness and size. A long wispy moustache may be large but a bold and tightly groomed moustache is more striking and therefore, stronger.
So there you have it fellow mo’ bros (and mo’ sistas). Some of the more common questions associated with moustache growth answered. Although there is much more that can be said for the mighty moustache, by bearing in mind some of the information above and following our grooming guidelines, your mo’ will surely be the envy of every gentleman. Even if it does happen to take a little longer than the 30 days Movember has to offer.