Moustaches: 5 Things Men Should Know



Movember, or the month formerly known as November, is when men grow their moustaches for 30 days to raise awareness and funds to help find a cure for prostate and testicular cancer. Sign your moustache-growing team up now or join the AskMen team.

Today, only hipsters and women who have given up wear moustaches. The lip hair has become a laughable fashion statement; however, the Brillo Pad lip has a long and storied past dating back to prehistoric times. There are still groups who celebrate the moustache without irony. Documentaries and books are being devoted to the subject and world competitions glorify those who sport them. While most men are busy mocking the moustaches, AskMen has gotten down to the business of collecting fascinating facts.

Here are five things you didn’t know about moustaches:

1- Moustache experts rank Sam Elliott’s the best ever

Writers Jon Chattman and Rich Tarantino spent years researching moustaches to pick only the top-notched lip sweaters for their book Sweet ‘Stache: 50 Badass Moustaches and the Faces Who Sport Them. Their highly scientific ‘stache analysis considers a moustache’s cultural relevance, hair quality, style, length, creativity, and ranks it on a scale from 1 to 10.

Sarsaparilla-loving actor Sam Elliot’s graying mutton-chop lip scores the book’s only perfect 10. “Most actors grow a moustache for a particular role, but Elliot doesn’t need a movie. The movie needs his moustache,” said Jon Chattman. “It’s like a live-action Captain Crunch’s. Its finest moment is in The Big Lebowski, it looks like Wolford Brimley’s moustache on steroids.” Chattman added that Elliot’s tipping point for greatest ‘stache is his ability to remain a true sex symbol despite the unruly lip hair.

2- The oldest portrait of a moustache is from 300 B.C.

While shaving with stone razors dates back to Neolithic times, the oldest image of a man with a moustache is a Scythian horseman from 300 B.C. The art piece, appropriately titled “Horseman,” is a Pazyryk felt artifact of a horseman with a thick, upward-curving moustache and partially shaved head. The Pazyryk people lived in southwestern Siberia, near the borders of China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia (maybe they inspired Genghis Khan’s tyrannical moustache). Permafrosted mummies from this era have also been dug up with tattoos. Moustaches and tattoos? They were prehistoric hipsters.

3- Mark Spitz caused the Russian swim team to grow moustaches

Seven-time Olympic gold medal winner Mark Spitz grew a moustache in college because his coach told him he couldn’t. It took him four months and became a personal accomplishment. Swimmers usually shave all body hair to reduce drag and Spitz planned on shaving his for the 1972 Munich Olympics; however, people gave him so much attention about it, he decided to keep it. He’s quoted as saying: “I had some fun with a Russian coach who asked me if my moustache slowed me down. I said, ‘No, as a matter of fact, it deflects water away from my mouth, allows my rear end to rise and make me bullet-shaped in the water, and that’s what had allowed me to swim so great.’ He’s translating as fast as he can for the other coaches, and the following year every Russian male swimmer had a moustache.”

We have 2 more things you didn’t know about moustaches after the break…

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4- The World Beard and Moustache Championships has a “freestyle” category

The World Beard and Moustache Association holds a biennial competition to honor top international facial hair. The 2009 event was held in Anchorage, Alaska. Competitors can enter the moustache categories: Natural Moustache, English, Dali, Imperial Moustache, Hungarian, and Freestyle. There is also a Partial Beard division:
Natural Goatee, Chinese, Musketeer, Imperial, Sideburns Freestyle, and Partial Beard Freestyle. And a Full Beard category: Verdi, Garibaldi, Natural Full Beard, Natural Full Beard with Styled Moustache, and Full Beard Freestyle. The current overall World Beard Champion won with a beard woven in a snowshoe design.

5- Indians dominate moustache growing

Unfortunately, Indians don’t seem to compete in the World Moustache Championships; if they did, they would completely overshadow everyone. According to the Guinness World Records 2009, Badamsinh Juwansinh Gurjar of India holds the record for longest moustache. His moustache measures a staggering 12.5 feet and as of 2004 he had been growing it for 22 years. Another Indian, Ram Singh Chauhan of Rajasthan, registered a moustache at 11.5 feet and Kalyan Ramji Sain started growing his in 1976. By 1993, it reached a span of 11.1 feet. It seems like moustache growing is India’s “baseball” — their national pastime.

Movember, or the month formerly known as November, is when men grow their moustaches for 30 days to raise awareness and funds to help find a cure for prostate and testicular cancer. Sign your moustache-growing team up now or join the AskMen team.

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