13 Things You Didn’t Know About Moustaches
Whether you have one, want one, or wish they’d all disappear, the Mo has made its comeback. Just in time for Movember, the author of One Thousand Moustaches lets us in on some hairy secrets.
1. You Can Call Moustaches Almost Anything
There are numerous slang terms for the moustache. Most reflect its tendency to retain food and drink or its association with sex:
- Bristle batons
- Cookie duster
- Crumb catcher
- Grass grin
- Lip shadow
- Mr. Tickles
- Tea strainer
- Upper lipholstery
2. Moustaches Are Pratically Magnetic
The average man with a mo touches it 760 times a day.
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3. The Bigger the ‘Stache, the Higher the Pay
Policemen in large Indian cities are sometimes paid a bonus if they grow a mo, considered a symbol of virility and power.
4. Even You Can Grow the Fu Manchu
Average human hair grows at a rate of 0.035 cm a day, or about 13 to 15 cm a year.
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5. Some Moustaches Are More Likeable Than Others
Burt Reynolds’s iconic moustache has nearly 3,200 Facebook fans.
6. They’re Seasonal
Moustache hair grows faster than any other body hair. It sprouts more in spring and summer than in autumn and winter.
7. They Might Be Hiding Something
In 1967, the Beatles wore moustaches on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and enclosed cardboard versions within. Paul McCartney explained his Sgt. Pepper ‘stache as a pragmatic response to a tumble from a moped in 1966: It hid his swollen lip.
8. They Could Make You A Better Suitor
In a 2008 poll from the British newspaper The Guardian, 61 per cent of respondents found the moustache to be gentlemanly and sophisticated, while 39 per cent believed it was worn only by fools and fiends.
9. They Mop Up Well
A moustache is capable of absorbing 20 per cent of its own weight in liquid.
10. ‘Stache Wearers Take Themselves Very Seriously
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is remembered as “one of the most influential moustached Americans in history” by the American Mustache Institute.
11. Mo Facial Hair Means Mo Free Time
Ninety per cent of men shave once a day. Shaving uses up a total of five months of a man’s life if he starts at the age of 14.
12. They’re All Monkey Business
The average human male has about five million follicles—roughly three times as many as the gorilla, but still less than the chimpanzee.
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13. They’re a Money-Making Machine
Razors and blades are a $1.1 billion industry.
However, keeping your Mo long could help your image and trade. Spanish artist Salvador Dali loved his super ‘stache, claiming that “like two erect sentries, my moustache defends the entrance to my real self.”
© 2012 by Allan Peterkin. One Thousand Mustaches: A Cultural History of the Mo, published by Arsenal Pulp Press.