Handlebar moustache

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Copenhagen wigmaker about 1893 Carl Frederik Holm (1848) c 1893.jpg
Copenhagen wigmaker about 1893

A handlebar moustache is a moustache with particularly lengthy and upwardly curved extremities. These moustache styles are named for their resemblance to the handlebars of a bicycle. [1] It is also known as a spaghetti moustache, because of its stereotypical association with Italian men. [2] [3] The Handlebar Club humorously describes the style as "a hirsute appendage of the upper lip and with graspable extremities". [4]



Similar styles of moustache are quite ancient, appearing on statues and other depictions of Iron Age Celts. [5] In the United States, handlebar moustaches were worn in the later part of the 19th century by Wild West figures like Wyatt Earp. [6] [7] In Europe, handlebar moustaches were often worn by soldiers during the 19th century until roughly the era of World War I.

English comedy actor Jimmy Edwards grew his trademark handlebar moustache in the late 1940s in order to disguise facial injuries sustained as a pilot in World War II. [8]

In 1972, to win a $300 "best facial hair" prize offered by team owner Charlie O. Finley, Oakland A's pitcher Rollie Fingers grew a handlebar moustache which he sported throughout his career. [9] [10]

More recently, the contemporary hipster subculture has embraced the handlebar moustache by mocking conventional ideals of fashion, and by combining a highly manicured handlebar moustache with the portrayal of an unkempt appearance or a haphazardly selected clothing ensemble. [11]

Handlebar moustache are often used for Circus people.

Famous handlebar moustaches

Company mascots


This style is usually achieved by the use of moustache wax, [27] although hair gel, a curling iron, or natural curling can suffice. Generally, the greater the curl of the extremities, the more dramatic the appearance achieved. When worn without wax or grooming, the moustache style may more closely resemble a walrus moustache.

See also

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sideburns</span> Patches of facial hair grown on the sides of the face

Sideburns, sideboards, or side whiskers are facial hair grown on the sides of the face, extending from the hairline to run parallel to or beyond the ears. The term sideburns is a 19th-century corruption of the original burnsides, named after American Civil War general Ambrose Burnside, a man known for his unusual facial hairstyle that connected thick sideburns by way of a moustache, but left the chin clean-shaven.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rollie Fingers</span> American baseball player

Roland Glen Fingers is an American former right-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for three teams between 1968 and 1985, when his effectiveness helped to redefine the value of relievers within baseball and to usher in the modern closer role. A seven-time All-Star, he led the major leagues in saves three times, and was named Rolaids Relief Man of the Year four times. He first gained prominence as a member of the Oakland Athletics championship teams of the early 1970s, when his flamboyant handlebar mustache made him perhaps the most identifiable member of The Mustache Gang which led Oakland to become the only non-New York Yankees team ever to win three consecutive World Series titles. Fingers was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1974 World Series after earning a win in the opener and saves in the last three games to secure the title.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Moustache</span> Facial hair grown above the upper lip

A moustache is a strip of facial hair grown above the upper lip. Moustaches have been worn in various styles throughout history.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Moustache wax</span>

Moustache wax is a stiff pomade applied to a moustache as a grooming aid to hold the hairs in place, especially at the extremities. The required product strength is based on whisker length and the desired style. It can also have restorative properties, which become more important as the hair length increases. The wax is usually scented and sometimes pigmented with dyes; high end products utilize various combinations of iron oxide to create darker shades.

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Walrus moustache Facial hairstyle

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The toothbrush moustache is a style of moustache in which the sides are vertical rather than tapered, giving the hairs the appearance of the bristles on a toothbrush that are attached to the nose. It was made famous by such comedians as Charlie Chaplin and Oliver Hardy. The style first became popular in the United States in the late 19th century; from there it spread to Germany and elsewhere, reaching a height of popularity in the interwar years, before becoming unfashionable after World War II due to its strong association with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. The association has become strong enough that the toothbrush has also become known as the "Hitler moustache".

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The World Beard and Moustache Championships is a biennial competition hosted by the World Beard and Moustache Association (WBMA), in which men and women with beards and moustaches display lengthy, highly styled facial hair.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Handlebar Club</span>

The Handlebar Club is an association of aficionados of the handlebar moustache, based in London. The club's sole requirement for membership is "a hirsute appendage of the upper lip and with graspable extremities"; beards are absolutely forbidden. The club engages in activism to assuage discrimination against the handlebarred as well as competitive facial hair tourneys, and has inspired the foundation of transatlantic and Scandinavian counterparts. The club declares itself to be at war with a society that demands people choose "the bland, the boring and the generic"; a club chant includes the proposition that being kissed by a smooth face is akin to "meat without the salt".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Facial hair</span> Hair grown on the face, chin, cheeks, and upper lip region

Facial hair is hair grown on the face, usually on the chin, cheeks, and upper lip region. It is typically a secondary sex characteristic of human males. Men typically start developing facial hair in the later stages of puberty or adolescence, around fifteen years of age, and most do not finish developing a full adult beard until around eighteen or later. Large variations can occur however, as boys as young as eleven have been known to develop facial hair, and some men do not produce much facial hair at all.

Mustache March

Mustache March is an annual event occurring in the month of March, where members in the United States Air Force and United States Space Force grow mustaches to honor Air Force legend Robin Olds. As the name implies, it starts on the 1st of March and any participant who starts in the month of February is disqualified. The idea stems from an early Air Force tradition in which members of the U.S. Air Force would grow mustaches in good-natured protest against facial hair regulations during the month of March. The act of growing a mustache as a gesture of defiance against dogmatic leadership is attributed to U.S. Air Force triple-ace Robin Olds who grew an extravagantly waxed handlebar mustache which did not comply with U.S. Air Force regulations.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Facial hair in the military</span>

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The Mustache Gang, a term coined for the 1972 Oakland Athletics baseball team, a team that broke the traditionally conservative baseball views by sporting mustaches. From the change in American men's fashion away from facial hair in the 1920s to the early 1970s, there had only been two baseball players who had facial hair during the regular season: Stanley "Frenchy" Bordagaray of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who was then ordered to shave by his manager, and Wally Schang of the Philadelphia A's.

New York Yankees appearance policy Personal grooming policy instituted by the New York Yankees

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Ned Kelly beard Style of facial hair

A Ned Kelly beard is a style of facial hair named after 19th-century Australian bushranger and outlaw Ned Kelly. It consists of a full, luxuriant beard and a moustache, and is typically accompanied by short, styled hair. Although the term dates back to the early 20th century, it gained currency in Australia in the 2000s to refer to a trend in hipster fashion, and was named word of the month in March 2014 by the Australian National Dictionary Centre.


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