The mustache has long been a tradition of facial hair growth, and one that continually falls in and out of style, depending on the trend at the time.
These come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from short, neat mustaches, to extravagant, long styles that have become synonymous with the look.
But what are some examples of long mustaches, and how on Earth do you maintain them?
The Mustache: A History
The earliest documented accounts of mustaches without beards come from the Iron Age Celts (or Gauls), who were noted by Diodorus Siculus (Greek historian) as being tall, built with rippling muscles, pale, wearing their hair bleached and slicked back, and growing long, eye catching mustaches over their lips.
Mustaches then became and remained incredibly popular all throughout the Middle Ages, with well known historical finds like the Sutton Hoo helmet.
Types Of Long Mustache
With the rising importance and care that people took in their appearance, came a large number of mustache styles, many of which remain famous and appreciated to this day.
Big, thick, long, and bristly, the walrus is a common style of long mustache that has been consistently worn since the times of the ancient Celts and Gauls.
The style is perhaps the most simple to maintain, and requires very little upkeep, becoming extremely popular during the latter part of the 19th century, and the early part of the 20th century, eventually falling out of popularity by the 1920s.
Notable wearers of the walrus style include writer Friedrich Nietzche, former German chancellor Otto Von Bismarck, and American rock musician David Crosby.
Another mustache originating with the Iron Age Celts, the handlebar is longer and more extravagant than the walrus, and can come in various forms and styles.
This look was especially popular in the American west during the 19th century, favored by famous historical figures such as lawman Wyatt Earp, General George Armstrong Custer, and famed Wild West Show entertainer, Buffalo Bill Cody.
The Fu Manchu
This form of facial hair is derived from the fictional character Fu Manchu, who appeared in a series of novels by English author Sax Rohmer, and is depicted as being long, straight, and hanging below the jaw.
This is often considered an Asian stereotype, despite limited evidence to suggest the look as a notable trend, and many depictions of Asian men during the 19th and 20th centuries incorporated this facial hair as a feature.
Another famous mustache favored in the United States, the horseshoe is similar to the handlebar (and is often confused as such), but is more cropped to the face and wider than its Gaulish counterpart.
While widely associated with biker culture – most notably the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club, famous wearers of the horseshoe mustache include professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, and American actor Sam Elliott.
Reminiscent of Salvador Dali, albeit more reserved and uniform, the English mustache was a popular long style of mustache worn throughout English society in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Popular wearers of this mustache are the horror icon Vincent Price, and professional wrestler The Iron Sheik.
How To Maintain A Long Mustache?
Of course, when it comes to any elaborate facial hair, there is a lot of upkeep involved to ensure it looks the best it can.
Keep It Clean
A stereotypical problem with mustaches – and indeed any large facial hair for that matter – is that they gather crumbs, food, and general debris from daily life.
Thus, ensuring mustache hygiene is a must. The best way to keep your long mustache clean and looking its best is to give it a regular scrub, using exfoliating cream, gentle soap, or even specialized mustache cleaning balms.
Keep It Smooth
Anyone who has grown facial hair can attest to how itchy and uncomfortable it can get.
This is understandable, as hair is essentially shooting through your pores in real time, which can take some getting used to.
One way to improve the feel and look of your mustache is to shampoo and condition it, just like you would with the hair on your head.
This will not only make it smooth, more manageable, and more uniform, but it will decrease the bristly texture, and get rid of any dead skin or ‘beardruff’ that might have gathered at the roots.
Cut When Dry
Stylists recommend only cutting and trimming your mustache when it is dry, so as to avoid cutting off too much hair, or ruining the overall appearance of your stache.
When the mustache is wet, you do not get a clear view of how it will fall, how voluminous it really is, and how the finished article will look.
Keep It Trimmed
Keeping it neat and trimmed is important, depending on the style.
For more delicate, intricate long mustaches, upkeep is everything, but for more wilder, rugged styles like the walrus, they tend to look better if you let them do their own thing.
For the best results, only use the clippers up to a certain length, after which you should change to scissors to avoid any unwanted accidents.
There are plenty of mustache waxes and balms on the market nowadays, allowing you to affordably style your mustache in any way you desire.
The trick is not to overdo it, and to accept that sometimes your mustache will fall out of place.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about long mustaches, the various styles there are, and the best ways to maintain them.
So remember, if you are thinking of growing a longer mustache style, the best results come from keeping it clean, keeping it trimmed, and keeping it nice and smooth.
But most importantly, have fun with it!