It’s mid-point in November, a time when thousands of charity moustaches are really beginning to take shape.
For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, Movember sees men grow their upper-lip hair for one month to raise both awareness and funds to help fight prostate cancer and other male health problems. The idea started in Australia in 2003 when just a few dozen guys decided to revive the much-maligned facial fashion for a good cause.
Since then the movement has spread worldwide and official Movember Foundations are present in the US, Canada and several European countries. Unofficial Movember associations have been set up in dozens more countries.
Since 2003 a total of around 124 million euros has been raised through the official website and the movement appears to be growing fast; participation almost doubled between 2009 and 2010. Almost half a million people – mostly men for obvious reasons – took part last year and the movement has also merged with similar groups such as Tacheback, which raises money to battle testicular cancer. Another movement, No Shave November, also exists although as the name suggests, it requires not just a moustache but a whole beardful of facial hair.
So that is why you may have noticed a growth in the moustachioed population over the last few weeks. There is also a healthy variety of styles. But do you know your Hungarian from your Horseshoe, your Handlebar from your Fu Manchu?
Here are just a few of the moustaches being tried out worldwide for Movember:
The Chevron: A classic. Strong, solid, no-frills moustache that is easy to grow for a debutant. Just think Tom Selleck, Chevron-wearer par excellence (below).
The Hungarian or Walrus: Big, bushy, opulent. This moustache can in some cases entirely cover the mouth. Australian cricketer Merv Hughes is perhaps the finest Walrus exponent in the world of sports, although politics has had its fair share too with Lech Walesa and Josef Stalin (below) prime examples.
The Handlebar: Probably needs wax if it’s to be done properly. Bushy in the middle then tapered out and pointed up at the ends, à la Franz Ferdinand (the historical figure, not the pop-rock group). Perhaps perfected by baseball star Rollie Fingers (below), whose Handlebar came almost full circle on itself.
The Horseshoe: The name tells you all you need to know about the shape of this moustache. Like a goatee but without the chin whiskers, it can be narrow but also bushy. Wrestler Hulk Hogan (below) is famous for his, while Ben Stiller gets the shape right in the film Dodgeball.
The Fu Manchu: Like the horseshoe but where the ends just keep growing off the face. A difficult one to pull off for first time tache growers but one that will make wearers seem like kung fu specialists. Named after the fictional evil genius (below).
The Dali: You don’t need to be mad to wear this moustache but it helps. It will also require plenty of attention and grooming. Must be kept very narrow at the upper lip and grown long enough to shoot upwards from the corners of the mouth. Inspired by Salvador Dali (below), who has been quoted as saying that “without a moustache a man is not really dressed.”
The Toothbrush: Just a few centimetres across below the nose, but kept fairly thick to form a square between nose and mouth. Charlie Chaplin (below) made it famous, Adolf Hitler made it infamous.
The Pencil: A good moustache for a round face. It needs to be kept very thin, making it a high-maintenance ‘tache. It should also be contained to the limits of the mouth so it simply outlines the upper lip. If you’re looking for a famous example, Errol Flynn (below) would be a good place to start, or the character Gomez in the 1991 Addams Family film.