2 October 2014

The origins of the moustache are shrouded in intrigue and Mo mystery. Let us cut through the trimmings to get you the official history of the Mo.

A history of the humble Mo
With names ranging from flavour saver and soup strainer, right through to being simply referred to as a Mo, the humble moustache has been called many things over the years. Despite being a French word, “moustache” has its origins in the Greek word μύσταξ, or for us linguistically inferior folk, mustax or mustak meaning upper lip or facial hair. Whatever you choose to call it, we love that you rock it.  
It appears that the Mo has been a favoured accessory for men across the ages, with archeologists discovering that Mo Bros have been aware of the power of a moustache since the Neothic Age (around 10,200 to 3,000 BC). Realising the importance of a well-groomed Mo, these prehistoric Mo Bros shaped their facial hair using stone razors fashioned out of Obsidian, or volcanic glass. 
Fast forward a few ten thousand years to 300 BC and we discover the first picture (or painting) of a man rocking a Mo.  Having decided on ‘The Connoisseur’ as his style of choice, the man in question, Pazyrik Horseman, could therefore be considered the world’s first documented Mo Bro. We’re not sure what he used to style his Mo as Pomade wasn’t around back then, but beeswax or coconut oil may have done the job.

Mo Fact: Germanic tribesmen during the Roman empire used putrid butter to keep their Mo in place. We think we’ll stick to Mo wax.


Since those early Mo growing days the story of the moustache in society has involved tales of wisdom, sexual virility, masculinity and higher status. The early 1900s saw advances in technology that resulted in a move away from traditional shaving utensils – straps and blades – to the introduction of safety razors. Not only did the change make men feel safer, it also nudged fashion forward and the Mo really came into its own with men embracing the Walrus style where the neck and cheeks were clean-shaven and the Mo drooped over the top lip.  It was a hairy revolution reflective of changing ideas around men and masculinity, through which the moustache began to be seen as a sign of a civilized, modern man.
The Mo was to fall out of favour during the period spanning the First and Second World Wars with military life generally requiring men to remain clean-shaven. However, the tide was to soon turn back in favour of facial hair. In the post war period of the 1960s the clean-shaven look came to represent conservative values meaning the younger generation began to embrace the Mo as a sign of rebellion. 
In the late 60s, Dr. Schnurrbart Snor, received the first moustacheology certification (CM) at the City College of Newark and headed to Washington, D.C. to form the American Moustache Institute to work towards solving what he described as America’s ‘ugliness crisis’. “America no was a very much pretty place,” Dr. Snor would say in his broken English. “The government did know it. We could see it, and moustache growth was one solution to improving American good looks. Reduce ugliness.”

Enter the 70s and the Mo was back with a vengeance, making appearances across all walks of life from movies and music to sports and businessmen. The change can be partially attributed to Dr Snor’s efforts as the moustache pioneer strategically consulted with 20th Century Fox Studios and Robert Redford to get the Mo up on the silver screen in the landmark film ‘Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid’ . Regardless of how it happened, there was no denying that the Mo was back in vogue, forming part of what is now known as the 1970s fashion “Triple Threat” – the moustache, the perm and the turtleneck.
Cut to the present day and the moustache has become a badge of honour, synonymous with men’s health and Movember. Each year during November, Mo Bros around the world (supported by the Mo Sista in their lives) selflessly donate their upper lips for 30 days and grow a moustache to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues – specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems. 
Since Movember’s inception in 2003, a global army of over 4 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas have grown or supported the growth of a moustache. The result has been more than $500 million raised, billions of conversations generated about men’s health and over 800 men’s health programs funded - proving that a little facial hair grown by a group of committed people can truly change the world.
Mo Bros and Mo Sistas, you are the custodians of the moustache. Treasure its greatness and never let it die.

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