Handlebar Moustache

Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche
If a man really wants to stand out from the crowd, then sporting a large handlebar moustache is one way to do it. This is the kind of facial accessory for men who want to wear their testosterone on their sleeve..or rather their upper lip. Although the style dates back at least to the 18th century, when it was a favourite with soldiers and Wild West types, the handlebar moustache still has its fans in the 21st century. Over the decades, it has been worn to effect by philosophers, artists, actors, adventurers and Colonel Blimp prototypes.

Actor David Suchet as Hercule Poirot
Often but not always accompanied by a pair of bushy side burns, the handlebar is so-called for its obvious similarity in shape to bicycle handlebars and is defined by an upward trajectory at the sides. Some like their handlebar natural and wild, others slick and controlled and occasionally waxed and curled on the ends.

Although the classic handlebar is generous and bushy, there are some famous, stylized variations that fit the criteria in shape, if not in density. Fictional detective Hercule Poirot for example, wears a petit, waxy and controlled version of the style, while Salvadore Dali's iconic upper lip hair is a kind of interesting cross between a pencil-thin moustache and a handlebar.

Artist, Salvador Dali
The Handlebar Moustache Club
To join the handlebar moustache club, potential members must have an "hirsute appendage of the upper lip, with graspable extremities" and no beard. Founded in the UK just after World War II, the club has members all over the world, who are rightfully proud of their hirsute pursuit. There are some real beauties in the club line-up but beware, having a handlebar is not all beer and hairy conversation - the excessive moustache has its hazards, notably an incompatibility with cigarette lighters, soup and candy-floss.
Handlebar Moustache Club