Mustache goods a growing trend

Jeremy Eckhart, left, Jaxon Bryant and Heather Newton show their fake mustaches in Las Cruces, N.M., which was named the 27th most mustache-friendly city in the U.S. by the American Mustache Institute. Enlarge photo

ROBIN ZIELINSKI/Las Cruces Sun

Jeremy Eckhart, left, Jaxon Bryant and Heather Newton show their fake mustaches in Las Cruces, N.M., which was named the 27th most mustache-friendly city in the U.S. by the American Mustache Institute.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) ľ Suddenly, they seem to be showing up everywhere.

Dapper, carefully trimmed mustaches on businessmen. Freestyle versions on college students, sometimes punctuated with soul patches.

Elaborately groomed handlebars on cowpokes and bartenders. More pronounced versions on previously discreetly airbrushed images of Frida Kahlo. Big black mustaches on babies.

Babies?

Mustaches are trending so strongly that the hirsute fashion statement is boldly going where it has never gone before. On infantsĺ pacifiers, for instance. And on temporary tattoos. Apply one to your index finger, and with a quick gesture, you can join the ranks of the mustachioed any time.

Richard Parra, owner of Spirit Winds in Las Cruces, says he canĺt keep the mustache paraphernalia in stock.

ôWeĺre sold out of the pacifiers. People think theyĺre really funny. All our mustache accoutrements have been selling fast for more than a year.

Right now, weĺve got some mustache earrings, corkscrews and bumper stickers,ö said Parra, who is growing a mustache himself.

ôItĺs actually part of a goatee. I just started. Itĺs part of my new winter look,ö he said.

These days, Matt Bleything, owner of LuLuĺs in Mesilla, may also be paying more attention to mustaches than an old-time barber.

The mustache section of his trendy boutique includes everything from baby binkies and mustache-shaped paper clips to a silver mustache ring and temporary tattoos. Apply one to your index finger (or the double Fingerstache to two fingers) and you can quickly assume your choice of 19 personas: Oilman, Carnies, Neighborino, Gunslinger, Professor, Dandy, Plumber, El Bandito, Crybaby, Prospector, Makeout Bandit, Magnum, Sheriff, Villain, Eighth Grade Bully, Swashbuckler, Pushbroom or Rich Uncle.

A six-pack of stick-on famous artistsĺ mustaches ranges from a salt-and-pepper Rembrandt to a fiery red Vincent van Gogh.

In fact, some mustaches are so famous that no images are necessary: A name will suffice to conjure the ĺstache style. Consider the list of ôTop 10 Most Famous Moustachesö on TopTenz.net: Fu Manchu, Tom Selleck, Adolf Hitler, Groucho Marx, Yosemite Sam, Gene Shalit, Charlie Chaplin, baseball Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers, surrealist artist Salvador Dali, and someone whose mustache is more famous than his name: Badamsinh Juwansinh Gurjarhis, who spent 22 years growing a 12.5-foot-long mustache, in an attempt to set a world record.

Whatĺs the attraction? Several mustachioed guys will give you a quick, practical answer: ôIt beats shaving.ö

Others may be convinced they are a babe magnet, with some justification.

ôI love mustaches. I even liked them as a teenager. My husband Tony has a white mustache and goatee,ö said Patti Gruessing of Las Cruces. Hal Fore had a long relationship with his.

ôI had a mustache for 40 years. I remember I still had it when I took a wonderful trip to Paris. Then, I just decided I wanted to see my face. I shaved it off and people said I looked younger,ö Fore said.

ôI like the way it looks and itĺs easier with the right trimmers,ö said Robert Ramirez of Las Cruces, who said he has experimented with many kinds of facial hair, including embedded designs, with the help of Robert ôBoomerö Burkhartsmeier of Zucos Barbershop.

Las Cruces was named the 27th most mustache-friendly city in the U.S. by the American Mustache Institute, which reportedly considered such factors as ôlarge first responders pool (law enforcement, fire and rescue, EMTs); motorcycles, monster trucks and ATVs per capita; and restaurants serving pork rinds and pickled meats per capita.ö

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