By Cory Waterhouse

Since a select few distinguished gentlemen from this very magazine will be growing out their upper lips for November, we felt it only appropriate to make comment on the various types of furry facial flora that we see on a daily basis.

Just a quick note about me: I come from a family with a patriarch who hasn’t been clean shaven in more than 50 years. My dad drove a truck and his CB handle was “Shoe Brush,” so I know my way around facial hair a bit.

Me? I’m a true lazy ass in terms of facial hair. I routinely have some type of fuzz on my face, sometimes (usually) out of laziness, and sometimes to hide a bit of post-holiday paunch. But this is the first time I’ve actually made an attempt to grow only a mustache.

As I sit here typing this, my wife refuses to look at me without giggling and my daughter has put an embargo on any good night kisses until my face has either gone smooth with a shave, or grown past the point of giving her splotchy red dots on her cherubic face.

As with any endeavor, dedication has its drawbacks.

But to the various types of lip growth, this list only scratches the surface. Here are a few of the ways you can distinguish your stupid, bland face.


Clean Shaven
You most likely have a job, probably salaried, and graze the break room with the other cube farmers. You’re mature and responsible. And you have absolutely nothing to offer this article. Be gone with you.

The Shadow ‘Stache
This is that little bit of weekend stubble you get after not scraping your face with the newest quad razored monstrosity for a few days. Or for me, about a week.

This is just the beginning and it looks terrible. Right now, this is the stage I’m living through. I look like the cross between a 1970s cop and a cop from the 1970s. Unfortunately, I’m also in need of a haircut, so I just need mirrored glasses and a partner on the edge of cracking the case, if we could only get through to our hard-headed but soft-hearted Captain. Uh … back on topic …

The Wispy Teenager (a.k.a. The Steve Kang)
Everyone has a buddy like this. He can go without shaving for weeks and still looks fairly smooth, with usually just the hint of a starving caterpillar under his nose. My buddy and 4L honcho Steve Kang says it’s an Asian thing, but I won’t say that because he’s Korean and I’m not.

The Public Servant
This is the every-day face fur for police officers, sheriff’s deputies, EMTs, firefighters and those who keep us safe from ourselves. Basically, it’s the Tom Selleck look. A dash of danger and a good tan are good signifiers.

Little known fact: Firefighters grew mustaches as a way to filter out smoke they encountered in burning buildings. I was told this by an actual Carlsbad firefighter, so I don’t feel the need to ascertain its veracity and, as Mark Twain said, I’d never want the truth to get in the way of a good story.

The Hipster Baristocrat
I don’t know, broseph. Some of you guys are just trying way too hard.

They paraffin their ‘stache to a glossy sheen and it turns into cool points, I guess. Reddit has taught me looking homeless and driving a Range Rover is good, and ratchet means lame.

I only know calling someone a hipster is “ratchet” but, seriously, they wear cut-off jeans, a Christmas sweater with mittens and malodorous Ugg boots in June.

That sounds pretty rat shit to me.

The Handlebar
Though more prevalent recently with the Movember campaign, this mustache was usually reserved for bikers and bass fishermen. If you wore leather, drank Bud in bottles and smelled like bait, this was you.

The Pirate
This exquisitely groomed mustache only pushed into criminal seafaring territory when you included the under-the-lip DoucheTag. I myself commonly adorn my lower lip with the DoucheTag without any mariner background.

The Toothbrush
The Hitler mustache. This style will always and forever be too soon. Don’t be that guy.

There you have it, folks. A very narrow swath of facial hair to be examined and snarked upon. Feel free to venture out and discover what other styles are lurking out there—at work, the gym, on your softball team or in your own home.  It might even be right under your own nose …