Indian Men Love Big Moustaches and Beards

Indian Men Love Big Moustaches and Beards

I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was sat down at the departure gate in Qatar’s Doha airport patiently waiting to board my flight to Bangalore and I was passing the time by people watching.  There were women in saris, cute little chubby-cheek Indian children (the cutest kids on the planet) …and a whole lot of men with big, blingy Tom Sellek – circa Magnum P.I.— moustaches waiting with me. 

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Ahhh Magnun P.I. had the best macho man moustache EVER. Oddly enough, though it’s been a couple of decades, there are still men here in India sporting that very same style.

I honestly was in awe of it all.  But as exotic and wonderful as the ladies in saris were, nothing compared to the awe-inspiring Indian men and their moustaches.  Man, these guys love their facial hair.  A lot!

In the 70s my dad had crazy big moustaches and every once in a while now I catch a glimpse of some random Inidan’s “stache” and it makes me smile and reminds me of my Dad, who I miss very much.  On any given day I will literally see hundreds of examples of the Indian man’s love for their personal grooming in the form of a beard, a goatee, a sol patch, a moustache, etc.

Tom Selleck certainly represents one style here but, my friends, that is just the tip of the iceberg …I promise you!  In Europe and the U.S., the moustache is rarely seen, I mean almost never.  Sure the guys will sport a sol patch or some cool yet very small decorative facial hair, but I personally don’t have a single friend who wears one, and I don’t remember seeing a “friend of a friend” with one either.  But the men here have done it all and I have honestly never seen such a passion for facial hair style in any other country like I have here in India.  Skinny moustaches, rounded corners, thick and full, thinned and short, full beards, guru-style long beards… there is something for everyone here.  I have even seen big ‘ole handle bar styles like the Village People in the 70s wore since setting foot in Bangalore.  And the wild thing is that it’s not just the older men who grow them out of habit because that’s what was cool when they were younger.  Nor is it just the REALLY young teens who want to look older now that they hit puberty and can prove it.  Men of all ages do it.  From CEOs of major corporations to chefs and drivers.  Big or small, rich or poor, it doesn’t matter.

I’ve asked my friends with beards and moustaches why they wear them and the most common answer I hear is that from the time they were small they saw their father, grandfathers and uncles wearing them, the men who they looked up to while they were growing up.  So for them it feels natural to wear one because that’s what the men in their family do.  To be honest I haven’t heard anyone say that it is for religious reasons here but I assume that is also a top answer for some men.  I remember a friend of mine back home wore a goatee because he said his chin looked better covered up, haha …so there you go.  Lots of fun reasons to rock facial hair!

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My friend Aditya Singh is an actor here in Karnataka (who acts in both Kannada and Tamil language films) who always sports a sexy, manly ‘stache for his leading man, tough guy roles. Go Adi !!!!

And the trend doesn’t seem to be fading, not from my perspective at least.

I’ve watched enough Bollywood films in the past to know that moustaches are the bomb in India.  In fact, I don’t think I can actually recall seeing many smooth-faced leading men in Bollywood films…at least not the older classics I was watching back in Spain.  And every single tough guy on TV or in Indian films has a moustache or a beard.  In fact, my friend Aditya, a Kannada film actor and leading man in films like the Deadly Soma franchise was the inspiration for today’s blog post.  Yesterday he told me that he never shaves off his moustache because basically every part he reads for calls for it.  Personally, I see it almost as part of the wardrobe!  You know, leather jacket – check.  Black shirt and jeans – check.  Manly moustache – check.  Today I asked him to send me a video clip of something he has done and it was PERFECT.  Aditya  looks very bad-ass for the guys and very hot for the ladies, sporting a “tough guy” moustache and kickin’ ass in Deadly 2, you should check him out (he’s the guy in all black): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP479AxL_dw

You know what I don’t see though, are those little (or big) moustache combs my dad used to carry around with him.  How are all these gents keeping themselves perfectly groomed?  They must be around, they’ve gotta be around, right?  Hmmm… will have to investigate that 🙂

To close the topic, I’ve been sitting here wracking my brain but I honestly don’t think I have kissed a man with a strapping moustache before.  My ex-husband had a goatee, so that’s covered, but I wonder what it’s like kissing a man with a ‘stache??  Is it better somehow?  Or a real pain because it irritates the skin and turns your upper lip red after a passionate kiss?  Hmmmm…I should have asked my girlfriends here about this topic before sitting down to write but I guess we’ll have to leave that for part two and make this blog post the first in a series!!

XOXO from Bangalore

© Angela Carson and Angela’s Adventures in Bangalore blog and photos, 2011

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Angela Carson
Angela Carson

At 21 I left uni, jumped into my Jeep Wrangler, and drove from my native California to live an adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I’ve explored 35 countries on 4 continents, residing in 7 of them (currently Kuala Lumpur is my home). I even have a private pilot’s license and was shot at once by bandits!

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17 Comments

  1. 08/07/2011 / 15:36

    LOL 😆 That was an interesting read and I personally prefer men with stubs (yeah yeah just like my hubby and bro and I love Dad’s ‘stache) 😀

    Full beards, grosses me out! Eww! 😮

    For most Indian men, it’s a sign of masculinity and pride, though the trend’s changing to clean shaven looks.
    I remember my cousin, who just turned 15 that time, applying kajal, so as to make it grow faster. 🙂 And some proudly role fingers over their ‘staches as if that helps in better thinking! 😉

    • 08/07/2011 / 20:29

      hahaha…omg they do love rolling ther fingers over them don’t they!! That was super. Well, in the spirit of research today I kissed a friend with a moustache and it was good…I understand your preference 🙂

  2. 08/07/2011 / 23:08

    Hahaha… After reading this article i couldn’t take my eyes off every man’s ‘mush’. I spent the entire evening checking out all the shapes and sizes they came in while smiling like a mad man on the road.

    I have to agree with the above comment. The trend is changing here. Mainly because most girls don’t dig a beard/mush anymore.

    I personally love my beard but i do go clean shaven at times. I remember my first girlfriend begging me not to trim or shave it cause she liked the way it tickled her while we kissed. Haha ! Good times…

    • 09/07/2011 / 00:42

      hahaha… awesome!! that made me laugh, thanks so much 🙂

  3. abstractpsyche
    09/07/2011 / 15:10

    haha!! Nice read.. People here feel comfortable with their facial hair, its a part of their masculinity. In USA, you see people suiting up for some occasion, a stache is part of the normal wardrobe itself. I never shaved my stache till my 3rd year of engineering till my date suggested me to try trimming it down. Since then I maintain it like a bit of stubble. 😛
    My father when in deep thinking rolls his fingers on his stache. Though, I have to agree that the trend is changing here. Most youngsters go for the clean shaven looks these days, probably half inspired by the ‘Bollywood’ crap and half by the ‘top to bottom waxed’ ‘GentleMEN’ of Hollywood.

    By the way, few girls who kiss guys with staches have this urge to swipe their hands on their lips after each and every kiss. Sure it tickles them once in a while, depends on how its trimmed I think. My friend says that his girl gets turned on when his stache tickles her. I go for a stubble coz it pleases everyone similarly 😉 (Good for a suit, good for a meeting, good for my girl, good for any outfit) Of course, requires some serious maintenance though 😛

    • 09/07/2011 / 15:50

      hahaha, glad you found the right style to fit all your needs 🙂 I was never a fan but since arriving in India I am embracing the ‘stache and starting to find it quite sexy when it’s not too over-the-top bushy or big.

  4. 09/07/2011 / 22:16

    Hahahaha!! I have never ever paid attention to this particular trait in Indian men.. To be honest, I never considered it to be unique to Indians.. : Personally, I prefer a stubble over a full-blown mush.. 😀
    Interesting post.. 🙂 🙂

    • 10/07/2011 / 08:26

      okay, so a moustache in ‘slang’ in India is a mush??? hehe I like that. And I am so surprised you didn’t know it was an India thing… with so many foreign films and tv shows…that is interesting to me. 🙂 Hope all is great with you….

  5. Bibi
    11/07/2011 / 18:16

    I guess I’m showing my age & nationality but a ‘moustache’ in the San Francisco bay area where I grew up meant ‘GAY’
    In India facial hair can mean a lot of things -from the long unkempt whiskers of a sadhu, the long, trimmed beard of a devout Muslim, or even location like the typical Rajastani twirled moustache. I wish my husband would grow a goatee instead of his usual ‘Don Johnson Miami Vice’ stubble though 😉

    • 12/07/2011 / 01:26

      hahaha… omg i can imagine the miami vice stubble 🙂

    • 01/08/2011 / 01:18

      OMG I have to have the usb memory stick and magnetic clips for the fridge, those are amazing! Just Liked them on Facebook, thanks for the tip 🙂

  6. Pingback: Moustache 70 S Man
  7. 19/02/2013 / 20:45

    Just like south indian film stars all Southy males have habit to keep moustache from teenage ….even southy gals fancied for Mush men…here in north india its sign of a villagers or an old school until u don’t have french cut style..

  8. 20/02/2013 / 01:37

    Went thru half my life without any facial hair. Can’t believe what I was thinking. My reasoning was , when I can have it, why deny it. Took a while for my wife to get used to it but now she prefers it over the whole padre look… Me think, it’s becoz now she only have to see half my face.

    • 05/05/2015 / 21:06

      Nice! Love the special section of your website dedicated to the various types of ‘staches 😉 You should share this with Sharrell from About.com India, she will love it >> https://www.facebook.com/goindiaguide Best of luck to you, Angela

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