The Greatest Western Moustaches

Our list of the greatest cowboy moustaches that made the West. Does your moustache make the cut?

American Cowboy Picture

1. Handlebar
The epitome of 19th-century moustache style, the handlebar moustache has elegant curls that look like the handles of an old-time bicycle. It was the moustache of choice for men of the Old West, including showman Buffalo Bill Cody. To keep the handlebar well defined and sharp, use wax (available at most sundry stores) or styling gel to keep the hairs in place.

2. Horseshoe
A more modern style favored by bikers as well as cowboys, the horseshoe-style moustache extends from the upper lip down to the jaw line and resembles an upside-down horseshoe. Hulk Hogan and Sam Elliott are long-time supporters of this style. A horseshoe moustache requires frequent trimming to prevent beard growth from obscuring the look.

3. Walrus
A thick, bushy style reminiscent of the whiskers of its namesake, a good walrus moustache should cover the entire upper lip and sometimes the entire mouth. It’s a distinguished, no-nonsense look favored by George Armstrong Custer and, more recently, by actor Wilford Brimley. Bonus: The thick, burly Walrus only requires occasional trimming.

4. Pancho Villa
Named for the infamous revolutionary of northern Mexico, the Pancho Villa is a thicker version the Fu Manchu-style moustache. Similar in appearance to the horseshoe, the Pancho Villa differs in that it’s grown from the upper lip only and does not incorporate whiskers along the cheeks. Like the horseshoe, careful trimming is needed to keep the Pancho Villa distinct and full of flair.

5. Pencil-thin
A thin, straight moustache conveys a look of gentlemanly distinction and has graced the upper lips of some of the most powerful men in the West. Ted Turner has long sported this style. In old Westerns, a pencil-thin mustache often also distinguished the villain from the fresh-faced hero. Its simplicity makes it easy to maintain with regular shaving

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