Ram Singh Chauhan of India is the proud owner of the world’s longest moustache, officially recorded by Guinness World Records as 4.29m (14ft) long. But what is the secret of his success? Here he offers five tips.
1. Start growing early – as soon as you can. Chauhan, now 54, started growing his moustache in 1970 – facial hair grows fastest in one’s youth, he says. “As you grow old your hormones grow weak, so the speed slows down.”
And, of course, he has never cut it, “apart from trimming around the lip area”.
2. Groom it well. Chauhan spends an hour every day cleaning and combing his moustache. “I massage it and oil it regularly and I wash it every 10 days which takes a long time,” he says. “My wife helps me.” He uses a coconut-based hair oil.
3. Get your family on your side. Chauhan’s wife Asha says they used to fight over his moustache in the early years. “He used to take a long time to get ready, to wash and also people used to stare at him,” she says.
She didn’t feel comfortable. But later, as he started getting recognition for his long moustache, she started to like it and to respect his commitment. Now, she says, the moustache is like a part of the family and she shares his pride in it.
Chauhan wraps his moustache in cloths matched to his outfits. Sleeping can be uncomfortable but he says there’s no gain without pain and he wouldn’t want it any other way. “I am special with my moustache, and I have never dreamt of being without it.”
4. Don’t be a slave to fashion. When he was younger, Chauhan says, moustaches were very much in vogue in his home country. He earned a lot of respect from fellow students at college, but finds the youth of today have little interest in facial hair. “My own son doesn’t have one,” he says regretfully.
But in the UK, the Handlebar Club says it has noticed a resurgence in bewhiskered men. The popularity of Movember, which last year inspired more than 850,000 men in 14 countries to grow a moustache, is definitely a factor, says Parsons.
“We used to attract the older gentlemen but recently our membership has got younger. At our last AGM we had lots of men in their 20s and 30s.”