Beard and mustache obsessions on LI
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Facial hair today, but not gone tomorrow seems to be the trend on Long Island. From the year-old Long Island Beard and Mustache Society for men -- and women -- to pacifiers that can make any infant look like he needs a shave, mustache mania seems to be here to stay for a while.
Whether you want to bond with fellow mustache lovers or are in search of oddities like mustache mood rings, here's how you can join in the fun.
There's not a whisker of a chance Dan Roberts, 39, of Mattituck will start shaving anytime soon -- considering the attention he gets from facial hair generally seen only on historical figures.
"People come up and they want to take a picture," says Roberts, whose wraparound muttonchops resemble the elaborately manicured whiskers seen on characters in the movie "Lincoln."
Roberts, a quality assurance supervisor for a local bread-making company, is one of the proudly hirsute members of the Long Island Beard and Mustache Society. He's sported everything from sideburns to a handlebar mustache. "I always grow different things to have fun with it," he explains.
Local members meet every other month or so in Babylon. "The idea at the forefront of a facial hair club is having fun, getting together and meeting people over a few pints and a similar interest," Roberts says.
The group also attends competitions, which award prizes in categories including best mustache and best and worst in show. At competitions, men show off all sorts of facial hair, "big and small, long or tight and groomed," Roberts says.
You also can show up clean-shaven. "You don't have to have facial hair to join," says member Blake Turner, 31, of West Babylon, a car audio technician, who says that growing a beard and a handlebar mustache is his "hobby."
Here comes the grooming
Even the wildest mustache needs a little taming now and then, although, jokes Roberts, "we avoid grooming as much as possible." A number of area barbershops are experts in maintaining a presentable 'stache. Two Kings Barbershop and Shave Parlor in Smithtown specializes in trimming beards and mustaches. It costs from $5 to $8. (863 Jericho Tpke. #4, Smithtown; 631-775-7985, twokingsbs.com)
At the Art of Shaving in Roosevelt Field in Garden City, you can get a mustache trim for $15. The barber uses a "hot towel, hot lather and straightedge razor," says Linda Lynch, retail shaving specialist. (516-248-3905, theartofshaving.com)
How to train your mustache
An unwaxed mustache tends to create a nuisance, especially when you're eating or swimming, Turner says. He used to apply commercial mustache wax to tame his but disliked its odor, so he created his own formula with beeswax and secret ingredients. A 1-ounce tin sells for $8 at etsy.com/shop/bigbswax.
In a mustache mood
If the thought of growing (or kissing) a mustache makes you itch, you can slip one on your finger.
Of course, Sweeties Candy Cottage sells candy mustaches, including chocolate ones made on site. But just as dandy as the candy are other offerings: four kinds of mustache rings, including one that purports to tell the wearer's mood. Neon, glitter and mini-mustache rings, $2.50 each, also are available at the stores in Huntington and Port Washington.
Another popular item at the store is the Stachifier, a baby pacifier with a mustache on it, which immediately turns a hairless infant into a Groucho Marx look-alike.
"Most people are buying it for people who have babies or are pregnant," says store owner Lisa Hodes. The baby-with-a-mustache pictures often wind up shared on social media sites, she adds.