Sunday, 26 September 2021

Man's moustache scoops international award

A MAN?S four-year quest to grow the perfect moustache has culminated in an international award.

A MAN?S four-year quest to grow the perfect moustache has culminated in an international award.

Johnny King stopped shaving his top lip on a whim in 2011 after spotting an elderly man?s handlebar moustache while out shopping.

The 33-year-old, of Dacre Avenue, Caversham, was impressed by his distinctive appearance and wanted to try something similar. His curiosity soon became an obsession and a year later he launched a business selling home-made facial hair-grooming products.

Now the married father-of-three is celebrating being crowned top of his category at the biennial World Beard and Moustache Championships in Austria. He had entered the previous contest in 2013 but this was his first victory.

Mr King?s moustache is now about 20cm long and stretches past his eyes when pulled towards the top of his head.

He used to wear it in a handlebar style but now he curls the tips upwards like Salvador Dali, after whom his competition category was named. He washes and combs it every day then shapes it using a wax he prepares in his kitchen to his own recipe.

He said: ?I?ve always been a bit stubbly because my facial hair grows very quickly and I?m a bit lazy when it comes to shaving. I?ve always liked being a bit different and beards and moustaches weren?t quite as popular as they are now.?

Mr King learned how to care for his new facial feature by reading advice on the internet. He also became a member of the Handlebar Club, a society set up by comedians Frank Muir and Jimmy Edwards in 1947.

It has several hundred members and meets once a month at the Windsor Castle pub in Marylebone, where it has its own corner with a plaque. Applicants must show they have ?a hirsute appendage of the upper lip with graspable extremities?.

Mr King said: ?I?d say you need at least six months to grow a really big beast of a moustache. You need a good wax to shape it as it won?t naturally grow curly.

?My daily routine isn?t that elaborate but I wash it every day before I style it, in the same way you?d do with the hair on your head. It?s very important not to trim it. If you only grow and curl the ends it looks awful ? you have to grow it long and comb it sideways.?

Mr King said his wife Gemma and children Dulcie, four, and twins Etta and Percy, both two, were not fazed by his appearance. He said: ?Gemma thinks the moustache is really cool. The kids sometimes yank on it but they love it. I don?t think they?d recognise me if I shaved it off. I do get people staring, though. One woman walked her buggy into a wall and fell over while someone nearly crashed their car because they were distracted by it.?

Mr King started his business in 2012 while he was working as a stockroom assistant at HMV in Reading. He made a few test batches using a recipe based on beeswax and sold them on eBay. They proved popular so he set up his own website and began marketing it to barbers? shops. He now makes batches of 50 tubs at a time using ordinary kitchen equipment and also sells a moustache oil.

Mr King said it was ?incredible? to have won the world championships and he intends to enter the 2017 tournament to be held in Texas.

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