Bismarck, Wilhelm II, Hitler: German history is full of powerful people with mustaches. But these men of yesterday are hardly the reason why the small beard over the mouth is currently popular again after years of hype about the hipster full beard. Why is that?

Young guys like to let their upper lip fluff show in 2024, and pop stars are also noticed with it, such as the American number one hit pop singer Benson Boone (21, “Beautiful Things”) and the wild twenty-somethings and Eurovision Song Contest favorite Joost Klein the Netherlands (“Europape”) and baby lasagna from Croatia (“Rim Tim Tagi Dim”).

The hype surrounding the hipster beard lasted long enough – right?

“I think that a beard often looks more attractive than a completely smooth face, especially if the contours are otherwise rather soft like mine,” says Jan from Hamburg, who is in his mid-forties. “Beard shapes other than a mustache don’t work for me,” he says. “They look silly given my very sparse stature.”

In the 80s, the chevron beard (a wide stripe that covers the entire upper lip and is angled towards the mouth) was in vogue – and an epitome of (chauvinistic) masculinity: Think of “Magnum” series star Tom Selleck, Queen- Frontman Freddie Mercury, Hollywood star Burt Reynolds and “Schimanski” actor Götz George.

On the other hand, footballers with mustaches or the writer Günter Grass with his walrus beard were not exactly considered men with the coolest look. In the cliché, the mustache was mainly reserved for kebab sellers or French waiters.

Schnauzers can make people appear likeable and confident

A mustache can look very different: from the likeable series character “Ted Lasso” (Jason Sudeikis) to the cunning drug lord Pablo Escobar. There are also Schnurres wearers like “Bares für Rares” head Horst Lichter and ex-Höhner Henning Krautmacher or the twirled pencil beard of Salvador Dalí.

The actor Tobias van Dieken recently wore a so-called respect bar in his role as a nudist and allotment gardener in the Münster “crime scene”. The noticeable beard also served as a statement – a symbol of a self-confident guy next door.

A lot of prominent role models

More recently, rappers Apache 207 and Lil Nas and Florian David Fitz. Style icon Harry Styles has also appeared with a mustache. For many celebrities, however, it is only a short-term phenomenon and is quickly shaved off.

Looking ridiculous instead of casual is a widespread fear in the context of the mustache, which is sometimes disdainfully called the snotty horse, porno bar or thigh brush.

Many younger people simply find mustaches sexy

In younger generations, however, the so-called purr is by no means considered cringe, but rather sexy – regardless of whether you ask men or women, heterosexuals or homosexuals. The stubble mustache (stubble beard/three-day beard with a mustache) is also popular. So the mustache has the upper hand – and not just in November, known as “Movember”, when thousands of men around the world grow a mustache as a sign of solidarity for men’s health.

“Why does every man you see have a mustache?” asked the New York Times last summer. And she explained: “The mustache was once the domain of porn stars, somewhat scary guys, counterculture types and unfashionable uncles.” Now it is once again a respected option for facial hair.

There are several reasons for this trend, according to the “NYT”. “The mustache is masculine but also playful – in a world that already likes to play with gender styles.” In contrast to biological sex, gender means the socio-cultural gender role.

The mustache as part of the 80s comeback?

We’ve been seeing more mustaches in this country since last year, says Antonio Weinitschke, art director at the Central Association of the German Hairdressing Trade. “In Germany you’re always a little late.” In North America, mustache experiments were already booming during the corona pandemic. Weinitschke gives several reasons for the revival. “In fashion, we’re currently experiencing a bit of the 80s again – in terms of hairstyles, clothes – for example with shoulder pads or loose-fitting pleated trousers. And the mustache is simply part of it.”

Fashion trends are mostly brought to life by young people. “And when you’re young you just wear this mustache because it’s the first beard you grow,” says master hairdresser Weinitschke in Aachen. “Then maybe, with some effort, you can get a little on the chin.” Nevertheless, older people also took part in the current development because they wanted to “swim with the trend wave”. But not every mustache shape is popular these days: “I don’t see the trend of the wide mustache that way now, it’s more narrower, subtle ones – so not the Tom Selleck type.” In other words: milk beard instead of fat bars.