19th Century Moustache
Story By: Asyura Mohd Roslan
Photos By: Asyura Mohd Roslan & Shariffah Nur Alawiyah
Besides the common types of facial hair inspired by celebrities, such as David Beckham and Zac Efron, what are the odds of ever coming across someone with a handlebar moustache in Singapore?
Meet 24-year-old Jacky Chan, also known as Barber Jacky at The Black Tie barbershop, who confidently rocks a unique handlebar moustache everyday.
Originating from the 19th century, this particular moustache exudes a classy old-school style that not many of the 21st century men particularly fancy. Jacky, on the other hand, breaks the norm.
It all started at the age of 19, when Jacky first attempted to grow the handlebar moustache, after gaining inspiration from the Western culture. However, all his efforts of growing one came to a waste, as Jacky could not see any progress then.
“I had no patience. My moustache kept growing thicker but it could not be shaped into a handlebar yet. I shaved it off entirely,” explains Jacky.
In early 2015, Jacky went back on track on his mission to grow the handlebar and this time, he was indeed patient. That one year of complete patience paid off for Jacky, as he gets a majority of compliments from passersby as well as his customers. Aside, he still gets weird stares from strangers in public.
“There are many kinds of reactions. I’ve encountered a young boy who pointed at me and told his mother that he saw Mister Potato, the character from the potato chips brand,” shares Jacky.
Owning a handlebar moustache requires a lot of commitment and maintaining it is not easy. Jacky ensures that he pampers his year-old moustache with daily trimmings, giving it a good wash, and grooming it with moustache wax. He particular favours two brands – Captain Fawcett’s and Lockhart’s.
Apart from being a full-time barber, Jacky spends his off days giving free haircuts to the homeless people on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, together with his mentor, Lex Low, a Chief Barber of Amplitude Barbershop in Subang Jaya.
In support of the ‘Be awesome to someone’ movement that was created by Mark Bustos, a hairstylist in a New York City salon called Three Squares, this act of kindness was initiated as a voluntary decision of how Jacky aims to give back to the community where he was from.
“Through the haircuts, they often share their story on what made them this way. I have so much respect for them to still be able to carry on with their lives and to put up with their struggles,” explained Jacky.
It amazes Jacky how he could touch the lives of others just by sharing his expertise.
This young barber’s sincerity is also evident when it comes to working in the barbershop. Along with the other barbers, they always treat their clients as friends. Also during his free time, Jacky is currently working on growing his beard. And you might have guessed it, not the typical beard, but the old school kind.