'Stache bash
By CASEY FREEMAN Colorado Daily Staff Writer
Monday, February 20, 2006 8:16 PM MST

While some men wax their chest and pluck their eyebrows, this Boulder resident grew a mustache. He plays the ukulele, not a guitar. He'd rather be a gadabout, dandy or cowboy, than a rock star. His parents named him Aaron Johnson, but he's known as Ukulele Loki.

Boulder is a great town for facial hair, according to this 28-year-old CU-Boulder graduate. Not only does a beard or mustache serve as wind buffer or scarf, but it also serves as the ultimate fashion statement.

“Men don't have many opportunities to wear things that are flamboyant or fun,” says Loki. “Facial hair is a huge untapped medium for style.”

With his derby hat, blazer and friendly disposition, Loki has no problem expressing himself, but it's his handlebar mustache that makes an instant impression.

“We have this stuff on our face, how can we not be fascinated?” asks Loki. “Barbarians said it was a sign of manhood and what's more manly than a mustache?”

Growing a mustache is hard work. Well, not like laying bricks or shoveling asphalt, but it still takes effort. People don't just wake up and have a great mustache. The process takes time, love, care and more time.

Loki started his mustache back in 2000, when “it wasn't hip at all,” he says. For a while he rocked a pencil-thin mustache, like that of famous film director John Waters, but now sports a blonde handlebar, reminiscent of a Snidely Whiplash - the dastardly “Rocky and Bullwinkle” villain.

In order to style his 'stache, Loki uses Clubman's Mustache Wax because it's relatively available, but only found “wherever old men shop.” Without the wax, Loki says his mustache is a “total mess.” Even so, he still lets it go “au naturel” from time to time.

While cruising the Internet for some tricks and tips for facial hair care, Loki stumbled upon The World Beard and Moustache Association homepage [SEE INFO BOX]. After viewing the world's best displays of facial hair, Loki knew it was time for a club in Boulder and the Boulder Hirsute Mustache & Beard Growers Society (HMBGS, or the HuMBuGS) was born. Within minutes of forming the club, Loki had two members he had never met or seen before.

Today there are about 14 HuMBuGS in town, and with the First Annual Moustache and Beard Championship at Burnt Toast Restaurant on the Hill Friday, Feb. 24, Loki hopes the group's numbers will grow.

A few years ago only truckers wore trucker hats, only cowboys fashioned belt buckles and only professional wrestlers and trailer park denizens had mullet cuts.

Are mustaches going to be the new trucker hat?

“I'm wondering if we are seeing a renaissance of mustaches,” says Loki. “The weird indie-music kids are starting to wear mustaches.”

Loki says the trend is picking up, and the number of facial hair fanciers is growing.

Unfortunately some people still associate mustaches with cops or homosexuals - not that there's anything wrong with that.

Most people he meets love the mustache. A recent trip to Japan (where facial hair is uncommon but respected) gave Loki overnight popularity.

Guess what ladies, Loki is spoken for. He says the mustache originally intrigued his girlfriend and she has formed a love/hate relationship with his upper-lip hair.

Some of the HMBGS members explain that their astute facial hair has “other qualities for women,” meaning that - nah, we probably can't print that.

Loki is the co-host of the 1190 AM Route 78 West radio show, and, at times, appears as a circus sideshow performer and burlesque MC.

Eventually he'd like to settle down as a teacher, but if the school makes him shave, “I'll probably find a way around it,” he jokes.

Loki may appear older than he actually is, but that doesn't bother him in the least.
“I can't wait until I'm 60 years old and have a big, grey, bushy beard,” he laughs.