In the world of facial hair, few moustaches can compete with Jackie Lynn Ellison. Perhaps you've seen him on social media, or at one of the many (many!) competitions in which his moustache has proved award-winning. Jackie was tapped for the pre-judging panel for the September National Beard and Moustache Championships in Nashville (where Burton & Levy will also be vending!).
In addition to being a champion moustache-grower and -styler, Jackie is now an esteemed Brand Ambassador for Burton & Levy products. And is he ever a gracious interview subject, full of wit and wisdom. We sat down with him to learn about his competitive edge and rocking a unique and authentic style, while gathering inspiration from Daniel Day Lewis and The Lorax along the way.
First off, please introduce yourself for those who might not be familiar with you and your moustache.
My name is Jackie Lynn Ellison. I am the current Imperial Moustache World Champion and Handlebar Moustache British National Champion. Since 2012 I have won 1st place in over 20 competitions for styled and natural Moustache.
What made you grow your moustache to begin with? Have you experimented with other types of facial hair?
I have been wearing different styles of facial hair since I can remember. When I began this moustache (about 5 years ago) I was wearing a short Fu Manchu for about 8 months and I decided to cut everything but the stand alone moustache. At the time I was foremost inspired by the short, bold, natural moustache style Daniel Day Lewis wore in "There Will Be Blood."
How do people react to your moustache?
People are curious, excited, humored, shocked...but always friendly. Often times people will see my moustache and crack a big smile. The small, friendly interactions are the ones I appreciate most.
What do you think about the resurgence of interest in facial hair over the past few years?
I think it's fantastic that people are choosing to accept themselves and not scrape all the hair off of their faces. It can be a very personal and enlightening experience for people to see what happens when they allow there face to take its natural state.
Who are your facial hair heroes, real or fictional?
I have a few, in no particular order: Daniel Day Lewis, Sam Elliot, Tom Selleck, Sean Connery, Nick Offerman, Eugene Hutz, Rollie Fingers, Hulk Hogan, Duane Allman, George Benson, Freddie Mercury, Django Reinhardt, John Oates, Salvador Dali, Friedrich Nietzsche, Lemmy Kilmister, Charlie Chaplin, GG Allin, Cheech Marin, Harnaam Kaur, Gunter Rosin, Ambrus Kristóf, Ben Whitney, Wolfgang Schneider, Paul Hendricks, Bryan Nelson, MJ Johnson, Paul Roof, Jeffrey Moustache, Taylor Welden, Sean Raiger, Timothy Carl Hall, Jason Kiley, Kengo Hioki, Norbert Topf, Kama Cewa, Captain Caveman and The Lorax.
Do you have any good-luck rituals before getting on stage to compete?
Shot of whiskey and a beer.
Jackie's mustache took 1st place in the Handlebar Moustache category at the 2014 British Beard & Moustache Championship
What's your moustache care routine?
I like to wear it natural most of the time, which I give a little blow dryer for volume and shape. Through out the day I'll comb it out with a small comb once or twice and give it a light twist from the inside out. I use Dream Beard oil about once a week.
When styling I use Dream Beard In-Control Spray and a Burton & Levy "The Doyle" comb.
What do you look for in grooming products and tools?
Foremost is utility. Does it work for my moustache? Some combs are better for grooming natural, some better for styled...and is it a cool comb aesthetically? I carry a comb every day, do I want to carry this one? Is it too bulky in my pocket? I think the obvious pick here is Burton & Levy!
Do you have any special methods (or superstitions) around growing long, healthy whiskers?
Staying mentally and physically as healthy as possible will contribute to healthy growth. It's science. Outside of that, Buffalo chicken wings—also science.
You are born with what you've got, if you want to know what the extent of that is, don't trim, don't shave.
What a difference some facial hair can make! Vintage photos of pre--moustache Jackie
Any advice you'd give to a rookie moustache-grower?
Don't worry about keeping up with anyone else, or being validated by size, color, or style. Your facial hair is your own and no matter what you or anyone else thinks about it, it is unique and it is rad.
Visit Burton & Levy at the National Beard and Moustache Championships in Nashville on September 3, where we'll be joined by Jackie at Saturday registration for some great photo ops. And check out more content from Jackie on Instagram.