America's Most Mustache-Friendly Cities

Heath Korvola | Aurora | Getty Images

When it comes to mustaches, every region of the country has pockets where lip ticklers congregate.

Except California.

California has a hairy problem.

Actually, a hairless one.

In an extensive, peer-reviewed, well documented, scientific study (not) by the American Mustache Institute, California has only ONE city in the top 100 "America's Most Mustache-Friendly Cities". That would be Oakland, coming in 79th. Thank goodness for Rollie Fingers.

That disturbing factoid is buried within the massive "white paper" the AMI has released after a two year study focusing on five factors to determine which cities are most welcoming to the "misplaced eyebrow":

1) Employment—cities with lots of "mustache-positive employers", like first responders, actors who play law enforcement, relief pitchers and construction.

2) Transportation—cities with lots of motorcycles and monster trucks, "in rural states, four-wheeler all terrain vehicles."

3) Entertainment & Sport—cities with sports teams (including minor league), casinos, beach access, shooting ranges, trap and skeet clubs, and pontoon boats.

4) Culinary—"High concentrations of restaurants primarily serving Miller Lite--termed 'Miller pours' in restaurant industry vernacular," as well as those with more than four Applebee’s, high per capita numbers of BBQ unit sales, bars, night clubs permitting adult males wearing tank-tops, and restaurants serving pork rinds and pickled meats.

5) Education—cities with a higher than average number of men with GED certificates, trade and vocational institutions, and community colleges.

Based on probably five interviews conducted over Miller Lite (they allege 200,000 interviews), the Most Mustache-Friendly City in America is...


The reasons are many.

"With a vast pool of professional opportunities in first-responder fields such as police and fire department, as well as EMTs with the large healthcare community of Chicago; access to one of America’s largest lakes, two baseball teams, a heritage of retired Chicago Bears players who have continued to embrace a Mustached American lifestyle, and conspicuously high hot-dog consumption — Chicago was the only U.S. city to achieve a perfect score on the AMI City Index."

The American Mustache Institutesays Chicagoans embrace all that the mustache stands for. "In fact, a recent survey of middle school-aged males in the Windy City shows that a majority hope to 'wear a mustache in the next one to five years'," the AMI says, tongue firmly planted in hair-covered cheek.

Chicago was followed by Houston in second place, then Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City and Detroit. New York is down in 8th, thanks in large part to "abundant shoe-shine opportunities and multiple airports."

Yet when you look at the criterion for a mustache friendly environment--first responders, actors, beach access, men wearing tank tops, Applebee's--shouldn't cities in California have made a better showing than just Oakland?

It puzzles the think tank geniuses at the AMI. They call it The California Effect, blaming it on the dominance of women in public policy and commerce. "In San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, for example, women have demonstrated ill-effects from the presence of muscle cars (Chevrolet El Caminos in particular), restaurants with video poker gaming machinery, and Burt Reynolds film festivals in favor of driving Toyota Priuses, a new California phenomena known as 'Fern Bars,' and 'He’s Just Not That Into You' and 'Sex & The City' film marathons."

The impact could be far reaching and profound. "If this trend continues we may see the extinction of the Mustached Californian - Redfordpithicus, as we call him - just as we have seen the great decline of women in the state who don’t have lower back tattoos or ‘tramp stamps’."

My solution? The only way to save the Redfordpithicus is to import more SamElliottasaurus.

Meantime, if you're in Chicago on October 28th, the Windy City will celebrate beingAmerica's Most Mustache-Friendly with a "Stache Bash". Those who don't actually have a mustache can pick up a free stick-on "lip sweater" at the door.

Even women—if they need one.

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