Why Do Firefighters Have Mustaches? [Here’s Why]

why do firefighters have mustaches

While mustaches are not allowed in the military and most other forces, why do firefighters have mustaches?

Is it their personal choice or has a connection with their professional requirements? There is a bunch of questions coming forward.

So today, I’ll dig deep to answer these questions in this article. Keep reading.

Firefighter mustaches are a mix of personal choice and a firemen tradition. It is neither a requirement nor a restriction by the fire department.

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Firefighter Mustache Regulations

OSHA– restricts facial hair for firefighters as it interrupts with a protective facepiece like an oxygen mask. Even a well-trimmed light stubble beard is not allowed for firemen.

But mustaches are the only exceptions in this regard. Well-trimmed and properly shaped mustaches will not be an issue as long as they don’t interfere with firemen’s protective gears.

Firefighter Mustache History

Though firefighting was not as effective as it is nowadays, still it’s a big question to ask how could firefighters do their job in a full of smoky places, because in the old days, no breathing apparatus or oxygen masks were available.

A big question mark, Right?

But here is the solution- in the early 1900s and end of the 1800s, firefighters used their mustaches as their protective equipment. They did wet their upper lip hairs which allowed them to breathe longer in the smoky areas.

So, going with mustaches gives firefighters a feel of firefighting brotherhood. Aside from that, some firefighters believe that mustaches give them a more masculine appearance.

Can Firefighters Have Mustaches?

Yes, firefighters surely can have mustaches. The department’s regulations on firemen’s facial fur clearly state- in order to get a tight seal of the facepiece, firefighters must be clean-shaven, except for a well-trimmed mustache.

So it’s very clear that if any firefighters love to grow mustaches then they are allowed to do that.

Does a Firefighter Have to Be Clean-shaven?

Yes, firemen must be clean-shaven as their facial hairs interfere with the tight seal of the protective facepiece.

While growing mustaches is personal preference beards are highly restricted among firefighters.

How Many Firefighters Have Mustaches?

On average 3 out of 10 firefighters have mustaches, which is around 30%. The firefighter horseshoe mustache and handlebar style is the most common among them. This data is not backed by any formal research or any survey. It’s just what we’ve seen in most of the cases.

Firefighter Mustache Wax (Is it necessary?)

As firemen are allowed to grow mustaches, many of the firefighters love to grow them. But mustaches are unruly sometimes and it’s hard to keep them in place. So waxing is the solution to keep whose unruly whiskers out of the mouth.

Related Post- How to Get Rid of a Mustache Shadow?

What’s the Best Firefighter Mustache?

What’re the best firefighter mustaches or what style do they prefer most?

The best firefighter mustache is handlebar and the second best is horseshoe style. These two mustache styles are their picks. We’ve also seen some other variations in some cases.

Aside from that, you will also be noticing that there are so many firefighter mustache memes out there nowadays. The reason is pretty simple.

People think that mustaches are restricted in military people so it’s also restricted in firefighters. Therefore, when they see firemen with mustaches they get it funny and make memes on it.

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firefighter facial hair regulations


Growing mustaches is an old-school-style firemen tradition. The federal regulations have given no straightforward guidelines on growing it or not growing it.

But if someone prefers to grow mustaches, they must be well-trimmed and shaped in a proper way. So I hope I could answer your question- why do firefighters have mustaches?

If you still want to read more about it, visit this link.

Also, Leave a comment if you have any suggestions or queries. Thank you.

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