The Workplace Mustache Study

On November 16, 2013, by AMI Staff


Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 8.28.12 AMIn 1991 researchers J.A. Reed and E.M. Blunk published the “Effects of Cranial and Facial Hair on Perceptions of Age and Person,”in the Journal of Social Psychology. Among other findings, they determined managers tended to hire men with facial hair while suggesting mustaches were not favorable to all professions, with clean-shaven men seen as more reliable in roles such as salesmen and professors.

With that as a backdrop and a perceived alteration in the landscape since, the 2013 Workplace Mustache Study is a quantitative, objective assessment of facial hair in the workplace experience undertaken by the American Mustache Institute (AMI) and Wahl Trimmers, and conducted by the AMI Dept. of Research & Anthropology. The study identifies characteristics most associated with working Americans wearing facial hair, seeks to quantify the overall acceptance or lack thereof of facial hair in the workplace, and assess the challenges facing the Mustached American worker circa 2013.


The American Mustache Institute conducted a non-discriminatory public opinion survey among Americans of Mustached American descent and the clean-shaven populous. The nationwide online survey was launched in October 2013, ran through November 2013 and collected 1,109 responses. Participants were directed to the AMI website and provided questions regarding their perceptions of Americans with facial hair in their workplace.


Chart-SupervisorBeard1. Mustache acceptance is high among U.S. workers; adoption low among immediate supervisors

Among Americans surveyed, an overwhelming proportion agreed that mustaches are appropriate, beneficial and should be encouraged in the workplace. More than 75% said they have witnessed beneficial contributions from Mustached Americans in their workplace and 65% believed facial hair should be encouraged where they work. Nearly all (92%) of Americans surveyed believe mustaches are appropriate for the workplace.

“A impressively robust 92 percent of Americans surveyed believe mustaches are appropriate for the workplace,” said American Mustache Institute Chief Executive Officer Dr. Adam Paul Causgrove. “The finding defies current facially hairless social ideals and signals a tipping point for the current shaving-normative culture.”

Despite the exceedingly high acceptance of mustaches in the workplace, Mustached Americans, however, are still a minority in management positions. Among individuals surveyed, only 30% reported to a supervisor living a life of facial hair. The causes of this phenomenon are uncertain, but further AMI research aims to examine this very issue.

“It would appear there is a definitive ‘facial hair ceiling,’ if you will,” said Dr. Causgrove. “We’ve observed this anecdotally for decades at the Institute, and now we have data to confirm it. Mustached Americans have fewer opportunities for advancement and leadership than their shaven counterparts.”

In addition to the disappearance of facial hair amongst most global CEOs, U.S. politicians, and heads of state, among the leading theories for the “Facial Hair Ceiling,” AMI Dept. of Research & Anthropology cites a direct correlation between the lack facial hair among the on-air talent on the ESPN sports network – noted as the “ESPN Factor”  – as ESPN sports news properties tend to be the most rabidly consumed information sources of today’s male ages 21-48. Yet per the broader acceptance found in the Workplace Mustache Study suggests that the 24-hour sports news network’s conservative, clean-shaven look may be out of touch with society as mainstream, working-class Americans seek more sexually dynamic lifestyles.

“We’ve long suspected that ESPN wielded immense influence over the spreading of Mustached Americana,” said Dr. Causgrove. “Our study demonstrates that the unreasonably clean-shaven standards the network sets for working Mustached Americans are no longer the status quo. The smooth-faced tyranny of Kirk Herbstreit, Kenny Mayne and Scott Van Pelt crumbles as Americans seek more powerful, sexually dynamic living.”

Chart-AssocWithMustAmer2. The modern Mustached American works hard, but skips the tanning bed

Among Americans surveyed, 82% have noticed Mustached Americans working hard while 73% noticed these hypersexual men and women playing hard. The finding suggests that Mustached Americans are enduring longer hours at the office and/or construction site operating heavy machinery (bulldozers, jackhammers, mechanical bulls, etc.) as a result of the recession.

The Mustached American lifestyle continues to be identified with a celebratory or “party” culture, impressive physical stature, and general excellence in all endeavors.

More than half of Americans surveyed associate Mustached American lifestyles with excessive alcohol intake (69%) and being persistently well-groomed (60%).

And 41% of those surveyed have noticed Mustached American co-workers exhibiting vast displays of upper body strength.

Over half (57%) have witnessed ongoing excellence in nearly any area by co-workers of Mustached heritage.

A majority of respondents associated Mustached Americans with the workplace characteristics of professionalism (53%), firm handshakes (74%), and an overwhelming number of respondents note a sense of manliness/cocksmanship (85%), which was expected yet now confirmed.

However, despite a deep historical connection between Mustached American people and tanning beds, only 20% of those surveyed said they have noticed Mustached American co-workers tanning with frequency. The low percentage implies a shift from the archetypal-bronzed Mustached American of the 1970s, to a more health-conscious yet masculine lifestyle of today.

3. Mustached Americans are a fixture of the American workplace for the immediate future

Somewhat surprisingely, some 71% of Americans surveyed said they work with a Mustached American male or female at least once per week and more than 45% work daily with a person of facial hair. Just 9% are up-close and personal with a Mustached American co-worker as frequently as on the quarter-hour. Seventeen percent work with a Mustached American once per year.Chart-HowOftenWorkWith

A meager 16% of those surveyed said they never work with a Mustached American. Among those, 13% said the absence of mustaches in their workplace pains them, while only 3% of this subgroup said they prefer currently working in mustache-free environments.

A vast majority of those surveyed (93%) said they would recommend a job opening to a mustached friend. Additionally, 78% of survey respondents said they have either considered or are currently enjoying a sexually dynamic Mustached American lifestyle.

“The data is evidence of an explosion of acceptance of a sexually dynamic Mustached American lifestyle in the workplace,” said Dr. Causgrove. “We expect these two key mustachio-economic indicators to approach 100% by year 2024.”


Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed are of Mustached American descent. Twenty-five percent of the survey sample do not currently live Mustached lifestyles and seven percent are uncertain.*

Sixty-five percent of the audience surveyed identifies as being employed in a white-collar workplace while 35% identified as being employed in a blue-collar workplace.

*(total may not add up to one-hundred percent due to rounding)