Manifesto – Can You Handlebar Moustache and Beard Co.



A boy watches dad

My path to creating a more perfect moustache wax began before I was old enough to remember. It started as a little boy. Through the din of a crowded room I could distinguish the sound of my dad’s keys and recognize his voice and his laugh from a couple rooms away. Boys are built to learn how to become men. When I was little, I was captivated by his rituals, from the bracing smell of coffee brewing in the kitchen and on his breath each morning to the methodical way he removed his badge, gun and the rest of his uniform and became “dad” each evening. My childhood was soaked in episodes of the A-Team and MacGyver with a soundtrack of oldies like Jim Croce and “Big Bad John” filled with the pops and static of AM radio, etched in my mind after countless road trips with my dad in the outskirts of Houston.

A young man yearns to be a man

As far back as I can remember, I have been drawn to pocket knives, the sacrament of shaving, from straight razors to the Remington Microscreen commercials to (of course) moustache wax and stockpiling the unspoken cannon of masculine knowledge. Equal parts studious and precocious, I studied how to properly remove fish hooks, how to build fires and collect water in nearly every climate and how to take apart toys and put them back together. To those skills, I added a little knowledge of cooking, learned how to sell furniture and Mazdas (much more learning than selling…), how to use a slim-jim to get into “lock outs” and how to operate flatbed tow trucks. As a post-modern boy in the 80’s I fought hard to learn how to be a man, whatever that was.

A man looks back

As I have gotten older, married, balder and have since sired a son of my own; that drive has changed into an appreciation for being a man. Women are great. So are men. In retrospect, I realize that none of what I did or learned growing up made me a man. A man is a boy multiplied by life, minus excuses. Learning to appreciate using the right tool for the job made me a man. Doing the right thing over and over even when it wasn’t easy or obvious to others made me a man. Going through some tough stuff and coming out the other side with some scars, stories and the wisdom I've gained made me a man. As I have gotten older I have collected some habits and mementos of my path to where I am. Business cards, check stubs, a couple of my dad’s things since he passed that remind me of him, a wedding ring and knick-knacks from my travels that circle my desk like a rosary, reminding me of who I am, where I have been and where I am heading. My hope is that my products can be some of those mementos, for you.

A symbol of fraternity and facial hair

Now I am a little older, a little wiser and care a little less what everyone thinks. I have a handlebar moustache and a big beard because it reminds me of a time when men were a little clearer on what it meant to be a man–when doors were held, cigarettes were healthy, seat belts were optional and playgrounds had rusty slides and the possibility of a splinter or three. Moustaches are the membership card to a fraternity that goes back to the first flint knife and still pool of water. There is something permanent about joining a long line of men that adorn their face with the mark of their gender.

From one man to another

To be clear CanYouHandlebar waxes and oils are fine products. They were designed and tested by me over many months. Each is made by hand and is intended to be applied by hand to your birthright–your facial hair–without a hint of irony or self consciousness. The best favor one man can do for another is to respect him. The CanYouHandlebar brand will always respect you by providing good products with straight forward communication and superlative customer service. My word is my bond and my reputation as a man, specifically the man who owns this company is worth a hell of a lot to me. 

One last thought

Not that you were thinking it, but if you haven’t sorted out your masculinity, trust me: it doesn’t come in can, bottle or flask. Using moustache wax doesn’t make you a man any more than a wool suit makes you a sheep. Now, maybe my moustache wax or beard oils can be mementos for you on your path, but let’s be clear, being a man is a choice you need to make on your own.

© 2019 CanYouHandlebar Moustache and Beard Co.