Medical Microfiction: Pogonotrophy

Monsieur’s Moustache

Friday night at the pub and he’s caught me staring again.

“Do I have something on my face?” He wipes his spectacular whiskers, so carefully cultivated into a proud handlebar.

“Nah, you’re fine.” I quaff some beer to disguise my expression. Thank God I ordered the stout. It blocks out that monstrosity. Nearly. I can see its hairy tips protruding on either side of the glass.

“Are you sure? Because you keep giving me funny looks.” My friend looks cross.

How can he just ignore it? It’s right under his nose! The moustache rubs its whiskery ends together and hisses.


Example of the English Moustache
Example of the English Moustache (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pogonotrophy is a fancy word for the art of growing that thick, coarse facial hair that men first get around puberty. Another name for this sort of hair is terminal hair, which also includes armpit and groin hair on both sexes.

Hair gets more complicated than that, though. Before we have terminal hair, we’ve got vellus hair, which is the fine, light hair found on children’s and women’s arms and legs. And before that, waaaay back when we were still in utero, we had lanugo, which is a downy and dark hair whose name means “wool” in Latin. Generally, this hair is shed before birth, or for some babies, in the weeks right after birth. In rare cases, something goes wrong and the child ends up stuck with her terminal hair her whole life, making her look kind of like a Wookiee.

Die Gartenlaube (1874) b 061
Die Gartenlaube (1874) b 061 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are your feelings on moustaches, my friends? Do you participate in Movember, that glorious celebration of all things hairy-lipped? Or are you, like me, more of a patron and appreciator of the Follicle Arts?

4 thoughts on “Medical Microfiction: Pogonotrophy

  1. Hi Rachael, I don’t participate in Movember mainly because of my ability not to grow anything reasonable and convincing but I do support a co worker who grows his mo very well.

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