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What Is a Dali Mustache?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 21, 2024
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A Dali mustache is a type of facial hair worn upon the upper lip styled after the famous mustache of artist Salvador Dali. In his later years, Dali’s outrageous personality became as well known as his artwork, and this included an unusual style of dress and his mustache. He typically wore his mustache fairly thin and waxed, styled so that each of the outer tips was pointed upward on either side of his nose. A Dali mustache is typically styled in this way, though since he also wore his mustache in a number of other outrageous ways, it may refer to other styles as well.

Salvador Dali, for whom the Dali mustache is named, was a 20th century Spanish artist whose work in surrealism has influenced numerous artists and other creative individuals since. His work was regarded as powerfully symbolic and influenced by dream imagery, often depicting scenes and objects that lacked permanence and seemed to melt and dissolve. Dali was especially influential for surrealists and Dadaists who create work that is often meant to reflect the bizarre nature of reality. Surrealism is often used to demonstrate the ridiculousness of the world, and so objects are frequently depicted in ways that betray their common meaning or purpose.

A Dali mustache often reflects this concept, as the very mustache itself is typically styled in a way that is meant to appear bizarre or preposterous. Dali himself wore a mustache throughout much of his career and often styled it in a way that was quite striking. Perhaps the most famous example of a Dali mustache is a basic style in which the mustache is kept fairly thin, though grown long. Wax is used to style the mustache, typically upwards either dramatically, creating a point on either side of the nose, or more subtly, to create a crescent shape with the mustache.

Many artists and creative individuals influenced by Dali and surrealism utilize the Dali mustache as a symbol of Dali’s work and of the bizarre. An artist might create a work that is meant to reflect the absurd nature of artwork and expression by recreating a classic work of art, such as the Mona Lisa and painting a Dali mustache onto the portrait. This not only makes the image ridiculous, but also immediately calls the work of Dali to mind in the viewer. The Dali mustache is among the most famous mustaches within popular culture, and has been utilized by celebrities, artists, and was even used in the paint design of a Delta® airplane.

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Discussion Comments

By bluedolphin — On Jan 07, 2015

Dali mustaches as fashion accessories are getting a bit boring. Most people who use them have no idea what it stands for. They just wear it because it has become a trend. I see middle school kids wear dali mustache accessories. I'm sure they don't even know who Salvador Dali is.

And the whole concept has been overdone because it is everywhere as of 2014. I see it on t-shirts, bags, jewelry, cups, phone cases, and on and on.

It's kind of upsetting because I wish that people actually took interest in Salvador Dali and his works. They like his beard, that's obvious but he is so much more than his beard.

By burcinc — On Jan 07, 2015

Salvador Dali did some unbelievable things with his mustache. I was looking through some of his pictures and that beard has taken so many different shapes and looks over the years! He has one picture where he has put flowers through his beard. In another, his mustache is shaped like whiskers. And yet in another, the two ends are connected into an eight shape. And each picture is completed with his strange and different facial expressions.

I also see so many people draw on Dali mustaches for photos. I agree with the article author that this mustache has come to mean so much more than just a mustache style.

By literally45 — On Jan 06, 2015

The Dali mustache is just a Hungarian mustache. Salvador Dali himself said so. So it's not really a style that Salvador Dali came up with although the way he made the mustache very thin or formed it into different shapes was rather unique. Hungarian mustaches aren't always worn that way. They can be worn thicker too. The trick is to make sure that the ends extend upward from the middle of the lip.

I really admire Salvador Dali as an artist but I think that his style of Hungarian mustache looks funny and kind of silly. Although that was probably the point.

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