Soul patch

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Howie Mandel's soul patch

A soul patch (also known as a mouche[1]) is a single small patch of facial hair just below the lower lip and above the chin.

Usage in the 1950s and 1960s[edit]

It came to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s, as a style of facial hair common among African-American men, most notably jazz-men. It became popular with beatniks, artists, and those who frequented the jazz scene and moved in literary and artistic circles. Jazz flute players who disliked the feel of the flute mouthpiece on a freshly shaven lower lip could use a soul patch.[citation needed] On the other hand, jazz trumpeters preferred the goatee for the comfort it provided when using a trumpet mouthpiece.[2]

Usage in the 1990s[edit]

The soul patch saw reinvigorated recognition when Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992) character Oliver Pike (played by Luke Perry) wore a soul patch. The soul patch was also briefly referenced in the book Garden State. Multiple prominent athletes also started donning soul patches, such as Mike Piazza and Apolo Ohno.[3] The facial hairstyle also rose to prominence in the mallgoth and nu-metal scenes around the late 1990s to early 2000s.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "mouche, n." OED Online June 2003. Oxford University Press. Retrieved October 11, 2010: "a small patch of beard shaped and allowed to grow under the lower lip".
  2. ^ Maggin, Donald L.: Dizzy: The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie. HarperCollins, 2005
  3. ^ "The meaning of the soul patch: a brief history". Trivia Happy. Retrieved August 24, 2021.

External links[edit]