Hadfield started growing his moustache when he was 18

MONTREAL – Finally, the mystery behind one of Canada’s most famous moustaches has been revealed.

Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield says he started working on his trademark growth when he turned 18 while taking a train to Turkey.

“For whatever reason, I decided: ‘I’m 18, I’m a man, I’m going to grow a moustache’ — and it was pathetic for years— it was awful,” he told The Canadian Press.

Hadfield, 54, says he shaved it off only once — when he was at test pilot school.

“In the U.S. air force, if you want to get promoted you can’t have a moustache, for whatever reason,” he said. ”It just looks bad when they’re flipping through the pictures. Don’t ask me why.

“So, as I was at test pilot school, one of the guys was having his annual photograph taken (and) he had to shave off his moustache, so…in solidarity I shaved it off.

“Nobody was impressed with the way I looked without it — least of all my wife Helene — so that’s why I have a moustache.”