No Shave November: What is it and are you doing it right?

No Shave November: What is it and are you doing it right?

by Steve Gamel

Ask the average guy on the street what No-Shave November is, and he’ll likely say it’s the one time out of the year where it is socially acceptable for all men to leave their razor in the medicine cabinet and skip shaving for an entire month.

The stories of what happens next run the gamut. Some guys will end up with the best beard or mustache known to man – think the late Burt Reynolds or a younger actor like Jake Gyllenhall – all in a matter of 30 days, while others will either have furry patches randomly spaced out across their face or nothing beyond cute peach fuzz. While it’s fun to see guys take on the challenge each year, the original answer is only part of the story.

Yes, No-Shave November means you don’t have to shave for an entire month. But the whole point of this movement is to raise awareness for men’s health. Just like October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, November raises awareness for men – specifically, testicular, prostate, and colon cancers.

It’s a big deal, guys. Prostate cancer alone is the second-leading cause of death in American men behind lung cancer. Both the No Shave November Foundation and the Movember Foundation have raised millions of dollars to support research and awareness projects for these forms of cancers, yet the average guy likely has no idea.

According to the Movember Foundation: 

  • Men in the U.S. die an average of five years earlier than women.
  • 1 in 8 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men ages 15 – 34 years.
  • More than three times as many men as women die by suicide in the U.S.
  • Men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year.

So now that you’re armed with this valuable information, how can you make sure this November is done right?

Here are a few tips:

  • Raise Awareness – Whether or not you knew the true purpose of No-Shave November before now doesn’t matter. What matters is spreading the word. When people notice you are getting a bit shaggy, tell them why. In today’s modern world, you could even post before and after photos on social media, or show your transformation weekly. In each post, let people know this is for cancer awareness.
  • Set up your own fundraising page on social media – This is straight from the no-shave.org website, and it’s a fantastic idea. If you’re not ready to get hairy, or you can’t because your job frowns on that, support someone else’s page.
  • Put the money that you’ve saved to good use – Because you’re not spending money on shaving cream, razors, etc., the idea is to take that money and put it toward cancer research and awareness efforts.
  • Get the women in your life involved – No, don’t expect your wife to grow a beard. But there are ladies out there who are willing not to shave their legs for the month to help spread the word.

Once you’ve made some steady progress on that new facial hair, make sure you take care of it and don’t let it get out of control. It is perfectly acceptable to trim an existing beard – especially if you’re a business professional – or make sure your new one isn’t growing too weird.

Some recommendations from mustache and beard professionals include:

  • Use a good mustache wax, which can be found at most convenience stores and even where you normally get your hair cut locally here in Denton County. Wax is great for helping you tame and style your facial hair.
  • Trim your neck and cheek line to keep it work appropriate.
  • Use a form of lube, moisturizer, or beard oil. It is November, after all, and the temperature outside will get increasingly cold and dry. Again, many of these products can be found at your local salon.

So what are you waiting for? Grow that beard – and do it for the right reasons.


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