November is the month for men to embrace all their facial hair, in all of its glory. The reason to let it grow is simple, to raise awareness of men’s health and to take the money that would have been spent on shaving and donate it to cancer research.
No Shave November came out of the tradition of “Movember,” started by some guys in an Adelaide pub in Australia in 1999, to help support men’s health causes (particularly prostate cancer) by growing mustaches. Mustache plus November = Movember. In addition to prostate cancer and testicular cancer, they added mental health, including depression, to their men’s health awareness.
The Movember tradition continued in Australia and then New Zealand, and in 2007, the United States and Canada joined. In the U.S., it quickly expanded to growing all facial hair and supporting all types of men’s cancer. The name “No Shave November” was coined for this month-long awareness campaign. Women have also joined in No Shave November and will let their leg and armpit hair grow! The money saved from not shaving, trimming, or waxing is donated to the cancer research of your choice. No Shave November is also a unique way to raise cancer awareness, as many cancer patients lose their own hair, so participants pledge to let their hair grow wild and free for a month.
When friends comment on your growing facial hair, you can encourage them to make a contribution as well. In 2013, No Shave November partnered with the American Cancer Society and expanded to include all cancers: men’s, women’s and children.
Many people in the national spotlight have embraced No Shave November. This year Green Bay Packer Quarterback Matt Flynn is participating. Last year, the male hosts of the TODAY show led the charge, including Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Willie Geist, and Carson Daly.
What can you do to participate in No Shave November?
- Take a day (or 30) and don’t shave.
- Make a donation to a charity working on cancer research.
- Provide some personal support to someone you know dealing with cancer.
Beards are beautiful! Mustaches are manly.
Put down the razor and let your beard get weird!