The holiday season has arrived, and so has facial hair? This week we are going to be talking about the history of No-Shave November and Movember, taking a deep dive into where these new traditions of giving back and raising awareness came from.
Happy November, everyone! The spirit of Thanksgiving is alive and well with my family, and we hope it is with yours. Thank you, as always, my dear friends and supporters for being here and for keeping me busy. I know I say this a lot, but from the moment I was able to open my new shop doors, it has been a non-stop wonderful flow of clients new and returning. Hearing my shop filled with laughter and joy has made every day feel like the holidays since that opening. My family and I are so grateful for you and this joy. This year may have been difficult, but God willing we’ve made it through together. Thinking about all of these blessings we have to be thankful for right now in this season of giving has made me think about all the unique ways we can give back to our communities. It might come in ways you’ve never imagined it could. I have been seeing new holiday traditions come in the Barbershop over the last few years that have inspired me and made me smile. I have truly seen the gift of thanksgiving thanks to many different facial hair choices that have come in and out of my barber’s chair recently. My gentleman customers who have beards and mustaches may be aware of these new traditions, but others may not. With the coming of November, many of you might have been introduced to the world of No-Shave November and Movember, and might have been seeing some new or different facial hair on your loved ones because of it. Where did these new traditions come from, and what are they all about? Let’s dive in and see if we can find the joy and thanksgiving in these traditions and how we can help them grow and prosper.
In the spirit of the holiday season, I wanted to pay forwards some joy and change up your news feeds and everything you’ve been scrolling through on your smartphones and computers. There is a lot of bad news out there, and during this season, we need more reasons to smile. Possibly more reasons not to shave, too. I wanted to lighten up this year and bring you a smile and a little moment of introspection and talk about some of these new facial traditions that have appeared in pop culture, and my barbershop, over the last few years. Thanks to Facebook and Social Media, these new trends have become activities that men across the globe are participating in. Thanks to Movember and No-Shave November, we have seen some very interesting whiskers – or lack of – during these festive months. While preparing for the holidays, don’t be surprised if you show up to your safe and socially distanced holiday outings and gatherings and a cousin or uncle’s facial hair looks a little different. There might be more than a comical or funny reason behind why they choose to avoid their razors for a few weeks or why they decided to just keep the mustache.
NO-SHAVE NOVEMBER
We’ve talked about the battles of losing your hair as a cancer patient in this blog, and how difficult that can be physically and mentally for those going through chemo and radiation treatments. Barbers are an excellent asset to have during this time to help you ease through the transition of losing your hair, through your treatments, and caring for it again as it begins to grow once your survivorship begins. Barbers are here to help care for your skin and to strengthen new hair growth. I am here to help you through these transitions and to make them as simple and as comfortable as I can. No-Shave November is a reminder to each of us about the difficult battles that cancer patients go through. According to no-shave.org, this is the time of the year to embrace your facial hair and let it grow wild and free. It is a reminder of how lucky it is to be able to grow facial hair while so many cancer patients lose this privilege. It is a chance to raise awareness for cancer research and an opportunity to raise money to educate others about prevention, help those who are currently fighting cancer, and to help save lives one beard at a time.
Those who participate choose to stop shaving between November 1st and November 30th, letting their already grown beards flourish, and others letting their clean-shaven faces sport a beard for the first time in a while. While participants are choosing to stop shaving, they also choose to donate the money they would normally spend on grooming products or grooming services to cancer foundations of their choice. According to Dictonary.com, No-Shave November began in 2009, started by the Hill family who lost their husband and father, Matthew Hill, from colon cancer in 2007. Since the beginning of their organization, they have raised over 10 million dollars. While the foundation was founded in 2009, they officially began a partnership with the American Cancer Society in 2013. Thanks to Facebook and Social Media, this new foundation and the idea to let your facial hair grow wild and start a conversation went viral. This is more than just a theme month activity or something for kicks and giggles. It has become a gateway for men to talk about and support health initiatives and to support one another together. If this isn’t the spirit of Thanksgiving, I don’t know what is. To learn more, begin participating this year, or to make a plan to get involved next year, follow the link below:
MOVEMBER
Before No-Shave November came about there was Movember, a similar awareness-raising activity that involves just keeping or growing a mustache and supporting and raising awareness about men’s health. It originally started as a foundation to raise money for men’s prostate and testicular cancer, but as of this year, it now includes raising awareness for men’s mental health and men’s fitness. Through 2020 and the difficult years that lead up to it, mental health for all of us has needed to become a topic that is no longer taboo to speak about. For men, this topic has been a difficult one to move from taboo to normalized conversation. Movember has begun to change that. Movember is a combination of the words “November” and “Mustache” and was officially started in Australia in 2003. It started simply, two best friends in Australia recruited 28 other Australian men to grow out their mustaches and leave the rest of their faces clean-shaven. By 2006, it had become so much more than that. Movember officially became a charitable organization and between 2003 and 2006, they had raised 8 million dollars. Today, it is now a global phenomenon that millions of men participate in every year, according to cnet.com. Throughout its 17 year history, Movember has raised 994 Million dollars worldwide. According to Mark Hedstrom, Movember’s U.S Director, they are an organization all about the mustache and only the mustache. Going from having a full beard to just a mustache or going from being clean shaving to sporting a mustache starts a conversation. While it might start with a few laughs and giggles, it opens the door to spread awareness about why so many have chosen to participate. Participation helps to normalize talking about men’s health and to potentially raise a few dollars to help each foundation Movember supports. According to ABC News, Movember has participants in 21 countries around the world. According to Movember.com, their goal is to reduce the number of men dying from these cancers and poor mental health by 25% come 2030. They are spreading awareness that men across the world are facing a health crisis at a very young age, but so few people are actually talking about it. By simply sporting a ‘stache, you can help spread awareness and help save a life. To learn more, begin participating this year, or to make a plan to get involved next year, follow the link below:
Growing your facial hair is a form of expression, style, personality, and now thanks to No-Shave November and Movember, it is so much more. Giving back during the holiday season and speaking for or on behalf of others who don’t have a voice, is the true meaning of the holiday spirit. If you have any questions on how to care for your new beard or mustache, please feel free to reach out. I am happy to help you find the best products to care for your facial hair and your skin during this festive season. Thank you to everyone who is participating this year. Your participation and choice of whiskers are inspiring. I loved researching more into these topics, and am so glad to know and understand that both go beyond just a funny joke or funny statement. If you’re participating let me know! I’d love to hear your story and why you choose to participate. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday this year, and remember all of your blessings. Until next time, I am Patrick the Groomsmith and I am here with the best barbershop in Summerville, the best nonsurgical hair restoration in Summerville, and more.