When you think of November, some specific events come to mind—Thanksgiving, Daylight Savings Time, and Black Friday, to name a few. But in recent years, the month has become synonymous with a less festive activity—not shaving. Movember and No Shave November are both month-long events created to raise money in support of men’s health, and both involve growing facial hair. Because of the similarities, it’s easy to confuse one for the other, but they’re not interchangeable. In fact, they have very different rules and objectives.
The Movember Foundation was created in 2003 when founders Travis Garone and Luke Slattery convinced 30 of their bros to grow moustaches and draw attention to the growing men’s health crisis. The initial run was more about awareness than fundraising. However, fast forward to 2017 and more than 5 million men and women have participated in Movember in some fashion.
Movember’s mission is to raise money and spread information about the main issues leading to early death in men around the globe—testicular and prostate cancers and suicide. To participate, the Movember rules are simple. First, sign up on the official website. There, you can choose to grow a moustache for 30 days, participate in a Move challenge, or host a community or workplace event. Each option is designed to raise money as you push toward your goal, whether your objective is to sprout a full ‘stache or log 70 miles.
No Shave November
No Shave November has a broader facial hair focus. For 30 days, participants forgo shaving completely. This isn’t just about a moustache (though No Shave November rules allow for grooming and trimming, to accommodate those guys working under strict dress code regulations).
During the 30 days, participants donate the money they’d typically spend on grooming to cancer research. They can also register with No Shave November to conduct large-scale fundraising. The organization focuses on cancer prevention, and the supported organizations change year-to-year. For 2017, No Shave November has partnered with Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Compared to Movember, No Shave November’s scope is a bit wider.
What They Have In Common
Both organizations are united in a quest to prolong life, and both raise awareness about their respective issues through moustaches and beards. Additionally, if you’ve already got a full beard or ‘stache, you can still participate in either challenge by donating directly.
Also, regardless of which challenge you choose to take on, you’ll need a range of beard products to keep your facial hair healthy throughout the month. If you’re just starting out, you probably won’t notice any issues during your first week. But as your beard progresses, you’ll need reinforcement. Daily application of beard oil can keep your beard moisturized and soft. It’ll relieve the itching you’re sure to experience starting in your second week. It’ll also keep the skin underneath hydrated, and it’ll protect you from common issues like beard dandruff and irritation.
You’ll also need beard shampoo for the latter part of the month. The longer your beard hair grows, the harder it is to clean. Beard shampoo is specially formulated to give you a deep clean without stripping your beard hair of its natural oils. Though you’re skipping shaving for a month, it’s still important to maintain some level of grooming. You never know—this could become your permanent look once November’s over.
Both Movember and No Shave November are fantastic causes that use facial hair as a platform to promote healthy living. However, they both focus on different areas of growth, different activities, and different causes. So, be sure to do your research to ensure the challenge you pick suits your tastes and passions.