No Shave November Is More Than Mustache Month

It’s the most wonderful time of year! No, it’s time for Santa just yet, but it is time for No Shave November and Movember. That means everyone is granted the freedom to stop shaving for 30 days, all in the name of supporting these two charitable causes that raise money to support men’s health issues, including cancer awareness and prevention.

While both No Shave November and Movember are all about embracing facial and body hair, they’re not quite the same event. So whether you want to grow a beard, mustache or goatee, toss your razor for the next 30 days and support the mission of men’s health.

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The Movember Movement

Movember touts itself as the leading charity for men’s health. Since its founding in 2003, the cause has supported more than 1,250 men’s health projects in more than 20 countries. The three areas Movember focuses on include prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. And with good reason. The stats for men around these are alarming.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and more than 1.4 million men around the world were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2020 alone. Testicular cancer is the most common malignant cancer among men ages 20 to 40. And if those statistics don’t worry you, this probably will: Globally, men commit suicide twice as often as women; in some countries the rate is as much as 10 times higher.

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That’s where Mo Bros like Jack Murphy come in. Murphy, who lives in Syracuse, New York, is participating in his 11th Movember initiative this month. He says when he first learned about Movember, he thought it would just be fun to support a cause fighting prostate cancer by growing out his “stache.”

“I enjoy connecting with friends, co-workers, family and others helping raise money to bring awareness to men’s health issues,” he says. “Movember has gone from just prostate cancer awareness to mental health and other cancers since I began.”

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Raising Money for Men’s Health

Mo Bros like Murphy really don’t have to do much except grow out their mustaches (mos), and the more creative the styles — think the rock star and the box car — the better. Mo Bros raise money by getting guests to sponsor their mos’ growth. Some even throw bashes where guests donate to help shave the host’s face.

Mo Bros’ mustaches are great for social media, too, because once that stache has grown out enough to engage curiosity, Mo Bros can wield that power to initiate conversations around men’s health issues and cancer awareness.

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Murphy says he usually posts a video every few days asking for donations, and in his 10 years he has raised $8,042. His goal this year is to raise $2,000, though he stresses any amount he gets will go a long way.

Women — aka Mo Sisters — also can participate by growing their own mustaches or hosting a Mo-Ment, which is just an excuse to have a party to raise donations. Anyone can pledge to run or walk in the more-than-60-mile (96.5-kilometer) challenge throughout the month, too. The distance was chosen for the 60 men who die from suicide every hour. Runners and walkers can log their steps into their Mo Space manually or via a fitness tracker.

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No Shave November

Not to be outdone, No Shave November is a 501(c)(3) initiative that exploded in 2009 after the Chicago-based Hill family lost their father to colon cancer and wanted to raise money for charity in his honor. Since then, No Shavers have helped raise more than $12 million for cancer research and prevention.

No Shave November is run by the Matthew Hill Foundation, and participants — men and women — literally grow out their hair instead of shaving or grooming it for 30 days. No Shavers then donate the money they don’t spend on things like razors, haircuts and waxing appointments to support cancer research and education. The idea is to embrace your hair because so many people undergoing cancer treatments lose theirs.

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“We recognize that this form of fundraising may not be for everyone and that is fine,” says Brett Hartigan, communications coordinator for the Matthew Hill Foundation. “We don’t discriminate, but defeating cancer is going to take all of us, which is why we will always encourage everyone to participate and get hairy. What is more important than raising funds for cancer awareness, screenings and education?”

No Shave November encourages people to register and establish fundraising pages, and groups can grow out their hair as a team, as well. Even if you have no interest in growing a beard or mustache (or you have no hair!) you can still support a No Shaver or make a general donation.

So this November it’s time again to toss the razor, choose your hairy initiative and embrace your facial hair. It’s not just fun, it’s also a creative way to join in on the fight for men’s health.

In 2019, retail sales of men’s shaving in the United States topped out at approximately $454.6 million.

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