Men, put down your razors, shavers, and clippers again. It’s time for the annual event No Shave November as well as Movember. Both are designed to raise awareness of cancer and raise money for research. People tend to consider the events interchangeable, but they actually aren’t.
What is No Shave November?
No Shave November began in 2009. The family of Matthew Hill started a Facebook campaign to raise awareness of cancer since Matthew had died of colon cancer in 2007. The idea was to grow your hair since cancer patients usually lose theirs during chemotherapy. Money that would usually be spent on cutting your hair, shaving, etc. is supposed to be set aside and donated to a cancer research charity at the end of November.
While the campaign began in Chicago where the Hills live, it quickly caught on through social media and spread, though as with many things, the story didn’t always translate accurately. Many people think it’s only about not shaving and is solely based on raising awareness for cancers that affect men even though it’s much broader in scope and practice than that.
As the participation of No Shave November grew, the organization behind it formed partnerships with three charities. The Prevent Cancer Foundation is a U.S.-based non-profit organization focusing on cancer prevention and early detection. Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) focuses on the second leading cause of cancer deaths and how they can be prevented through regular exams. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, founded by actor Danny Thomas, focuses on studying and treating childhood cancer.
How Does No Shave November Work?
The No Shave November Organization prefers to talk about guidelines instead of rules. They understand that some people have jobs with a dress code that requires a clean-shaven appearance – or they could be undergoing treatment much like Matthew Hill did and can’t grow their hair or beard.
Men and women can participate in No Shave November. Simply let your beard and/or moustache grow, grow out your hair, don’t shave your legs, etc. You can also set up a free fundraising page on their official website. That way friends can support the cause through your participation.
What Is Movember?
Movember actually pre-dates No Shave November. In 2003, Luke Slattery and Travis Garone were talking at a bar in Melbourne, Australia, to a friend’s mom who was beating treated for breast cancer. That disease had an awareness month but prostate cancer did not at the time so they decided to start a foundation to address that. The foundation has now expanded to include testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention.
Thirty of their friends participated in the first Movember. Since then, it’s grown to be an international event and the money raised has funded more than 1,200 projects in various countries. In the United States alone in 2015 it raised $16 million.
The name Movember refers to growing a mustache. However, Australians spell the word “moustache” which explains the “mo” in Movember.
How Does Movember Work?
Movember focuses on both awareness and fundraising, and is, as the name indicates, moustache centered. Despite that, “Mo Sisters” can participate as well as “Mo Bros”, though in most cases the women will focus on outreach and fundraising.
Movember begins with a clean shave so the Mo Bro has a fresh start. Then, they start growing a moustache. Instead of not shaving at all, only the moustache grows – no beards or goatees. The idea is to grow as prominent a moustache as possible. Suggested moustache styles are even available. Mo Bros are supposed to be ready to talk about Movember and the men’s health campaign if people ask why they’re growing a moustache. It’s easy to register for Movember and set up a free fundraising page.
Regardless of which option you choose, helping to raise awareness of the risk for men’s cancers is important.
How Can I Participate in No Shave November?
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