My mission of participating in the annual No-Shave November is about to come to an end. I’ve never been able to grow much of a mustache or beard, partly because I never had enough patience and my hair follicles never grew fast or thick enough.
No-Shave November is a national event, encouraging men to forego shaving for a month. It was around long before the popularity of Duck Dynasty and the bearded Robertson clan.
Move over Uncle Si, Jase and Willie. I knew my best effort over a 30-day period would never reach that level, but I decided it was worth a try.
Before I began, I took time to discover what it was all about.
The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. The American Cancer Society is a partner with the effort, using it to promote the fight against cancer.
The No-Shave November campaign started in 2009 on Facebook with under 50 participants. Four years later, thousands from around the globe have joined the fight against cancer and put down their razors during November.
The rules are pretty simple — do not shave, do not trim or clip any hair.
I’ve found there are several groups using the no-shave as their promotion piece. Along with the American Cancer Society, there is a site called Movember.com.
The Movember group traces its origins to Melbourne, Australia where two men took the challenge to grow mustaches during November. Their group grew to 30 men who helped raise $43,000 for prostate cancer research.
The No-Shave group does not limit itself to the ’stache.
In the beginning, it was easy. No shaving in the morning saved time. A week into the effort, the hair began to itch. Those prickly hairs must have not liked seeing sunshine.
One website provided bits of encouragement and guidance.
“The week of scratching that itch. Push yourself, control the desire to shave and relieve the itchiness,” is given for Nov. 1-7.
Thanksgiving is two days away and the website gives this reassurance. “Moms and grandmothers just don't understand.”
I found this to be true from most of my acquaintainces. “Did you lose your razor?” or “What possessed you?”
My closest friend has been very supportive. No judgment. No teasing. Over the weekend, she said on certain days the facial hair makes me look younger; and on other days, it makes me look older. Fortunately, responses did not deter me.
For me, it was to see if I could do it. When Nov. 30 (Friday) arrives, you are supposed to take a photo and post it online displaying the final results.
The decision to shave or not shave after that is up to the participant. Trim it up or shave it off. That will be a decision for next week.
While I believe No-Shave November can bring awareness to men’s health issues, I also think that has to be the motivation when you begin.
Now that I am about to conclude this hairy stage in my life, I will be thinking more about health issues that I should give attention to, like weight loss, better nutrition and an increased level of exercise.
Maybe a month or more with a furry face can motivate men to take better care of themselves.