The Cause Behind No-Shave November

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Janine Jones, Copy Editor

It’s November, which means that your male friends who were baby faced and clean shaven on Nov. 1, probably look like a mixture of lumberjacks and grizzly bears by now.

The process of growing out one’s facial hair for 30 days are part of movements called “Movember” or “No-Shave November”.

Most people who participate in Movember, don’t know the meaning behind it, which is to raise awareness for men’s health, but more specifically, cancer, in all of its forms.

Some charities and organizations like Movember Foundation, focus solely on raising awareness for men’s health and prostate and testicular cancer.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in men and second leading cause of cancer death in American men and rates are on the rise. One-in-seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and one man in 39 will die of prostate cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

The disease usually forms in older men around the age of 65 and is rare in men younger than 40. That shouldn’t prevent men from seeing a doctor regularly for checkups, which is the purpose for movements like Movember and No-Shave November.

Though Movember and No-Shave November are used interchangeably, they aren’t necessarily the same.  

The purpose of No-Shave November, outlined on the official No-Shave November website, is to “grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free.” No-Shave November was founded on Facebook in 2009, but began partnering with the American Cancer Society in 2013.

They encourage men and women to put down the razor and donate money they would usually spend for hair removal products and services during the month to the American Cancer Society.

The concept of Movember was created by a group of friends in Australia in 2003 to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancers, according to the Movember Foundation, a foundation who raised $16 million dollars in the U.S. in 2015. They started with 30 people and now have around five million Mo Bros and Sistas—the names they give their participants and supporters.

“We’re all about the mustache and only the mustache,” said Movember’s U.S. Director Mark Hedstrom in an interview with ABC News. “What we’re asking them to do is participate by changing their appearance. What that fosters is a conversation.”

Henderson went on to say that from there men can explain why they are growing a mustache and start talking about men’s health. The organization has campaigns in over 21 countries and, according to their website, has raised about $710 million USD since 2003.

For more information on how to donate or participate, visit or

Have you been participating in the raising awareness for men’s health?