It’s November. Make that No-Shave November. In the United States, Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is fast approaching. No matter where you are, 2019 is nearing its end. The next couple of months are a favorite time of year for many thanks to the holidays and traditions of time spent with family, surrounded by laughter and good food. It’s also when No-Shave November rolls around.
Now is the time when we can all get on board to help raise awareness for men’s health, including men who are battling cancer along with the common side effect of hair loss associated with their treatments. No-Shave November is a great way for us to join together, similar to American Heart Month and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in February and October, to support those living with illness.
What is No-Shave November?
A lot of guys may not be aware of what No-Shave November is really about. Some see it as an opportunity to save time each day by not shaving and maybe gaining a little extra sleep every morning. Others just think November is a month to let their beards grow because the weather might be getting colder. Or they might see it now as the traditional month to start growing a new beard.
Of course No-Shave November offers the perfect excuse for growing a new beard. But the real purpose of No-Shave November is to support men fighting prostate and testicular cancer and to prevent men’s suicide. No-Shave November means raising awareness about men’s health and the importance of early detection and prevention. To do this, men are encouraged to grow out their facial hair as a symbol of support and donate the regular costs of grooming to the cause.
Why is it important?
Men’s health is often brushed aside. But the causes that No-Shave November support are important concerns for all men.
Prostate cancer begins in the prostate gland where it may grow slowly or it may grow aggressively and spread quickly to other organs and tissues. About one in nine men will be diagnosed with this disease in their lifetimes, making it one of the most common cancers for men. Early detection is key for the best treatment outcomes.
The Mayo Clinic classifies testicular cancer as being relatively rare. Yet it is the most common cancer for American men between the ages of 15 and 35. It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor to see if you should give yourself regular testicular self-exams to aid in early detection.
Men’s suicide rates are alarmingly high. It’s a disturbing crisis that is difficult for many to acknowledge. Reports indicate that women are more likely to think about suicide while men are more likely to carry it out. Recent data revealed that men died by suicide 3.5 times more often than women. If someone you know is in crisis, reach out to help connect them with resources to prevent a potential tragedy. In the United States if you are in crisis, or know someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline anytime, 24/7, at 1-800-273-8255. In other countries, please seek out appropriate suicide-prevention resources.
What if you can’t grow a beard?
Growing a beard fit for a lumberjack isn’t always realistic. Some guys have never been able to grow one. If that’s you, don’t worry. The lack of ability to grow a beard is genetic and you just can’t help it.
One way you might participate in No-Shave November is by letting the rest of your hair grow for the month. For some, that option presents its own challenge. As we get older, it can get harder to grow our hair like when we were younger. And even young guys may experience male pattern baldness much earlier than they might have ever expected. Unlike the inability to improve beard thickness, you can treat hair loss, if it’s right for you, with a doctor’s prescription for male pattern baldness. This could help you show your support for the No-Shave November movement without having to stress about lacking the genetics for beard-growing.
Another way to participate in No-Shave November if you cannot grow your own beard is to suggest to beard-capable men that they grow their beards. Encourage them to grow and support No-Shave November themselves.
What if you already have a beard?
If you’ve already got a beard and are a pro at beard growing, don’t scoff at No-Shave November as “amateur beard month”. Encourage all the first-time beard growers out there and welcome them as newcomers to the bearded brotherhood.
Not a necessity, but a way to make a big statement would be to shave your beard and start growing again. You can think of it like that old saying which states that the only reason to shave off your beard is to experience the pleasure of growing it out again.
Even if you’re already fully bearded and opt not to shave and regrow, you can participate in No-Shave November by reminding everyone that it’s all about raising awareness about men’s health issues. Amplify your participation by recruiting others to participate as well.
How can you support the cause?
Be a leader. Don’t be afraid to keep the conversation going around these significant men’s health issues. Keeping the focus on men’s health issues helps to press for needed research to improve treatments and prevention.
Taking part in No-Shave November is a great way to show that you stand for something. People will follow you. People will want to hear your story and know what you represent.
Two relevant No-Shave November charities are:
You can check them out on Charity Navigator to learn about how they rate as charities:
When the month ends
Although No-Shave November ends at the month’s close, your support doesn’t have to end. Spreading your message, beliefs, and support for those fighting prostate and testicular cancer as well as men’s suicide can be a year-round effort. And the end of No-Shave November does NOT mean that you automatically should resume shaving. Keep growing your new beard!
To continue the mission of No-Shave November, consider volunteering at your local hospital or participating in races or walks that support men who continue to fight these awful diseases.
If you feel that a month off from shaving is enough for you, then you might think about getting rid of your new beard growth. If so, stop. Think again. Don’t make a hasty, automatic decision that your new beard growth must go. If after careful consideration you decide that your new beard absolutely cannot remain, do the deed the right way by following our expert guide to shaving off your beard. Then make a commitment to grow again during the next No-Shave November.