On the 1st of November, ‘Movember’ (a blend of the words ‘mustache’ and ‘November) starts. It is also known as ‘No Shave November.’ During this month, men do not shave and allow their beards and mustaches to grow, unhindered.  

While it started as a teen trend mostly popular in colleges, students aren’t the only ones participating in Movember. Millions of men across the world have taken to growing their facial hair and many do it to raise awareness about causes.

History of No Shave November

There are several different accounts of how No Shave November became a worldwide trend. One account states that it was started by a family that lost their father to prostate cancer and started No Shave November trend to raise awareness regarding this disease. According to another one, it started in Australia in 2004, when a group of 30 men grew moustaches for 30 days to raise awareness about depression in men. This foundation got the name Movember foundation. The significance of this campaign is that men allow their hair to grow, which many cancer patients lose.  

There is a slight difference between Movember and No Shave November. Those participating in Movember can only grow a moustache that does not connect to the sideburns. On the other hand, those participating in No Shave November don’t shave for the entire month.

The idea of No Shave November has also been used to generate awareness and raise funds for many other causes. For example, an organization known as F.L.A.M.E. is using the concept of No Shave November to raise awareness of sexual assault.

The term No Shave November also happens to take its roots from the celebration of communism by Karl Marx. Marx grew a beard during the month of November as a way to upset the bourgeoisie. Marx’s plan was to agitate the capitalist factory owners of the time, but the plan did not bear any fruit and therefore, No Shave November faded away into history books, until recent times.

Now, men and women both take part in the annual awareness campaign that has taken the world by storm. The money that is saved by not shaving and grooming are donated to the cause of raising awareness for cancer, to educate people about cancer prevention, helping to fight the battle, thus saving lives.

Some of the people celebrating Movember just do so because it gives them a chance to be lazy. Some of the freshmen at university sport a beard and a moustache to celebrate their freedom; it’s the first time they are away from their parents who often enforce regular shaving.

The Movember foundation that started in Australia collected $10 from men for growing a moustache for 30 days. Since 2004, Movember has found its way into many other countries. By 2012, 21 countries, including the United States, were participating in the ‘no shave’ event.

As of 2012, the Movember Foundation has raised $174 million from across the world. Participants are called ‘Mo Bros’ and all they have to do is register on the website, movember.com and join the movement by growing a moustache for the entire month of November. Mo Bros collect money from friends and family so as to donate it to the cause. 83.1% of the funds raised in the USA is spent on initiatives and programs that are aimed at fighting testicular and prostate cancers. The rest of the funds are used to finance the Movember team’s administrative and fundraising tasks.


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