More than beards, No-shave November

Emily Gibbens, Staff Writer

The month of October is known by many as “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” Some common themes within the month include wearing pink and giving back to the women who have battled breast cancer. October has ended, so the pink ribbons everywhere will fade out, but what will take their place?

Nov. 1 is the day that many freshly shaven faces will be left untouched for a month. The worldwide theme of this month to give back is No-shave November.

No-shave November is when men from across the world grow out their facial hair. But is anyone truly aware of what the purpose of the beards and the mustaches are?

All I knew about No-shave November, or Movember, is that it was for men’s health which I think is more than many people know about the fundraiser.

I found out after a little research that it focuses on raising awareness and funds to support men with prostate cancer, depression and even puts some focus on men’s fitness.

Men are asked to put down their razors and shaving cream throughout the month and let their facial hair grow out all natural. There is an idea behind letting their beards and mustaches grow out. The participants are encouraged to donate the money they would have spent on shaving supplies that month back to a foundation that supports men’s health and the No-shave November message.

There are many different foundations that the raised money can be donated to. One of the most common is the No-shave November website which donates its money back to the American Cancer Society and a couple of other charities supporting cancer.

Another well-known one is the Movember Foundation, which is a charity. You can also purchase Movember gear off their website, and a percentage of the profits go back to their causes.

The idea of growing out facial hair in order to give back can be traced back to 1999, but the whole phenomenon didn’t really catch on until 2003 in Australia. That year alone, $21 million was raised for the Movember Foundation. The event quickly spread to New Zealand and has now spread to over 21 different countries around the globe and is considered a worldwide phenomenon.

“No Shave November to me, as a man, is a movement I can really get behind,” said Haden Cargo, a 20-year-old Grand Forks resident. “It’s all about good natured fun, raising awareness, and giving back, and of course, growing beards.”

Even though you usually only hear of men participating in this event, it doesn’t have to be solely for the guys. The whole purpose of the month is to support men’s health, but women can still show their support.

On, there is even a separate section to encourage females to participate.

“Ladies! Don’t think that just because you can’t grow a burly beard you can’t participate in No Shave November…You can! Now it may not be on your face, but hair does grow on your body…the most commonly sported female hair is on the legs and under the arms.”

Locally, there are many people and groups who participate. Last year, police departments all over North Dakota and Minnesota grew out their beards to help the cause. The Devils Lake Police Department had an interesting take on the event. The officers’ faces were usually clean shaven, but during November for $1 per day, they could choose to grow their facial hair. All of the money was given back in the name of men’s health and awareness.

I think it’s a great idea to raise awareness and funds for these very worthy causes. Whether you’re a man or a woman, if you are going to participate, always remember what you are doing it for. Many people get so caught up in the fun of it, and then they forget to actually donate the money they saved back to the cause by not shaving. Let your hair grow out, but don’t forget about the purpose of the month.

There are many great resources for information, tips, and personal stories. If you’re interested in learning more about the month or how to donate, visit the official pages of the most common foundations, or

Emily Gibbens is a staff writer for  The Dakota Student. She can be reached at  [email protected]