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October 26, 2016

We’ve all seen them. Those sad No-Shave November mustaches that look like patchy caterpillars drunkenly wandering across the crestfallen faces of men who know there are still two weeks to go before the end of the month.

It’s the potential downside of an event that lures thousands to grow their own face furniture – often for the first time – every fall. But before committing to your month-long hirsute installation, there are some things you need to know.

First Up: A Little History

Movember started in 2003 in Australia when two intrepid young men, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, enlisted their ‘mo bro’ friends in a sponsored grow-a-thon for prostate cancer awareness. And what these two Australian chaps started has grown into an annual event across more than 20 countries, generating millions of dollars for men’s health issues such as testicular cancer, mental health issues, and suicide prevention. But one thing remains the same: participants are to grow and groom a great stache from scratch over the month of November to “change the face of men’s health.”

Fancy Taking the Plunge This Year? Plan Your Strategy First

The Movember Foundation has been able to donate money to over 1,250 men’s health projects worldwide through the funds raised by the Movember movement. Here’s how you can participate:

  • First, you’ll need to download the app and set up your Mo-Space through You can invite your family, friends, and social media followers to donate to the cause.
  • Then, on Movember 1st, start your Movember campaign clean-shaven before ditching your razors for the next 30 days.
  • Over the next month, carefully craft your Movember stache and keep your supporters updated on your progress. Aside from raising money, sparking conversations about men’s health and reminding men to seek out regular testing is an important piece of the Movember movement, so the more you share, the better!

You can also support men’s health by hosting a Mo-Ment event or taking on the Movember physical challenge, logging 60 miles of movement for the month in honor of 60 men lost to suicide every hour around the globe.

As supporters of Prostate Cancer Canada and purveyors of fine shaving equipment and men’s grooming supplies, we couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming facial-hair festivities. So, to support men partaking in this worthy challenge, we asked a Truefitt & Hill master barber for expert advice on the keys to perfectly executed facial hair. For newbies and veterans alike, here are his insider tips for making Movember a success rather than a reason to hang your head in shame.

Style Suggestions for first-timers

The easiest mo is the ‘public servant,’ which is kept above the lip and between the sides of the mouth. Shave your whole face except for this area, and you’ll be there in no time. For a slightly classier version of this style, allow it to grow around the corners of the mouth, cutting off at the bottom lip.

For More Experienced Mo’ Growers

More advanced mustache moguls should grow their beard for one week and then carve a design into it. The Seneca Crane character from the first Hunger Games movie is the best example. The General Lee look is also a good approach: shave only your neck and chin and allow the mustache and mutton chops to merge into one glorious Civil War-era look.

How to Find the Right Mustache Style for Your Face

The golden rule is to let it grow as large as possible and then start trimming from there. During this grooming process – make sure you only trim a little at a time – the right mustache will present itself. It’s vital to allow your stache to grow in fully and only remove what is necessary: the less you cut, the better.

Keeping your Movember Mustache in Great Shape

Eating raw onions can help get your stache as full as possible initially, but you need to shampoo it as soon as you’re happy with the look: onion breath is hard to kiss. Don’t be afraid to use products as well. Truefitt & Hill’s beard oil is excellent for moisturizing the hair and skin, and the mustache wax is really useful for styling.

What to do if Your Mustache Starts to Fail

If your stache has soured, use it to your fundraising advantage. Make two buckets, one saying ‘Shave it’ and the other saying ‘Save it.’ At the end of the month, if shave wins, shave it in front of your friends. If ‘Save it’ wins, you must keep it for at least two more weeks. You can also create a laugh jar: every time someone laughs at your look, they have to donate to the jar.

The Bottom Line for Having a Great Movember

Remember that the goal is to help men live healthy lifestyles and seek out testing to live longer lives. And while curating the perfect stache may be your personal goal, the event is supposed to be a fun way to get involved in a more significant movement to support men. So have a conversation with some fellows, spread the good word, and have a few laughs along the way. As for your look: growing a mustache is difficult, but once you’re over the two-week stubble hump, it’s smooth sailing.

For your best-ever Movember, we recommend looking at some of our favorite shave supplies and beard-worthy equipment (because, after all, that handlebar isn’t going to just handle itself).

- John Lee