November and No Shave November!

No-Shave | 2nd December 2021 | Virtual Wire



If you have taken part in November's Movember or No shave November you probably have a full-grown moustache or both a moustache and a beard by now.

We often use the terms interchangeably but, contrary to popular belief, both of the campaigns are actually quite different. Although both are intended to raise awareness around men's health, majorly cancer, they were started by different people and for different causes. By making this a movement they try to encourage men to openly talk about their struggles with health issues like cancer and mental illness in men which has been looked down upon as men are supposed to be "masculine" and suppress their emotions and pain. Let’s learn more about these campaigns.

November is the earliest of the two. It dates back to 1999. The term was coined by a group of Adelaide men who formed the Movember Committee. Like the name suggests, it stands for Mo (how moustache is called in Australian English) and November. The idea was and still is to grow a moustache throughout the month of November. This was done in order to raise awareness on prostate cancer and depression in men.

The Movember you see today is an annual campaign run by the Movember Foundation which started off as an event in Melbourne in 2004 with a group of 30 men who decided that they would grow moustaches for 30 days. Growing moustaches, hosting events called Mo-Ments or walking or running 60km creates buzz among people both online and offline. The charity aims to prevent men from dying prematurely which is helped by the awareness and donations that proceed towards men's mental health, suicide prevention, prostate and testicular cancer.


November also has an application on AppStore and Google Play where you can sign up for the campaign as individuals or as a team and post selfies with your Mo or support someone who is sporting one. You can register for the campaign on this app and use it to share your selfies, host events or walk or run 60km in support of the 60 men lost to suicide every hour worldwide.



It was started in the memory of Matthew Hill, who lost his life to colon cancer in 2007, by his eight children in 2009. Cancer left such an impact on their lives that they started an online fund-raising awareness campaign where participants were to forgo shaving for the entire month of November and donate whatever they saved in the grooming expenses as a result of this.

As cancer patients lose their hair in chemotherapy, the idea is to embrace one's hair and let it grow freely. They also encourage you to forgo hair waxing for this month. Typically the participation expects to forgo even trimming the beard but the No-Shave organization relaxes rules for those with strict workplace dress-code. The No-Shave is a non-profit organization and proceeds the donations of the participants to other charities including but not limited to: American Cancer Fund, Fight Colorectal Cancer, Kidney Cancer Association and Testicular Cancer Society. These donations help by raising awareness on cancer, giving out information for free to cancer patients and their caregivers.


Unlike Movember, No-Shave November doesn't have a phone app but that does not mean it is any less in popularity. It relies on social media platforms for spreading the word. Every year millions of people post selfies using hashtags like #noshavenovember to show their support for the campaign. No matter whether you grow a mustache or beard or not, the main thing is we support the men in our lives with sincerity and spread awareness on their health issues.

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