No-Shave November guy

It’s the wonderful month of November, and that means two things: Daylight Saving Time is on the way out, and more importantly, No-Shave November has finally arrived. We’re left with one important question… will you be participating this year?

What is No-Shave November?

If you’ve never heard of No-Shave November, don’t fret; it’s the most self-explanatory event out there. There’s only one rule: don’t shave during the month of November! But why? Why would anyone voluntarily choose to look (and feel) like an unkempt wild person? Great question. While No-Shave November gives plenty of people an excuse to grow their beards out, many participants take the opportunity to loosen up on other hair-maintenance schedules, too. In other words, No-shave November lets us embrace the natural. But No-Shave November isn’t just about putting on a new look.

The idea for it began as an effort to raise awareness around cancer. It would be the perfect way to start conversations; those who never grew facial hair would soon be sporting beards and goatees, attracting attention and questions from others in their lives. When asked, participants would respond by explaining their gratitude for having the ability to grow out their hair, as many cancer patients lose that ability during treatment. Any amount of money spent on razors, trimmers, and other hair grooming products during the month of November could then be donated towards the Prevent Cancer Foundation, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and other leading cancer institutes.

Whether or not you’re able to grow the gnarliest beard in town makes no difference– there’s plenty of ways to get involved in No-Shave November. Check out these ideas for how you can make a difference this November…

No-Shave November Chase

Participant Chase during No-Shave November

The Old-Fashioned Donation

You can donate money towards a multitude of cancer institutes at any time; N0-Shave November doesn’t require an extra amount of hair to make a difference. If you’re feeling compelled to donate, the foundations involved with No-Shave November and dozens of others like it are always accepting donations. Just pick up the phone and give them a call!

Sponsor a Friend

If you’re not feeling up to the challenge, chances are you know someone who is. Support a friend or family member during this month-long journey by matching the price they would normally spend on their own grooming products and donating it towards cancer awareness. If you’re feeling generous, double the number you end up with.

No-Shave November Chase

Participant Chase a few months after the end of No-Shave November

Make No-Shave November a Competition

Compete against your friends and have others vote to see who can grow the best scruff– whoever wins donates a dollar for every vote they receive. This option is great for participants with a competitive edge, but no matter who wins, there’s something unifying about looking like a wild person with your best friends.

Bring It To Work

Can you get the whole office on board? Regardless of where you work, try getting your co-workers involved. Ask your boss if they’d be willing to loosen up on the facial hair policy for a few weeks. It’s for a good cause, and a greater impact will be made the more people you’re able to get involved.

Grow What You’ve Got

If donating just isn’t realistic for you, that’s okay. Raising money is critical, but raising awareness is important too. Just grow what you can! It’s still enough to bring attention to the bigger picture. You might look great or you might look terrible, but either way, you’re making a statement.

No-Shave November guy Dan Luther

No-Shave November participant Dan Luther

Get Creative for No-Shave November

If you’re handy with design, there are endless opportunities to take advantage of No-Shave November. Beards are trendy, making this one of the cooler and more attractive fundraising opportunities of the year. A friend of mine (seen above) created No-Shave November sweatshirts for several years to raise awareness around the issue. There are endless possibilities, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.

No Shave November

No Shave November sweatshirts. Photo by @dan_luther

The Late Start 

If this is the first time you’ve heard about No-Shave November, or maybe you simply forgot it was coming up, don’t panic. You can always start the journey late. Plenty of participants choose to extend the limits of No-Shave November to include the months leading up to and following November, creating the perfect excuse to truly let yourself go wild. Put down the razor and get going!

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