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No Shave November vs. Movember And The Rules To Participate

Get your favorite beard oil ready, gentlemen!


During the 11th month of every year, a phenomenon starts to sweep over parts of the world – no, we are not talking about the hectic election season!

Instead, we are talking about two very similar yet very distinct men’s awareness charities that kick-off:

  • No-Shave November
  • Movember

While many people may interchangeably use these two terms, they are both unique programs that set out to raise awareness for men’s health issues.

A Brief Overview of Movember and How It Came To Be

screencap of header from movember site

The story goes something like this:

In 2003 two friends (Travis Garone and Luke Slattery) met in a bar in Melbourne, Australia.  One of their friend’s parents was currently battling breast cancer at the time, and it inspired them to start their foundation to help raise awareness about men’s health causes.

Specifically, they wanted to focus on generating a men’s specific disease – prostate cancer.

Since then, the Movember Foundation now helps generate awareness for testicular cancer and mental health and suicide prevention.

And what about the name?

Being that Australia spells Mustache a bit differently – Moustache.  They combined the words ‘Moustache’ and ‘November’ to formally create Movember.

At first, they asked just 30 of their close friends to grow a mustache for November.  They did, and in fact, they still have the original list of mustache growers on their website.

Fast forward to today, their foundation has grown exponentially and has begun to roll it out to several countries throughout the world.

As the saying goes – the rest is history!

You can read a bit more in detail about their entire story in this well-written post here.

Behind The Movember Foundation – A Few Key Figures

The impact made by the Movember Foundation has been far and wide as it has helped to fund over 1,200 projects in several countries around the world and has further expanded the scope of the cause.

To demonstrate the Movember Foundation’s impact – in 2015 alone, they raised 16 million dollars in the United States.  Furthermore, 76% of the funds they raised went directly to men’s health programs (source).

Beyond the United States, the Movember Foundation was able to generate a total of $61.1 million in donations from around the world.

The Movember Foundation is an incredible powerhouse in attracting funds to support pressing men’s health concerns.

Rules To Participate In Movember

closeup of a thick mustache

Unlike No Shave November, which we will get to in a minute, Movember does have a set of rules to participate – they are as follows:

#1 – Week 1: At the beginning of November, you want to completely shave off all of your facial hair (i.e., completely clean-shaven).  This means you cannot have a beard or goatee – it must be a formal mustache as outlined in the graphic by the Movember Foundation below.

#2 – Week 2: Trim up your beard area, so only your mustache is prominent.

Here are a few mustache style guides provided by the Movember Foundation to get you started:

movember infographic with various mustache styles

#3 – Week 3 – Week 5: Continually shave the areas around your mustache and let just the mustache continue to grow.

During these weeks (and those previous), you should have a prominent mustache that will likely foster questions from the curious around you.  These questions prompt you to give an opportunity to inform and educate people about important men’s health issues, the campaign, and to raise funds for the foundation.

All of the details regarding official registration and fundraising can be found on this page.

Here is also a great video by the foundation that outlines the rules above:

History and Key Info About No-Shave November

screencap of header from no shave november website

Contrary to Movember, No-Shave November is a relatively new organization and was formed in 2009.

This charitable organization was created by a Chicagoland family of 8 siblings who lost their father in a battle with colon cancer in November of 2007.

Since then, No-Shave November has grown and has helped to raise over $2 million to date.

Recognized on popular TV programs like the TODAY Show, No-Shave November is starting to become favored by men all across the United States.

When raising funds for No-Shave November, the foundation distributes the money raised across various charities as outlined on their website.

When raising funds for No Shave November – no less than 80% of the proceeds will be donated equally to participating charities.

Rules For Participating In No-Shave November

No-Shave November is relatively easier to follow.

At the beginning of No-Shave November, you simply give yourself a clean-shaven look, and then that’s it!

You set down all the grooming products you would typically use on your face and divert the funds to the foundation.

When starting the endeavor, it’s worth registering with the organization to chart your progress and the funds you have raised to be a part of their leaderboard.

Just remember – it’s No-Shave November – therefore, no cleaning up of the areas around your beard is allowed!

So What Are You Waiting For?

If you are a guy, there is simply no excuse to be a part of either one of the causes.

Even if you don’t donate to either foundation, simply growing a beard or mustache can effectively generate awareness of the diseases that face men worldwide.

Besides, we found out that women dig a man with a bit of facial hair as well 🙂

Sean Miller

As co-founder of Tools of Men, Sean Miller has nearly a decade of experience in male beard and grooming care. He started the site in 2014 after discovering the lack of quality men’s grooming information online. He is a nationally recognized expert in hair, beard and skin care for men, and has been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Vice, and more. He is also a frequent contributor to various online and print publications.

Sean Miller has dedicated his career to helping men understand the basics and fine details of proper grooming. He's traveled the world, testing products and learning from industry insiders to gain the knowledge he shares on Tools of Men. With a special focus on the trends, technology and products specifically designed for men he provides an educated, honest and informed perspective.

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