What is Movember? Here’s Absolutely Everything You Need to Know

It’s that time of the year again. Although the weather might be getting colder around us, it’s actually spring-time for beards. In preparation for the cold months ahead, many men are discarding scarves and opting to grow their own face-warmers.

Growing a beard isn’t always easy for everyone, as a lot of it comes down to genetics. Once those hairs on that face of yours start to take shape, however, it’s incredibly rewarding.

If you haven’t grown facial hair before, there could be any number of reasons for this. Perhaps you’ve got a discerning partner who doesn’t like you with a scratchy face (we can fix that), or maybe your boss has an old-fashioned view and thinks workplace faces should be fully trimmed.

Just remember – there’s an even bigger reason to test-drive some new facial hair this fall. It’s called Movember and it stands for something great. Besides, Abraham Lincoln had a beard and he was totally President of the United States. Are you really gonna let middle management control your facial hair?

How Do You Define Movember?

Every year in the month of November, brave men band together and grow impressive facial hair for a great cause. That cause? To raise awareness of the men dying too young every day, from aggressive illnesses such as testicular and prostate cancer.

It also stands to raise awareness of prominent issues that are often far more well-hidden, such as mental health issues and depression. Similar to breast cancer awareness, it’s a global movement that people take part in worldwide.

Movember was born in 2003 in Melbourne when some guys got together and decided to rekindle an old trend. That trend was the mustache.

As many as 30 dudes participated and it turns out that they had a pretty good time. If you haven’t tried before, growing a mustache is a barrel of laughs. The following year, they decided to introduce charitable donations for it and 450 people took part. Together, they managed to raise an insane $43,000 in charitable donations.

This number, was nothing when compared to what it stands at now and by 2012, Movember had grown beyond their wildest dreams. That year, Movember was a bona fide charity event across 21 countries which raised an incredibly $154 million.

Why Should You Take Part?

This November, band together with the other brave men who either abandoning their smooth faces or sacrificing their full beards. There are some really good reasons why you should take part:

1) For men under 35, suicide stands as the most common cause of death

2) 1 in 8 men will develop prostate cancer over the course of their lives

3) Every hour, a man dies from prostate cancer

4) Prostate cancer occurs in men as frequently as breast cancer occurs in women

5) 47% of testicular cancer diagnoses are of men under 35

Why Movember Mustaches Are Great

1) If you’ve always wanted a mustache but never had the excuse to grow one, Movember is basically the best excuse you can find. Let your upper lip loose and get growing.

2) Get a mustache on your face and discuss male health awareness with your fellow bros.

3) By growing a mustache, you’ll become a Mo Bro. This means that you’ll essentially be a walking, talking advertisement for Movember and everything it stands for.

Other Reasons Mustaches Are Cool

1) Two of the greatest Rons in history – Ron Burgundy and Ron Swanson – both have mustaches. Coincidence? I think not. Could a mustache stir an insatiable talent for jazz from deep within you too? Who am I to say. Probably worth a try, though.

What more reason could you possibly need?

Ron Burgundy
Ron Swanson

How Do You Get Involved With Movember?

The first step to getting involved is registering. It seems simple because it is. All you have to do is sign up online and you’re good to go.

Before this, however, you need to decide if you’re growing solo or as part of a team. Yes, that’s right – you and your friends can join existing Movember teams, or even start your own to really heat up the competition. Movember defines the options as:

On Your Own

Run as a lone wolf by growing or supporting a mustache solo. You can always start or join a pack later.

Start a Team

Be the leader of the pack, as the captain of your team. Unite your friends, family and colleagues under the flag of mustache.

Join a Team

There’s strength in number, power in the pack. Unite in an existing team. All you need to find them is the team or captain’s name.

What Are the “Official” Rules?

It saddens us to say that one of the primary rules of Movember is that there are no beards to be seen. The following rules are also to be abided by:

Start Clean-Shaven

Movember is about fresh starts, which is why you’ve gotta have a fresh face to match. By the 1st of November, your face must be completely shaved. Starting with any kind of stubble on your upper lip will peg you as a cheat. It’s time to calm your shaking hands and put razor to skin.

Grow and Groom

To stay in the competition, you must both grow and groom your mustache for the entirety of November. That means no touching razors or trimmers, save to keep your mustache in shape. You’re permitted to prune your mustache into a desirable format.

No Beards Allowed

To stay in the competition, you must both grow and groom your mustache for the entirety of November. That means no touching razors or trimmers, save to keep your mustache in shape. You’re permitted to prune your mustache into a desirable format.

Official Movember Rules from Movember.com

What Happens to the Money?

Good things, that’s what happens to the money. The funds raised by Movember are pooled from all of the countries involved and distributed among various programs. These programs are individually tailored and executed to have a lasting affect on the face of men’s health.

These programs are delivered by the Movember Foundation, a registered charity with partners in each of the participating countries.

Community Matters

One of the best things about Movember is that you don’t necessarily need to know anyone else doing it to get involved. Community is a concept that’s stressed very strongly amongst Mo Bros and there are a variety of activities and parties that you can get involved in.

The official events that they organize can be viewed by downloading their awesome app from iTunes or the Google Play store. Check it out now and widen your social circle.

Image Credit: Movember Foundation

The Man of Movember

The International Man of Movember is chosen from 21 national winners all over the world to wear the crown and be the face of Movember for a whole year. Each national Man of Movember winner is voted in at that particular country’s main Gala Parté, held at the end of November, by both judges and fans.

So, How Do You Grow a Mustache?

It might seem like a self-explanatory question, but a whole lot more goes into growing a mustache than you may have originally thought.

Take a look at the following steps to guide yourself through the process:

1) Stop Shaving It

Obviously, we know, but this is the first step of growing your marvelous lip-warmer. Stop shaving the area where you want your mustache to grow until you have a good amount of length. Depending on your genetics, you should have a decent amount of hair after around 10 days. Keep hold of your razor and make sure to keep any excess hair from encroaching on your mustache from the side of your face. You don’t want to be disqualified.

After you’ve got a good amount of hair, get hold of a decent beard trimmer and a pair of scissors. Use the beard trimmer to maintain a set length for your mustache and make use of the scissors to remove those pesky hairs that grow and curl around your lip. They’re pretty frustrating.

Alternatively, you can go for the rugged look and let your mustache run wild.

2) Scrub Away

One important part of growing a mustache that people often forget is exfoliation. Keeping your skin in top condition will accentuate your mustache, which is a benefit you don’t want to miss out on. By removing dead skin cells underneath the hair, you’ll also be able to keep your mustache healthy.

3) Get the Shampoo Out

Most people think that facial hair – including mustaches – manages itself and doesn’t require much care. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Mustache hairs in particular can become very coarse, which isn’t fun for anyone. By shampooing it every day, you’ll be able to soften the hairs and even promote fuller growth. Incorporate it into your morning shower routine to see the results.

4) Dry it Before Cutting

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when cutting your mustache is doing so when it’s wet. The water will weigh-down the hair, causing it to appear longer than it is. Without knowing you’re doing so, you could accidentally take off much more of your mustache than you wanted to.

5) Wax it Up

As a general rule, it’s best to keep your Mo looking as natural as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t still have a bit of fun with it, though. Give yourself a little treat by purchasing some wax and applying it carefully. You’ll be able to craft and fashion those unruly hairs into a format that works for you. Warm your fingers before applying and spread the wax evenly through your hair.

6) Comb Away

An investment in a good beard and mustache comb set will be money well spent, especially when the hairs start to get longer and less well-behaving.

As well as keeping your style and shape in check, a mustache and beard comb will also work wonders for evenly distributing wax among the hairs. This isn’t always easy to do with your hands. You can also use a mustache comb to make trimming with scissors a far easier task.

7) Experiment With Stubble

Although beards are strictly off the menu for you when taking part in Movember, nobody has said anything about stubble.

If this is your first mo-grow, you might be a little concerned about how the standalone ‘tache will look on your face. This can easily be remedied by growing stubble around it and maintaining it at a set low length of 2-3mm.

8) Choose a Style That Works For Your Face

Not taking into account your face shape when growing a mustache could be a grave error. Pick the wrong Movember styles and you’re probably going to have to ride it out for the remainder of the month.

Square faces typically look better with longer mustaches. If you’ve got a rounder face, opt for a medium-length style that has a subtly triangular shape.

On the other hand, Movember is about raising awareness and meeting new people. If it makes you happy, grow whatever kind of mustache you want.

9) Nail the Twirl

One characteristic look of the modern mustache is the twirl on each of the tips. This can be achieved by warming your hands, taking a small amount of wax between your fingers, and twisting up the ends of each side of your mustache. It’ll definitely help you stand out and it can really complete the look.

10) Keep it Moisturized

Moisturizing is an important part of keeping your mustache in check. Growing a mustache takes moisture away from your skin, which can leave your upper lip particularly dry. This can create flaky, dead skin cells which, if left unattended, will make your mustache look pretty unappealing.

Invest in a good beard oil and massage it through your mustache every day after a shower. Be sure to dry your mustache fully beforehand, though, as oil doesn’t work well with water.

You’ll only need around 1 drop of oil, as it goes a long way. Using too much will make your mustache greasy and you’ll have to wash it fully to rectify this. After adding the oil, promote even distribution with your mustache comb.

Products You’ll Need

Don’t worry – you’re not alone on your quest for mustache glory. There are several products – some of which we’ve mentioned above – that’ll help you on your journey.

1) The Trimmer

To keep that Mo in check, you’ll need a good trimmer. We recommend the Philips Norelco 3100 series. It’s affordable and has everything you need to keep both your mustache and stubble under control.

It comes with adjustable height guards to keep your mustache tidy no matter the length it reaches, as well as other useful attachments for grooming the rest of your bodily hair. It’s also waterproof, so you can trim in the shower before your daily wash routine.

If you’re still not sure which one to buy, check out our guide showcasing the best beard trimmers that are available!​

2) Shampoo

Regular shampoo is designed for your head hair, not your facial hair. It often includes harsh chemicals that can actually make your skin worse than before. Investing in a reliable beard shampoo, such as this one from Mountaineer Brand, will ensure that your hair and face are cared for correctly.

3) Oils​

Maximize the health of your facial hair with a well-made bottle of all-natural beard oil. Beard oils will keep your mustache in the best shape, caring for both hair and skin and promoting fuller, richer growth. We’re in love with the oil from Smooth Viking and trust us, it’s well worth the money.

So there you have it – everything you need to know about Movember and growing a Mo that’ll make other bros jealous.

Keep in touch with us on social media and submit pictures of your growth progress. At the end of November, we’ll be giving away free beard gear to the one we like the best!