Let the beards grow: No Shave November is back
By Amber George
The time has come to put away the razors, lock up the shaving cream and let nature do its work as the first of November rises over Flagstaff. The start of No Shave November has begun, and for the next 30 days, students all over Northern Arizona University (NAU) will sit back and relax while they let their hair grow.
No Shave November has been an ongoing national event for many years now. With over 62,000 likes on Facebook, and even more people participating, November is sure to be an extremely hairy month.
Through the month, men and women are encouraged to avoid shaving their bodies in order to bring awareness to the annual trend. The official No Shave November website offers a plethora of beard-related humor, styling and care tips and inspirational videos and pictures. There is even a “Manliest Beard” competition, where the first place winner receives $1,000 along with the “Mighty Black Razor” trophy.
Students across NAU have already begun their preparation. Kilian McMann, a freshman visual communications major, has participated in No Shave November several years in the past.
“I’m not that hairy of a guy, so my turnouts haven’t been very impressive in past years,” McMann says. “I had a youth pastor who did it a couple years ago and shaved his beard into a fu manchu with mutton chops, and proceeded to go to the grocery store looking like one creepy dude.”
McMann participates in No Shave November because it is fun, and this year a group of his friends are going to have a competition to see who can grow the most “epic beard.”
Although No Shave November is unique, people often confuse it with another event called Movember. Movember is another hair-growing trend which supports growing mustaches only, in order to raise donations for prostate cancer awareness. Due to the lack of distinction between the two events, however, many people often raise money during No Shave November and donate it to many charities across the country.
In fact, in 2011, those participating in No Shave November raised money to donate to organizations such as the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Families of the Wounded and the Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation. Whether it started out as a charitable event, it has definitely transformed into one.
Eric Allred, a freshman English major, thinks No Shave November is great way to spread awareness of a larger idea. His first year of participating was 2011, and he loved the experience.
“It was funny because I almost didn’t participate, because my girlfriend didn’t like it and almost made me shave it off,” Allred says. “But I didn’t. That year was also the first year that I found out about it, so it was a cool experiment I intend to do every year.”
To Allred, the event has become something more than just not shaving after having to cope with one of his friends developing testicular cancer. Because the charities Movember and No Shave November support mostly male-dominated diseases, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Allred to show some support. He looks forward to growing out his facial hair, and also hopes for people to ask him about it so he can promote the ideas behind it, rather than people assuming he is a “lazy college student.”
Allison Griffin, a freshman athletic training major, says she doesn’t mind watching all of the guys go through the hairy transformation.
“I think it’s fun to watch guys compete over something they can’t control, and watch them go from cavemen to humans again in December,” Griffin says. “I’m fine with [facial hair] as long as it’s well-kept.”
It is not too late to start growing that beard: the month has only just begun. The event lasts through November, and it is as simple as not shaving in the morning. There are many websites and organizations that take donations, so if growing the beard is not satisfying enough, these groups are always grateful for any extra help.
“Every dude should do it, even if they can’t really grow anything,” Eric Allred comments. “It helps the cause in a very tangible way.”