Facial hair, without a doubt, qualifies as an art. The impressive craft of sprouting hair from one’s face seems impossible and thus checks out as equal parts daring and creative. Consequently, it should be celebrated as such.
Yet, a rift exists between the naked-faced and the sasquatch-faced: men with impressive beards or stoic mustachios not only have phenomenal conversation pieces, they also inherently garner excessive amounts of pride, bordering on a facial hair hubris. This natural confidence only feeds into the baby-faced males welling with shame and patchy stubble, creating a feud like no other.
That being said, for one month out of every year beard-growers and non-beard-growers unite, and do so for a phenomenal cause: No-Shave November.
According to its official website, No-Shave November is “a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness.” Not only does it promote the artistry and elegance of facial hair, it also raises money and awareness for a terrible disease.
The website also explains the foundation’s mission: “The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free.” They also urge participates to “donate the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.”
The foundation has grown into a smart, proactive and fun entity, and many people, including Main Street Barbers employee Erik Dahlgren, have hopped on board.
Dahlgren, a 24-year-old barber at the Durham business, explained that the college-town barber shop hasn’t yet promoted the annual event, but has noticed a trend amongst its November clients.
“In November, we’ll get less beard trims, and a lot of people donate the money that they save from trimming their hair to cancer awareness and things like that,” Dahlgren said.
Dahlgren, who has been cutting hair professionally for three years now, hopes to get Main Street Barbers involved with the event in the near future.
“It’s kind of client-to-client basis but we always talk about it,” Dahlgren said. “It’s a good idea though, I think it would be something good to do next year if we could get the clients involved and everyone participates with any money they save and just kind of pool it together and donates it.”
While Dahlgren, being in the hair business, already held a substantial knowledge of No-Shave November, DJ Simmoneau, a 19-year-old sophomore mechanical engineering major at the University of New Hampshire and a proud beard grower, had little knowledge of the month’s benefits.
“I know it’s for cancer somehow, but it’s not advertised or anything, it’s not like an October in pink kind of thing,” Simmoneau said. “I think it could be something cool, but it’s just November to me. I’m just not going to shave because I never do.”
Simmoneau, maintaining an impressive beard for a 19-year-old, explained that he hopes to see more done to promote the event and to get the word out.
“I feel like it could be a great thing, but it’s just not pushed enough,” Simmoneau said. “I would love to participate in it, but it’s kept quiet. It’s just not big enough; it needs to grow.”
While No-Shave November may not be the most advertised event, everybody can agree on its inspiring premise and even better purpose.
As Dahlgren said, “I can only imagine what people with cancer go through losing their hair. It can’t be easy… That’s why No-Shave November is a great cause. You’re a wild man! You’re letting all your hair grow out. I think it’s an awesome thing.”