Preventing cancer, one hair at a time

Millen Khangura, Staff Writer

Frizzy beard hairs, sharp mustaches, and bushy beards make up No-Shave November and Movember. Despite the popularity of these practices, many people do not know the meanings or purposes of these two different traditions—including myself when I participated.

In general, No-Shave November is a tradition where a participant doesn’t shave any of their facial hair. Movember is similar, but participants only grow out their mustaches. Both of these traditions have become online organizations where participants can read the rules, understand the history, and donate money.

“They’re opportunities to help raise awareness and funds for particular illnesses and diseases that affect men,” social studies teacher and previous participant Steve Darnell said.

Darnell has participated in No-Shave November for many years and believes that the traditions support cancer awareness and research. He hopes the traditions grow more popular.

Furthermore, the purposes of these two traditions are alike, the organization called No-Shave November aims to donate money to different cancer research and prevention programs. Movember donates all money raised to men’s mental health issues, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer.

The No-Shave November official website states that their goal is “to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free.”

The founders of both organizations started these traditions because someone close to them had died of cancer. The two founders are the Chicagoland Hill family and Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, for No-Shave November and Movember, respectfully.

Some folks, however, do either tradition for fun and do not participate in the donations.

“No-Shave November and Movember are excuses for people to try to grow out their facial hair, but it’s also a good charity,” sophomore Aiden Mikaelian said.

People can start either No-Shave November or Movember for different reasons. For example, Mikaelian began doing No-Shave November for fun, but found it a good cause and started donating for the cancer victims in hospitals.

In 2015, Movember raised $77.1 million, and No-Shave November over $2 million to cancer research and awareness.