A Beginner’s Guide to Growing a Beard: How to Prepare

—Urban Beardsman

Ladies and gentlemen, the hairiest time of the year is almost here. Growvember, or November, has officially become the national month for encouraged facial hair growing as Movember and No Shave November have both grown in popularity over the past few years to raise awareness for all kinds of diseases, including, but not limited to, prostate and testicular cancer, mental health, and physical inactivity. Really though, it’s about men’s health as a whole and letting your facial hair fly free in support of our fellow brethren, both young and old. However, the question that always arises is which should I participate in: Movember or No Shave November?

Well, you really don’t have to choose, you can simply do both (Movember is mustache-specific, but No Shave November encourages both mustache and beard growing). At the end of the day they’re both great causes and we suggest you get your friends and family together and raise some funds and awareness and simply have fun with it. Regardless of which organization you end up opting for, we’ve got a few things for you to consider before we reach the beginning of Growvember next week.

1. Play this in your office. Loudly. Movember and No Shave November are not about subtlety in any shape, way, or form. It’s time to be loud and proud and make sure everyone knows how you’re spending the next four and half weeks. Well, don’t go too over the top. Remember, these same people are going to be with you along your hairy journey for the next month

2. Determine which (Movember or No Shave November) is best for you. This might be your first time participating in either No Shave November or Movember, or it could be your eighth, but regardless, it can be difficult choosing which route to go or look to opt for. If you typically go bearded, maybe try a mustache, or if you typically go completely shaven, give the bearded look a try. Whichever you decide on, display it proudly and be prepared to answer everyone’s questions for the next few weeks.

3. Pick a Facial Hair Guru for motivation. A lot of guys that participate in No Shave November or Movember use their dads or grandfathers as motivation for the month, both of whom are excellent options. However, if facial hair isn’t exactly common in your family than it might be best to look elsewhere for facial hair to strive for. Whether you want to go the mustache route with someone like Tom Selleck or go bearded with someone like Nick Offerman or Idris Elba, there are a ton of options for you to choose from. Just don’t expect to actually look like any of those strikingly handsome gents. No matter what anyone tells you, you’ll never be as cool as Lando Calrissian.

4. Give your face a thorough cleaning. If you happen to be going the bearded route, this is going to be the last time you’re completely shaven for almost five weeks so do yourself a favor and give your face a thorough cleaning before you begin your bearded journey. The same goes for growing a mustache, but you have less skin to worry about being covered up by your soon to be epic beard. Either way, cleanliness is key. Get used to it for the month ahead.

5. Take a before photo. Whether you’re a long time facial hair grower or not, taking a before photo on Halloween or November 1st is a tradition for all who participate in No Shave November and Movember. If it’s your first time, it’s always great to see how different you look after a month of growth. Similarly, if you usually go bearded, it can be nice to remind yourself of what you look like completely shaven. Either way, document the beginning.

6. Grab a beard or mustache comb (and maybe even some mustache wax). Some of you might be surprised to hear this, but beard and mustache grooming and maintenance will definitely become part of your life during Growvember. It might take a week or two, but at a certain point having a beard or mustache comb handy will be crucial. Similarly, if you happen to go the mustache route, grabbing some wax can be helpful once your mustache starts to curl in towards your mouth. Mmm, isn’t Growvember the best?

7. Procure a Movember or No Shave November t-shirt. If there’s one time to call even more attention to your facial hair than normal, it’s definitely during Growvember. Our suggestion: pick up a t-shirt from whichever cause you’re supporting and maybe wear it on casual Friday (or if you work in the modern 2015 world, whichever day of the week you see fit). Not only can it help start conversations with people about men’s health, it might even lead to further donations, which is what Growvember is really all about anyway. Shop the Movember options here or No Shave November’s here, whichever you go for, wear it loud and proud fellas.


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