Businessman with beard wearing headphones on subway

Health Benefits of No-Shave November

By Haley Bass | 11/03/2017

Alright men, this one’s for you.

If you wear pink in October, you probably grow out your facial hair in November. Yes, we’ve reached the time of year when men let their beards and mustaches grow wild from their faces, replacing razor burn with scratchy faces for 30 days.

No-Shave November and Movember both started out as a time to celebrate the “manliness” of facial hair, but soon took on a greater purpose.

The Movember Foundation was started in 2003 by Australians Travis Garone and Luke Slattery. The men really just wanted to bring the mustache back in style, but as the movement spread, it turned into a global initiative to promote men’s health. Today, 21 countries participate in the mustache-growing event, bringing attention to prostate cancer, testicular cancer, men’s mental health, and the importance of physical activity. The Movember Foundation has helped raise $650 million for more than 1,000 programs that focus on men’s health issues.1

No-Shave November also began as a fun tradition, but transitioned into a charity-focused project in 2009 when the Hill family wanted a way to honor their father, who passed away from colon cancer in November 2007. The purpose of No-Shave November is for people to raise awareness for cancer by growing their body hair (yes ladies, you can participate by letting those legs go natural), and donating their monthly hair-maintenance expenses to the cause. 80% of donations benefit cancer research at participating charities, including the American Cancer Society, the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.1

Beyond the benefits toward men’s health awareness, participating in Movember and No-Shave November also give men certain health benefits.

If you keep your beard clean and tidy, you’ll benefit from:2

Natural Toxin Filter: Things like pollen, dust, and other irritants get stuck in your beard, which helps keep them out of your lungs. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, having a beard can help reduce your symptoms by filtering out the toxins.

Blemish Prevention: When you shave, you risk exposing your skin to bacterial infection. By letting your beard grow, you’re not only able to hide blemishes, but may prevent them from happening in the first place.

Moisturizer: A beard is basically just a natural scarf, which makes November a perfect time for no shaving. By shielding your face from the cold, dry air, your skin stays moisturized with the natural oils in your beard. You also reduce the risk of catching a cold!

Sun Shield: Alfio Parisi, a professor of radiation physics in Australia, found that a beard can help protect your skin from up to 95% of harmful UV rays. You should still apply sunscreen before going outside, but you’ll feel extra protected from sun damage with your face shield (aka beard).

So this month, make sure to put down the razor and donate to No-Shave November or the Movember Foundation. Enjoy the health benefits of that extra hair and the satisfaction of funding a great cause.