No shave November, the month for men’s health

'Movember'and 'No Shave November' encourage men to grow moustaches and beards to draw attention to male health problems

Members of the The 5th Gear Riders Club

Movember is an annual event observed worldwide by men growing beards and moustaches to raise awareness about problems such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and depression.  

Many in Bengaluru have put down the razor to take part in the movement.

Aakash Nambiar, social media community manager, joined the movement four years ago.

“While this campaign has been popular in the West for a long time, India joined in a few years ago, thanks to social media. I read an article about Movember eight years ago but never took it too seriously. Now, I grow my beard and donate the month’s savings for the cause,” he says.

Many believe men who grow beards aren’t gentlemen, muses Nambiar.
However, the campaign gives men the chance to show they are caring gentlemen, and at the same time raise awareness, he says.

“Due to chemotherapy, men who suffer from prostate cancer lose hair. By participating in the movement, we are being vocal about health issues that aren’t spoken about otherwise,” he says.

It’s not just individuals who are volunteering to turn hirsute this month. Some groups are organising events to spread the word.

L N Agrawal, founder of The 5th Gear Riders Club, is encouraging men to save the money spent over grooming, whether it’s shaving, waxing, trimming or threading, and donate it to charity at the end of the month.

The group is organising a fund-raiser ride on November 18 to boost donations.

“We are organising a weekend adventure to ‘Day Out in Yelagiri’ on November 18 and anyone with a bike can come along. We will be exploring a bit of the place and also interacting with experienced riders before we head back to the city,”  he says.

The group is in the process of identifying an NGO to donate the money to.

Bharat Beard Club, in association with Pinkathon, is hosting Beardo-thon on November 18.

Vishal Singh, founder of the club, says that it’s a six-city marathon — covering Chandigarh, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai.

“It takes about a month to organise it in each city so we started the run in September. We have 5k, 10k and 21k marathons happening and participants can register by paying Rs 200.

The first three will win goodies and vouchers,” says Vishal. They have partnered with Ed Hardy and Flipkart for the prizes.

The group’s aim isn’t just to collect funds but also to raise awareness.

“Women are given a lot of privileges and we tend to forget that men too have diseases that are harmful. We just want to get the topic going and thanks to travelling to various cities, we are able to do just that,” he says.

As part of the movement, they are also holding a Beard and Moustache competition on December 2 at Gurugram.

What is Movember aka No Shave November?

It was started by two Australian brothers in 2003 who decided to style their moustaches. By the next year, one of the brothers (and co-founder of the Movember movement) thought of making it a symbol to raise awareness about prostate cancer.

The ‘Mo’ in November stands for the moustache. After this, men registered on the website with a clean-shaven face and grew lengthy moustaches and beards as the month passed.

Hairy puttars

While Movember is for growing moustaches, No Shave November is for growing beards.

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