Each year, many take part in No Shave November by growing out their facial hair in order to raise cancer awareness, and many go as far as to make bets in order to raise money for the cause.
Students at Southern Miss also participate in the popular fad in order to start a conversation about cancer awareness. While some do not make bets in order to raise money, many believe the act of growing out hair does bring attention to why No Shave November began.
Sophomore majoring in sports coaching education Christian Santamaria said she began participating in No Shave November as a high school student.
“My friends and I made bets to see who could last the longest without shaving,” Santamaria said.
While Santamaria does participate, he keeps his beard lined up in order to still look professional. He said he has a serious job and that his boss prefers to have a clean-cut staff. According to the official rules for No Shave November, the act of grooming and trimming is allowed.
In order to keep his beard in perfect shape, Santamaria uses beard oil and beard butter to keep it moisturized. He recommends using supplements for those wanting to grow a beard, as some can look patchy in the beginning.
“Beards grow different for everyone, but there’s nothing wrong with a little help,” Santamaria said.
Many connect No Shave November with the Movember Foundation, which promotes raising awareness for various issues. This foundation focuses on the broad topic of men’s health along with awareness for mental health, prostate and testicular cancer. While many correlate the cause with beards, the Movember Foundation began by growing out mustaches in order to raise donations and begin conversations regarding men’s health.
Junior kinesiology and exercise science major Ricky Anthony Plaisance III said he participated in No Shave November many times.
“I think I look better with a beard, and people always compliment it. So I figured why not let it grow,” Plaisance said.
Plaisance has made bets with friends to see who can last the longest without shaving throughout the month. In order to keep his beard neat, he shaves his neck and aligns his cheeks, but Plaisance doesn’t trim his face.
Those who wish to grow beards have often tried biotin in order to grow or thicken their facial hair. Others often scrub their face in order to remove dead cells and make way for their hair to grow. Although many believe that facial hair and scalp hair both grow at the same rate, this is a common misconception.
Plaisance said allowing facial hair to grow out is a step to eventually finding the right beard shape.
“Shaving won’t make it grow quicker,” Plaisance said. “Grow it out for the month to see where it is.”
Jonathan Wilkerson, a senior accounting major, said he began growing his beard just to see how long it could grow. Although he is growing it out, he does maintain the shape in order to stay professional.
“I do shave my neck because I feel like I look less put together if I don’t,” Wilkerson said.
Wilkerson said he thinks his beard makes him look older, which is an appeal for others growing their beards out as well. While he does enjoy his beard length, Wilkerson said it takes time in order to truly grow out perfect facial hair.
“You just have to get past the trash-stache phase and find the style that fits you,” Wilkerson said.