I learned about Movember and No-Shave November about eight years ago, after my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer and have been participating in it ever since. Even though I always end up looking like a lumberjack or a creepy version of myself with a mustache, I’ve learned a few grooming tips along the way. The thing is, believe it or not, there is such a thing as the perfect mo/stash or beard; it’s all about knowing how to take care of it and style it. I want to share a little bit of these grooming and styling techniques with you through this article, hoping to help some of you achieve better mo and beard results this Movember and No-Shave November.
Electric razor or the good old-fashioned blade(s)? It virtually all comes down to comfort and results. I’ve been very lucky with my electric razor but I don’t really shave every day. I kind of like my five-o’clock shadow, but If you prefer to start the challenge with a baby face, using the blades might be a better option. Either way, I recommend prepping your skin with a good cleanser, like Billy Jealousy’s White Knight Gentle Daily Facial Cleanser, and condition the shaving area with a pre-shave oil or scrub like The Art of Shaving’s Unscented Pre-Shave Oil or Game Day’s Pre-Shave Invigorating Scrub.
When it comes to shaving, I’ve discovered that there are virtually two ways to shave, downwards and upwards, never sideways (ouch!). But what makes or breaks a good shave is the shaving cream or gel and the aftershave. When it comes to these shaving essentials, there’s nothing like going back to a brand that’s been there the longest time and has never failed, the Italian Proraso. I strongly recommend their Refresh Shaving Cream Tube. For the perfect aftershave, I strongly recommend something that will help you grow a healthy stash or beard and will help you avoid redness, bumps and ingrown hairs, like Anthony’s After Shave Balm or, if you prefer a good moisturizer instead, try one of my newest obsessions, Triumph and Disaster’s Gameface Moisturizer Jar.
It’s been two weeks since the challenge started (or whenever you’re trying to grow a beard/stash) and you’re worried it’s starting to look really awkward, with a very light hair but nonetheless steady growth. (Some of you might even be rocking a Frida Kahlo style.) Don’t fret. It might look awkward and you might be thinking about quitting but I strongly recommend to keep going; things will get better, trust me. Plus, remember you’re doing this for a good cause.
Now, if you are one of those guys who grow hair like crazy and you’re already starting to look like big foot’s younger brother, I would recommend trimming a little at this point; for this, I use a fabulous machine, its name says it all: The Virtually Indestructible Barbershop Clipper by Remington. And the great thing about this tool is you’ll be able to use it on your hair as well.
It’s been 30 days since. The challenge is officially over (you made it!), but you still have a decision to make: whether you want to take the lumberjack look to the next level and rock it through the holidays, or you’re done and it’s time to go back to your usual babyface or five-o’clock shade. If you choose to keep that beautiful facial hair, here are a few quick tips for your post-Movember/No-Shave November look from Master Barber Michael Haar of Proraso:
1. Wash your beard daily (and not with shampoo).
Washing the hair on your face is just as important as washing the hair on your head, no matter what length your beard is—but make sure the cleanser you use is specially formulated to care for your facial skin underneath. A beard wash, like Proraso’s Beard Wash, will rinse away dirt and oil, while leaving your face feeling hydrated, especially in the colder months.
2. Beards need a little TLC too.
Aside from washing your beard regularly, it also needs some daily upkeep. For men who are just starting to grow out a beard or maintain their facial hair at a shorter length, try Proraso’s Beard Balm. This reduces the “grower’s itch” and brings that wiry feel down to a nourished stubble. If you have a longer beard, you’re better off with Proraso Beard Oil. Pour a dime-sized amount into the palm of your hand, rub together and run through your damp beard. This will give a little more weight to stubborn renegade hairs and keep a nourished, healthy sheen.
3. A hot oil for your beard? Yes, that’s a thing.
Especially in drier seasons or climates, a weekly deep conditioning treatment is an important step to keeping the beard soft and hydrated and preventing breakage. No matter the length, if your beard is dried out or in need of a little extra nourishing and TLC, try Proraso’s Hot Oil Treatment. Fill a mug with hot water, place a vial inside for five minutes, remove the heated vial, pour the oil into palms and massage into your beard. Use a brush to comb the hair, from root to tip, so the product is distributed evenly (it’s going to foam up a little bit). Leave on for a couple of minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
Whatever you guys decide to do before, after or during this challenge, don’t forget what this social movement is all about: showing physically (and facially) what you’re supporting morally and financially. My grandfather, like thousands of other men every year, had to overcome a series of painful and life-draining chemotherapy sessions. The sad thing is that most of these men don’t have the financial means to fight against cancer and mental health problems. If you wish to take this challenge to the giving level, here are some links where you can show your support beyond the mo and beard.
Happy Movember and No Shave November!