Beards: to grow or not to grow in No-shave November


The month of November often gets overlooked due to the heavy demand for Christmas season to begin. While November includes a major holiday in Thanksgiving, people seem to dismiss it and try to move on to the next month, but within it is a silly tradition for a good cause: No-Shave November.
According to its official website, “No-Shave November is a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness.” The premise of the tradition is to embrace your hair, as most cancer patients lose most of theirs during chemo. The money that would be spent toward grooming is heavily encouraged to be donated to cancer research. While this month may seem unprofessional, the people who work for the No-Shave November cause are working with major research companies like the American Cancer Society, the Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
While No-Shave November has been a tradition for decades, 2009 was the first year that the Chicagoland Hill family, the founders of the website, began to raise money for cancer research. It was an important project for the family of eight kids as their father died from colon cancer in 2007.
The organization, while mostly encouraging beard and mustache growth, wants to engage women as well, and all types of shaving, from armpit to leg hair, is discouraged. If your school or job requires it, trimming is allowed and will not disqualify you from the tradition. “I am participating in No-Shave November, including any bodily hairs. I’ve only shaved a few times, so this month hasn’t been too tough,” freshman Ben Bloch said.
Having a beard myself, I am often harassed and asked to shave because some people feel beards are “trashy” and “gross.” If you walk around the building, however, there are plenty of students and teachers alike who are growing beards during November. People toss around their opinions on beards all the time, and I have been on the end of both good and bad feedback. “Beards are only in style if you can grow a good one, otherwise you just have to finish No-Shave November and shave it,” senior Zack Butler said.
Teachers around the building sport beards, too. English teacher Nicholas Hitchens is noted as having one of the most impressive beards around, especially during last year when he let it grow to its full potential. “I think they’re really in vogue right now,” Hitchens said. “They were in style in the late 1800s and early 1900s and I think that fashion comes in waves. Obviously I’m a serious authority of fashion, and I don’t know if they’re a show of masculinity but they’re in right now.”
Girls can have their opinions on beards too. “They look good if they are well groomed and are on guys with darker hair,” senior Maggie Gaus said.
Not only is it for a good cause, but it is such a free feeling to not have to shave. Shaving is expensive and an inconvenience, and going a whole month without picking up a razor is a natural yet relaxing feeling.


Max Jordan

Managing Editor