At its heart, No-Shave November is a fundraising movement that was created out of a need to promote awareness for cancer patients. As the No-Shave November website states, this is done by having participants grow out their hair for 30 days during the month of November, and then having any money typically used to buy shaving products go towards cancer prevention.
According their website, this non-profit organization is working hard to support cancer prevention, research and education through their yearly November movement. The movement was founded by the Hill family of Chicago after Matthew Hill passed away from colon cancer in 2007. After several years of participating on their own in support of their father, the Hill family has grown the No-Shave November movement through their website and organization. After many years of participating on their own in support of their father, Matthew Hill, the Hill family has grown the No-Shave November movement through their website and organization. Their advocation for cancer prevention has led to them raising over 2 million dollars in donations.
Another organization that started in the early 2000s, the Movember movement, champions men’s facial hair in order to raise awareness for men’s health all over the world. Originally based in Australia, this organization has started a movement to grow mustaches, and with it, create an awareness for some of the biggest health concerns for men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. According to their website, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men in the United States, and about 8,850 new cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed in men each year. Mental illness is another strong issue that they discuss. It affects one in four adults in the United States in a year, and four out of five suicides are men.
Even with this emphasis, the No-Shave movement has moved far beyond its original intentions. Now, November marks the start of the appearance of facial hair and body hair, or at the very least, a celebration of it. It’s the one month out of the year when people are able to grow out their body hair — either in defiance of the status quo or for personal reasons.
“I learned about [No-Shave November] through more of a social experience with my hockey team and was seen as tradition,” said Jack Hanscom (‘22). “It was just a silly thing to have these guys growing out these tiny little peach fuzz hairs and then dying them jet black.”
But Hanscom continued by saying that, “When I got older though, I learned that No-Shave November was meant for raising awareness for prostate cancer in men, which is super cool.”
He also shared why he was participating in the No Shave movement this year.
“I’m doing it as both an experiment to see how long it’ll grow before people decide they want to stop talking to me because they’re creeped out, and also because I promised my best buddies here at Willamette I would,” said Hanscom. “I’m also planning on donating at the end of the month, just because it’s important to remember and recognize why this all started.”
This recognition of the origins of the No-Shave movement are also echoed in another student’s statement. Lauren Redcay (‘22) explained her personal reasons behind joining the movement.
“I participate in No-Shave November because it provides support for those going through cancer treatments that cannot grow their hair out to the fullest extent,” said Redcay. “Any money you’d normally spend on shaving products you donate to a charity organization for that month to support cancer treatment or another cause you’re passionate about. Also, allowing ourselves to grow naturally and how our bodies were meant to gives us a better connection to who we are and who we are meant to be.”
Nevertheless, the meaning behind No-Shave November remains the same, whether you choose to donate to a cause or for your own beliefs. No-Shave November is about growing body hair in support of those with cancer, and raising money to fight it.