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Hairy, helpful history: No Shave November and its benefits to men’s health

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No Shave November is a global social movement that raises awareness and funds for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and colon cancer. The social campaign encourages participants to put down their razors and let their hair grow wild and free for November. The goal is to raise awareness of the challenges faced by men and to inspire others to get involved in the fight against men’s health issues.

“No Shave November is about more than just growing a beard,” Willie Williams III, 29, said. “It is about sparking a conversation about men’s health and encouraging men to care for themselves.”

No Shave November was first recognized in 2009 by the Hill family in response to the death of Matthew Hill from colon cancer at the age of 36. The Hill family wanted to find a way to honor Matthew’s memory and raise awareness of men’s health concerns. They chose to focus on facial hair because it is something many cancer patients often lose amidst the battle, according to the foundation’s official website.

The first No Shave November campaign was a modest success, raising over $1 million for cancer research. Since then, the campaign has grown exponentially, rising to over 5 million participants and $12 million in 2023, per the official website of the “No Shave November” movement.

Participants can use their newfound facial hair as a conversation starter and to talk to their friends, family and coworkers about the importance of men’s health.

Related: Breathe, Black man: Yoga and men’s health

(Photo/Getty Images)

No Shave November is also about community. Participants can join teams or online communities to stay motivated and to support each other. Many participants also host fundraising events to raise money for men’s health organizations.

Licensed Esthetician Victoria Chappell even spoke about women participating in this month’s movement.

“Women can get involved in No Shave November in their own unique way,” Chappell said. “As long as we are doing our part to raise awareness, we can get back to the maintenance later.”

No Shave November has had a significant impact on the men’s health community. The campaign raises awareness of men’s health issues encourage men to get cancer screenings. No Shave November raises millions for men’s health research and prevention programs. More than $200,000 has already been raised this year by over 246 registered teams participating.

To participate in No Shave November, put down your razor and let your facial hair grow wild and free for November. You can also donate money to a men’s health organization or create your own fundraising page. For more information on, visit no-shave.org.

Contact multi-media staff writer Noral Parham III at 317-762-7846 or via email at noralp@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @3Noral. For more news from the Indianapolis Recorder, click here. You can also check out the Indiana Minority Business Magazine by clicking here.

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