Movember: It's The Final Countdown, As Whiskers Become A Memory As No Shave November Ends

Image via Instagram/ndimengo

Well, guys, it's officially November — er, Movember — meaning men all over the world are growing glorious upper lip fur for a great cause! Since I'm never one to sit something fun out, I've decided to share my mustachioed journey with you through No Shave November, giving you pro tips on how to grow, properly moisturize and care for your new friend over the course of the month. And, hey, because Movember is a movement that helps raise money for men's health issues, FHM has even set-up a donation page — so support my stache by making a small donation!

Look, men like Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds have made the mustache glorious, personifying what a properly trimmed and groomed one should look like. Unfortunately, not every man is blessed with such top lip lush — but, damn it, at least we should try! But first, we answer the very basic question that some of you may not be familiar with: What actually is Movember?

Movember Meaning

According to the official, Movember Foundation, website, Movember is described as "the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year round." So, yeah, it's actually a bigger movement than just one month. The goal is to address some of the biggest health issues that men face, like prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. The movement has been such a success over the 13 years of existence that the Movember Foundation has funded more than 1,200 men's health projects around the globe, projecting to reduce the number of men dying early from the aforementioned health problems by 25 percent by the year 2030. Pretty awesome, right?

Mustache Care

Since we care about how your new, furry friend looks as you navigate through this 30-day journey that is Movember — hey, a dude needs to stay handsome, right? — we got some expert mustache grooming tips from a pro. So we reached out to Joanna Pereira, the lead stylist and manager at 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon in Morristown, NJ to give us the necessary advice to care for your 'stache throughout No Shave November.

Week 1

FHM: What's The Key To Growing The Perfect Movember Stache?

Joanna Pereira: "The key to growing a perfect beard is starting with a perfect platform or foundation. An even shave is great for optimal and even hair growth. Then as the beard grows in, maintenance is key."

FHM: As Someone Who Grows Facial Hair Like A Grizzly Bear, How Can Guys Tame That Upper Lip Fur?

Joanna Pereira: "They can tame that upper lip hair by coming into the salon, so we can thin it out, but keep it shapely. It’s important to remove some bulk so that the shape can be maintained."

FHM: We Know Beard Oil's Supposed To Help Soften The Whiskers, But Does It Have Any Other Benefits?

Joanna Pereira: "Skin underneath hair can become one of two things; it can either get very dry and itchy, or it gets too oily which causes some men to experience acne. Beard oil is great at maintaining the moisture of the face underneath the beard. When choosing the right beard oil, work with your stylist who can help you find one that matches your skin type. My favorites include a beard balm and hair tonic as they are the essentials for grooming. Also be sure to shampoo your facial hair in-between trims."


FHM: What About Moisturizing Your Mustache? On A Scale Of 1-10, How Important Is That?

Joanna Pereira: "On a scale of 1-10 moisturizing the beard is a 10! Facial hair is known to being coarse. I have been known to put facial moisturizer in a client’s beard after a shave/clean-up. It is a man’s face under that beard and to expect the results most men want to achieve, beard balms, oils, conditions, and foams are an absolute necessity."

FHM: Is There Anything That Can Help Stache Hair Grow Faster Or Thicker?

Joanna Pereira: "There are some solutions that advertise that they help promote beard growth, I believe in genetics and working with what you have and making it work for you in your everyday life."

FHM: If We Decide To Get Rid Of Our Movember Stache, What's The Best Approach To Shave It Off?

Joanna Pereira: "First things first, trim it off. Then let your face relax for a day. The Ph levels of your skin are now being adjusted slightly so some men may experience irritation if they shave immediately depending how long your beard was grown/and for the length of time. Then moisturize your face, this is key to helping your face restore its normal structure. Then shave away."

FHM: Lastly, In Your Opinion, Who Has The Most Iconic Mustache Ever?

Joanna Pereira: "For mustaches, it’s definitely Hulk Hogan. There have been many variations of this style but Hulk Hogan's stache is KING!"

So, what's next? Well, other than joining forces and bravely becoming mustache brothers during Movember, it's coming back to FHM each week to see the progress of my new face fungus. And, whether you're part of the No Shave Movember movement or not, remember to support the cause by donating to the FHM fundraising page. Happy growing, fellas.

Week 2

It's been quite the week for the ol' mustache, guys, with the thing now being long enough that bits of food can get wedged in there. And, hey, I even got a compliment from a cute gal who works in my office, so the whiskers are (presumably) growing nicely.

With model Tiffany Toth offering up her thoughts on facial hair, it got me thinking about what else I can do to make this thing a little bit better. You know, to make it fully grow into what it can truly become.

That's why I reached out to Jim Harrington of the Cremo Company, who offered up some more advice about caring for upper lip fur. For products, creams and grooming tips for all lengths and different stages of your Movember mustache, here's what Jim had to tell me.

From Stubble to Scruff

The early stages of a beard can be gnarly. When you shave, your razor cuts a sharp edge on each hair and these hairs curve back into your skin causing irritation. Plus, your skin can dry out during this phase. We also recommend products specifically designed to soften your beard and stubble to minimize that dreaded “beard itch” and help you tame and keep your beard smooth and looking great, especially in the early days of growth. Beard Softeners are used in the shower (like a conditioner) to turn stiff, sharp stubble into soft and touchable hair. They are usually followed by a good beard cream to moisturize and soothe itchy, dry skin.

Beard & Scruff Softener: Softens and conditions coarse facial hair of any length or type from the inside-out.

Price: $12

Beard & Scruff Cream: Moisturizes and softens facial hair of any length to help soothe beard itch.

Price: $12

From Short To Medium

Your fledgling beard won’t fight you as much as it did before, but it still requires measured care. Facial hair is tougher than the hair on your head but the underlying skin is more sensitive. As a result, you need to care for your beard differently than you would your hair (dandruff shampoo just won’t cut it on your face!)

To present an appealing, presentable beard, you’ll need to enhance your regimen. In addition to creams and softeners, as your scruff lengthens, consider a quality Beard Oil to nourish and condition your facial hair for grooming and growth. Maybe even a scented beard oil to help keep your beard smelling fresh and clean. The short-to-medium length phase is a chance to develop the habits necessary to achieve a healthy, handsome, hygienic full-grown beard.

Beard Oil: Short facial hair remains sharp from shaving and curves back into your skin causing itching and irritation. Older, longer hair loses its natural moisture, leading to damaged hair, flaking and more irritation.

Forest Blend

Price: $12

Week 3

I'm not even going to lie, guys. That photo above might just be the creepiest thing I've ever taken. Seriously, I'm trying to make myself look more, uh, manly, by staring into the camera with my three-week-old mustache and it's definitely not looking good. Ask yourself this, would you be scared to see this man passing you? Absolutely not, but, hey, I've got to try and accentuate the damn thing. That face is like a very poor man's "magnum" from Zoolander.

So, now that I'm three weeks into this Movember journey, I can tell you that my upper lip fur has reached its peak. As much hair as I seem to have all over my damn face and/or body, it seems to stop growing after a certain point, causing it to just become more of a pain in the ass than anything else. Even after taking advice from pros and doing what I can to make it appear fuller, or moisturize it, or rub beard oil on it, at the end of the day, I clearly am not made to have a mustache. Just look at that picture above; the thing doesn't even grow evenly! Hey, one more week left in this No Shave November for me, than I'm back to my usual scruffy, five o'clock shadow self.

Anyway, while I know that I look terrible with a mustache, model Tiffany Toth offers her opinion on facial hair on guys. Is it sexy? Is it too much? Can it be OK if it's tamed? Here's what the blonde beauty had to tell us.

FHM: What're Your Thoughts On Facial Hair? Is It Good, Bad Or Depends On The Upkeep?

Tiffany Toth: "I like it when it’s just a bit scruffy, but when it starts looking like hair extensions, no thanks, I’m good."

FHM: What About Movember? I'm Currently Growing Mine Out (And It Looks Awful, BTW), Am I Killing My Chances With The Ladies?

Tiffany Toth: "Well, if the ladies don’t like it in November, just tell them to come back and see you in December! Hey, if it’s for a good cause, I’m all for whatever you want to sport."

FHM: How Important Is Grooming When It Comes To Guys?

Tiffany Toth: "It’s somewhat important, but if you’re getting eyebrows threaded, that may be a little too much."

Week 4

In the words of rock gods Europe, "it's the Final Countdown," gentlemen, as another Movember is coming to a close, meaning dudes everywhere will be taking a razor to their mustaches and ridding themselves of the greatest facial accessory a guy can have. I, for one, am going to miss "Magnum" — so here's to next No Shave November, my friend!

While the journey to get to the end of Movember has been one of patience, I've learned that a mustache clearly isn't for everyone. Ironically enough, however, I've still maintained a solid dating life in the month of November, with each woman making some comment about the whiskers above my upper lip. Trust me, it doesn't look great on me, but trust that I gave it my best effort.

Anyway, with No Shave November always bringing mixed results for both women and men, our pals over at BodyLogic MD wanted to dig a bit deeper. So they polled 1,000 American men to get the hairy truth about mustaches and beards, with the results showing some interesting info — which you can see below in these graphics.

Head on over to BodyLogic MD to see the full study. More importantly, allow their research determine if you should keep that lovely facial fur or grab the trimmer and begone with it until Movember comes around next year!

And if you're feeling generous, remember to donate to the FHM Movember page. Thanks for the support through this '70s adult film star journey of mine.

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