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Like middle parts and monocles, mustaches only look good on a few people. Tom Selleck’s luscious upper lip mane is a rare exception; Robert Redford as Butch Cassidy, another. But for most men, a mustache is best left to movie bandits, facial hair enthusiasts, and Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty. And yet for the rest of this month, it’s likely that you’ll see guys of all ages trying to grow a mo’ for Movember, a month-long global initiative meant to raise awareness of men’s health issues (both physical and emotional, with special concentration on testicular and prostate cancers).
Mark Hedstrom, the U.S. director for Movember, has far too much experience with cancer, having lost both relatives and a close friend to the disease. He feels that it’s urgent for men to take better care of their health and believes that the Movember movement gets men talking about both physical and mental health. “We’re getting men to change their appearance and have a conversation,” says Hedstrom. The conversation includes encouraging men to “know their numbers,” which include HDL & LDL cholesterol, body mass index, and stats relating to family history. He also believes that “sitting is the new smoking—our sedentary lifestyle is more harmful than tobacco.”
As the movement gains traction, barbers and stylists are also coming on board to promote the movement. Jason Schneidman, a.k.a. The Men’s Groomer, is a self-described “SoCal dude’s dude” who cuts and styles the likes of Hugh Jackman and Bruno Mars. Schneidman admits that not all men look great with mustaches, but for others, artfully grown facial hair can enhance the rest of their features. “Some people have a skinny chin, so I say grow your chin hair. Abe Lincoln got power from having a chin strap.”
While Schneidman says that many men have the “have hair, don’t care,” attitude to grooming, he thinks that “guys [got] bored of having fewer ways to express themselves than women,” and so “men started with hair.”
Some great guy products for Movember or any month are:
- Dove Men+Care is a heavenly smelling line of products made just for men. The Hydrate+ Shave Gel has a creamy lather that’s still mild on skin. Perfect for when you want to keep the areas around your ‘stache perfectly smooth. ($4.99walgreens.com). Check out the Dove Men+Care site for tips on how to achieve the perfect shave.
- The Men’s Groomer Small Round Brush: Made just for men’s hair and sold exclusively on themensgroomer.com ($38.00). Schneidman recommends blow drying the front of hair using the brush for volume and almost a pompadour of sorts while leaving the back messy and more natural.
- Organic Male Resurface: When all eyes are on your face, you want to make sure that you’ve taken on flaky bits and oily bits. This citrus bamboo resurfacing scrub allows you to also tackle ingrown hairs, which might happen during the first few days or weeks of Movember. Definitely on the higher end of men’s grooming products ($40.00 om4men.com) but Organic Male products are fair trade, eco-friendly and FDA-approved organic.
- 800razors.com sells razors that compare to the top in the market, at steeply discounted prices.
- Gillette Fusion Proglide Styler 3-In-1 Men’s Body Groomer With Beard Trimmer: Well, that’s a mouthful, but this tool can help keep your ‘stache from looking ragged and also keeps brows and sideburns well groomed. (under $20.00 onAmazon.com)
- Organix Texturizing Paste: Schneidman mentioned one of his favorite grooming products for men is Shu Uemura Shape Paste, which runs about $38.00. If you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, Organix now has a line for men including the Citrus Mint Texturizing Paste which you can use in your hair, but also to smooth down unruly mustache hair as it grows. (Less than $7.00 at drugstores nationwide).
- Art of Shaving Sandalwood Shave Kit: If you’ve ever longed for an old-fashioned hot shave in the comfort of your home, you’re in luck. The Art of Shaving is active in the Movember movement (the first 100 people to raise $100 can win a cool money clip—with a ‘stache, natch). Their Mid-Size Sandalwood shave kit includes a badger brush, pre-shave oil, shaving cream, and aftershave balm, all for under $60.00.
- Listerine Whitening Restoring Fluoride Rinse: If more people will be studying your ‘stache, they’re going to be closer than ever. Swish for 60 seconds after brushing to whiten teeth and freshen breath. ($6.49 for a 16 oz. bottle at drugstores nationwide).
And just for fun, Latika makes a really cute Mustache Soap Set ($6.79 onOpenSky.com).