November is a big month for male facial hair. For starters, it’s Movember, the internationally observed awareness campaign that encourages ‘tache growth as a means of stimulating conversation about prostate and testicular cancer, and also about raising funds for their prevention and treatment.
But there’s more: November’s also an important month for die-hard facial-hair growers and groomers because of a certain competition that took place earlier this month in a little town located in southern Germany. On November 2, Leinfelden-Echterdingen was flooded with men sporting elaborately styled and meticulously groomed face hair ready to compete in the World Beard and Moustache Championships. You probably didn’t know that such an event existed, but I bet you’re not overly surprised to find out one does.
The male grooming-and-facial-hair-care market is growing. Not since family photos from the early ’80s have so many men sported a ‘tache so proudly. Which — admit it now — is weird. Let’s not pretend that mustaches aren’t generally unloved. Very few women find them attractive, and very few men wear them, I suspect, because of the whole very few women find them attractive thing.
Granted, that’s a slightly 21st-century North American viewpoint. At various times throughout history, mustaches have been a necessity for fashionable men. In many parts of the world, mustaches still command respect. For example, as recently as 2004 in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, police officers received stipends for growing mustaches, because it was believed that upper-lip hair made them appear more dignified and intimidating.
But this is now and this is Canada, where mustaches are not an everyday sight. If you’re going to commit to Movember — and it’s a great campaign, so why not? — keep in mind you might get looked at askance, and remember you can’t all be super-mustachioed award winners like Patrick Fette or Burke Kenny. For starters, you just don’t have enough time to grow something that spectacular. According to Hairfinder, facial hair grows at a rate of approximately half an inch per month — a rate of growth not nearly fast enough for some of the more sculptural styles that were on display at this year’s championships in Germany. No, based on both pragmatic and emotional realities, you will need to be more circumspect. Here are a few slightly less ambitious mustache styles to consider this November: Continue Reading →