For over a decade, No-Shave November has inspired men to raise cancer awareness by embracing their inner lumberjack and letting their facial hair grow free. If you’re planning on joining the cause and putting down your razor for the month, then you need to be prepared — here are three tips to know by October 31.
Some people start No-Shave November with a completely smooth face upon which people can watch their unruly beard flourish over the course of the month. That’s all well and good, but not every man has the facial hair genes to make that a viable option. If you know from experience that it takes longer than four weeks for your beard to close up those thin patches and connect properly, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t begin your No-Shave November a few weeks early and get a head start if it’s going to help you and your beard look their best.
Prepare your face
Whether you’re shaving October 31 or October 1, there’s a genuine benefit to beginning your journey with a clean slate. The idea that shaving makes a beard grow back thicker is still merely a myth, but thoroughly exfoliating your skin prior to shaving will knock away the dirt, oil, and dead skin cells littered upon your face, which means a smoother shave, which means less itchiness, irritation, and painful ingrown hairs — a must for the bearded journey you’re about to take. If you know you’re prone to these sorts of problems, make sure you keep exfoliating and washing your pre-November beard every day, and follow it up by applying beard oil to your facial hair and the skin underneath, which will keep both your beard and your skin healthy and hydrated. It’s a routine you should keep up after No-Shave November begins, too.
Prepare your body
If you want, you can just set your razor down and go about your month, letting nature and your hair follicles take their course. But if you’re aiming to grow a truly magnificent beard worthy of Gandalf, you need to get to work on everything below the neck, too. Exercise helps increase blood flow, and strength-training specifically may help raise testosterone levels that are on the lower side, both of which promote facial hair growth. Meanwhile, a proper diet will help make your facial hair as healthy as the rest of your body, which will improve growth and thickness. Obviously, starting a health regimen in early October is going to improve your incoming beard significantly more than if you wait to count calories and work out at home after Halloween, but making the change is more important than when you make it. Why not turn No-Shave November into New You November, and see how good your beard looks (and how great you feel) on December 1?