One month until Christmas, the official start of jacket season and – for 30 days – a chance to channel your inner Tom Selleck for a good cause.
Over the past decade or so, November has become synonymous with men’s health charity Movember and its annual moustache-athon, which raises money for mental health, suicide prevention and prostate and testicular cancer. The crusade began in 2003 when two friends, inspired by a friend’s mother who was raising money for breast cancer, decided to grow mo’s for men’s health. They found 30 men to join their cause, with the number of “Mo Bros” rising to more than five million in just 14 years.
The rules of Movember are simple: start today with a clean shave, register online, find some sponsors and grow your moustache all month long – be it a wiry Salvador Dali, a bushy Ron Swanson or a barely-there Errol Flynn. Plus, what better way to keep warm this Autumn than with a shock of facial hair? (Although our new season knitwear and cashmere scarves come pretty close.)
Liam Campbell is head barber at The Nomad Barber, located just a stone’s throw from the Sir Plus studio in Bethnal Green. He shared some sage advice for those wanting to grow a moustache during Movember and beyond.
“The first thing to do with a moustache is to grow it out for at least four to six weeks,” Liam said. “That gives you a good idea of what kind of moustache you’re going to grow. Until then you don’t know how far it will go down the side of the lips, whether it does or doesn’t join or the direction of growth. Have some patience, give it a bit of time and you’ll start to see exactly what you can have and then go from there.”
Once you’ve figured out how your moustache grows, it’s time to choose a style. A tricky task, considering that there are probably more options than we’ve had craft beers.
Liam suggested: “A good thing to do is to go online and Google ‘moustache to face shape’ or ‘moustache to lip shape’, because you can do different things with different features. For instance if you have thin lips, then you’ll want to do one of two things – either grow your moustache over the lips and make it look really thick, or keep it pencil-thin and really short to accentuate the lips. It’s the same with width. Some people have small mouths, some people have really wide mouths, and different styles will suit different features.”
Facial hair trends tend to move pretty slowly, which is probably why the Hulk Hogan is yet to make a comeback. However, Liam says that he has noticed a definite resurgence of the classic ‘80s lip-warmer on the streets of east London.
“It’s got a short thickness to it, doesn’t really go below the lips and is pretty well-shaped,” he said. “You also get a few boys doing the classic twirly moustache, and the very brushy ones which come down towards the edges but are long from the middle.”
For those planning to take the plunge into Movember, Liam’s top tip is to invest in a moustache comb. “I always say to my customers, keep it in your wallet or pocket and just keep combing it out,” he said. “You’ll be able to train it into the shape you want, and then it’s just a case of using some wax.”