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Julia Phillips

To shave, or not to shave, that is the question.

November is halfway finished and people all across the country are participating in No-Shave November and Movember.

According to the No-Shave November website, the goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and to educate about cancer prevention, save lives and aid those fighting the battle.

The tradition had been there for many years, but the children of Matthew Hill, who passed away from colon cancer in November 2007, took it a step further by using the cause to raise money for charity.

Infographic by Ben Olson

This year, money donated through their website will go to the Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

According to their website, the Movember Foundation was started in Australia in 2003 by Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, who were having a beer and couldn’t understand why the mustache ever went out of style.

Senior Zak Lazar participated in No-Shave November his junior year of high school, and is sort of doing it again this year.

“I think I originally started because it was something fun to do. And I was bored with shaving everyday,” Lazar said.

Sophomore Kayla Varney has done No-Shave November in the past and is doing it this year as well.

“I did it up until I was 13, and then I started shaving consistently because people started making fun of me because I didn’t shave my legs,” Varney said.

Varney said it’s a waste of time to shave and doesn’t think anyone needs to shave. 

“I think we should just stop caring about how we [look]. I didn’t have a mom to teach me how to shave and I didn’t have anyone to help me,” Varney said. “And I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do.’”

In the past, Varney thought No-Shave November was a ploy to get warm before winter time because the more hair on your body, the warmer you’re going to be.

This year, after learning there was a reason for people to participate in No-Shave November, she thought the purpose was amazing.

“I think it’s super awesome, but I think it should be more well-known. Maybe it could last a whole year,” Varney said.

For the most part, No-Shave November is more relaxed when it comes to participation rules. Grooming and trimming are perfectly acceptable for people with a strict dress code at work and participants coming into November with a few whiskers are more than welcome.

Movember is a little stricter with its no-shave rules. Men are asked to come into November clean shaven and focus their growing and grooming on their mustache for the next 30 days.

When Garone and Slattery started the movement, it was simply to bring back the stache as a look. However, when men realized how much of a conversation starter their idea was, they decided to use it to start meaningful conversations.

Movember focuses its charitable contributions on three particular men’s health issues prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health and suicide prevention.

According to the Movember website, since its inception in 2003, it has raised around $650 million that has helped fund more than 1,000 programs focusing on issues that affect men everywhere.

According to its website, No-Shave November also focuses its efforts on benefiting cancer research, but they open it up to all types of cancer instead of only prostate and testicular cancer. This web-based, nonprofit organization donates no less than 80 percent of the donations it receives to participating charities.

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