Get your Bro's Sporting a 'Mo

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Sarah G. Schmidt's home

I find November a dreary month. That is why I take some time away on holiday. I know some people struggle in February with keeping their spirits up, but I’m more of a “down-in-November” person.

At this time in Calgary, most of the leaves have fallen but the snow rarely sticks. It falls and melts and falls and melts. Or the snowplows come by and turn it into that salty gravel mush that accumulates on the sides of our streets and walkways. It’s a necessary urban evil, I know, but it’s a bit visually uninspiring. Most years, what we are left with for our eleventh month is bare and grey.

Over the past few years, we have something to look forward to in November. Yes, people, I’m talking about moustaches. No longer reserved just for most of my peer’s fathers, the moustache is young, hip and philanthropic. Every November, or should I say Movember fellas grow their ‘stach in support of men's health awareness and fundraising. And moustaches really do put the “fun” in fundraising.

I understand (and can appreciate) fellas will don the moustache the other months of the year to express their person style. But, I also understand a typical reaction from those year-rounders is either an eye-roll or genuine enthusiasm for joining the hair club.

My personal taste is that a moustache is nothing but comical. Moustaches are just so damn funny to me. So much personality in a small area on a body. I high five, even if just in my mind, a person who has the swagger to say, “Oh yeah, I’m doing this.” They too, must have a sense a humour. Watching them go about their days in our fine city is just a treat.

Others find moustaches quite polarizing when it comes to attraction. To which I suggest “each to their own.” I’m sure the hair on the face vs. no hair on the face debate will live long after each of us. Moustaches (and our photos of the men who grow them) will live forever!

Some gents can go from zero to full moustache in a just a few days. While others squeak by the whole month with nothing more than a Justin Bieber-esque upper lip. A few years back I was attending a course on branding: the presenter opened his session by explaining why he had the moustache (he was fundraising) and then immediately apologized for how sparse it was. It was a double self-shame moment and he was taking one for the team. I bet by the end of the month he was relieved he could remove it and get back to work in his regular, clean shaven look.

I do appreciate the next level effort some men take. It’s one thing to grow a moustache, however their natural hair growth is, but it’s another when there is styling involved.  

On the Movember site mentioned above there are tips for growing, grooming and even choosing what moustache you should sport should your hair growth allow. The “abracadabra” is a personal favorite of mine (aside: as I typed the words I was chuckling to myself). It’s thin, long and full of vigour. The site even has a “foods to avoid” list for those new to the upper lip caterpillar. Web content that is light in tone and helpful? Nice.

Barbers, drug stores and apothecaries must delight in the uptick in sales during the month. No different than many niche personal care products, there’s specialized tools and products involved like combs and waxes. And I’m sure there’s a fella or two that comes to like his ‘mo and keeps it well into the forthcoming holiday season. I can see the barber store marque now, “Moustaches. The gift that keeps on giving.” Take that consumer enthusiasm all the way to the bank, friendly retailer.

So this Movember, for the bro who is putting his ‘mo out there, consider giving him a donation for the worthy cause and a pat on the back. Or consider donating directly. There are all the details on that site.

Thoughts on the ‘mo?