KOCHI: Beard and moustache were always the ultimate charms of men in Kerala. Times changed and so did the fashion sense too. It took decades, but moustache and beard came back into vogue a few years back courtesy ‘No Shave November’ campaign. And the trend is going full-steam ahead.
Come November, many youngsters can be seen sporting long beards that reach down the chin, neck and sometimes even lower. The campaign began as an initiative to donate hair to make wigs for cancer patients and continues to be so. Hence, this month Kochiites will undoubtedly spot a lot more bearded men than usual.
The cause was taken up by many celebrities who have jumped on the No Shave November bandwagon. However, not just on-screen heroes but common people too are part of this interesting and thoughtful initiative. Vivin Vishwanath, an engineer at Infosys, has been growing his beard as part of No Shave November for a couple of years now. “At first I used to grow a beard because I liked to. But after learning that it also serves a cause, I became even more passionate about it. It is also associated with men’s health. I believe it’s something we should start talking about,” he said.
“Not only me but also a lot of my friends are part of the movement. You can see a lot of untrimmed facial hair around here in November,” said Vivin.Some of them even donate the money they save from not going to the barber’s. Students are also part of the initiative. However, since there are restrictions on maintaining facial hair in colleges, they tend to shave them off as soon as the authorities begin to frown.
“I started growing facial hair a couple of years back and didn’t have any cause in mind. However, after learning it symbolises a noble cause my perspective changed,” said Evan Cyril, an engineering student from Thiruvananthapuram.Facial hair is now about more than just looks. Growing them is now part of the awareness programmes on men’s health from prostate cancer to suicidal tendencies. Wonder where it began?
‘No Shave November’ in US
It has been a tradition for many years. In the fall of 2009, the members of the Chicagoland Hill family decided to use it as a means to raise money for charity. “It was a project that held special meaning to the eight Hill children after their father, Matthew Hill, passed away from colon cancer in November 2007,” says a No shave November website.
It’s Movember in Australia
In 1999 a group of young men in Adelaide had the idea of growing moustaches for charity throughout the month of November. The group started with 80 men from Adelaide and soon became a nationwide phenomenon. It was them who coined the term Movember.