Participants of ‘No Shave November’ share this year’s experience

By Raymond Sobczak

The day was Nov. 1. It was the start of a new month and the start of “No Shave November.” I rolled out of bed and walked over to the mirror that hangs on my door, and I peered at my clean-shaven face. It was going to be a long month. 

I can’t grow that much facial hair as it is, but everyone else in my fraternity is doing this “No Shave November” thing so I thought “Why not?” Thus, my adventure began … and what an adventure it was going to be.

As the month went on, I noticed the different stages of my facial hair growth, and began to compare it to the different stages all the other guys in my house had. I started to notice my scruff coming in around the third day. It was scratchy and a little uncomfortable.

At the end of the first week I began to wonder where the idea of “No Shave November” came from. So, I decided to do some research.

According to, No Shave November actually started in 2003 as “Movember,” a global charity movement to encourages men’s health. The charity’s name is a combination of the words “moustache” and “November. 

While the movement began as a result of the work of the charity “Movember,” it has continued to grow each year, with “alliances and partnerships (that) have bolstered the movement into mainstream pop culture,” according to the website for Fight Colorectal Cancer, a nonprofit advocacy group.

After I found this out, I wondered if people knew the history of No Shave November, and if this knowledge had any part to their participation.

I began to ask my house mates, and no one really knew why they were doing it. Many just wanted to see if they could grow out their facial hair and how long they could go without shaving. However, I did find out that some knew the movement stemmed from wanting to promote men’s health awareness.

Dennis Potamianos, junior in LAS and No Shave November participant, said that he had no idea how No Shave November started, but said that he “just did it because he already had a beard going, so why stop it?”

Erik Lasaine, sophomore in DGS, had another reason for participating.

“Only manly men do it, so it separates the boys from the men,” he said. On a more serious note, he said, “I knew it was to promote prostate cancer awareness, so I wanted to do something to show my support.”

Living in a house with all guys, we obviously had a silent bet to see who could grow the most facial hair in just a month. I knew I would lose, but it was still fun to see what would happen.

As the third week rolled around, the week before Thanksgiving break, it was interesting to see where everyone was with their facial hair growth. I still barely had scruff, but some of the guys had already grown full beards. 

The last week of November was the most difficult for me. I really wanted to shave everything off because it was so itchy and uncomfortable. Lasaine told me that he was in the same boat; he said that he had wanted to shave for the past week. Potamianos, on the other hand, mentioned that after he shaved on Dec. 1, he began growing another beard.

Raymond is a junior in Media. He can be reached at [email protected]