It's no secret that hairdressers and barbers are among the most generous, socially conscious people you'll ever meet. You've only got to look at organisations like the Little Princess Trust and Trevor Sorbie's charity My New Hair to see how hair, in every way, shape and form, can literally transform lives. But, where men's health is concerned, it's Movember that has become a hairy global phenomenon, and the good news is that everyone, regardless of gender, can do something to support this vital cause.
From humble beginnings back in 2003, when two Australian guys challenged thirty of their friends to grow moustaches in support of men's health and prostate cancer research (charging each of them ten dollars to grow their Mo), the Movember Foundation has expanded to become one of the world's leading men's health charities. Over the past fifteen years, Movember has funded more than 1,200 men's health projects across the globe and sponsored research into prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Their goal? To save the lives of our fathers, brothers, partners and friends and help stop men everywhere from dying too young. To date, more than five million ‘Mo Bros’ and ‘Mo Sistas’ have given the Foundation their support. If you're not already one of them, there's still time to get involved.
If you're a guy, the answer is literally under your nose! Just grow a moustache for the remainder of November, ask family, friends and workmates to sponsor your efforts, and then let your stylishly coiffured upper lip become a walking, talking, fundraising billboard for men's health. Your newly acquired face fuzz won’t only highlight an issue that's ignored far too often, it might be the start of something you’ll never want to shave off!
But it's important to remember that Movember isn't just for the guys – Mo Sistas play an important role too. Not only can Mo Sistas get involved by encouraging the men in their life to grow a Mo (growing a moustache can be tougher and slower than it looks so your Mo Bro might need plenty of support to stay the course), you can even hold your own events to raise funds and increase awareness. And one important thing that Mo Bros and Mo Sistas can do together is MOVE, Movember's 30-day challenge encouraging men and women to get active in support of men's health.
Don't worry, you don't have to be a super-athlete or a fitness fanatic to MOVE this month. All you have to do is commit to walking, running, swimming (or any other activity you can think of) for a total of sixty miles before the end of Movember while friends, family and colleagues support your efforts by donating to the Movember Foundation. In fact, you don't even have to stress the sixty miles if you don't want to – you could get people to sponsor you for going to the gym, attending a yoga class or even taking their dogs for a walk! The important thing is to get MOVE-ing and start raising those all-important funds.
And, just in case you're wondering "why sixty miles?" it's because (according to the Movember website) sixty men commit suicide each hour, every hour. Just like growing a moustache to heighten awareness, the sixty-mile MOVE challenge highlights a tragic statistic that many more people need to be aware of.
Why not hold an end-of-Movember celebration shave at your salon? If you advertise it on your social media, community website and/or in the local press, you'll raise money and awareness for the Movember Foundation and also generate some great publicity and goodwill for your business. Who knows, you might even attract some new soon-to-be-regular customers through your door. How's that for a Movember win-win situation?
But, on a more personal level, Movember is the perfect time to start a meaningful conversation with the Mo Bro (or Bros) that you know. Use Movember to talk about the importance of an annual health check and direct him towards the Movember website for potentially life-saving information. You'll find the website here: https://uk.movember.com/. Not only does it feature valuable health advice, you’ll also find more background on Movember plus plenty of useful fundraising tips.
Good luck and have a great Movember, everybody!