Movember is Coming—How No Shave November Impacts the Workplace

In 2003, two young men in Australia decided that the mustache was too rarely seen in public. In order to rectify that situation, they began a game to bring long lost “mo’s” back. Soon, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) joined the game, affiliating “Movember” with men’s health awareness. Pretty soon, it became a world-wide phenomenon. So if you want to participate in No Shave November, think about how your employers will react, and make a decision about participating from there.

Each workplace varies in their reaction to mustaches or beards. Much like tattoos and visible nose rings, facial hair, unfortunately, is not a protected class of people nor does it constitute as a protected activity. Some corporate cultures implicitly (or explicitly) forbid facial hair, tattoos, and piercings alike. If your colleagues and/or supervisors have been vocal in the past about facial hair, then it is best to participate in another charitable cause. For example, if your boss has said facial hair makes the employee look lazy and unkempt, sit out Movember this year.

Perhaps the workplace is accepting of facial hair as long as it is well kept. Just because you are giving up shaving to raise awareness for men’s health, does not you have to forgo simple trimming and washing. Beards.org have great tutorials on great neck and cheek lines and beard types that would work well on you. Not going for a beard? Consult AskMen.com to find both beard and mustache styles for you face shape. This way, you can participate in Movember but still maintain a professional, client friendly appearance.

Most of all, don’t forget the cause that No Shave November backs. Check out no-shave.org to find out how your facial hair can support some great causes! #letitgrow