No Shave November grows into Decembeard

By Tappan Parker

Today marks the end of No Shave November, Novembeard, Movember or whatever cause you support that has decided to use this month as an excuse to ignore a razor while either raising some money or simply enjoying male-bonding.

Todd Huffman/ Flickr

Many men have suffered as girlfriends refused to put up with stubbly faces during the month-long tribute to facial hair everywhere. Others have been applauded for their beard growing abilities and some have even managed to achieve scruff that could almost be deemed manly. Some may have grown a mustache for the Movember charity this year and raised money for men’s health issues.

But the question now arises: what should be done with the beard? The scruffy lumberjack appearance only looks good for so long. And it’s cold outside, but unless you live outside, beards can get quite warm indoors.

At this point in the season there are a few options. Now that No Shave November is officially over, shaving is an alternative. Getting a clean start and remaining beardless during the transition into the New Year is almost a cathartic way to get through winter months. A man’s face will finally be able to feel things again like the cool air of December and snowflakes on his chin.

Another option is to keep it, and protect one’s scruffy face from the winter chills when they finally do arrive. If some have been tolerating or – heaven forbid – enjoying this month of not shaving, then there’s no reason not to. Clean the beard up in some places, trim the rest, and by all means keep it, it looks good on some men. Try not to discount Mom’s feelings.

If a full beard isn’t a favorite but the facial hair is still appealing, styling the beard into something you haven’t tried before is always a fun idea. Perhaps a goatee might be fitting for those who want to look more mysterious or artsy. Go for the ever-popular mutton chops if you’re a funny guy, or try something brand new. For instance, for those NBC fans, there is always the option of growing a mustache like Ron Swanson in “Parks & Recreation.” Just be careful, mustaches aren’t for everyone. The beauty of facial hair is if it doesn’t work shaving it and starting anew is always an available idea. But please, no soul patches.

If someone is still undecided on what to do with this newly found facial friend, there is also the option of celebrating the other facial hair-related months, Decembeard, Manuary and Facial Hair February are all months that will give you more time to decide on what works. Once the weather starts to warm up you can shave the beard down to a mustache for Mustache March and then go completely clean shaven for Shavril.

For those who have really grown attached to growing their beard, emotionally not physically, there is the option of continuing to grow it, styling it and one day entering the World Beard & Moustache Championships. The championship, which started in Germany in 1990, offers 22 categories for entry into the competition and determines a winner for each. Styles shown there include the Triple Curl and the Beard Castle, which are both as ridiculous as they are epic.

If some do decide to shave their beard and regret it once the winter sets in, there are the options of Beard Caps, which are winter caps designed to also cover the other parts of a face with a removable cloth beard. Beard Head is one online retailer that has begun selling the hand knit caps. Although not very fashionable yet, they certainly are warm. And the best part is the owner doesn’t have to be a man, or a woman full of testosterone, to wear one.

No matter what decision is made, just remember to have fun with it. If it didn’t come in so well this year, then there’s always next year. If friends ducked out at the last minute, there’s always next year to convince them to grow that thing out. Hopefully most men have enjoyed growing theirs and admiring others’ beards this Novembeard.

Tappan Parker can be reached at [email protected]