K-State men participate in No Shave November to promote cancer awareness

Parker Robb | Collegian Coleman Henry, senior in construction science, has a head start over those who started growing their beards at the onset of the month for No Shave November, as he has been growing his beard all semester.Photo credit: Parker Robb.

No Shave November, a tradition that is designed to raise cancer awareness, has a special draw for college students. The month-long event, as the name suggests, encourages not shaving or hair grooming during the month of November.

To take it a step further, it’s suggested that any money normally spent on razors, shaving cream, aftershave and the like be donated to testicular and prostate cancer research.

People across the country can be seen looking increasingly scraggly and bearded as the month progresses, embracing the laziness that No Shave November allows. The event can be seen as a competition of manliness, a chance to rebel or a newfound declaration of freedom.

“I’m doing No Shave November because it’s fun and I can compete with friends,” Cody Keenan, freshman in electrical engineering, said.

Oftentimes, college men use this month as a chance to see who can get the hairiest and most unkempt or who will last the longest without shaving. For many, going home over Thanksgiving is the breaking point.

“I will not cave and shave early, no matter how much my mother begs me,” Keenan said, responding to any tension that might arise at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

Despite its popularity and hype, some students opted out of No Shave November simply because its novelty has worn off for them.

“Freshman year, you are new to the freedom and want to do all the events you can,” Aaron Finster, junior in mass communications, said. “It gives you a sense of community and helps you settle in to the new environment. The main reason I’m not doing it is because I want to look more presentable to my family on Thanksgiving, and also because of my girlfriend.”

No Shave November marks freedom away from home for many college freshmen. Without their mothers urging them to keep well-groomed, they can let their faces get hairy.

“It’s the first year I can do No Shave November without my mom or school breathing down my back about shaving,” Anthony Fink, freshman in hospitality management, said. “It’s itchy though. I have to shave Friday for a 4-H event. I have to look presentable.”

Girls on campus have mixed feelings about guys with facial hair. While some girls love it, and some guys can rock it, facial hair can definitely leave a college guy looking more like a caveman.

“Facial hair attractiveness definitely depends on the guy,” Taylor Johnson, freshman in psychology, said.

Guys have seen mixed reactions among the females in their lives as their facial hair becomes more wild.

“My girlfriend is used to the facial hair and doesn’t mind it,” Keenan said. “I would say it gives me more sex appeal, because without the facial hair I look like a 12-year-old.”

While facial hair does give a look of maturity, other guys have caved and shaved because they found girls were unhappy with its scraggily feel.

“I got tired of all my lady friends cringing when I went to kiss them on the cheek,” Xavier Capalla, junior in biology and Spanish, said.

At its core, though, No Shave November is a month dedicated to raise awareness for testicular and prostate cancer, no matter how fun the awareness event may be.

“I don’t think most people are aware of the cause behind No Shave November, but I was,” Keenan said.

And underneath their beards, the men of K-State do sincerely care about the cancer victims and survivors.

“I think people need to know about it and how deadly it really is,” Fink said.