Your Halloween festivities have yet to begin, but you’re already mourning the loss of another holiday. With the end of the ghoulish holiday in sight, it feels like there’s nothing in the near future to look forward to. And Thanksgiving is, like, a month away. Enter No Shave November (or Movember): the month-long holiday to satiate your holiday hunger; for men who dare to brave the unknown forgo shaving for the total month of November. The result? Lots of facial hair-boasting Instagrams and frustrated significant others.
For those who decide to participate in this month-long grooming extravaganza, rocking perfectly maintained facial hair for 30 days is no easy feat. But, with the help of a few grooming products, you can easily get your best beard yet. Check out these seven must-have items for this year’s No Shave November.
1. Ingrown hair solution
Even if you’re blade-adverse a year, you know that ingrown hairs and razor burn are major drawbacks to having facial hair. Both are extremely uncomfortable, cramp your facial hair game, and are unavoidable, right? It’s time to reconsider the latter. Just because you are spending a whole month with a husky beard doesn’t mean that you have to endure sensitive ingrown hairs.
Made of an alpha-beta hydroxyl acid complex, Jack Black’s Bump Fix Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Solution is an oil-free way to put an end to those pesky ingrown hairs and razor burns. The secret is the salicylic acid and lactic acid, both of which exfoliates your skin’s surface and seeps deep down into your skin. The result? These acids help open up your pores and release the trapped hairs. Yes, this product is a miracle worker. As an added bonus, this pick is also said to help combat acne. Translation: You will be using this long after No Shave November is over.
Let’s get one thing straight: If you’re going to participate in No Shave November, you better have the most epic beard around. Sure, your mother (who was hoping to shoot your annual family holiday card over Thanksgiving weekend) and significant other (who prefers you clean-shaven) may get annoyed, but isn’t it your manly duty to sport an outrageously full beard?
If you find yourself stuck with a few whiskers, start taking biotin vitamins each day. Known to help stimulate hair and nail growth, Natrol’s maximum-strength iteration is a natural way to kick-start that beard. This pick is also reported to aid in metabolizing fat and energy production, both of which we’re not complaining about — especially as you enter egg nog and holiday cookie season.
3. Beard conditioning oil
We don’t mean to sound dramatic, but there’s nothing worse (grooming-wise) than not hydrating your facial hair. For starters, your girlfriend or boyfriend will hate snuggling up to you if your scruff feels just like straw. And even worse, dry hair will leave your jawline itchy and irritated. Nobody wants that. This No Shave November, moisturize your fuzz with The 2 Bits Man’s Spiced Timber Beard Oil.
Consisting of all-natural grapeseed oil, which is noted as being closest to the oils your skin naturally produces, consider this pick an irritation-free way of keeping your locks soft and touchable. As an add bonus, this mixture is also noted to help fight dandruff. And if you’re not completely sold on this pick yet, we dare you to take a whiff of its pine and cinnamon fragrance — the perfect blend for the autumn season.
For the hygienically-inclined, washing your voluminous beard is a no-brainer. Would you go a month without lathering, rinsing, and repeating on your scalp? Exactly. But why settle for that two-in-one mixture that is lying around your bathroom when you can pick up a cleanser designed for your facial hair? Consider Zeus’s Beard Shampoo, a grooming jack of all trades: It’ll soften your whiskers, treat dandruff, and is gentle enough to clean your hair without stripping away natural oils or irritating your skin.
While regular soaps and cleansers can wreak havoc on your face, the solution consists of Dragon’s Blood, which is not a mystical drink from Game of Thrones. Instead, this key ingredient possesses anti-inflammatory and antibiotic qualities that are built to reduce discomfort and inflammation. And, if you’re looking for a subtle fragrance for this season, Zeus’s verbena lime is sure to fit the bill.
5. Beard balm
After a few weeks with unruly bristles, you may be tempted to shave the whole thing and write No Shave November off as mission impossible. While we encourage you to stick to your guns and ditch the razor for the entire 30 days, we understand that an untamed beard can put a damper on the whole month.
Enter Honest Amish’s Heavy Duty Beard Balm. This all-natural concoction is a chemical-free way to sculpt your beard or mustache into a fashionable shape, versus that wild beard you woke up with. And with a complex blend of essentials oils — virgin argan, avocado, and virgin pumpkin seed oils, to name a few — this product will also double has a great way to hydrate your fuzz.
Are you a caveman? Are you heading on a month-long expedition where you can only pack the essentials? If you said no to the previous questions, there is no excuse not to brush your beard or mustache. Think about what happens to your hair without a 30-second combing session. If it’s long enough, the hair can get knotted and even start to turn into dreadlocks. Now think about that happening on your face. Ew.
Allow Huntsman Beard’s durable, wooden comb to help this potential facial hair faux pas. Double-sided with fine-tooth and coarse-tooth options, this comb is ideal for any type of beard. Plus, this option comes with a travel bag, making a hypothetical month-long expedition no excuse to leave this behind.
Before you know it, December 1 will roll around and you’ll be officially free of No Shave November. While some men may opt for a date with their barber to celebrate the occasion, treating yourself to a luxe shave in the comforts of your home is another option. If you choose the latter, why not pick up a few new products to make this ritual more of a spa-like treatment?
A double-edge safety razor, Merkur’s stainless steel option is heavy enough to sliver off all the hair from the past month, not to mention that going back to the basics with a manual razor just feels chic compared to your handy, battery-powered alternative.
But of course, no fancy shave is complete without some pricey cream. Though this may ignite some sticker shock, Acqua Di Parma’s shaving cream promises to leave your skin soft and irritation-free. And after a month of pesky hair, you deserve a frills-filled shave. Can we say, “Treat yo’ self?”
Follow Kelsey on Twitter @KMulvs