I've always been a mustache man. I never really gained the beard growing ability that my older brother enjoys, so I have always embraced the stache. In 2008, I read an article about an international mustache-growing competition, and I saw some of the most insanely ornate mustaches I had ever seen. That article introduced me to one of the event's sponsors, a non-profit company called Movember. That year, I decided to shave my mustache, and start talking about the cause. This year will be my 8th time shaving for them.

The Movember Foundation is focused on stopping men from dying too young, and as such, their mission is to have an everlasting impact on the face of men's health. Originally founded in 2003 to raise funds and awareness for health concerns that needed greater attention, today the organization keeps their focus on the three areas that have the largest impact to men across the globe.

- Prostate Cancer
- Testicular Cancer
- Mental Health & Suicide Prevention

My personal story drives my passion towards their more recent focus on mental health and suicide prevention. 75% of all suicides are men, but what's more staggering is due to the social stigma of being outspoken about mental health, we fail to continue the conversation that for every successful suicide, there are an additional 20 suicide attempts caused by the invisible symptoms that come from depression, bi-polar disorder, and any number of ways that mental illness can choose to manifest itself.

My journey with Movember began small, but it didn't have to be big to create an impact. I started talking about why I keep a mustache most of the year until I began finding myself more comfortable having authentic conversations about men's health. I'd keep a tip jar at work or post an article on social media, anything I could do to let people know about this foundation doing amazing things. In 2011, I stepped into new territory and worked with Spacebar in my free time to host a gala party where we celebrated mustache culture to benefit Movember. For five years I haven't felt prepared to do something on that scale again, but this year changes that. This year I have partnered with both Spacebar, as well as Combat Fitness x SBG Idaho, to help create a month long celebration of mustaches and Movember.

It all begins November 1st. The rules of Movember state you must start the month with a clean canvas, so it's time to get rid of the beards and mustaches you already have, No really, I have to get rid of mine, too. Join The Barber Story's team and share a picture of your clean face at the beginning of the month to help spread the word.

I wanted to make it easy for guys to treat themselves and keep their mustaches clean, so I will be providing a complimentary hot towel shave with every $15 donation made to my MoSpace page for the entire month of November*. Additionally, donations can be made in person at Combat Fitness or during your next visit to The Barber Story.

Unfortunately, there were some unforeseen circumstances leading up to the event that will prevent me from having access to a barber chair that can properly accommodate hot towel shaves until the second week of November. To work around this, I will be offering a clean start with trimmers until the chair is delivered. Trimmer starts will be complimentary with donations of any amount. My new chair has the possibility of being delivered as early as the 4th, so I will keep everyone updated as I can.

Following a month of mustache growth, a lot of guys feel the temptation to trim their whiskers at the beginning of December, but I ask them to hold on for a few more days. On December 4th, you can join the party at SpaceBar (sorry kids, 21+) where The Barber Story will help take over their regular trivia night to bring you the 2016 Movember Trivia and Mustache Celebration!  The 2016 Man of Movember will be awarded to the most impressive mustache grown in the month prior, Woodland Empire will be in-house with a number of beers on tap, we will be raffling off prizes provided by some great local companies, and I have been reworking all of the night's normal trivia questions to be in theme with Movember. Put it in your calendar.  The night will all be in good fun for a good cause, but it will be more fun with you there.

*Complimentary shaves will not include hair removal from the upper lip. Service must be booked online at least 24 hours in advance during the month of November as availability allows. Please include the phrase "Movember Shave" in the appointment notes while booking your reservation online at Donations made at Combat Fitness will need to verify their receipt at time of service.

If you or someone you know struggles with depression or suicidal thoughts, don't remain quiet, talk to someone. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255

Chris BentleyComment