For centuries, people have grown their facial hair to reflect the cultural norms of the time. Ancient Egyptian aristocrats shaved their hair, but had artificial beards as a symbol of divinity. The Mesopotamians and Greeks had beards, but Alexander the Great of Macedonia and Julius Caesar of Rome avoided them. In the 19th century, Abraham Lincoln began the presidential tendency when he sprouted a beard at the beginning of his tenure. Bringing new entries into a historic ledger with the advent of rules that lead the soul of charity to the penultimate month of the year without shaving, a modern tradition nurtured by the nonprofits Movember and No Shave November.
Movember Began in 1999
The first organized attempt at a razor-free November can be attributed to a collection of friends in Adelaide, Australia, who launched a spirited effort to revive the popularity of the mustache in 1999.
Fusing the regional nickname for a mustache (“mo”) and the 11th month into a catchy portmanteau, the friends designated “Movember” as a period to forego shaving that particular hair patch and formed the “Movember Committee” to coordinate communications and merchandise sales.