Still growing a moustache for Movember? Barbers in London give advice on maintaining facial hair | CBC News


There is a wrong way to grow out a beard or moustache, say London barbers who tell Movember participants to sculpt, nourish and wash their way to luscious facial hair.

“It’s best to invest in yourself just like you would when you get a haircut,” said Ryan J. Ford, owner and barber at J.S. Ryan & Co. Shaping is an important part of keeping beards in proportion as they grow, he added.

Movember is marking its 19th year of raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s health by asking men to grow out their facial hair for the month. 

The event first happened in Australia in 2003, when 30 men grew out their moustaches before the focus turned to raising funds for prostate cancer. Since then, the global movement also includes fundraising for men’s mental health and suicide prevention.

In Movember’s official leaderboard for Canada this year, its top individual participants raised more than $575,000 halfway through the month. Last November, the top 20 Canadian participants raised more than $1-million.

Ryan J. Ford runs his own barbershop in South London and recommends brushing facial hair regularly for a clean, straight appearance. (Clement Goh/ CBC News)

“When people were growing moustaches, it was more out of irony. But now, moustaches are all the rage,” Ford said. Though Canada isn’t one of the largest participants in Movember compared to prior years, there are still quite a few new moustaches popping up — in and out the barber shop, he said.

But there’s more to growing a beard than just not shaving. Ford recommends facial hair to be taken as seriously as a full head of hair on your scalp. This includes using the right products to keep follicles clean and healthy.

“You need to wash your beard, just like you would wash your hair. You also don’t want to wash it too much or you’re going to overproduce oils,” he said.

“In order to have a proper shaped beard, I will blow dry it with a round brush to ensure that I get all those little wily (hairs) that are sticking out and it has a straightening effect and makes it look a lot nicer.”

Marcello’s Barber Shop is also supporting customers growing their facial hair and raising funds for Movember.

“Everyone’s been touched by cancer, whether it’s family or friends, so we definitely have more and more people at this time of year coming in with nice moustaches,” said Marco DiCicco, a barber at Marcello’s.

Marco DiCicco works at Marcello’s in downtown London and says the biggest Movember mistake is leaving facial hair alone to grow without maintenance. (Clement Goh/ CBC News)

Colder winter weather can lead to dry skin, which can build up under facial hair, he added.

“It’s important to be washing it on a daily basis. Use exfoliating gloves to clean up the dead skin underneath. Just a touch of beard oil or some moisturiser will help with keeping the skin nice and smooth underneath,” DiCicco said.

Upper lip trimming can also keep people from chewing on their own moustaches, he added.

“Shape it up a little bit, give it some character.”

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