Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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Business stories about shaving—or not—for November

October 24, 2017

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There are plenty of business stories in No-Shave November. Here's how to localize the trend. (Image by StockSnap via Pixabay, CCO Creative Commons)
There are plenty of business stories in No-Shave November. Here's how to localize the trend. (Image by StockSnap via Pixabay, CCO Creative Commons)

November is fast approaching. Every year at the start of the month, men across the United States and around the globe forego their razors and do their best to emulate Tom Selleck or Al Borland. Some do it better than others.

Driving the movement are Movember—a charitable foundation devoted to men’s health issues like prostate and testicular cancer—and  No-Shave November, which works to raise awareness for all cancers by “embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose.” Plenty of human interest and trend features have been written on the phenomenon, but there are several engaging business story angles as well. Here are four ways you can stay on the cutting edge of this growing trend

“Police that moostache!”

That quote from HBO’s “Generation Kill” is a reminder that there are a lot of organizations with strict facial hair regulations for employees and members. Police departments and the armed forces usually only allow neatly trimmed and measured mustaches. Some businesses—such as food service companies and conservative investment firms—expect clean-shaven employees. Find one of these businesses in your area and see if it relaxes its regulations for the month. Does its facial hair policy impact hiring and retention? Has it changed over time? Why was the policy adopted in the first place?

Grooming businesses

Look into how Movember impacts the men’s grooming industry. The Art of Shaving is an upmarket chain located in shopping malls across the country that sells men’s grooming and shaving supplies. If you look hard enough, you’ll likely find a local barbershop that offers professional shaves. Do these types of businesses offer any special incentives for November? How does the sudden decline in personal grooming affect their bottom line? Alternatively, is anything changing—do they even notice?

Local fundraisers

National organizations including the No Shave November foundation and the Movember Foundation partner with groups across the country to promote men’s health. Even local breweries get in on the act. Investigate which businesses in your area are working with charities connected to the causes, or are otherwise participating in the follicular fun.

Company contests

Finally, plenty of local businesses are bound to be promoting this with their employees. Some companies have beard- or mustache-growing contests. Talk to human resources to learn why company management chose to participate. Are the employees taking it to the extreme? Has it benefitted their business? Companies that actively participating in No-Shave November probably have a lot to say.

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