Grow a Mustache for Movember — and Support Cancer Research

On your mark, get set, grow!

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Throw out your razors, boys — it’s that time of year again. With Halloween behind us, there really is only one thing for the strapping young males of this world to worry about come Nov. 1: Movember. A movement that began in Melbourne back in 2003 with only 30 participants, Movember — a monthlong attempt by the follicularly endowed to grow mustaches for charity — has become a global phenomenon, with more than 1.9 million followers worldwide.

(MORE: Happy Movember: The Top 12 famous Mustaches)

However, there are rules involved in taking part in this November fun. Adam Garone, who has participated in Movember since its inception, explained the rules associated with the art of growing a mustache to the Huffington Post:

  1. You must begin on Nov. 1 completely clean-shaven.
  2. Sideburns and mustaches must not be connected – that is a beard.
  3. Joining the mustache under your chin is a goatee, not a real mustache!
  4. You must behave like a true gentleman.

(MORE: Experimental Prostate-Cancer Treatment Shows Promise)

But aside from promoting gentlemanly behavior, Movember focuses mainly on raising awareness and funds for prostate- and testicular-cancer research. One in six American males will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, according to the Yale Medical Group. All funds raised through the official organization go to supporting cancer initiatives like the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong.

The organizers behind encourage men “to grow mustaches by creating an innovative, fun and engaging annual Movember campaign that raises funds and awareness globally.” Last year over 845,000 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas (who don’t have to grow beards, just support their Mo Bros) got involved, raising more than $126 million. So whether you want to look as creative as Dalí, as intelligent as Einstein or as dashing as Sean Connery, now is the time to start cultivating that facial hair. Your own health could be at stake.