Movember is upon us, a month of madness in which respectable Melburnians decide to grow a 1980s cricketer’s handlebar moustache or a pencil-thin 1930s magician mo.
Throughout November, you’ll see men striving to grow a moustache, with all funds raised going to men’s health research. It’s a great cause, but maintaining a healthy mo has its challenges.
Broadsheet spoke to Nick Downie, the chief barber at All the Kings Men in North Melbourne, about this hairy time of year. He says that while some cultivate an amazing bit of facial hair for Movember, others don’t quite get it right. Downie, who cut his teeth at Fitzroy’s Dr. Follicles, reckons it’s all about attitude. “I think anyone can have a mo provided they don’t feel self-conscious about it, because that totally ruins it,” he says.
But be warned: there’s nothing worse than a semi-finished bit of upper-lip hair. As Downie explains, a moustache requires commitment. “The old barber rule is to grow it out for a month without doing much to it, and then to trim it back to the desired shape and style, which is why Movember is the perfect time frame to grow a real, proper moustache.”
Once you’ve grown the moustache, you’ll need to maintain it with regular grooming. If you’re going to style your mo yourself, it is worth investing in the right equipment. Firstly you’ll need to get yourself a pair of barber scissors (those blunt scissors you have in your kitchen drawer won’t give you the precision you need). A fine-toothed comb, good razor and wax are also useful tools to have on hand.
As moustache hair is often coarse, shampooing and conditioning is also advised to keep your lady friends from complaining.
Ultimately your mo is a personal choice. There’s an assortment of hairy faces a Movember man can rock, and Downie caters to them all. “We have a lot of regular beard trims, but I think it’s down to the individual. If you want a neat beard then come on down. If you want a wild beard, let yo freak flag fly!”
All the Kings Men offers ‘mo maintenance throughout Movember.