Each November, many men’s facial hair starts to sprout. Since the mid-2000s, the eleventh month has been the season of facial hair. Participants grow mustaches to bring attention to mental health issues, prostate cancer, testicular cancer and other disorders that affect the wellbeing of men everywhere.

This movement combines worthy causes with fun and the occasional friendly competition. If you’re trying to grow the thickest, shiniest mustache among your friends and colleagues, these Movember rules and tips will help you create an upper lip monster they’ll remember until next November.

1. Promote the Occasion

To be a true Movember-er, go to Movember.com and register. That way, you’ll do your part to strengthen the movement. You can donate a few dollars to the cause. You could even buy a Movember T-shirt, hat or other merchandise.

You can also aid the growth of Movember by telling everyone you know about it. On your social media pages, mention the medical causes important to you and show off photos of your face.

One of the unstated Movember rules is that the whole month should foster positivity and camaraderie. Don’t be shy, give other men props on their bold facial hair.

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2. Don’t Cheat!

Movember starts at midnight on November 1 and not a moment sooner. On Halloween — an occasion the Movember community has dubbed “Shadoween” — your face should be as smooth as silk.

Pro tip- at no time during the month should your mustache extend beyond your lower lip.

3. Tame the Rest of Your Hair

To keep yourself looking groomed and sharp, your mustache shouldn’t touch your sideburns. In fact, by trimming or removing your sideburns, your ‘stache may look a little chicer.

A short haircut can allow your mustache to really stand out. On top of that, some stubble can add texture to your entire face and complement your mustache nicely. Quite a few popular actors — Ryan Gosling is one of them — favor this scruffy appearance.

4. Choose a Shape

How do you pick a shape for your mustache? Look at the kind of facial hair you have. If it tends to be thick and straight, you could grow a Chevron, which resembles an upside-down V; the hairs point to the ground. On the other hand, if your hair is wispy, you could go for a pencil mustache, a narrow line that’s parallel to your upper lip.

Your lips may influence the type of mustache you grow as well. Larger and thicker mustaches look great with larger and thicker lips, while thin ‘staches and thin lips go well together.

It’s a good idea to look at photos of celebrities with mustaches for inspiration. Don’t just search Google for images of current stars, though. Take a gander at classic mustaches like the ones Clark Cable and David Tomlinson (the dad in “Mary Poppins”) wore. There’s even a Mustache Hall of Fame where you can do some serious research.

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5. Stay in Shape

Once you know the basic style you’re aiming for, the simplest thing to do is ask a barber to sculpt it for you. After that appointment, you can use a mustache comb and scissors to maintain the shape for the rest of Movember.

Only comb your mustache when it’s dry. Just brush the hairs downward and give them a few snips as necessary. Meanwhile, you can use a razor to shave around the ends of your mustache.

6. Keep It Clean

Wash your mustache daily by rinsing it with warm water and rubbing in some shampoo. Rinse it again and apply a moisturizer. The skin under facial hair can dry out quickly.

Every few days, scrub your mustache with a beard wash. Use an exfoliant regularly as well. That substance will clear away dead cells, and new hairs will be able to grow in more efficiently.

Keep those hands away from that mustache. You’ve probably seen guys stroke their ‘staches when they’re deep in thought, and you might be tempted to touch yours as well. Unfortunately, your fingers can transfer bacteria to the pores in that area.

7. Oil, Balm and Wax: Products for Mustache Greatness

Each day, rub a few drops of beard oil into your mustache. As a result, it will be softer and less itchy. If the area around your mustache is still red and irritated, a beard balm should ease the situation.

Another useful item to utilize is mustache wax. It’ll lend luster to your lips’ companion and keep hairs out of your mouth. If you’re somewhat daring and your workplace doesn’t frown on it, you could use your wax to fashion handlebars, swirls or loops.

Movember ends on December 5, a day known as “Movember 35th.” You may feel separation pangs as you shave away your facial companion, but the selfies and the memories will stay with you throughout the year. Before you know it, Halloween will roll around again, and your family members will be anticipating the return of their favorite look. Movember rules!

men's fashion advice

About Ralph Lauretta

Ralph is a co-owner of Sal Lauretta for Men. His areas of expertise include custom clothing as well as being the primary clothing buyer for the store. When not at work you can find him hanging out with his family, reorganizing his garage or watching a Denver Broncos game.