Welcome to Movember guys.
I'm Patrick Bryan, Head Shaveologist at The Wet Shaving Company and tutor at The Wet Shaving Academy. I'm something of an expert on male facial hair, its growth, and how to shape it into wonderful moustaches, beards and sideburns. I'll be contributing weekly throughout Movember with top MO growing tips, interesting MO facts and general advice on how to get the most from your MO growing experience. I'm also on hand to answer any queries that you may have.
So, let's start by ignoring your top lip for a minute and look at the rest of your face. Ideally the rest of your face should be clean shaven to reveal your MO in all its budding glory - no hiding it amongst the rest of your beard until it reaches a respectable length!
I realise that many guys don't shave regularly these days so thought I'd pass on some top tips to give you a close, pleasurable shave each day.
+ Any hair over about 0.5 cm (0.25 inch) is going to be uncomfortable to shave with a cartridge multi blade razor, you should clipper it short first.
+ Wash the face with lots of hot water and soap. This removes the natural greasy protective layer from the hair and makes it very absorbent. The more water it absorbs the softer, and easier to shave, the hair.
+ Use a brush and good quality shaving soap or cream. If you must use foam, massage it well into the beard.
+ Pull the skin tight, away from the direction of shave.
+ Always shave with the growth, or across it - never against it.
+ The slower the the razor moves the more effective it is, so slow down.
+ Rinse razor frequently to clear stubble.
Right, now we're ready to let this MO grow! So, do we just let nature take it's course, or are there things we can do to help it along?
In order to give your MO the best possible start for at least the first week you should exfoliate and moisturise your top lip daily. Exfoliation will clear any debris from the hair follicles ensuring that the hair can come through properly and there will be no risk of ingrowing hairs. Moisturisation helps this by keeping the skin supple. Also massaging these into the skin helps to stimulate blood supply which nourishes the follicles.
Eat a healthy diet. The body needs the correct balance of vitamins and minerals (particularly the complex B vitamins). Spinach, broccoli, chicken and milk will all help.
Get plenty of sleep and reduce stress. Stress can lead to weak and brittle hair while sleep promotes healthy growth.
Drink plenty of water. Hair can't grow properly if the body is dehydrated.
Avoid sex!! It's thought that if you don't have sex regularly the body will produce more facial hair to advertise virility and attract a mate. Don't quote me on this one!
On average you can expect about 1-1.5 cm (0.5 inch) hair growth in a month. If any one out there has a surefire moustache fertilizer that can speed this up then I'd be happy to share it. I'm also happy to answer any other questions you might have regarding moustaches, shaving and general male grooming.
We all know that behind Movember is a serious message and that the money raised to great causes. But it is also about having fun and celebrating manliness! So if you are fund raising outside the confines of sponsorship let me know and I'll share them here.
Next week I'll be discussing styles of moustache, so that you can start to plan your finished MO.