It's official: November is the month of the beard.
However, there's much more to this look than just looking suave.
No-Shave November is an online campaign to grow awareness and raise funds for cancer prevention and research.
The rules are pretty simple and are based all around one activity: putting your razor down for 30 days.
The idea behind the campaign is to donate the money you might normally spend on hair maintenance during the month to cancer research and let your facial hair run wild.
The money raised from No-Shave November will be equally donated between four participating charities: The American Cancer Society, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
Those who need to prevent their beards from going out of control -- for strict restrictions/work uniform purposes, etc. -- can still take part, as the campaign will allow participants to keep trimming and grooming if need be.
In light of this very important month, I've decided to take a look at some of the many health benefits to having a beard, and how taking part in No-Shave November can have a positive effect on you.
Beards can reduce allergic reactions.
According to YorkTest, having a beard can actually have a positive effect on allergies.
The symptoms of allergies can sometimes appear reduced for those sporting a beard. The hair forms a barrier for allergen particles and stops them from entering the body.
So instead of inhaling these particles, they just get trapped in the facial hair.
The important thing to note here is that this is only going to work if you keep your beard clean and tidy.
As the hair builds up allergens and particles, it can stop acting as a preventative barrier and work as more of a store of allergens.
Beards can keep your skin moisturized.
By having a beard and keeping the cold air and wind out, you can also defeat the battle of dry skin. The sebaceous glands on your face secrete a natural oil that help lubricate your skin.
By having a beard, you can prevent rubbing this off of your face, and in turn, be naturally moisturized.
Beards can help battle colds.
As well as being a great heat insulator, beards can also help battle the common cold and fight off coughs.
According to Carol Walker, hair specialist at the Birmingham Trichology Centre, having a beard will help raise the temperature of the neck and keep you warmer, acting as a great physical barrier to the cold temperature.
Beards can limit the risk of infections.
By shaving your beard, you are constantly increasing the likelihood of getting a skin condition.
Shaving related risks include the likes of skin irritation, razor burn and folliculitis, which is the infection of hair follicles that leads to spots on the face and neck.
Not shaving also reduces the risk of getting a bacterial infection.
Beards can be a natural sunblock.
While November is not necessarily known for its scorching heat, it's always good to be prepared for that unexpected ray of sunshine and that's exactly what a beard can help you do.
An Australian study found that a beard can be almost as effect as sunblock and can help to prevent the skin from UV rays from the sun.
Alfio Parisi, professor of radiation physics at the University of Southern Queensland, stated:
Beards can block anywhere from 50 percent to 95 percent of UV rays reaching the skin under beards, helping to decrease the skin photo-aging process that comes with UV rays and reduce the risk of skin cancer.
It's important to know these benefits to owning a beard are only going to be effective if you look after your beard and keep it clean and maintained.
Otherwise, the likelihood of infections and bacterial growth will increase.
Have I convinced you enough that participating in No-Shave November will not only help charity but also yourself?
Even if you can't bring yourself to dedicate a whole month of no shaving, you can still donate toward the campaign at no-shave.org.