Men grow facial hair for cause, have further incentive to shave

CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel—Barber Brandon Piper shaves Esto Paniagua at Niko’s Barbershop on First Street, which plans Friday to donate part of the cost of a mustache shave toward awareness of men’s health issues.

You’re not mistaken if you’ve been noticing more than a few men sporting a little stubble on their faces, or a bit of bristle underneath their noses.

Those mustaches aren’t likely the result of men sleeping in too late or dull razor blades. Rather, those extra whiskers may be signs of a trend this month to raise awareness for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

The movement is dubbed Movember and, according to, the efforts of those who signed up to be Mo Bros and Mo Sistas raised more than $126 million for the causes in 2011. Nearly 2 million people worldwide have pledged to support men to forgo the blade this month and let their mustaches flourish.

As the month winds down, it’s time to clean up those mugs. Local barber Brandon Piper is proposing a deal. On Friday, the last day of the month, Piper, of Niko’s Barber Shop, 541 N. First St., will donate $5 of every complete shave to the Movember cause. He’ll shave off just the mustaches for a donation. Piper and shop owner Niko Hall also have been sporting mustaches this month.

“It leaves you smelling good and feeling good,” Piper said of his five-step shave.

The pampering includes a shave with a straight-edge blade, plenty of lather, hot towels, moisturizer, a cold towel and a splash of aftershave. The final touch includes a quick massage to the back and neck with an electronic massager, an old-fashioned touch that Piper and Hall offer to relax customers.

On Friday, Piper gave Esto Paniagua a shave as he kicked back in an authentic barber chair. During the heyday of barbering, men would get a shave with a straight-edge razor that would last a few days.

“It would be nice to come do this every three days,” Paniagua joked.

Niko’s will host the Movember party from noon to 5 p.m. There will be live music, a barbecue and fake mustaches for women.

“Barbering is making its big comeback finally,” Piper said. “I’m new in town. I just kind of see it as a promotion for myself.”


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