Movember is officially here and it’s time to drop your razor and start growing out your facial hair for a higher purpose. For those who are unfamiliar, Movember is making a difference in mental health and suicide prevention, prostrate and testicular cancer for men everywhere. ‘Mo Bros’ all over the world have been growing out their facial hair and raising money for men’s health since 2003. In honor of this worthy cause, we sat down with AXE Master Stylist Pedro Rosario to hear his thoughts on the movement and to learn some expert beard care tips from the master himself.
Movember Awareness: Pedro Rosario
“In my opinion, men’s health usually gets put on the back burner,” Pedro Rosario says. “Sometimes it’s ego…sometimes it’s pride…we’re just more reluctant to get checked out. The movement put it on the forefront and brings attention to a few great causes specific to men’s health.”
When it comes to doing our part at home, Rosario encourages speaking candidly with your friends and family. This comes into play both with mental health as well as physical checkups. Encouraging friends and family, and men in particular, to go for annual checkups is a great start.
Rosario talks about a client who was diagnosed with testicular cancer. “He calls me up and tells me, ‘Hey Pedro, I need you to buzz off all my hair today.’ I thought he broke up with a girlfriend or something but it turned out that morning he was diagnosed and he didn’t want to see his hair fall in the shower. It’s traumatic symbolism. You know, me and him bonded over that buzzcut and I stayed in touch with him throughout the month because I wanted to see how his treatment was going. Fast forward, he recovered and he’s fine and he and I ended up doing our own personal charity event and we raised almost $10,000 for Sloan Kettering on our own and it was a cool party we did.”
The Power of the Mustache
Rosario describes the symbolism of the mustache as old school and masculine. He says that it’s that combination that drives the Movember conversation. We live in an era where the mustache isn’t as popular as it used to be. Rosario sees it as a great conversation starter and an excuse to bring awareness to the cause.
“It’s lighthearted,” he says. “It’s a bit goofy, you’re experimenting with different facial hairstyles. You will see some off the wall stuff for the month of Movember. But the idea is to draw attention and awareness so that is the important part.”
Tips for Growing a Great Beard
“I’m a minimalist and I like to oversimplify everything,” Rosario says. “Not all guys can grow an effective beard, it takes time. Now in the era of COVID, we’re wearing facial coverings a lot so it’s a good time to let it go! For my beard aficionados, I’ve always gotten input because I’ve struggled with my own beard. It’s just a matter of giving it time… whether it’s two weeks, a month, letting it grow.
“In the meantime, properly styled hair and a proper haircut make it look neat. That way you don’t look disheveled. You know, using great products for a natural look like the AXE Texturizing Cream gives you a natural look with some hold. Stylish hair and a messy type of beard in between beard trims is a good formula.”
Pedro Rosario’s Grooming Routine
“Take something as simple as AXE Texturizing Cream—about a nickel-sized or even less—and run it through your hair,” he recommends. “You can structure it with a comb or you can use your fingers as a rake. And there’s always going to be a little bit of residue from styling products… use some leftover cream as beard product to hold down flyaways in between visits to a good barber.”
Favorite Beard Styles of the Moment
Rosario cites his favorite time in history for facial hair as that reconstruction post-Civil War era when men were immaculately dressed and really took chances on facial hair. Right now, a nice short beard is his favorite because of Covid. Rosario has noticed guys with really big bushy beards tend to struggle with a proper facial covering. He says it tends to look odd and makes the beard lumpy and weird and that’s why he prefers to wear his beard short.
When asked why beards are having such a popular moment right now, Rosario says there are two different schools of thought. “A lot of guys grow it because they think it’s going to be easier than shaving,” he says. ” But it takes work! I always tease guys because our clothing and style tend to be on the boring side compared to feminine styles. It’s a nice accent or accessory. A nice beard with a button shirt or a nice beard with a suit even if you didn’t just get it freshly cut still looks immaculate.”