For 11 months of each year, many members of the human male species strive to become as hairy as possible in preparation for an absurd but highly constructive rite in November. These men spend approximately 330 days grooming and nurturing their facial hair to shave it all off on the appointed date.
On the first day of November, men shave their beards, with some going as far as shaving their heads in a bid to show solidarity with each other. As absurd as this may seem, this annual rite called "Movember"spearheads the fight against many ailments that men suffer from but may be too embarrassed to discuss or confront head on.
Alongside shearing off their hair, men raise awareness about premature death from prostrate and testicular cancer, and mental health. They also raise funds in support of various mens' health initiatives around the world.
So in the spirit of supporting men's health, here's a Hairy Man's Guide to Movember.
1. It's all about the beard.
Look at your beard. Remember your beard and what it means to you. Then think about the Movember movement. Studies show that men who join the Movement lead longer and happier lives.
2. Identify your crew.
You don't have to struggle through looking like a prepubescent teenager alone. You have friends. #ShaveTogether.
3. Join the Movement.
Look at your beard. Then shave your beard. Clean.
4. Take your exams.
And by exams we mean prostate and testicular medical tests. And by extension, endeavour to consult a counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist. It is vital that you maintain your physical and mental health.
Donate to organizations that support men's health initiatives. You could even volunteer your time at mental health institutes or organizations that offer support to men going through cancer.
And remember also that studies show that men who shave their beards grow them back again.
All images by Kangai Mwiti.