Stow those razors, gents, for it’s time once again for the annual trek into beardedness.
The fifth annual MaBeGroMo starts today.
Thirty days of no-shave earns you a “participant” title, and those completing the full 75 day extended challenge may rightfully claim the title of “MaBeGroMo Champion.”
Original Rules as handed down in 2005
Rule 1: At some point between now and December 1, you take a “before” picture of yourself and put your razor away.
Rule 2: At some point after December 31, you take an “after” picture of yourself, and decide whether to reunite with your razor or renew your short-term contract with your newly found friend. You may then claim the title of “MaBeGroMo Member.”
Rule 3: If you make it to February 14, you have beaten the extended challenge and can rightfully claim the title of “MaBeGroMo Champion.”
Rule 4: If you make it past February 14, step out of the Home Depot, put down the deer carcass, and shower well before signing up for several internet “dating” services. This is just a suggestion.
I’m regularly asked for clarification about MaBeGroMo rules, so here is a quick FAQ.
MaBeGroMo Mini FAQ
How is MaBeGroMo pronounced?
Let’s start with how it is not pronounced. It is not:
- Mushy guano,
- Magic bolo,
- Meaty Groin-o,
- Rabies, oh no,
- Merry snow ho,
- Nasty grope-o,
- Mister Roboto,
- Sonny Bono,
- Mako shark-o,
- Marco Polo,
- Mangy Rambo
- Roll a Rollo
- Han shot Greedo,
- Matlock Groan-o,
- Mecha Godzill-o,
- Bo’s Bolero,
- Mario Cuomo,
- Meet Dave Grohl-o,
- Mail order bride-o,
- Moby Grape-o,
- No pain in this dojo,
- Mug me, grandma, or
- “That damned beard month thing.”
Officially MaBeGroMo is pronounced “Mah-bee-grow-moe.” “Maybe Grow Moe” is also in use, and while not incorrect, it is not the preferred pronunciation.
Should the participant’s last shave occur on November 30 or December 1?
This has been one of the most frequently requested clarifications over the years even though a “last shave” requirement never appears in the original rules. Whether you’re arriving in from Movember, November Beard Club, or just want head start, MaBeGroMo has never had a day zero shave requirement. Head starts are not only within the rules, but encouraged.
How strict is the no shaving policy? Can I trim and shave as necessary?
Unfortunately, The MaBeGroMo Council of Elders no longer has the resources to enforce rules like it did in the golden age of beards, so responsibility for interpretation is left to the participant. For the first-time beardventurer, trimming and shaving are not recommended. Without the knowledge of how an individual’s beard grows, trimming and shaving can end up hindering more than helping. The council recommends that new beardventurers let their beards transpire naturally for at least thirty (30) days. On January 1st, you can do what you want with it. For seasoned bearders, you know what you’re doing, so do what you need to.
Is neck shaving allowed?
Because it’s understandable that a bearded face and a clean neck are somewhat more acceptable in the business world than a wild hobo beard, the neck has become an acceptable shave zone for all participants, if desired. For first time growers, the council recommends against neck shaving until the end of the MaBeGroMo basic period because a novice bearder has a distinct lack of knowledge regarding how their beards grow. New beardventurers who must shave their necks should take care not to shave too close to the jawline while the neck is stretched upward. Doing so will leave the participant with a beard that stops before the jawline, making them look like beard N00bs.
Face shaving is frowned upon, but I have this one stray hair on the top of my cheek. Can I cut that?
Rebellious hairs exist. Excise them as necessary.
What charity does MaBeGroMo benefit?
Charity events like Movember are worthwhile causes, but MaBeGroMo an individual event, benefiting no one but the participant (and the people they lug, haul, lift, chop, and squash things for using their new-found beard power).
Can I just grow a goatee / mustache / sideburns?
Sorry, Evil Spock / Hipster / Elvis Impersonator. Only full beard attempts qualify.
I have a question that wasn’t answered.
For other beard related questions, be sure to check The Beard FAQ.
Good luck. Hopefully, I’ll see the new, badass version of you in thirty days.