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by Cheyenne Geyson

Jeff Maystruck’s moustache puts a caterpillar to shame.

Although you may not believe it by looking at the thick growth above his upper lip, Maystruck only began the process of growing his moustache in the second week of September.

“My girlfriend said I was allowed to, so I wanted to throw it in her face that I could grow one.”

While Maystruck may not actually be able to remove his facial hair and literally throw it in his significant other’s face, it would probably be a safe bet to say that it has been close to her face at least once in the past few months.

During the month of November, dubbed “Movember” by participants of the global phenomenon, men are challenged to raise awareness for their health by literally wearing the ribbon on their faces – in the form of a moustache.  With Movember in full swing, many women across the country are experiencing similar men-counters.

“In Canada last year we had 35,000 participants. Our goal this year was 55,000,” said Jesse Hayman, captain of the Team BOHICA Rugby Football club’s mo’team, based out of Richmond Hill, Ontario. “Right now, we’re sitting at 92,000 and it’s like a week in.”

Maystruck thinks the global participation could be because of the super power the moustache has in the lives of men.

“It demands respect in a social situation. There’s a weird thing in our universe I think, about moustaches. Good things will happen to you if you grow one.”

While he does receive some flack for his choice of superpower, Maystruck doesn’t take it personal.

“You can try to take all the negatives of the moustache growth, but I like to look at all the positive things the moustache has done. Specifically in Major League Baseball, the majority of Major League Baseball pitchers have a moustache, (and they) would not have got there without that moustache.”

Chances are, global participation has a bit more to do with the positive effects that the Movember campaign has on men worldwide. All funds raised in Canada go directly to the Canadian Prostate Cancer Foundation, which enables them to fund research leading to better screening processes and treatment options. Funds are also used for support programs – pairing those recently diagnosed with survivors to help them deal with it better.

But Movember does more than that. The hair above so many men’s lips generates discussions between them about topics often seen as taboo. According to the Movember website, a recent survey indicated that 39 per cent of those in the Movember community sought medical advice, and a further 36 per cent encouraged a friend, family member, or acquaintance to do the same.

Interested individuals are encouraged to visit www.movember.com and sign up as an individual or a team. Those wanting to donate to participants can do so on the website.

“It’s something fun, and it’s easy to do,” says Hayman of the Movember campaign.

As the potential idol of many men trying to live up to his great ‘stache, Maystruck encourages all ‘mo bros’ to take moustache growing seriously.

“You’re going to get a lot of flack any time you do something different (like the moustache). A lot of people are going to think it’s bad,” he cautions. “(But) set your sights high and just don’t give up.”

Unlike men who grow only for the month of November, Maystruck has no plans of getting rid of his moustache once Dec. 1 rolls around.

“No chance. I’m actually in love with it. I think it’s an amazing thing,” he gushed.

Perhaps it is. After all, Maystruck has put a lot of work into his personal awareness ribbon. Applying leave-in conditioner is a regular part of his facial hair grooming.

“I apply it in an even pattern across the moustache, and then I take the larger piece on my comb and comb through it. I like the glimmer [the leave in conditioner gives it]. When I walk out into the light, I like it to shine a bit.”

Maystruck hopes to carry his shine through to the world of competitive moustache growing.

“I don’t think it’s amazing yet, I think I have a ways to go,” he said honestly. “(But) my goal is to have the best moustache in the world.”

             

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