Celebrity hirsute pursuits offer inspiraton for Movember

Hollywood may be a trend setter but it's Movember, not the current crop of celebrity moustaches, that can take credit for the rise in male facial hair this month.

This year's Mo Bros have an abundance of celebrities from whom to draw inspiration.

Sean Connery is no longer a lone mo standing out on the red carpet. The likes of Brad Pitt, Robert Downey jnr and Jamie Foxx have all stepped out this year, proudly rocking a moustache.

Then there are Johnny Depp and David Beckham, who are really making a statement about their virility, and have binned their razors altogether in favour of the full package: beard and moustache.

YOUR SAY: What shape are you aiming for this Movember?

Movember co-founder Luke Slattery says facial hair is more acceptable now than when he and Travis Garone first held the annual charitable event in 2003, even in the conservative corporate environment.

Men's interest in facial grooming has also increased in that time with male-oriented beauty businesses opening up, offering specialised treatments from facials to haircuts to pedicures.

"In the early years, it was really anti-establishment. People would turn up for work and say to the boss, 'You can't tell me off, it's for charity,' " he said.

"Or they'd say to their wives, 'It's only for a month.' "

The fund-raiser, in which the male participants - otherwise known as Mo Bros - grow a moustache from scratch over the course of the month, has raised $42 million for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Beyond Blue.

Last year, participation in Australia hit 125,000. With 115,000 people signed up so far, Slattery is confident the target will be reached again.

He had been sporting a moustache for most of the year as he travelled the world trying to grow interest in the event - Britain, the US and Canada are now involved - but wiped the slate clean for November 1 in accordance with the rules.

His inspiration is Burt Reynolds. However, most first timers opt for the handlebar, Hulk Hogan style, he said.

"This year I am finding a lot more men spending time on their moustache and finding one that suits them," he said. "They're a bit neater this year, it's probably the repeat guys who have realised you have to keep it trimmed. The right moustache can be a respectable moustache."

Christine Cowan from the Man, What A Fuss men's grooming centre in Melbourne, says keeping facial hair trimmed is essential.

"They have to keep it trimmed so when they are eating it doesn't catch on the food," she said. "Cut it back to the lip line. If it gets really thick, they might even thin it down a bit as well so it doesn't get too bushy."

As the moustache, especially a bushy one, offers the skin some protection from the sun, Cowan cautions that sunscreen should be applied come December 1 when it comes off.

She said about six of her clients were participating in the event, with the styles largely being determined by age.

"For the younger guys its the long ones that go down to the chin, the handlebar," she said.

"The older guys are more doing the Tom Selleck [Magnum era] moustache."

It remains to be seen whether the current celebrity interest in hirsute pursuits will stick around long enough to achieve iconic status such as that enjoyed by Selleck or Salvador Dali, whose slender curled up number is now a category in the World Beard and Moustache Championships. 

But it is entirely possibly that future Mo Bros could be aiming for new shapes inspired by Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow character from Pirates of the Carribean, or 'golden balls' himself, David Beckham.

To sign-up or donate to Movember, visit: www.movember.com