What better way to celebrate No Shave November than with a Brooklyn beard and moustache competition?
Facial hair aficionados are set to compete at the Just for Men National Beard and Moustache Championships on Nov. 7 at Kings Theatre.
Approximately 300 beardsmen and moustachemen will battle it out in 18 different categories to win over the judges with their luscious facial locks. The seven judges will be tasked with determining "which contestant's facial hair best enhances his overall appearance, style, and personality," per the event's stated criteria.
Simon Cleveland, a lighting designer from New York, is participating in his third National Beard and Moustache Championship. Cleveland has been part of the competitive beard and moustache circuit since he won the Coney Island Beard and Moustache Competition, which celebrated its eighth year in September.
Cleveland describes the facial hair competition circuit as a "cool scene" where he continues to make friends and participate in events and compeitions for various charities. He serves as president of the Gotham City Beard Alliance, a nonprofit organization that "aims to promote tolerance and acceptance of all facial hair," according to its stated mission.
At the National Beard and Mustache Championships, Cleveland will compete in the Natural Moustache category. On average, it takes him about 15 to 20 minutes a day to maintain his substantial handlebar. In the days leading up to the compeition, Cleveland plans to spend 30 to 45 minutes training, conditioning, oiling and brushing his moustache.
Cleveland has had his facial fur for about 10 years and says he's frequently greeted with positive feedback. Walking on the street, he often gets a, "Hey man, cool moustache."
He notes that his fashion style is inspired by the 1920s and '30s, and he plans to wear something from the era for the compeition. He's looking forward to the championships, where he'll compete against some familiar faces -- and follicles -- as well as participants from the West Coast and Europe.
The New York City Fire Department, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary, is the official beneficiary of the event. Beard Team USA will donate $1 per ticket sold or a minimum of $5,000 to the FDNY, the largest fire department in the United States.