Ah, November. The time when we men tap into our outdoorsy roots and don full, luxurious beards. We chop wood while wearing multiple layers of flannel. We carry axes as part of our EDC, chew jerky as tough as weathered bark, and… well, you get the idea. You handle the flannel and the jerky; we’ll help prepare and maintain that beard.

The real reason—or at least the main reason—why we grow out a ruggedly handsome bit of facial hair this time of year is not to reconnect with our inner Paul Bunyan, though that is a fantastic bonus; it’s to raise awareness and funds to promote healthy initiatives. It’s why, for the fourth year in a row, Wahl has joined forces with ZERO—The End of Prostate Cancer and their seasonal Grow & Give Campaign. The campaign encourages men to beard up in November and have their friends and family donate in support of their facial sweater efforts. You get an awesome bit of facial hair, and a deserving initiative gets a little more funding. It’s a win-win. As a sponsor, Wahl sweetens the pot by gifting some trimmers to the top Grow & Give fundraisers, so now you have extra incentive to sign up.

But if you plan to go into November all willy-nilly, you’ve got another thing coming. You need a game plan. Luckily, we’re here to help. Here’s everything you need to know about preparing and maintaining the glorious facial hair you’re about to grow.

This post is brought to you by Wahl Home Products.

Take a Fresh Approach

Did Da Vinci paint the Mona Lisa on top of another painting? Okay, bad example, since it’s speculated that he did, but you get our point, right? You want a blank canvas before you start your November beard. Why? Two reasons. First, who knows how even that last shave was? If you did a few quick strokes before running out the door with a bagel in your mouth this morning, chances are you’re not really clean shaven. To get a truly clean shave, we recommend Wahl’s new LifeProof Shaver. It has both symmetrical and asymmetrical foil patterns to cut hair no matter which direction they grow. That means less passes and a superb shave, whether over the sink or in the shower. Plus, since it’s designed to be virtually indestructible, you may never need to buy another shaver again. The second reason to start fresh is it allows you to see how your facial hair will come in. Look for spots without stubble and you’ll find the areas that may take longer to fill out. This info can help you decide what facial hair style will work for you.

Once your face is primed, you’re ready to get going.

Make It Your Wingman

Your new facial hair will get noticed. Make sure it gets noticed for the right reason. That means picking a style that works for you and keeping on top of it. You better believe this is the most important step, as you should consider the shape of your face, your features, and even your personality. Luckily, Wahl’s got you covered here too. Stop by the Wahl Grooming site for inspiration, as it’s filled with more than 40 options for facial fur. Yup, 4–0. You’re guaranteed to find one that works just right for you, so your November grow-a-thon will result in a few turned heads.

Having an idea in your head of what you’re going for will make it infinitely easier during the maintenance portion of the month. Which brings us to…

Leash the Beast

In the words of the great Derek Zoolander, “You gotta tame the beast before you let it out of its cage.” In other words, just because you have those hairs sprouting, it doesn’t mean your work is done. In fact, it’s just starting. Ignoring your growing beard can quickly take you from Dapper Don to “Who’s this hermit reemerging into the world after an elongated stay in the wilderness?” Simply put, you need a trimmer. Look for one with power, precision, and a long run-time, something like the Wahl Lithium Ion MultiGroom, which will do the trick every single time. Made in the USA, it boasts a 1-minute quick charge feature and can run up to 3 1/2 hours on a full charge. And since it comes with four heads that handle 13 different cutting lengths, you can rest assured you’ll keep your facial hair precisely how you want it all month long. But why keep it just for a month?

The Party’s Over When You Say It Is

When you close the book on November, don’t assume you need to close the book on your well-earned beard, mustache or pair of mutton chops. You put in the effort growing and grooming it, why not enjoy it for a while? Flaunt it. Take it out. Not only do you get to take your new facial hair on an extended test drive, but you get to be a year-round billboard for Prostate Cancer Awareness. That’s great news because people have a tendency to move on to the next thing when these campaigns end. Keeping your beard allows you to spread the word any time someone asks about your mustache or beard.

Go Forth and Grow

So that’s it. You have your strategy. There’s a game plan in place. It’s time to get involved at zerocancer.org/grow and to prep your face for the luxurious embrace of a beard Zeus would be jealous of. Just make sure to keep it in check with Wahl grooming products and to replace all your clothing with heavy, durable flannel.