No Shave November—alternately known as Movember—has become the ultimate test of a man's ability to develop facial hair within a narrow chronological window. Originally created as a way to spread awareness of men's cancers, it is simultaneously a challenge to see which of your friends can become the scruffiest and scraggliest, all in the name of a good cause.

But if you can afford to stall your shaver for a month, why not see what you’re really made of and grow out a beard for real?

If anyone’s happy to help, it’s the guys of popular New York City barbershop Frank’s Chop Shop. Since opening in 2006, they’ve become very aware of when No Shave November gives way to December. “All of a sudden, we have back-to-back appointments all day where guys are coming in and shaving off their beards!” owner Mike Malbon exclaims.

His guys are hardly just barbers, though—they’re groomers of some of the best-looking celebrities (everyone from Drake to Jake Gyllenhaal)—and regular guys, too. Below, Chop Shop barber Kevin Kellett gives five crucial rules for starting and maintaining the perfect beard.

And remember, gents: Even if things get hairy this November, that doesn’t mean you can’t stay sharp.