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It’s November, or as some like to call it “No Shave November,” the four weeks of the year in which citizens are invited to let their beards grow long in hopes of raising awareness about prostate cancer. During the hairiest month of the year, we return to the ad campaign that swept the world this summer: Schick’s “Free Your Skin,” a series of images men sporting beards that have morphed into fluffy ferrets of all shapes and colors.

The brainchild of Auckland-based agency Y&R New Zealand, the campaign was shot by photographer Troy Goodall in collaboration with animal photographer Stephen Stewart and the retouching team at Electric Art. Goodall explains that he shot each of the bearded models in his studio, making sure to pass along plenty of captures of their facial hair along to Stewart and Electric Art for reference during the compositing process. Careful attention was given to Goodall’s initial lighting design, and creatives from the various studios worked together to create the final product.

The concept for the shoot was born in part from the notion that beards can adapt into distinctive characters, Y&R tells Metro. Be they sweet and cuddly or bristling and mean, beards have a tendency to develop their own personal narratives, with or without the permission of their wearers. The campaign also pokes some playful fun at the hipster subculture, whose beards border the line between the rugged and the twee. Whether your personal style is more hipster or lumberjack, this month offers an abundance of opportunity for facial wilderness, all for a good cause. Come December, if Schick is to be believed, it might just be time to “free your skin.”

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All images © Troy Goodall

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