As we all know, last-minute Christmas shopping can be a stressful period for all concerned, forcing many of us to fret, overspend and drink heavily.
However, a beard grooming company in the UK thinks it may have the answer to everyone’s annual retail anxiety.
From December 20, Mo Bros will be establishing a pop-up booth at Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester in England’s Midlands that will allow stressed out Chrissie shoppers – of either sex – to stroke a man’s beard to help them relax and relieve anxiety.
The beard stroking station will be open to people who have registered online (you can do so here) beforehand and will have three chairs where members of the public can sit and stroke their beard of choice for either 10 or 20 minutes.
It’ll cost £5.00 ($A8.80) per five minutes of beard stroking pleasure and all proceeds will go to the homeless charity Shelter.
Mo Bros is already looking for bearded men to take part and will pay them £30 if they offer up their facial fur for stroking. However, organisers do stress that only men with beards at least five centimetres long should apply.
According to Mo Bros, “It’s been reported that ‘warm touches’ between humans release Oxytocin, the hormone that reduces the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, as does stroking cat fur. Other benefits of stroking fur include a low heart rate and blood pressure.”
Savan Dattani, co-founder of Mo Bro’s, said, “Christmas is a stressful time of year for most people. You’re in a mad rush trying to buy presents, food and drink, whilst juggling work, a family and other commitments. We had a think of how we could make this situation more enjoyable, and it suddenly came to us – a beard stroking station! We have a few guys with fantastic beards already signed up, but we could do with a few more because we anticipate demand to be high. Santa beards preferred, but not essential!
“It’s fairly common knowledge that stroking soft things, like animals, reduces stress, but we didn’t want to enlist the help of animals because they obviously can be somewhat unpredictable and chaotic! So, doing what we do, we thought beards are the next best thing! We’ll have an array of products available to use, so the beards will be soft and will smell great. Guests of the station can even brush them if they like!”