LEICESTER, England -- Holidays got you stressed? The "world's first beard stroking station" might be just the ticket to calm you down or put some extra cash in your pocket if you're of the beard-wearing persuasion.
British men's grooming company Mo Bro's is paying $40 per hour to men with beards at least 2 inches long for its beard-stroking pop-up shop at Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester.
The company suggests "men with longer Santa-esque beards are preferred" and demands that applicants "must be comfortable with being touched by strangers."
The whole point is to help stressed-out Christmas shoppers make their errands more enjoyable.
"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," said Mo Bro's co-founder Savan Dattani. "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!"
The company claims scientific evidence proves that "warm touches" between humans lower heart rate and blood pressure and release oxytocin, a hormone that reduces the stress hormone cortisol.
Guests can choose to stroke a beard for either 10 or 20 minutes at the rate of $7 per 5-minute block. All profits will be donated to Shelter, a British organization that combats homelessness.