The Shaving of Oli Wood

We don’t often promote shaving – as beard fans it really goes against what we’re all about. But we can always make an exception, especially when it’s for a great cause. So, when Oliver Wood got in touch to inform us he’d de-hairing we had to find out what his reasons were…


Looking ever so happy about the idea of shaving off that beard!

So Oli, tell us why have you decided to de-hair?

Every few years I try to raise money for a good cause by doing something stupid.  My last challenge was swimming across Ullswater (longest lake in the UK) in my pants.  What I didn’t realise was quite at the time was how dangerous it was and thus how stressful for my family it turned out to be.  So this time I’ve doing something safe, but equally as tough (I think).  St Mary’s is a the hospice where my father in law was treated so well in the last few weeks of his life.  It costs almost £6k a day to run St Marys, so if I can help keep them open for even one more day thats got to be a good thing.

Wonderful cause, you can certainly count on Bristlr’s support! Was the decision to shave a tough one?

Yes, pretty tough, it’s a big part of my identity.  To be honest removing the rest of the body hair is more challenging  I think a lot of men have their imagine of masculinity tied up in their hair (Samson et al) and I’m no different.  It’ll be painful and humiliating on the night but waking up the next morning will be scarier.

How long have you been growing that beard?

I think I’ve had a beard continuously for about 2 years now.  I normally keep it trimmed and tidy but since I set myself the challenge I’ve been letting it and my mustache grown out.  On and off I’ve been trying to grow a beard for nearly ten years (so many false starts) so it’s going to be pretty tough to go back to being completely clean shaven.

Are you a slow grower or will your beard be back with us again soon?

Not fast enough!  I’m being shaved and waxed on a Thursday night so that going into work the next day is challenging.  I’ve also gaot a big family gathering that weekend too.  I’m hoping I’ll be back to having a reasonable beard by the New Year.

How did you find us?

I’d heard of you on Twitter and then met John at a tech meet up in Newcastle (and got a bit over excited). I’ve a huge amount of time for Bristlr because of the amount of thought that they’ve just into gender, sexuality and relationship status.  In 2015 your shouldn’t be asked “Are you male or female” when you sign up to a service.  I’ve got a Bristlr profile primarily for making new friends.

We’re delighted you came to us, and you’ve got our support all the way! Anything else you’d like to add?

I promise to grow back my beard and body hair as fast as is humanly possible.  The world shouldn’t be without another beard.

There you have it; Bristlr is, just this once, very much in support of shaving! Please, please show your support for Oli and this fantastic course by visiting his funding page and giving what you can.

Good luck to you Oli and St Mary’s Hospice! Bristlr wishes you all the best!


PS. For those of you wanting to use your Bristlr mugs creatively, try out Oli’ recipe for strawberry jam with chilli and lime.