A beard-off for Bryony House

Shaving to make change for women and children at Halifax shelter

Nik Halldorson offers you the chance to shave his face clean. Photo: Dylan McAteer

Nik Halldorson’s beard’s days are numbered.

Halldorson, who has grown his beard for the past seven months, wants people to bid on the right to shave it off.

The fourth-year nursing student at Dalhousie University lives in a woman’s world, as one of about 10 men in his year.

He is also one of the hairiest guys you will see walking around campus.

Whether you love or hate the beard, Halldorson is offering you a chance to shave it. He has started a campaign to raise money for women and families at Bryony House, currently embroiled in a controversy over its Dare to Dream lottery.

People can donate as much money as they want. The plan was to cut it off when he hit $1,000, but he hit the mark early. “Things have really taken off so far, so why stop a good thing?”

Halldorson has raised $1,000 in seven days, with donations flooding in. Halldorson might take a full month before cutting it off.

“Well, hair will grow back so why not start a charity or a fundraiser to facilitate that?” said Halldorson.

“Being in a female-dominated field, you see things that most males don’t see.”

The campaign took a surprising turn for Halldorson when a donor, known as Anne, gave $200. He decided to offer her half of his beard. He has the other side reserved for anyone who matches that donation.

The opportunity comes after Halldorson paired with Sailor Bup’s Barber Shop, who will host the shave-off. Under their supervision and training, the donors will take a straight razor to his beard.

“If people really subscribe to this, I’d love to shoot for the stars and have a nice number like $5,000,” Halldorson said.

Nik Halldorson says there is enough beard to go around for all donors. Photo: Dylan McAteer

For a donation of $20 to $50, Halldorson is offering personalized holiday cards.

The real incentive

Phenomenal beards and generous donations are part of the project, but Halldorson wants to make change. Nearly half of Canadian women 16 and over have  experienced at least one instance of sexual or physical violence.

“Events like Jian Ghomeshi and Dalhousie dentistry kind of get the ball rolling and can cause a lot of friction. Friction can be good too because it can be a force for change.”

The proceeds from Halldorson’s shave-off will help Bryony House buy products such as diapers, baby wipes and baby shampoo. What he wants is for men to help out and support women.

“Why do women have to go to shelters? Well, aside from same-sex marriages it’s men doing the harm,” said Halldorson. “We have a job on our hands that we need to do.”