'It feels like a new lease of life': Derbyshire firefighter waves goodbye to dreadlocks raising £1,700 for charities

A Derbyshire firefighter has fundraised £1,700 for two different charities after he cut off the dreadlocks he’s had since 2007.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 11:12 am

Martin McShane from Hillstown in Bolsover, took the plunge and said goodbye to his distinctive long locks at Hair By Christmas in Broomhill, Sheffield yesterday (Wednesday, May 5) and is now sporting a short back and sides.

He initially made the decision to get rid of his dreadlocks after his heavy hair was proving a hindrance to his job and made it difficult for him to change into his firefighter helmet, face mask and breathing apparatus quickly.

The 36-year-old, who works at Bolsover Fire Station, used the haircut to crowdfund £1,700 for mental health charity Mind and The Fire Fighters Charity, who support injured firefighters.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Derbyshire firefighter Martin McShane has cut his dreadlocks off for charity.

The money will be split equally between both organisations.

Martin’s decision, which he hopes will help him pass the Breathing Apparatus of his training course on June 21, inspired his friend Wayne Glenn, who came with him to the hairdressers to also get his dreadlocks chopped off too.

The on call firefighter said: "Once I made the decision that it was all going to come off I was quite looking forward to it and it doesn't look as bad or feel as weird as I thought it was going to.

"It's quite nice having that support from [Wayne] as well.

The 36-year-old had his dreadlocks since 2007.

"I feel really, really good and it definitely makes a difficult decision worth while knowing that I've raised a decent amount to help two really good charities."

Martin who has dreamed of being a firefighter since he was a child, shared how his shorter hair has boosted his self-esteem already making him feel more confident that he’ll pass the final element of his training next month.

"The other thing as well with the dreadlocks is I grew them a long time ago because I didn't have a lot of confidence in myself in terms of where I was going to go”, the 36-year-old added.

"Going into the fire service with dreadlocks, it had a psychological impact on me thinking that I wasn't good enough for the fire service.

Martin's friend Wayne also decided to cut his dreadlocks off.

"It's like a new lease of life and a boost of confidence as well.”

You can view Martin’s donation page here.

The 36-year-old before he got his hair cut.

A message from Phil Bramley, Derbyshire Times Editor

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper.

Martin thinks getting rid of his long locks will help him progress his firefighting career.