The regular shaving of beards, heads, legs and other body parts is so passé. The latest entry in the most bizarre grooming trends is shaving the eyelids. Yeah, you read that right.
The very thought of a sharp razor trimming your eyelids is sure to send chills down your spine, but, Xiong Gaowu, a street barber in China’s Chengdu has been doing the traditional treatment of shaving people’s eyelids for over three decades now.
Gaowu gently scrapes a straight razor along the inside of his customer’s eyelid. “You should be gentle, very, very gentle,” he told Reuters.
Gaowu learnt the technique of shaving eyelids, traditionally known as “blade wash eyes” in Mandarin, in the 1980’s and has been practising it ever since. “It was difficult at the beginning, but it became a piece of cake afterwards,” said Gaowu, who now serves up to eight customers a week, charging 80 yuan ($12) per shave.
The risky technique is hugely popular among Gaowu’s customers as they say that they trust his blade skills and feel that it’s not dangerous at all.
“No, it’s not dangerous,” said 68-year-old Zhang Tian. “My eyes feel refreshed after shaving and I feel comfortable.”
The technique appears to unblock moisturizing sebaceous glands along the rim of the eyelid. However, Qu Chao, an ophthalmologist who works at a nearby hospital in Chengdu, says that there is a risk of infection if the tools he uses are not properly sterilized. “If he can properly sterilize the tools that he uses, I can still see there is a space for this technique to survive,” Qu said.
Though the treatment is supposed to refresh and clean your eyes, it makes for a cringeworthy sight for the on-lookers.