It’s not the done thing nowadays to go for a close shave when you get your hair cut, in fact it feels a bit weird, so imagine how bizarre it would be to go to your local barber shop to get your eyeball shaved. Actually, you don’t have to imagine it, because you can watch it happening in the video below:
Did you survive that without retching? Me neither. But if you’re one of the rare freaks who doesn’t actually mind the thought of getting your eyeball shaved – there must be a few of you out there? – then China is where you need to go.
In an alley in the Jinjiang District of the city of Chengdu, 62 year-old barber Xiong Gaowu has an outdoor haircut stall where you can also get your eyeballs washed with a razor-sharp blade.
He’s been offering this service for over 40 years and has never – so he says – had a problem. Or rather, no-one who’s had his blade lightly scraped against their surface of their eyeball by him has ever had one.
The procedure apparently takes five minutes and involves pulling the eyelid back to expose the eyeball, which is then ‘cleaned’ by shaving and scraping its surface with the blade.
An iodine solution is added for sterilization before eye drops are applied to the blade. The upper and lower eyelids are then done separately.
The method allegedly allows Xiong Gaowu to clean the inner eyelid, enabling people to see clearer.
The barber only serves customers over the age of 30. According to People’s China Daily – who have a really good slideshow of the whole procedure – that’s because younger people generally don’t have any dirt in their eyes.
While the actual, real term benefits, of eyeball scraping are unknown and unproven, it is an ancient craft in China. There’s an old saying over there that cleaning the eyes renders the beauty in life visible.
According to China News, a 97-year-old customer said that he could see things clearer after the treatment.
Apparently, while he had previously felt there were objects stuck in his eyes that caused him to have sore and dry eyes, he felt comfortable after having his eyeballs ‘shaved’.
It’s also an absolute bargain: together with a hair wash and face shave, the entire treatment only costs 5 RMB, which is about 57p. That’s about the cost of a Mars Bar.