And yes, it is as dangerous as it sounds.
There are different kinds of ‘services’ in many barber shops around the world. While Filipino barbers give massages after cutting hair, some barber shops offer shaving any kind of facial hair. Chinese barbers offer ‘eyeball-shaving’ and it continues to shock the world today.
According to an old Sichuan saying, cleaning the eyes makes the beauty of life more visible, and some people are prepared to go under the knife to make sure they don’t miss a thing. Nicknamed “knife-blade eye cleaning”, the practice of scraping a person’s eyeballs and eyelids with sharp utensils has been a part of Chinese culture ever since ancient times.
The craft was supposedly popularized by brothers Zhou Chengfu and Zhou Chengyin, who followed their father’s footsteps and excelled in the technique of servicing the eyeballs, ears and necks of clients.
But as pictures and videos of the said practice went viral online, many people around the world were shocked that people allowed their eyes to be ‘cleaned’ in such manner. In some photos, one barber with extremely dirty hands can be seen scraping under the eyelids of one customer.
53-year-old Liu Deyuan has been successfully running his small eye-cleaning business for 7 years, offering a head shave and an eye scrape for just RMB5. With many long-term clients lining up to get their eyes cleaned every month, the skilled barber says business is still pretty good.
An article from odditycentral explains how Liu performs the said ‘cleaning’: “Before he starts scraping away at his clients’ eyes, Liu rinses his sharp blade in the same water he uses to shave their heads. He holds their eyes open with his left hand while using the right one to guide the knife back and forth on the inside of their eyelids and then on the eyeball.
“He then grabs a metal rod, inserts it under the person’s upper eyelid and slides it left and right like a windshield wiper. He repeats the process for the lower eyelid, and when he’s done, Liu moves to the other eye. The whole eye-scraping process takes about 5 minutes, and by the end, the client’s face is streaming with tears.”
Would you have your eyes cleaned by this expert?