Shaving Techniques for the Blind

Uploaded by WAStSchBlnd on 20.01.2009

Video clips on blindness a series daily living skills for the blind and visually impaired
presented in conjunction with the Washington State School for the Blind. The following
clip features Jim Eccles, Residential Life Counselor, for the Washington State School
for the Blind. Jim demonstrates specific techniques that will help a blind or visual impaired
person shave safely with a manual razor instead of an electric shaver.
Jim: Having used both kinds of shaving systems while growing up, I found that for me personally
that shaving with a blade lasts longer. Also, with my sensitive skin I find even cutting
myself with a blade is less painful and irritating than the feeling of being chewed upon behind
the tiny blades of a facial screen of an electric razor. Thus, although the battery operator
of the electric razor is certainly a more mobile, a more on the go, shaving devise;
I prefer the improved result that I get from blade shaving. A less frequent need to shave,
but this preference is obviously a very individual matter. What works best for me may not be
the ideal choice for someone else. Let’s begin by taking a look at the shaving
equipment. First, we have a shaving handle with a removable blade which is replaced with
a sharp new blade once the current blade becomes too dull; another, subjective, personal decision.
Second, there is the aerosol can containing thick shaving cream, which lubricates the
blade. Making it slide smoothing over the face- fewer accidental cuts. Third, we have
a squeeze bottle of aftershave lotion, which puts back the moisture lost from the facial
skin by the application of the soapy shaving cream. Fourth, you’ll notice that we have
a wash cloth. Which is used to briefly soak the face in hot water; that softens the whiskers
so they’re cut more easily. Fifth, there is a towel to dry off the face when shaving
is complete. Sixth, I’ve brought along a small plastic tray containing replacement
blades for my shaving handle. In addition to these essential items I also
brought along a few handy accessories. First, a larger shaving kit for car, bus or train
travel where more space is available. Second, I brought along a smaller shaving kit ideal
for the increasingly smaller space available for baggage during air travel.
Let’s get started! My first step is to fold the wash cloth into long narrow strip and
heat it in the water, wring it out and apply it to my face. Fold it in half to so that
it covers my face from my left ear to my right ear and down to my neck line. Then, I turn
the wash cloth around and apply it again transferring all the face soften heat from the cloth to
my face. Now that my face is nearly shaving ready,
I shake my shaving cream can to mix the cream with the propellant. Ideally I want them to
both run out at exactly the same time. I dab a thing layer of shaving cream from my left
cheek, just ahead of my ear, down under chin back up to my right cheek just ahead of my
ear, down under my chin and back up to my right cheek just ahead of my right ear. Also,
I dab shaving cream up along my mustache under my noise with additional dabs below my closed
mouth, along my chin. I don’t need a ton because it would just fall off in a glob and
be wasted. But I do need try and cover everywhere that I whiskers, everywhere that I want to
shave. I start with my right hand corner of my mustache
and I shave using upward strokes, from right to left until I reach the left corner. Next,
I take on the small whisker patch just below my mouth and the one along my chin. After
a few shaving strokes I rinse the blade to prevent it from being clogged with whiskers,
for then it won’t shave more whiskers. Next, starting with my right cheek, just ahead of
my ear, I shave that cheek then that area under my chin down my neck line. Finally,
my left cheek area. Notice I that I shave up instead of down with
the shaving handle end up with the blade down. Except in that area around my throat where
the run of the whickers in the opposite direction. Also, I brush the area that I am about to
shave with a finger tip with my free hand before and after every stroke which gives
me tactile feedback on my shaving progress. After I wet the wash cloth with warm water
and wring it out to rinse off the excess shaving cream, remembering to rinse my ears and the
tip of my nose so my wife doesn’t discover any shaving cream left behind. Then, I can
spot check for missed whiskers and shave them off. After thoroughly rinsing all shaving
cream remaining on the blade. When I then dry off my face with a towel,
I have yet one more chance to spot check my face for any remaining unshaved patches. When
I apply a small dob of aftershave lotion in one hand, rub my two hands together vigorously
and then apply the lotion with both hands to the entire shaved area. I think of it as
covering the two halves of my face with lotion; from cheek to cheek then nose to throat. The
lotion acts as an astringent to make any remaining whickers stand up for better tactile identification
and easier shaving. If it needs to be done, right then at the end of a shave is a good
time to change the blade. As the blade dulls it pulls harder on the face. When you’ve
had enough change it up! Typically a blade will last me several months or longer because
since my wife says that my bread is relatively light in color I can generally get away with
shaving every other day. However, daily shaving does make sure that you will not inadvertently
neglect shaving on a given day. Changing a blade is easy and you don’t even
have to touch it. They always leave an empty spot at the top of a new blade tray so that
you have a very safe place to dispose of the old blade. With empty blade compartment at
the top and the handle pointing toward you set the blade in the tray and slide the handle
out along the track that extends just beyond the tray. Then, reverse the procedure to remove
a sharp new blade from a full new blade tray compartment and attach it to your handle.
Line up the handle with the track that extends out past the full blade compartment and slide
it over the blade, until the blade is completely covered by the handle. Then, lift up on the
handle and the blade pops free from the blade tray. Already attached to your handle and
you didn’t have to touch it. Now, looking at the larger of the two shaving
kits, notice that it has a narrow side pocket ideal establishing a fixed orientation for
blade handle so don’t inadvertently reach in and grab it by the blade which can cause
unnecessary minor bleeding and I hate that when it is my reading finger. Since my micro-shaving
kit has no section no such narrow pocket in it. I put a disposable razor that comes with
a plastic cover over the blade even though I have to just reach in and grab I’m not going
to bleed. However, young inexperienced shavers should be strongly advised that it is vastly
easier to cut yourself when using a disposable razor. Because more blade is exposed making
it more frequent and deeper cuts possible. Starts with a very, very shallow blade angle
by keeping the handle close to your head and then move the handle away slightly with each
successive shaving stroke until the blade is just beginning to cut whiskers. Shave slowly
and concentrate when first using a disposable razor.
I must admit that it took me several years to be able to use a disposable razor with
little or no bleeding and was comfortable doing so. This was especially true since
I avoided using them for a long time until I got the hand of it eventually. Good Luck!
And happy painless shaving. More video clips on blindness clips are available
from the Washington State School for the Blind at