blind_html [Fwd: Fred's Head Companion - American Printing House for the Blind]

  • From: Nimer <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 07:48:51 -0600

"every time I say something they find hard to hear
they chalk it up to my anger
and never to their own fear"
Ani Difranco: I'm Not A Pretty Girl 1995

Nimer M. Jaber

The information transmitted is intended only for the person or entity to which 
is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any 
retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in 
upon this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient 
prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender via reply 
e-mail, and delete the
material from any computer.

(720) (251-4530)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:        Fred's Head Companion - American Printing House for the Blind
Date:   Tue, 24 Mar 2009 12:09:10 +0000
From:   Fred's Head <fredshead@xxxxxxx>
To:     nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx

 Fred's Head Companion - American Printing House for the Blind

        Link to Fred's Head <>

National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) <>

Posted: 23 Mar 2009 09:15 AM PDT

The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET) is a national membership organization dedicated to rendering all possible support and assistance to those preparing for or teaching in the field of special education. NASET was founded to promote the profession of special education teachers and to provide a national forum for their ideas.

NASET is a national professional association that seeks to meet a critical need for many of America's special education teachers. NASET was established as a professional organization for former, current, and future special education teachers who had no professional organization to call their own. NASET develops and promotes professional excellence through the support of teachers who provide services to children with special needs.

The organization is dedicated to ensuring that all children and adolescents with special needs receive the best education possible. NASET serves the professional interest of special education teachers in order to promote the highest professional standards. They help members stay abreast of current issues that are shaping the field, affecting the lives of students, and influencing professional careers. NASET is committed to standards of excellence and innovation in educational research, practice, and policy.

Click this link to visit the National Association of Special Education Teachers at <>.

Top Ten Mistakes Parents Make in IEP Meetings <>

Posted: 23 Mar 2009 08:16 AM PDT

By: Matt Foley, M.Ed and DeAnn Hyatt Foley, M.Ed., Parents, Lubbock, Texas

(Reprinted with permission from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired <> and the Kentucky School for the Blind <>)

The following article appeared in /Parent to Parent/, a quarterly publication of the Kentucky School for the Blind that contains information relevant to Kentucky parents and families of children who are blind and visually impaired.

Editor's Note: While reading through various articles and looking at various websites, a friend of mine came across an article that contained information that would have helped my wife and I immensely when we started down the "IEP Road". I thought it would be very beneficial to share this article with my readers. Although this article is based upon the federal regulations, some of the language or terms used within this article may be slightly different than what is used in your state since new regulations have been drafted. If you have any questions or need clarification, please feel free to email KSB Family Support Specialist Mitch Dahmke at mitch.dahmke@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:mitch.dahmke@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>.


It can be very intimidating to sit at a table with several educators and professionals. Professionals/educators do bring a great deal of knowledge and experience to the table. Though most parents do not have a background or degree in education, they have a great deal of knowledge and experience regarding their child. Parents are the experts in their own right. They provide historical information and the big picture from year to year. They know what works and does not work with their child and can be a great asset to the IEP team.

Parents also have an intuitive sense as to what is appropriate for their child. After working with parents for nine years, we are still amazed at how parents are usually intuitively correct about what will work for their child. We encourage parents to follow their hunches, if something does not sound right, check it out. Usually after some research parents will discover their hunch was correct.


Any request a parent makes needs to be in writing. This includes requests for assessments, IEP meetings, correspondence, related services, etc. Written requests are important because they initiate timelines that the school district must follow in response to your request. This will also create a paper trail. When you write a letter be sure to send it certified mail. When you have a discussion by phone with a school official, write a letter that briefly outlines what you talked about. Documenting your conversations helps prevent miscommunication.

Documenting requests (i.e., teaching assistant, speech, etc.) for the IEP committee clarifies to the committee what you are requesting and allows you to use your own words (as opposed to the note taker paraphrasing your request). We encourage parents to type exactly what they think their child needs and list why they think it is educationally necessary. This helps parents think through why they are requesting a service for their child. Have the IEP committee record the written request as part of the IEP. At this point, the IEP committee has one of two choices; the committee can accept or deny the request. If the committee denies the request then they must follow the procedural safeguards in IDEA and provide written notice of why they are denying the parents' request. This method makes it difficult for an IEP committee to tell parents "no" without thinking through the options. If the request is not written down then the school district is not obligated to provide the service. Make sure you write it down.


All sections of the Procedural Safeguards are important to parents. This particular section gives parents some leverage during IEP meetings. Whenever parents make a request for their child in the IEP meeting, the IEP committee is required under Prior Notice to provide the parents with written notice within a reasonable period of time. This notice must include the following:

(b) Content of notice

  1. A description of the action proposed or refused;
  2. An explanation of why the agency proposes or refuses to take the
  3. A description of any other options that the agency considered and
     the reasons why those options were rejected;
  4. A description of each evaluation procedure, test, record or report
     the agency used as a basis for the proposed or refused action;
  5. A description of any other factor that is relevant to the agency's
     proposal or refusal (34CFR300.503)

We have found many instances where a parent requests an assessment or service only to have the IEP team tell the parent it cannot be done. By making all requests in writing and by requiring the IEP team to provide Prior Notice, the parent makes the team accountable for its decisions. This practice also takes issues out of the emotional arena, allowing all team members to focus on IDEA standards.


Many times parents will request services such as speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc. in the IEP meeting. Frequently the IEP committee will respond by stating that the student does not need the service. We recommend that parents do not request the service but request the assessment that supports the need for the related service. For example, instead of requesting speech for your child request a speech assessment. Only a certified or licensed professional is qualified to determine if a child needs or does not need a particular related service. As in number 2, list the reasons why you think an assessment is educationally necessary for your child and submit your request to the IEP committee as part of the IEP.


Sometimes parents receive assessment results that do not accurately describe their child and/or do not recommend the amount and duration of services the parents think their child needs. Under 34 CFR 300.502 Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE), parents of a child with a disability have the right to obtain an independent evaluation at public expense if they disagree with the results of the school's assessment. When the parent requests the IEE (in writing) the school has one of two choices; they may either provide the IEE in a reasonable period of time, or they may take the parents to due process. When an IEE is agreed upon, parent and school must come to an agreement as to who is qualified to assess the student. The examiner for an IEE cannot be employed by the school district. Parents should request the school district policy on guidelines and qualifications for their examiners.


Parents are entitled to have the assessment information explained to them before the IEP meeting. We encourage parents to have the person who administered the assessment give them a copy of the report and meet with them to explain the report several days before the IEP meeting. This enables the parents to think through the information from the assessment, it only makes sense for the parents to be knowledgeable and informed about the assessment results in a way they can understand.


Measurable goals and objectives are paramount for your child's IEP. Without measurable goals and objectives, it is difficult to determine if your child has had a successful school year. In working with parents, we have encountered many IEP goals and objectives that are not measurable. All goals and objectives come from assessment data. Assessment has four different components:

  1. Formal assessment (ex. WIAT, Woodcock-Johnson, Brigance)
  2. Informal assessment (ex. classroom work)
  3. Teacher/parent observation, and
  4. Interviews

After the information has been collected about the student, it is compiled into an assessment report. Recommendations on how to work with the student are listed toward the end of the report. If you receive an assessment report that does not give you recommendations for potential goals and objectives, the assessment is not complete. After the assessment has been completed, the IEP committee determines the student's present level of performance (PLOP) and states what the student is currently able to do. The committee then develops the IEP goals and objectives. The goals state what the student is expected to accomplish by the end of the year. Objectives break the goal down into increments. For example: PLOP: Based on the Brigance and classroom work Johnny is currently able to read on a fourth grade level with 90% mastery. Goal: By the end of the school year Johnny will be able to read on a fifth grade level as measured by the Brigance and classroom work with 80% mastery. Objectives: * By October 1, Johnny will be able to read fourth grade, second month level with teacher assistance as measured by the Brigance and classroom work with 80% mastery. · By January 1, without teacher assistance Johnny will be able to read on a fourth grade, sixth month level as measured by the Brigance and classroom work with 80% mastery. A method of determining if your goals and objectives are measurable is to ask someone who is not on your IEP team to read them (ex. a teacher, another parent, advocate, etc.). Then ask, "Hypothetically, if you were to go into the classroom, would you be able to see my child working on these goals and objectives?" If someone outside of your IEP team cannot answer "yes", then your goals and objectives are not measurable.


Many times after assessment information is discussed, the IEP committee will determine the child's placement. Goals and objectives are always written before placement is discussed. To ensure that the child is placed in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) the IEP committee must determine:

   * Which of these goals and objectives can best be met in the general
   * With the remaining goals and objectives that cannot be met in the
     general classroom the committee determines:
   * Which of these goals and objectives can best be met in the general
     classroom with modifications and support?

This line of inquiry continues until all placement options have been decided upon for all the goals and objectives. The committee must always start with the LRE and then work toward a more restrictive environment as necessary. IDEA is very clear that the IEP committee must always consider the general education classroom as the first option for students with disabilities.


This practice is particularly common at the end of the school year when educators are frantically trying to have IEP meetings for all the students who receive special education services. IEP meetings may be held one right after another. There is no problem with this practice as long as the members of the IEP team feel that all issues have been adequately discussed. Many times, however, parents feel rushed. It is important that all issues are adequately addressed before ending the IEP meeting. When the educators have not given themselves adequate time to address all relevant issues, request that the IEP team meet again at a more convenient time to further discuss your child's education.


It is very important to ask questions and lots of them. Educators use many terms and acronyms specific to special education. Parents may become confused when these terms are used during the IEP meeting. This can add to the frustration that a parent may already be feeling when they do not understand what is being said. It is important to ask what the terms or acronyms mean. Unless a parent has a background in special education they are not expected to know the terms and acronyms. Informed decisions cannot be made when parents do not understand what is being discussed.

The preceding is a short list of common mistakes parents make during the IEP meetings and some suggestions for avoiding these mistakes. At some point in time we have made all the mistakes listed above. We developed the habit of debriefing after every IEP meeting as to our performance during the meeting. We have gradually accumulated information and developed skills, and we continue to trust our intuition.

We have found that when parents apply the suggestions listed above while working with their IEP team, they will see the results. It is important that parents continue to accumulate information and develop skills relating to the IEP process. Do not be discouraged in your pursuit to obtain the supports and services your child needs. We found it helpful to break the process down into small steps. When you use the suggestions listed above you will be that much closer to obtaining your child's Free Appropriate Public Education. After using each suggestion listed, pat yourself on the back for becoming an even better advocate for your child.

To receive an electronic copy of /Parent to Parent/, or to submit an article, e-mail Mitch at mitch.dahmke@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:mitch.dahmke@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> or phone 502-897-1583, ext. 221.

       Additional Resource

Do you live in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas or Iowa? There's an online resource that can help you through the IEP process.

Special Education Parent's Advocacy Link , LLC (SEPAL) are advocates in the public schools for parent's who have children with special needs; they are also parents of children with disabilities. Marilyn McClure is a due process hearing panel member in Missouri and is an advocate for parents who have children in the public schools.

SEPAL can assist you in drafting a child complaint for submission to your state's education agency. Child complaints are used when a parent disagrees with what the school is/isn't doing for their child with an IEP. Often, parents can accomplish what otherwise would have necessitated a lengthy due process hearing. SEPAL attends IEP meetings at the school with the parent. SEPAL attends 504 accommodations meetings too. SEPAL has a network of advocates in Missouri and Kansas who can serve parents in those areas with their special education concerns including learning disabilities, autism, and other special needs.

Get the help you need at <http://www.SPECIALEDUCATIONRIGHTS.COM>.

The Diaper Dude Messenger Bag <>

Posted: 23 Mar 2009 08:00 AM PDT

I know, it says "Diaper Dude Messenger Bag", but let's face it, it will work for either sex. This is a great bag for any blind or visually impaired person that insures you don't have to carry four different bags when you leave the house.

For the guys, instead of carrying a frilly pink diaper bag and your laptop bag, just carry one bag that is more your style. After all, your kid doesn't know or care if there are Disney characters on the diaper bag, so you might as well carry something you don't mind to be seen with.

It has three large compartments with a Velcro closure. It has an insulated bottle holder, padded strap, a padded changing pad, interior key clip, cell phone holder and mesh padding. It has all of the features of your average diaper bag, but adds in a laptop compartment and guys, it doesn't force you to carry a pink bag. It doesn't say what size laptop will fit, but the bag itself is 17 inches wide and 14 inches tall.

Click this link to purchase the Diaper Dude Messenger Bag from ThinkGeek <>.

The Slik-Stik Walking Stick <>

Posted: 23 Mar 2009 07:41 AM PDT

Here's a nice update to the classic boring walking stick. It adds a few extra features that make using a walking stick far more convenient. The big perk being that the stick is housed with LED lights, making walking at night a lot easier to do and definitely a lot safer. Even better is that the LED lights shine in two different directions, one shines up and ahead while the other down at your feet, making it less likely you'll stumble over any unseen objects.

The Slik-Stik walking stick has additional features such as having a built-in magnet for picking up items. It also has a wrist strap to make sure you don't drop the cane itself, there is also a rubberized hand grip with a non-slip coating to prevent dropping. The cane has a four position stem that will adjust to the height that is most comfortable for you. It also folds up to make it easier to store when not in use. To power the lights you can either plug it in or wind it up for a slightly more eco-friendly approach.

Click this link to purchase The Slik-Stik Walking Stick <>.

Vacuum & Cleaning Tips: What to Clean With Your Vacuum <>

Posted: 23 Mar 2009 07:12 AM PDT

With the popularity of disposable dusting cloths and quick cleaning tools, it's easy to forget that a vacuum has a lot of cleaning potential. Most vacuum types such as canister models or uprights that have hoses and attachments, are designed for cleaning more than floors and carpets. With efficient suction and convenient accessories, a vacuum can shorten the cleaning time. As opposed to merely sweeping or wiping, when you use a vacuum for certain cleaning tasks, you are removing the dust and allergens rather than just moving them around the room.

   * Inside Cabinets & Drawers: Vacuum to remove dust, crumbs or lint.
     A vacuum crevice tool works great to clean those forgotten areas
     behind turntables, or in between cabinet units. Remove dirt from
     your range's storage drawer.
   * Cutlery Drawer: The cutlery or kitchen tool drawer is a magnet for
     crumbs. When there's not enough time for a thorough cleaning,
     remove handfuls of utensils and vacuum the drawer.
   * Library & Books: Vacuum dusting books or piles of magazines is
     more effective than wiping with a cloth. It's also much quicker.
   * Stairs: Debris seems to gravitate in the corners of stair threads
     and behind staircases.
   * Closets: Dust, sand and gravel gathers in closets especially
     around shoes and boots.
   * Pillows: You can either vacuum a pillow to remove dust mites and
     skin flakes, or place a pillow inside a large plastic bag and
     while holding the bag slightly closed, gently remove the air with
     the vacuum hose. Then re-fluff your pillow outside or where the
     air is cleaner.
   * Mattresses: Mattresses and box springs accumulate dead skin, hair,
     dust and dust mites. Vacuum regularly to reduce allergens and keep
     your mattress clean.
   * Freshen a Room: To remove airborne dust/allergens and freshen the
     air in a room, remove the hose and leave the vacuum on for 10-15
     minutes in a closed room. It will return cleaner air to the room
     but use caution to not leave your vacuum on for extended periods.
     This is a good way to contain or reduce disturbed dust while
     spring cleaning a room.
   * Vehicles: Vacuum clean the upholstery, carpets and floors of
     vehicles, trailers and boats. Note: Use only a wet/dry vacuum if
     debris is extensive or the area is damp or wet.
   * Draperies & Valances: A lot of dust will accumulate especially on
     the top of curtain headers and valances. Use the hose and wand
     with a dusting attachment. Some vacuums have a delicate suction
     feature that is gentler for vacuuming the length of draperies.
   * Walls: Walls should first be vacuumed before washing or painting
     to remove loose dust which will be spread with a washing cloth.
     Vacuum dusting is ideal for cleaning wood walls and paneling,
     especially before applying a wood cleaner or polish.
   * Hall or Wall Mirrors: Vacuum dusting eliminates the dust that
     would be smeared as you clean with glass cleaner. Use only a very
     soft dusting brush on mirrors or glass surfaces.
   * Ceiling Fans & Light Fixtures: Along with ornate lighting
     fixtures, ceiling fans just seem to attract dust. Use a soft brush
     attachment and vacuum fan blades and housing.
   * Lamp Shades: These are often overlooked when cleaning, but lamp
     shades have crevices that are best cleaned with a vacuum.
   * Garbage Receptacles: Remove crumbs and dirt easily from the bottom
     of trash or recycle bins.
   * Humidifiers & Air Cleaners: Periodically vacuum the air intake and
     diffuser where air returns to the room, as dust tends to collect
     in these areas. Air cleaners with built-in ionizers tend to
     accumulate dust at a more rapid pace.
   * Runners & Area Rugs: Use care when vacuuming small runners and
     mats. Avoid vacuuming fringes or carpet corners.
   * Refrigerator Coils: Vacuuming exposed coils behind your
     refrigerator will reduce energy costs and make your appliance work
     more efficiently.
   * Routine Dusting: Vacuum dusting removes the dust and provides a
     better cleaning than wiping.
   * Painting or Staining Projects: For best finishing results, always
     vacuum wood items to remove minute sawdust, steel wool fibers or
     other particles, before you stain or paint.
   * Steaming or Cleaning a Carpet: Always vacuum the carpet before
     cleaning with a carpet steamer to remove particles, gravel and
     other debris. It also helps to lift dirt to the surface. Vacuum
     after the cleaning to fluff and raise rug fibers.

Article Source: <>

Cool Uses for Shaving Cream <>

Posted: 23 Mar 2009 06:14 AM PDT

Shaving cream has so many uses, besides just leaving your face or legs smooth or silky. And it happens to be relatively inexpensive. Do you have a stash of shaving cream that you need to find uses for? Well I've got some terrific ideas that are bound to surprise you, and leave your home smelling great at the same time.

   * Kids Crafts: Shaving cream can be used as finger paint for
     children. Just spray it right onto the table and let them have
     fun. Use as is, or add a few drops of food coloring for a nice
     colored tint. Plus, clean up is easy. Just wipe it up and it
     leaves your table surface clean when the fun is over.
   * Cleaning the Bathroom: You can clean your mirrors with shaving
     cream, and it will keep them fog free for a couple of weeks, and
     no, it doesn't leave any streaks behind. In fact, it can have the
     same effect on shower doors and chrome fixtures. Leave them streak
     free and fog free. Instead of using expensive soaps to clean oils
     and dirt from your hands, use shaving cream. It smells good, and
     leaves skin soft and clean.
   * General Cleaning: Shaving cream is an excellent staple for your
     cleaning supplies. It can help remove stains when you apply
     directly and rub in. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes for
     maximum results. Carpet stains, furniture and laundry, have never
     seen a stain fighter like this before.
   * Removing Paint: Painting walls in your home? Shaving cream can
     help remove paint from your skin and hands.
   * Stop Ants: Spray in crevices to prevent ants or spray in their
     path to stop them. Let set till it disappears on its own.
   * Other Odd, but Practical Uses: Shaving cream can help break in a
     new baseball mitt. Got a squeaky door? Use shaving cream around
     the joint to lubricate it. It should slide or open easily and

Better Strokes: How to Survive Shaving (for Men) <>

Posted: 23 Mar 2009 06:12 AM PDT

Let's face it: no one knows your face as well as you do. You know how your skin feels after an hour exposed to a cold, winter wind. You've "explored" your nose inside and out and found it to be super-sensitive. You've cupped your chin in your hands, lent an ear. Why you've probably burnt, bit, chewed on and puckered your lips.

So why are you approaching your first shave with a gut-full of apprehension? Is it the thought of dragging a highly-honed piece of steel across your face--that oddly-angled, dimpled, sensitive, wonderful face of yours-- that's making you edgy?

Relax. Millions of men shave every morning. Most of us perform this ritual without so much as a second thought. In time, and with practice, you will too.

Here are some simple tips to help you prepare for your first shave.

   * *Tools of the trade:* To shave, you'll need a razor and lather.
     Razors are easy to come by: you can buy cheap disposable razors by
     the bag-full at any grocery store or pharmacy. Disposable razors
     are just that: you use the razor until the blade grows dull and
     then toss it in the garbage. For a little more money, you can buy
     a razor that uses replaceable cartridges. The cartridge houses the
     razor blades (most razors have dual-blades). When the blades grow
     dull, you pop the used cartridge from the handle and pop-on a
     clean, new cartridge.

     Of course, you can bypass this entire discussion by opting to use
     an electric razor. Why buzz your bristles? Electric razors are
     easy to use. Several built in shaving "heads" do the work of the
     dual-blade razor. You simply glide the electric razor over your
     beard until it's neatly trimmed. And with many electrics getting
     their juice from recharageable batteries these days, you and your
     razor aren't tied to a power outlet.

     There are downsides to going electric. The heads have to be
     cleaned on a regular basis. Some men claim you can't get as close
     a shave with an electric razor as with a blade. In the end, it's a
     matter of preference. Experiment until you find the razor that's
     just right for you.

   * *Cut to the chase:* Nicks and cuts are par for the course. There's
     not a man alive who hasn't experienced a nick or cut during his
     shaving career. Some men even wear their cuts as badges of honor:
     proof positive that they've gone to battle with the blade and
     lived to tell about it. When these small cuts happen, wash the
     area with soapy water. To help stop the bleeding, cover the cut or
     nick with a small corner of toilet-paper or tissue. If you're
     really concerned about infection, apply a little daub of
     antibiotic creme to the cut.

   * *Prepare your face:* You'll reduce the risk of cutting yourself
     and make the whole process of shaving easier if you start with a
     wet beard. This helps soften the whiskers which in turn makes it
     easier for the razor blade to do its work. Many men wait to shave
     until after they shower--the water and steam from their bath
     soften the whiskers. Some of us shave in the shower. Not only does
     the steam make for a softer blade, but clean-up is a breeze. (Of
     course, you don't want to get water anywhere near an electric
     razor: if you'll be using an electric razor, start with a dry face).

   * *Work yourself into a lather:* Unless you're using an electric
     razor, you now need to lather up. There are many, many varieties
     of shaving cream to choose from. Some creams come in aersol cans.
     Others in squeeze tubes. You might even find dry powders that
     become a cream when you add water. Whichever kind of cream you
     choose, apply the cream to your face in a circular motion. Try
     applying the cream in upward strokes (from your neck toward your
     nose). This will help get your whiskers to stand up, resulting in
     a closer shave.

   * *A close shave:* You've reached the moment of truth. Before you
     make the first stroke, remember to shave down toward your heart
     rather than up against the grain. Shaving up is a lot harder on
     your beard and skin, and will irritate your face. Using your free
     hand, feel along your beard nose-side of your left ear. You're
     trying to determine where you want to begin the first stroke. If
     you prefer short side-burns, start the stroke at a point more
     toward the top of your ear. If you like longer side-burns, start
     at ear-lobe level. If you want a pair of mutton chops (very long
     side-burns) start your stroke about two inches nose-side of your
     ear and shave straight down toward your jaw. As you make these
     first strokes, you can stop at the jaw-line, or continue down your
     neck to your collar-line. Either way, clean your razor frequently
     under running water. Shave one side of your face, then the other.
     Try to level up your side-burns by feeling out from the ear.
     Continue shaving and cleaning the blade, working your way in
     toward your nose.

   * *Mustache without mistakes:* Now that you've approached the
     corners of your mouth, you have a decision to make: Do I want a
     mustache or do I want a clean upper lip? If you choose to keep
     your mustache, then you can begin shaving your neck, shaving down
     from the jaw-line. If you decide to shave your mustache, clean the
     whiskers away from the upper lip.

   * *By the hair of your chinny, chin, chin:* The chin--with its
     curves and jutting point--can cause you pause. Go slow here and
     use small strokes until you've got your chin as smooth as a baby's

   * *Splash and dash*: Give your face the once over feeling for any
     any missed whiskers, and touch up as needed. Now splash your face
     with cold water and/or aftershave to close the pores.

Congratulations--you've survived your first shave. Over time you'll develop your own routine, short-cuts and secrets for getting just the right shave for your special, one-of-a-kind face.

       How to Prevent Razor Burn

There's nothing quite as frustrating as cleaning up with a close shave, only to suffer from razor burn (common skin irritation that occurs after shaving).

There are ways to combat this unsightly and uncomfortable condition. By following the steps below, you can minimize the effects of razor burn and shaving-related skin irritation.

  1. Before shaving, gently scrub your face with a loofah or facial
     scrub lotion. This scrub helps remove dead skin and bring out
     ingrown hairs and reduces razor burn rashes.

  2. Shave after taking a shower or after washing your face in warm
     water. Warm water and steam help soften skin and facial hair. Wait
     about 20 minutes after getting up before shaving, as this will
     allow bodily fluids that have welled in your face during the night
     to disperse. Also, it's a good idea to shave after exercising
     rather than before so that the sweat doesn't irritate the
     freshly-shaved skin.

  3. Use new, sharp razor blades, and be sure to discard them before
     they become blunt. If using an electric shaver, be sure to clean
     the blades regularly and to keep them free of hairs.

  4. Wet the skin and lather the entire area to be shaved with a
     quality shaving cream or gel. Make sure you've let the cream or
     gel sit on the skin for a few minutes before shaving; this will
     increase the softness of the facial hair and will reduce the skin
     irritation. It's important to use a cream or gel specifically
     designed for shaving, as ordinary soap will dry out skin and
     increase the likelihood of irritation.

  5. Shave with the grain of the hair in short, deliberate strokes.
     Shaving against the grain increases the odds of ingrown hairs,
     rritation, and inflamed skin. Long strokes often cause one to
     press down too hard on the skin, increasing razor contact and
     making razor burn more likely.

  6. Rinse the blade after each stroke. If the razor is full of
     whiskers, it won't get a close shave, and irritation will be more

  7. Rinse your blade under hot water before you begin to shave and
     after every few swipes. This removes the accumulated shaving
     cream, whiskers, and skin. For a really close shave, remoisten the
     section you just shaved, by spreading a thin layer of lather from
     another area of your face, and then swiping that area again. Keep
     everything moist.

  8. Wash your face well in cold water after you've completed shaving
     to remove all traces of shaving cream or foam. This helps close
     pores and lessen skin irritation.

  9. Apply a facial moisturizer or aftershave lotion to help keep the
     skin soft and reduce the presence of razor burn. Various skin
     types respond differently to the plethora of gels, lotions,
     ointments, balms, and aftershave treatments available. Research
     the different aftershave applications to find the alternative that
     best matches your skin type.

Razor burn can be easily prevented if the very last strokes on your face with the razor are with the grain, not against it. In other words, you can shave as instructed above AND in any direction to get a close shave, but be sure that the very last strokes on your face are with the grain of your beard (typically a top-to-bottom stroke). Reason: The strokes of the razor blade actually changes the way your pores will grow the new hair. As such, you want to be sure to "reset" the grain of your beard by ensuring the last strokes are with the grain, or top to bottom. Works like a charm.

If razor burn persists when using a manual razor, consider getting an electric shaver with a built-in gel dispenser. The gel helps lubricate your face while shaving and can reduce friction, thus reducing the chance of razor burn.

Blades last much longer than most people think. The apparent dulling of the blade is due to the formation of microscopic "teeth" on the edge, made up of mineral crystals from the water. These drag against the skin, causing the blade to grab, and producing cuts and much of the razor burn. You can avoid this by (a) always rinsing the blade in cold water, never hot, and (b) dipping it in rubbing alcohol after the final rinse. The alcohol will displace the water and the minerals in it, and evaporate without leaving residue. Store the razor with the blade edges upward.

Avoid passing your razor over the same area of your face numerous times. Even though you desire the closest shave and smoothest face, each pass of the razor removes (and therefore irritates) small layers of skin.

Shaving in the shower or bathtub helps to reduce razor burn. Your skin stays moist, making shaving easier.

Be careful when working with the blades. Don't test the sharpness with your fingertips. If you do get cut, make sure you clean and treat the wound appropriately. If it becomes infected, you may experience problems in the future, such as scarring.

       Shave Saver

When ever my electric razor runs out of charge I have to resort to a manual wet shave. The only way I know to see if the razor is sharp is to drag it across my face and see if I feel a tearing sensation. Well there is now a technical solution to my painful problem, the Shave Saver Digital Shave Counter.

The Shave Saver Digital Shave Counter does exactly what it says, it counts how many times you've used your razor so you know when it's time to trash it and replace the head. You decide how many times you can shave before the razor dulls. When it's ready for the trash, push the "set" button and clip on a new shaving head.

The Shave Saver will count each time you shave and when it reaches the desired number of shaves, it sounds an alarm which tells you that it's time to trash the current blade.

The Shave Saver costs $19.99 and comes complete with a "Spacious Canvas Travel Bag" and a month's supply of shaving gel.

Click this link to visit the Shave Saver website to view the advertisement and to order <>.

       Groom Mate Nose & Ear Hair Trimmer

I've tried a number of battery-operated nose hair trimmers hoping one of them would last, be easy to clean, and remain sharp. Every one of them failed.

This stainless steel trimmer is simplicity itself! No whirring motors, wimpy foil blades, batteries or delicate electronics. It costs a little more than some electric models but works elegantly and reliably. I also like the fact it is so compact I can sanitize the entire unit in the occasional alcohol bath. I always thought trimmers had to work at high speed to deliver a comfortable and painless cut. With this device, you simply stick the unit an 1/8-inch up your nose and rotate the shaft back and forth. The first time I used it I realized I had more control. Because it works so well, isn't a hassle to use and is so easy to clean, I've adopted an early strike policy. After more than six months of regular use, I haven't noticed any dulling. Regardless, the manufacturer guarantees it for life.

Click this link to purchase the Groom Mate Nose & Ear Hair Trimmer (Platinum XL model) from <>.

       Shave your Head: VROOM

Shaved heads are the new trend with celebrities in sports, television and screen performers. Now you can join the craze with the HeadBlade.

The HeadBlade Sport comes standard with wheels AND triple blade technology. Put this thing on your rock and let it roll. Comes with extra adaptor for standard blades from Gillette and Schick. A free sample of HeadSlick shaving cream included in packaging.

Click this link to purchase the HeadBlade Sport from <>.

       Razorba War Hammer

So you're pretty cool and think that it is the back hair that turns on the ladies? Think again, dude. It is the 21st century and women prefer clean shaven guys. The Razorba War Hammer Back Hair Shaver can help you out in the shaving department minus the pain, embarrassment and expense of waxing, or laser hair removal. It can be used once a month and is compatible with some Gillette razor models for the closest shave possible.

Be victorious in the war against back hair. The Razorba War Hammer features a new Super Shock Solid Core design, new razor grabbing technology, Hamr Grip II, improved ergonomics and larger head. The Hamr Grip II has triple the flexibility and four times the strength of the Razorba Classic. The War Hammer is the top of the top model and supports many more razors including the Gillette Fusion, Phantom and most Atras.

Click this link to visit the product page for the Razorba War Hammer: <>.

You are subscribed to email updates from Fred's Head <> To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now <>. Email delivery powered by Google Inbox too full? (feed) <> Subscribe <> to the feed version of Fred's Head in a feed reader. If you prefer to unsubscribe via postal mail, write to: Fred's Head, c/o Google, 20 W Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610

To unsubscribe, please send a blank email to
with unsubscribe in the subject line.
To access the archives, please visit:


Other related posts: