On the proper care and feeding of horn-rimmed glasses

I had no idea I was supposed to be treating my horn rimmed glasses with special care. Over time, my favorite pair developed a lovely patina, and moulded to fit me. Little did I know, I was letting them go to waste.

For years our Xeni has been discovering amazing glasses shop(s), places where they craft the most fantastical frames out of rare and precious unobtanium. Every time I am headed to LA I get a message like "FANCY FRAME SHOP, LETS GO!" but I've managed to cling to my doddering old time-y, round horn rimmed glasses.

I like how horn feels. I like how horn looks. Each pair has a distinct pattern, and texture, there is grain in the bone, and while artisans are able to bend and turn the bone into shapes that fit our faces, the bone will always be a natural, biologically created material and have a life of its own.

Because of this fact, I should have expected that care for the horn rims would be more than just "wear them." Over time sunlight, water, sweat, heat, and dry conditions will all take their toll on bone. My favorite pair had expanded and dried out enough times that the grain was pretty easy to feel and the glasses lost all their shine. Like all things, wearing them motorcycling added extra abuse -- 100s of hours inside a helmet did them no favors.

Wipe your horn rim glasses down with mineral oil or vitamin E oil once every 3 months or so. They will look like new. Then clean off the lenses. If you do this from the very start, your glasses will look new for a very long time. If you waited a long time to start taking regular care of your frames like I did, you'll still be surprised by the results.

Glasses that have been ignored for a long time can be polished and buffed out again. Try the shop where you bought them, they ought to be able to help.


(Image of Sammy Davis Jr. and his horn rims via Pinterest)