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Choosing a Shaving Brush

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HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT SHAVING BRUSH?

A shaving brush is used to create proper lather from real shaving soap and to apply the lather all over the area, lifting the hairs at the same time.

Your first shaving brush doesn't need to be the fanciest or most expensive.

We recommend starting with wet shaving with a boar bristle brush (costing less than twenty euros), which is a great way to enter the world of more enjoyable shaving. With such a brush, you can easily whip up proper shaving lather. After using a boar bristle brush, the user also learns what kind of brush they want next; softer, larger/smaller, etc.

Badger hair brushes are the most popular due to their excellent water absorption capacity, which makes it easy to create good lather. Badger hair brushes come in different coarseness levels. The more expensive the brush, the softer the tips. A Silvertip with soft tips feels like velvet against the cheek. The firmness of the brush depends on how long the bristle part is.

Boar bristle brushes, due to their affordable price, are an easy way to get started with wet shaving. The bristle is coarser but is at its best after about 30 uses, when the bristle tips have split and thus softened. Initially, the brush may have a "wet dog" smell, which goes away with use or by washing the brush a few times with dog shampoo or regular shampoo.

Brushes made from horse hair are of medium coarseness. The bristles are collected during the grooming of horses without harming the animals.

As an alternative to animal-based shaving brushes, there are super soft synthetic brushes. They do not need to be soaked before lathering but a simple wetting is sufficient.

Usage:

  1. Soak the brush in hot tap water for a few minutes before use so the bristles can absorb the water.
  2. Gently shake off the excess water and load the brush with soap by rotating the brush over the soap for about 20-30 seconds.
  3. Whip the soap into lather for about a minute in a bowl.
  4. Apply the lather to the area to be shaved with back-and-forth brushing motions until lather covers the entire area.

After use, rinse the brush, shake off most of the water with a few vigorous shakes, and then place the brush in a stand to dry with the bristles down.

Here are some examples and more brushes can be found here: Shaving Brushes

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