Shaving brushes can be considered the fundamentals in wet shaving. Which is the best shaving brush? There are different types of brushes you can choose from, but be careful to choose a quality one and not too cheap.
It is absolutely normal for a brush to lose hair in the beginning. Usually for the first 10-15 time, bad products can lose hair for months until they become unusable.
Before the first use, let the brush soak in water for a few hours to soften the bristles.
Brushes differ for many characteristics. Let’s see the main one.
Types of bristles
They have been used for centuries and according to many are the best choice, thanks to their softness and ability to retain water.
Pure badger: the most affordable in terms of cost, thus making them an excellent choice especially for those who are starting out. They generally last between two and three years and have a color that tends from black to gray.
Best badger: softer than the previous ones and retain water better. The color is light brown that fades towards the gray and can last several years if carefully preserved.
Super badger: another leap in quality compared to the previous ones and they are lighter in color with a sort of black strip towards the center and lighter tips.
Silver tip: considered the best shaving brush for its softness, durability and ability to retain water. Thanks to the care with which they are produced and the quality in terms of raw materials, they can last several years, but they have much higher costs.
Bristle brush: the bristles can be either pork or wild boar, with the latter more valuable, or even a mix of the two. The bristles are harder and thicker than those of the badger, which is an advantage when it comes to mounting very hard soaps. With time and usage, they tend to split and soften. These kind of brushes are definitely cheaper than badger ones, but it depends on their quality.
Horse brush: not very common, they are a cross between badger and wild boar regarding their characteristics. Their cost is not too high and you can find models with different ratios between a mix of horsehair/tail bristles.
Synthetic brush: in the last few years they have spread a lot in the market and new technology and research has improved greatly their quality. They are the perfect choice if you are vegan/vegetarian or anyway against animal cruelty. If you decide to buy a synthetic brush, whether for practical or ethical reasons, avoid the cheap nylon ones. They tend to scratch the skin and do not distribute the soap properly.
Material and shape of the handle
The handle of a shaving brush can be made of different materials, including plastic and bone, wood and metal. Don’t focus too much on the handle, but rather on the quality of bristles.
The only thing to consider in relation to the handle is the weight: those made of plastic or other synthetic materials are generally light. This, compared to the heaviness of handles made of bone or even wood, provides less comfort and manageability during use.
Even the diameter and length of brushes can vary from one model to another, but these are generally minimal differences that do not alter the use.
How to take care of the shaving brush
Shaving brushes do not need too much care but there are a couple of things to consider. These will help preserve and increase their lifespan significantly.
Before first usage: soak it in warm water, but not too hot, for one night before first use in order to hydrate the bristles well and remove any dirt.
Daily cleaning: it is sufficient to rinse the brush with warm water at the end of each use. Then, gently squeeze the bristles without contorting them, shake the brush to remove other drops and with a towel give another gentle squeeze to the bristles.
You could also finish air drying the bristles .
Periodic cleaning: it must be carried out to remove any residual limestone and disinfect the brush, you can use vinegar. It is recommendable to use light vinegars like white wine vinegar. Mix 1 part of vinegar with 3 parts of water in a bowl, dip the bristles until the knot of the brush and let it soak for some hours. Once this is done, rinse with plenty of warm water and then use a gentle shampoo to wash the bristles. Your brush will be like new and last much more.