About shaving brushes

A few words about shaving brushes:
There are basically three main types of bristles in shaving brushes:
1. Badger hair
2. Boar bristles
3. Synthetic bristles/hair

In addition, there are also brushes made with horsehair. They are not as common, but I recommend trying one if you want a brush that is a little stiffer than badger hair, but not quite as stiff as bore bristles. They only use hair from the mane and tail of the horse, so no animals are harmed during the production.

The brushes that are considered best of all, are called “silvertip badger.” This is fur from the neck region of the badgers. These brushes are very good at holding good moisture and heat. They are also durable without being too rigid and makes a lot of foam. They are, however, quite costly. Therefore, I recommend starting with one of the cheaper qualities – so it becomes easier to compare the quality difference if and when you later upgrade to a “rolls royce” silvertip.

The varieties of badger hair comes in several grades, including “Best badger” and “Pure badger” and simply “Badger”. There is however no standardized grading system to shaving brushes, and different manufacturers may use different terminology.

Brushes with boar bristles are usually much stiffer than Badger brushes. I prefer to use my boar bristle when the beard starts to get a little length (over a week). Some feel the “badgers” are too soft, and want a brush that can “fight with the beard.” Then a boar brush a good choice.

Synthetic brushes can be almost as good as those of real Badger fur, but it varies. My synthetic brush from The Body Shop is far from this league. It doesn’t hold much water and does not create quite as good foam. It also has a tendency to “collapse” and become more like a paint brush than a shave brush, witch should spread out when put to the chin. The synthetic brushes from Mühle is however very good. They have created a type of synthetic fiber which they call “Syntetic Badger,” and they can be recommended. So Synthetic Badger or Horse hair brushes is a good option if you do not want to use fur.

In this picture, from left, a Horse hair, a Silvertip badger, one with Boar bristles, a Pure badger, and two with synthetic bristles.

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