You can be using the finest shaving soap; but if you have a poor brush you will not get a decent lather. The lower grade stiffer brushes will gouge out too much soap and not mix with the water. A softer brush produces a much denser lather. For the cooks, it is like trying to beat eggs or make a sauce with a spoon instead of a whisk.
Types[edit | edit source]
Generally you will find brushes sold as:
(keep in mind that different companies have different names on the various grades of their brushes)
- Bristle, Pure Bristle, Boar or other similar terms
- These are made from hog bristle and are generally harder and stiffer than Badger.
- Generally, the Boar brushes are less expensive. Some people prefer the stiffness from these brushes, others prefer the softer badgers. [reference needed]
- Pure Badger
- The lowest grade of badger bristle brush, These are the stiffer and more scratchy feeling in the Badger family of brushes.
- Best badger
- Softer and more luxurious feeling than the Pure Badger, probably the best results-to-cost choice.
- Silver-tip Badger
- The best. The lather as compared to finest badger is better. But, they are usually much more expensive. Usually a three band brush
- Non-standard luxury Grades
- Finest Silver-Tip( Rooney), High mountain white(Plisson), Manchurian and Super (Simpson) are some of the manufacturers name for these brushes made of rare and expensive badger hair. Cut from a very small piece of the animal. Usually parts of the neck and the upper back. Very often in a 2-band version.
Find a shop that has all choices and learn how they feel. Check the inner bristles; some brushes have quality on the outside, crap on the inside.
Here is an article that reveals some simple factors that help determine the performance of your brush. Brush Observations
A short brush comparison for beginners[edit | edit source]
There are many brush options on the market and they are available at many different prices. In this section we will go over some very basic information on brushes. The three basic brush bristles are made of badger hair, boar hair and synthetics. Unfortunately I only have seven different brushes (missing the synthetics e.g.), but I'll do my best to share information on what I have thus far and explain why they are different.
Please, notice that everything mentioned in this text is not set in stone. We are human beings and our needs, habits, personal interests and many other things are so individual from each of us that you should use your learning abilities and see what works best for you.
Prior to a brush's first use, I wash it using a normal shampoo and hair conditioner the same way I do with my hair. It softens the bristles a little bit, and the brush starts to work better although this is not mandatory with every brush. I like to do everything I can to obtain the most luxurious feel from my brush.
Photo sections and brush conditions explanation chart
- Dry = All brushes are dry and taken from the drip stands.
- 5 min soak = All brushes have soaked in tap hot water for 5 minutes and the extra water is squeezed out of the bristles. No extra shaking was performed in order to simulate where you might start to whip the soap or cream as in step 4 of the Illustrated quide to making basic soap lather.
- Lather soak = All three brushes have made a lather
- Post bloom = All brushes have been shaken vigorously and are ready to go to drip stands to wait for another day. All brushes are as they would be after shaving.
- Bloom upper = Upper pictures of post bloom
1. Dry 1. From left to right: Kent BK4, Edwin Jagger black horn handle silvertip and Edwin Jagger super badger. EJ silvertip is bulb-shaped and EJ super badger is fan-shaped and the Kent BK4 is in between these two. EJ silvertip is the densest and stiffest of these three and yet gives the most luxurious feeling. EJ super badger and Kent BK4 spread the bristles much wider than silvertip partly due to the fan shape. The bristle height is an important characteristic that gives a brush a stiff or floppy feeling. Bristle quality is also important, but it is hard to show online in pictures.
2. Dry 2. From left to right: Omega 6191 pure badger and Tweezerman pure badger. Here is a good example of how two brushes can give totally different feelings. Notice: size, bristle height and color, handle shape and height. Despite the higher bristles of the Omega model being closer to a fan shape it gives a much more scrubby feel during lathering. I was surprised at how stiff the Omega's bristles were when I first tried this brush.
3. Dry 3 From left to right: Vintage boar brush and famous Chinese Cheapie. I got that vintage boar brush from my old uncle and it is some sort of heirloom for me. I have used it couple of times successfully, but like I said earlier: I prefer a top notch luxurious feeling, and boar hair brushes do not give it to me. Anyway, it works but does not hold enough water for my liking. I can make a decent lather with this but it requires much more work. Chinese cheapie is a freaking joke and included in here just to make you laugh. It costs 0,85€/$1 and it was a "must" try. It says on the handle that is made of pure bristles and I think it was made with broom bristles or alligator nose hairs. Vintage brushes like this need much more work to get a lather. One area where this CC is good is when traveling. If I fly to another country I don't want to take my most expensive brush with me, so there are no worries if someone steals it or if I lose it.
TonyJ 13:17, 18 January 2009 (UTC)