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How to Choose and Care for Your Shaving Brush for Traditional Shaving

6 Dec 2019

You've just received a traditional shaving kit and inside there's this… hairy thing.

This little brush, whose bristles are often made of badger hair, is used for lathering your soap or shaving cream. In addition to producing your lather for shaving, this tool also helps you to properly spread it on your face before you start to go over your skin with the razor. Filled with water and a warm lather, a shaving brush makes traditional shaving extremely enjoyable and relaxing!
 

Care tips for a new shaving brush

If your shaving brush is new and made of natural hair (badger, horse, or boar), it's necessary to give it a good cleaning before using it. Like with all animal hair and fibres, if you don't clean it, there's a good chance you might smell like that animal the first few times you use it. Not very sexy. 

Use a (preferably) gentle shampoo and hot water. Rinse your brush thoroughly and repeat 2 to 3 times as needed. Then, let it air dry, ideally on a stand that directs the hair downwards. Your shaving brush is now ready to use, and any residual odour will quickly disappear!

How do you choose a shaving brush for traditional shaving?

Don't have a shaving brush yet but are interested in buying one? The first criterion to consider is the quality of the hair. Even though different brands may qualify their ranges with somewhat different names, there are three quality grades for the hair used in shaving brushes:

Best badger hair: Very good quality. The hair comes from the badger’s belly. These hairs are a little stiffer and excellent for gentle exfoliation. The shaving brushes with this hair are often machine-made.

Super badger hair: Excellent quality. The hair comes from the back of the badger and is soft and absorbent. The shaving brushes with this hair are generally made by hand, which explains the higher price.

Silver tip badger hair: The best grade! The hair comes from the badger’s neck and is the softest as well as the most absorbent hair. The shaving brushes with this hair are almost always made by hand in Europe, which, as you can see, has an impact on the price… 

The next criterion to consider is, of course, the aesthetic. Manufacturers understand this, so the prettiest shaving brushes are also the ones that are made with the costliest materials. Whatever you want, it exists!


 

 

Here are the steps to follow for using your shaving brush like a pro.

 

Soak

First of all, soak your shaving brush in hot water for a few minutes, dipping about 2⁄3 or 3⁄4 of the hair in a glass, mug, or any other container that you like. You're a free man, spoil yourself! 

Avoid soaking the handle! Next, remove the shaving brush from the container and wait for the water to stop streaming out of the bristles. When the shaving brush is just dripping droplets, gently shake it, and voilà! It's ready to use!

What temperature should the water be? Hot, but comfortable on your face is our best answer.

 

Lather up

Now that your shaving brush is reasonably wet, it's ready to produce a lather. Rub your shaving soap or shaving cream directly in its bowl using circular motions until you get a thick lather that will properly protect your face.

How long should you rub to get this type of lather? Long enough so that the lather that looks like whipped cream, which is about 1 minute. It will stick to your face better and protect you while you shave without leaking everywhere.

 

Shave

Spread the lather on your face with the shaving brush using circular motions. Reapply the lather each time you run the blade over your skin.

 

Rinse

Congratulations! You've done it! Once you're clean-shaven, generously rinse out your shaving brush with hot water while spreading the hairs a bit with your fingers in order to remove any soap residue that might be stuck in its bristles.


Let it dry

Gently shake your shaving brush and place it on a stand to dry with the hairs pointing downward. This will allow the maximum amount of water to drip out.

If your shaving brush is made of a synthetic material and a resin handle, this step is less important. Wooden or horn handles, on the other hand, will last longer if water is allowed to flow out of them easily while drying.

 

Regular care of your shaving brush

If your shaving brush is looking worn out, has shaggy hair, or no longer absorbs like it did when you first got it, it's time to give it a makeover.

You can clean your brush once again with a gentle shampoo, rinse it, and then let 2⁄3 of the hair soak for a few minutes in a solution of water and about 20% vinegar.

If you use dish detergent instead of shampoo, don’t forget that your shaving brush’s bristles will be dried out, so rinse them with a few drops of hair conditioner to make them supple once again!

You can also let it soak for a few hours in a water and vinegar solution that’s less concentrated before rinsing it thoroughly and washing it again with a gentle shampoo.

 

Ready to take the leap?
Discover our selection of quality shaving brushes in a variety of price ranges. 

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