Your Comprehensive Guide To Shaving Brushes
Do you swear by your current shaving routine, but still feel something is missing? That one element that could take your shave from good to great, but you can’t quite put your finger on it? If you don’t currently use a shaving brush, I can guarantee that’s what you’re looking for! It is the perfect addition to your favourite razor, shaving cream and lathering bowl. You’ll be shaving like a true gentleman.
Shaving brushes are what help to produce that perfect lather, which in turn lifts the beard and protects the skin, resulting in the softest and most comfortable shave you’ve ever experienced. There are a number of different types of shaving brushes to choose from, and this can typically cause confusion and therefore becomes a deterrent. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the world of shaving brushes.
Synthetic Fibre Brushes: Retains the least amount of water and is made from no animal products. These can potentially be the least expensive brushes available, along with Boar brushes, and are generally a good place to start if you are unsure of whether or not a natural hair shaving brush is for you. These brushes can retail for as low as $3, but the higher quality and more comfortable synthetic brushes can range from $40-$140. Perfect for anyone who prefers a vegan-friendly option, or is allergic to animal fibers.
MenEssentials suggests: Muhle Synthetic Silvertip Shaving Brush
Boar Hair: Certainly one of the most common types of shaving brushes. Sometimes dyed to match the banded look of badger brushes. Since boar brushes do not absorb water through the bristles like badger brushes do, boar brushes must be soaked for a few minutes prior to shaving. Boar bristles are generally quite stiff, but will become softer over time as the ends of the bristles split. Can also be referred to as “hog” brushes. (Price Range: $10-$20)
MenEssentials Suggests: Omega Boar Hair Professional Shaving Brush
Bristle and Badger Blend: Sometimes made from a mix of boar bristle and badger hair. Stiff hairs with low water retention. Slightly better quality than synthetic or boar bristle, and is therefore more expensive. (Price Range: $15-$20)
MenEssentials Suggests: Progress Vulfix No. 10 Bristle and Badger Shaving Brush
Horse Hair: Are not the most popular or common choice in shaving brushes, but are certainly worth considering when choosing a shaving brush. The hairs are taken from the mane and tail by simply grooming the horse, causing zero harm or discomfort to the animal. Horse hairs are soft, but stiff, and are more similar to boar than badger hair. ($20-$40)
MenEssentials Suggests: Vie-Long Horse Hair Shaving Brush
Pure Badger: Made from badger hair that come from any part of the badger’s body, these hairs can often be quite stiff and scratchy (but can actually be helpful to exfoliate the skin). Most readily available grade of hair, and is therefore quite inexpensive. (Price Range: $20-$40)
MenEssentials Suggests: Progress Vulfix Pure Badger Shaving Brush
Best Badger: Higher quality pure badger hair, with a higher hair density than a pure badger brush. These hairs are very soft with very good water retention. Has a softer feel and is less itchy than Pure Badger brushes. (Price Range $80-$120)
MenEssentials Suggests: Simpsons Commodore X2 Best Badger Shaving Brush
Super Badger: These hairs are softer and have a better water retention level than the lower hair grades. Taken from the back of the badger. Higher quality brushes require better care, and must be properly air dried and stored after each use. Super Badger brushes are a favourite among shavers, as it produces an incredibly high quality lather, yet is still not the most expensive brush option. (Price Range: $110-$130+)
MenEssentials Suggests: Simpsons Chubby CH1 Super Badger Shaving Brush
Silvertip Badger: The hair used for the fibres of these brushes is taken from the neck of the badger, and is the highest quality of hair available. These hairs are never colour treated and are kept in a natural, chemical-free state. (Price range: $80-$200+)
MenEssentials Suggests: Kent BLK8 Silvertip Badger Shaving Brush
With a better understanding of the difference between brush types, it’ll be much easier to choose the right shaving brush for you and your skin. Start with a less expensive option first to be sure you enjoy the process of lathering with a brush, and then move on to higher quality hair types.
Browse all of our shaving brushes here!