GUIDE TO SHAVING BRUSHES
Well-groomed Europeans have known for hundreds of years that a shaving brush. is essential to obtaining a close shave.
With American's newfound fondness for the grooming arts, the popularity of shaving brushes is on the rise in the United States. Nowadays, more and more American men are finding the aesthetic and cultural benefits of using classic shaving tools. Let’s get you ready for shaving zen…
Types of Badger Brushes
Pure badger, or dark badger (standard) - the hair used here is derived from the stomach, shoulders, neck, and buttocks of the badger. This hair is usually very dark and it is coarser than other types of badger brush. Brushes made from this hair tend to be machine assembled, and they are the most affordable version of the badger shaving brush range.
Gray badger, standard, pure - this hair is taken from the tail and back of the badger. It is lighter, almost gray. Again, this version tends to be machine assembled.
Premium badger, finest, tapered, or best badger - this hair is taken from the back of the badger and the color band varies from light, to dark band, to light again. The tips of the hairs are thinner than the base and this makes them soft. This version is usually assembled by hand and is more expensive. It is thought to be best for light beards.
Silver tips/silver-tip badger, sometimes referred to as "super", (although that can mean it is slightly inferior to the silver-tip) - this type of brush uses only neck hair that lightens during winter, making it very expensive. It is white, with a small dark band. It is very soft and is suitable for men with skin conditions.
WHY SHAVING BRUSHES WORK
Shaving brushes improve the quality of every shave by:
Softening Skin: Brushes get underneath the beard, allowing shaving products to further penetrate and tenderize.
Raising Whiskers: While below the beard, the brush stands facial hair at attention, making it easier for the razor to remove it. Brushes also help to lift out stubborn ingrown hairs by acting as a light exfoliant. This is in direct contrast to shave cream application by hand, which tends to mat down facial hair.
Creating A Slick Barrier: The moistened brush, combined with shaving cream, creates an ultra-lubricated coat upon which a razor can glide. Consequently, less razor pressure is required to achieve a close shave.
The Lather: The warm and pleasant lather a brush creates is simply the cherry on top.
HOW TO USE A SHAVING BRUSH
Any shave, with or without a brush, should begin with a clean face, and skin that is warm and moist. Then:
• Wet the shaving brush with warm water and shake off any excess water.
• If using cream in a tube, place a small amount of shaving cream on the tip or center of the brush. If using a tub of cream or soap one should rotate the brush over the shaving cream or shaving soap.
• Lather cream onto face using a circular, scrubbing motion or an up and down “painting” motion depending on your preference. To make a richer lather, add more hot water to the brush. Be certain not to add too much water though, as it will create more of a thin, watery “film” instead of thick lather.
• Shave away, re-lathering areas with brush as needed.
Finish by rinsing face with cold water and applying a soothing post shave balm.
For a nice finish, end with a rose water toner or similar toner to tighten the pores. Tip: Keep your toner refrigerated until use for a more refreshing feeling.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE
• Rinse brush thoroughly with warm water and flick brush hairs to remove remaining water
• Place "bristles down" in a stand so water can move away from the base of the hairs.
• To avoid mildew or smell, avoid placing in a closed cupboard or bag.
Do not expose brush to any boiling water or tug or pull on the hairs as that will weaken the tool.
With proper care care a badger brush can provide several years of use