How to Pick Out Shaving Brushes

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No one is quite sure when the shaving brush (as we know it today) came into its existence. Some think as late as the eighteenth century, whereas others look at paintings of barber shops from the 1600s and are sure they can see brushes in them. But, what we do know for sure is that in the Victorian era, owning your own shaving brush became a symbol of status, wealth, and autonomy. Men would carry around personalized badger-brushes, some even with golden or diamond studded handles. This may seem quite extraordinary for our era, but remember that many of our celebrities walk around with gold and diamonds in their teeth! For you, you need nothing so extravagant, simply the best tool for the best shave, and so this article is to help you understand the differences between different shaving brushes, and how to choose the right one for you.

What is a Shaving Brush?

Known as “badger brushes,” from the animal out of whose hair they are often made, typical shaving brushes consist of a packed ball of real or synthetic hair attached to a ceramic or metal grip. You might think that the quality of the brush itself comes from the quality of the hair, and this is right in a way, but perhaps not the way that you think. Synthetic hair, badger hair, and boar hair brushes tend to be similar in quality, although each has its strengths. But the most important thing to consider when looking for a brush is its “bristle load,” i.e. how many bristles the brush contains. There is a direct correlation between lather quality and bristle load, so that is definitely the factor most worth considering in terms of a quality shave. Badger’s hair will be the softest hair, which might be the best if you have sensitive skin or are looking for the most pleasing experience; otherwise, it comes down mostly to cost and look.

Cost

There is no doubt that a high-quality shaving brush could run you over a thousand dollars. But it need not, as there are plenty of perfectly acceptable brushes between fifty and five-hundred dollars. While you might find that shocking, perhaps thinking that cream and your fingers are more than enough, as they say, “the proof is in the pudding.” Once you have used a brush, and understand how important its lathering and exfoliating properties are, you will surprised that people don’t pay even more for them.

Don’t Forget the Stand!

A brush wouldn’t last long without the proper stand, as it would simply get damaged too easily. A stand keeps its bristles off the ground and allows it air dry through completely. Stands are cheaper than brushes, and can be as simple as one stretched piece of thin steel, or as complex as a glass orb worthy of a modern art museum. Again, it comes down to taste, though you should never skimp on long term benefits in the name of short term savings. Whatever you choose, when deciding between shaving brushes, always pick the one that provides the best shave for the best price.

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