The Brush: Basic Information Everyone Should Know

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by PLANofMAN, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. fishcrow

    fishcrow Birdman of TSD

    Ryan, great article very well presented. :signs107:
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  2. denovan

    denovan New Member

    Absolutely great post and answers the questions I asked on another Forum. I now must rethink my choices.

    As I said on the other site, I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure!!!!??
    BeShaved and PLANofMAN like this.
  3. Jen

    Jen New Member

    Thanks for all of this very helpful information!! Who knew there was so much into selecting a brush?! Lol! I may have missed this, but I was wondering, how long do these brushes generally last, or is there a certain amount of time that they need to be replaced?? Thanks so much!
    BeShaved and PLANofMAN like this.
  4. Neolithium

    Neolithium I am Canadian, eh

    Quality brushes can last decades if they're cared for in a decent manner. Worse comes to worse, you can always re-knot (Replace the brush hair) a favourite brush to bring new life into it. I tend to give mine a vinegar cleaning every 6 months to a year which gets rid of the soap buried deep in it; and after shaving I rinse the ever loving snot out of it, and dry it with a towel (Just basically try to lather the towel without soap and it'll help dry the bristles).

    Biggest thing to remember with brushes is that price does not come close to measuring quality.
    BeShaved, swarden43 and PLANofMAN like this.
  5. Jen

    Jen New Member

    Thank you so much!
    BeShaved likes this.
  6. Neolithium

    Neolithium I am Canadian, eh

    Always welcome! :)
  7. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    To expand on what Justin said, a quality badger brush, properly maintained and cared for, can last for 20-40 years. It's life can be extended beyond that by re-knotting it. I have heard of badger brushes lasting even longer. My grandfather's brush that he used when he was a barber was purchased in the 1930's and was still good in the 1990's. Unfortunately, it was lost when my Aunt and Uncle's house burned five years ago.:( Boar brushes can easily last up to 20 years, and theoretically, synthetic brushes should have an infinite lifespan.

    ...and I totally agree, high price is not a guarantee of high quality and low price is not a guarantee of low quality.
    BeShaved and Monkeylord like this.
  8. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    I wish someone would tell their Art of Shaving employees this. I overhead a customer asking how long one of their (AoS) brushes would last. Answer? Five years. I just shook my head and walked out.

    hmmm... Then again, maybe AoS brushes are not a quality brush?
    BeShaved likes this.
  9. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    The best brush in the world will go to pieces in 2-5 years or sooner if it is abused. Little to no cleaning, inadequate rinsing, rough use, and being left bristles down in a soap mug or not not allowed to dry properly between uses will all contribute to a sharp decline in brush performance, usually accompanied by heavy bristle loss.
    BeShaved likes this.
  10. Jen

    Jen New Member

    Great, thanks for the information! I will check out the bager brushes, sounds like they should last him for many years to come!
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  11. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    Each type of brush has it's own upsides and downsides and within the different types there is also brush shape, handle shape, loft, and density. There is the perfect brush out there for everyone, but sometimes it takes a few brushes to figure out which one is best for you.:) I will say that badger brushes are the Gold standard by which other brushes are measured. (that's a nice safe statement that shouldn't cause a boar brush owner uprising...I hope ;)).
    BeShaved, nascarfandan and Jen like this.
  12. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

  13. JRod22

    JRod22 Well-Known Member

    Wow tons of good info here. If only I enjoyed reading my school books as much as I enjoy reading through these threads.
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  14. Sodapopjones

    Sodapopjones Well-Known Member

    Well, the AoS in our area actually told me to throw away everything I owned, their stuff was soo much better, he didn't have any idea what a Simpsons, Plisson, Shavemac, was or what Trumpers, D. R. Harris, etc. was either and had only been wet-shaving for 7 months. The lady though was a member of another forum, she gave me the look and let him ramble on, needless to say I have never ventured back, besides the samples they gave me sucked lol.

    Also noting care, I think the worst thing for a brush in my experience is cream not soap, using too much cream and not having enough hydration in the mix causes excess stress on the hairs, they tangle, break and will cause shedding. This is more of a problem if you face lather creams.
    I also don't quite agree with "cleaning" or lack thereof being good or bad, I don't clean mine weekly, monthly by monthly or quarterly, they see a diluted vinegar bath and shampooing at least once a year, and otherwise a shampooing when I need to "pretty" them up.
  15. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Question for the experts.

    My brushes (all several decades-old boar, if it matters) dry hanging downward. Ever since I cleaned them after purchasing, I haven't bothered to rinse out excess lather. Is there a compelling reason I should do so? Does soap left to dry on bristles damage them?
    BeShaved likes this.
  16. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    I make no claim to be an expert, but everything I've read on the subject seems to imply that leaving soap in the core of a badger brush is one of the primary reasons for knot failure and shedding hairs. Beyond that, the soap clogs up the pits in badger hair that allow badger hair to retain water the way it does. I don't see why it would hurt boar brushes. (for that matter, I don't see why it would hurt badger brushes either.) It could be a superstition among wet shavers. I would venture to say that the buildup of soap causes hairs to become stiffer and more brittle, thus more likely to break.

    "Rinse your brush thoroughly to remove all of the soap or cream and leave it in an open area where it can completely dry, since mildew and soap scum will also deteriorate badger hairs and cause breakage."

    -Mike Sandoval

    Of course, he might have gotten some of that information from something I wrote.:ashamed001: Herein lie the dangers of internet research.
    BeShaved likes this.
  17. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Not sure what boar's hair ph level is, but shaving soaps/creams have high (8-10) ph levels.
    Which could damage the brush.
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  18. gorgo2

    gorgo2 geezerhood

    Good and plausible points all the way around, thanks to you both. My brushes have lasted this long...but I should start rinsing just in case.
  19. Doryferon

    Doryferon Well-Known Member

    Very useful informations and videos
    Much obliged guys !

    PLANofMAN likes this.
  20. Dr.Wybert

    Dr.Wybert Member

    man, now what kind of reason should i use to buy a new
    seriously good info. I had a brush that started to irritate my skin after a couple of months, must have had some mold or fungi in it.
    This was still in the Netherlands, and compared to Alberta, very high in humidity.
    So i ma sure that had something to do with it. The boar one i have now, i just cleansed with vinigar and water.
    It does feel softer, and seems to hold moisture better. The proraso soap i use leaves a thick film on everything, not sure if that's the same for other soaps.
    but that's my main reason to cleaning it.
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