Vie Long Epsilon Horse Hair Shaving Brush

Discussion in 'The Brush' started by Shaver X, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    I have often read how Vie Long horse hair shaving brushes are halfway between a badger and a boar brush. The knot is supposed to have the backbone of a boar and the soft tips of a quality badger brush. That sounds like an ideal combination, so I surfed on over to Gifts & Care. They have an Epsilon line of brushes available, of which I had never heard before. The brushes have 27 mm diameter knots, which have 50-55 mm lofts depending on the model. I selected the Epsilon White Horse Hair Ivory Shaving Brush (Model GC13900/3), and measured the loft at 50 mm. I am pretty sure it is 50/50 mane/tail. The chubby knot is bulb-shaped, although some other Epsilon brushes have fan-shaped knots. Not only does this all white brush look really nice, all the other Epsilon horse brushes were sold out when I made the purchase. With shipping, the cost came to just a hair over $40.

    Holy cow Batman, what a great brush! The knot is very densely packed, much more so than my Dovo badger or Omega boar brushes. I took the brush out of its box and brushed it against my face to see if horse brushes really are "cloud soft" as others have claimed. It was like whacking my face with a porcupine or a cactus. Dang, that wasn't a good sign - or so I thought. I held the brush under the faucet and immediately noticed two things - the brush holds a ton of water and the knot tips immediately became cloud soft. Once thus transformed, the hair tips retained their softness thereafter. This holds true even when the knot dries out again. The backbone isn't quite as much as boar, and the tips are not quite as soft as silvertip badger. Even so, the brush still has lots of backbone and is easily as soft as the better grades of badger. It is an excellent combination at a reasonable price.

    Here is the box in which the brush arrived, and the brush after it had been used a few times:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Here is a view of brush top and the brush after is is lathered with The Soap Opera Himalaya shaving soap:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This brush is a lathering machine and makes short work of soaps. I tried face lathering with Kiss My Face shaving cream, and the brush lathered the daylights out of the cream. Wow, this is good! The super soft knot and abundant backbone make face lathering a dream. The brush seems to lather soaps best with lots of water, and face lathers best with a little less water. This is the best shaving brush I have ever used, and has now become the one I use daily. All the great things that are said about horse brushes turned out to be true.

    Here is the link:

    The Epsilon series might be a special for Gifts & Care, as I don't see these brushes on the Vie Long website.
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
    Zykris, Doryferon, NCoxSTL and 6 others like this.
  2. ironthinker

    ironthinker Well-Known Member

    I have a Vie-Long Horse Hair Shaving Brush - 13710, 50% mane , 50% tail.
    This is my favorite brush, so much so I ordered a duplicate back-up. I also have a 14080 Horse Hair, 35% mane, 65% tail that has no backbone.

    My guess either of our favorite Horse Hairs are winners. Or ask your retailer
    which Horse Hair of his stock has the best backbone. I don't think soft touch is a worry.
    Shaver X likes this.
  3. Bymainer

    Bymainer Active Member

    Love my horse hair brush- very soft
    Shaver X likes this.
  4. Mike Brown

    Mike Brown Well-Known Member

    I am so glad you like your new brush, it's a beauty! I have 6 horses now and have been eying the Epsilon line from Vie Long. I use a horse hair brush at least 3 days a week, they make quick work with any type of cream or soap---bowl-hand-face lathering!!!
    Bymainer and Shaver X like this.
  5. Epimetheus

    Epimetheus Well-Known Member

    Horsehair is good. I only have a Vie Long horsehair an a nondescript badger. The horsehair was a bit stiff the first few times then broke in nicely. It is a little stiffer than the badger. I prefer the extra stimulation on the skin. it also scrapes soap off the puck more quickly for a fuller lather.

    I continue trying the badger because many people say it is better but the evil hand keeps reaching unconsciously for the horsehair.
  6. NCoxSTL


    Long live the horse! I love both of mine, although the smaller 12601 is my favorite. Still plan to add a few more to the den.
  7. Doryferon

    Doryferon Well-Known Member

    It's good that this Horse worked for you.
    I have 3 Vie-Long Horse hair brushes but i don't think that a Horse hair is something between a Boar and a Silvertip.
  8. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    I just thought I would post an update. After over three and a half years, this brush has continued to be fantastic, so much so that it is the only brush I use unless travelling. I won't be purchasing another brush until this one wears out. Given that it does not shed at all and has proved to be very durable, that will be decades in the future, if ever.
    GatorJoe, brit and Zykris like this.
  9. Zykris

    Zykris Well-Known Member

    Glad to know it's given your great service after this many years.
    brit likes this.
  10. BigMark83

    BigMark83 [...........] this space intentionally left blank

    I'm glad some people like them. I can't get along with them. Blasted things tangle up on me.
    Shaver X and brit like this.
  11. kfbrady

    kfbrady Well-Known Member

    I just have one horse hair, a Vie-Long Peleon 12705. It is densely packed and very soft but I do find it a bit floppy.

    For an inexpensive $18 brush it lathers just fine but for me there is no comparison between it and a high quality (and admittedly much more expensive) badger.
  12. Shaver X

    Shaver X Well-Known Member

    I read the same thing posted by a number of people before buying my View Long. Perhaps it is due to the loft height? The Epsilon's have a shorter, broader loft than Vie Long's other horsehair brushes. They also have badger and synthetic brushes, most of which are reasonably priced.
    brit likes this.
  13. springwater

    springwater New Member

    I have the Vie Long with black horse hair on the handle. Will whip the lather very nice. I look to buy Epsilon in not to long.
    brit likes this.
  14. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    I have never had a brush tangle on me. Love my horse brush. This video shows how it works.

    Frijolero likes this.

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