A shaving brush is the key to protection of the face from wet shave razors.
Wet shavers spend a great deal of time talking about and testing wet shaving equipment. The razor is valuable, no doubt. The stropping strap is critical for keeping edges in shape. A shaving cup makes it easier to lather up the soap. But a great shave brush might be the one item that can make the biggest difference between a great wet shave and a horrifying wet shave.
Shaving brushes have been around since the 1700s, Europeans began using them as part of their men’s shaving routine, not only to get the best shave, but to express themselves with their choice of a multitude of styles and materials used to craft the handles. Brushes for the elite were made from badger hair, and brushes for the masses were made from boar’s hair. Today, shaving brushes are manufactured from synthetics, too. Badger hair, however, still is considered the best brush material because it’s softer, holds soap and water better, and creates a richer lather.
Softness Counts When It Comes to Shaving Brushes
Soft shaving brushes feel great on the skin of a man’s face, and are less likely to irritate the skin as you use circular motions to lather up the soap on your face. The circular motions on your face also help mildly exfoliate the skin, which is good for skin health and wards off skin problems. Men with sensitive skin can do the lathering in a bowl, but it still feels better to use a soft brush.
Fine Shaving Brushes Soak Up Soap and Water
Shave brushes with the finest hairs hold more soap and water, both because there are more hairs in the handle, and because the qualities of the hair tend to be such that more liquid gets absorbed. Badger hair, for example, is a finer hair than boar’s hair, but it holds more water per hair proportionally. You might be tempted to think a dense forest of badger hair doesn’t leave as much room for water as a less dense boar’s hair brush.
Richer Lather = Better Shave
One of the biggest challenges of men’s shaving—especially the wet shaving variety—is protecting the face from the blade. The thicker the cream or lather, the less likely the blade is to irritate the face, because a richer lather 1) conditions the skin and makes it more slippery, 2) softens the hair so it’s not as hard to cut with the razor, and 3) makes it easier to draw the blade across the face, “floating” the edge of the blade above the skin, so you are less likely to slip and nick yourself.
A fine-bristle shaving brush creates an ultra-rich lather that does all these things, giving you a better shave.
A Good Shaving Brush Makes the Difference
Many different shave brushes are available for inclusion in your men’s skin care process, with options in material, style and quality. If you can’t afford a high-dollar brush for your men’s skin care routine, no biggie. Some say wet shaving with hand-drawn lather from a brush of any quality gives you a better shave than any other men’s shaving method.