SHAVING BRUSH 101: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SHAVE BRUSHES
As a staple tool in every wet shaving kit, shave brushes have become indispensable because of their sturdy and user-friendly design. In fact, the classic shave brush has been in use for centuries because of its consistency in helping men achieve a flawlessly smooth shave.
While most shave brushes are commonly used with the double edge safety razor or the straight razor, it also works well with a cartridge razor, making it a versatile tool. Indeed, the shave brush can meet the various demands of men when it comes to locking down that perfect shave.
Shave Brush: A Status Symbol in the Earlier Centuries
During the 18th century, the materials used for the handles of shave brushes include porcelain, tortoise shell, ivory, gold and crystal. While taking regular trips to the barber shop was the best way to get an outstanding shave, the extensive production of straight razors led to the independence of men when it comes to shaving. Soon enough, visits to the barber shop were replaced by short trips to the toilet. Aristocrats purchased the most expensive brushes, making these tools an important status symbol in the earlier years.
At present, shave brushes are not used as a status symbol anymore as these products are available at a range of prices. Instead of using high-end materials, wood and plastic are typically used for manufacturing brush handles. The lower-end products can be bought at a relatively low price, while those who are looking for high quality shave brushes that are made up of more durable materials should expect to pay as much as 300 USD.
Fuller, Richer Lather
Characterized by its long bristles and smooth handle, the traditional shave brush facilitates user comfort. Since the best brushes are made up of real badger hair, they have the capability to hold a significant amount of water. The primary goal of shave brushes is to infuse shaving cream or soap by absorbing warm water. The resulting lather is richer and thicker as compared to creating lather with the use of one’s bare hands, making shave brushes a crucial component of a man’s wet shaving routine.
Highly Efficient Exfoliating Properties
Poor grooming habits can greatly affect a man’s shaving experience. A shaving brush doesn’t only create a full and rich lather, but it also bids goodbye to dead skin cells as it gently exfoliates the skin. Because of this, the razor can effortlessly glide through the skin.
In addition to facilitating wet shaving, exfoliation is a regimen ideal for younger men who have acne-prone skin as it gets rid of clogged pores. Meanwhile, older men who need to exert extra effort to moisturize and hydrate their skin can greatly benefit from the exfoliating properties of shave brushes. Indeed, a shave brush is an essential tool for men of all ages.
Mitigates Shaving Discomfort
When one uses hands to lather shaving soaps and creams, individual hair strands can go towards opposite directions, or worse, lay flat on the skin. The main goal when shaving is to soften the hair while keeping the strands suspended away from the skin. With the use of a shave brush, men can successfully manipulate their hair strands and let the razor cut the strands with precision.
The size of the knot, also known as the base of the brush, greatly affects user experience. Knots that are small in size leave room for extra precision. However, they also require more strokes, which basically mean that using smaller brushes can be more time consuming. On the other hand, large knots can cover a wider area, making them more efficient. The only downside is, larger knots can waste a lot of shaving cream especially if the user lacks experience in manipulating the brush.
When choosing a knot size for the first time, it is always best to look for shave brushes that are at about 24 millimeters in diameter as it will enable inexperienced users to effectively handle the tool with precision.
Since first timers may not be able to get a good grip of how to properly use a shave brush even after several uses, it is ideal for them to invest in low to medium quality brushes so they can gain more experience and precision. This is mainly because high-grade brushes that are made up of real badger hair can be very delicate. Hence, users who do not know how to handle their brushes with efficiency have the tendency to unintentionally damage their brushes, especially since putting too much pressure can cause the tips to break apart.
Choosing the best shave brush can be a daunting experience since these products come in a variety of prices and sizes. However, it is important for men to explore on their options so they can readily compare the differences amongst brushes. As they continue their wet shaving journey, they would be able to identify the materials that work for them and those that don’t.