The Best Shaving Brush:
The Secret to that Old School Shave
So you want to shave like a World War II soldier, a Clint Eastwood character or James Bond? Wet shaving is coming back in a big way and a vital part of a proper wet shave is the shaving brush. Used with your favorite shaving soap and razor, a good shaving brush will hold water well and allow you to apply a thick, creamy lather to your face. Quality lather is a crucial first step in a close, satisfying shave.
Shaving brush handles are made of several different materials including chrome, wood and rubber. The bristles, or knot, can also be of different origins, like horse hair, badger hair, boar bristles or synthetic materials. The list below of the best shaving brushes on the market will help you decide which of these many choices is perfect for you.
Badger hair is widely considered the best material for shaving brushes. The feeling of using a badger hair brush can really only be described as luxurious. Badger hair holds water well and, with a good quality shaving soap, creates a nice, thick lather. Wool fat soaps perform particularly well with badger hair. The hair provides a gentle exfoliation as you apply lather and lifts your beard bristles, preparing your face for the razor.
With a beautiful wooden handle and an equally attractive price, this brush would make a great purchase for both wet shave newbies and veterans. If you care for it properly, it should last many years and provide thousands of satisfying wet shaves. This is the all-around best shaving brush out there for the money.
Made of the same bristle material and of a similar price to the Escali brush above, this Perfecto brush features a shiny, black wooden handle with a chrome ring. Handles made of wood are a great choice since they grip well and tend not to slip when wet.
This brush is perfect for daily use. Although pure badger is not top of the line badger hair and can be a bit stiff at first, the bristles will soften over time making these brushes a good long term investment. Pure badger brushes are inexpensive and an ideal first shaving brush.
Omega is well known for their boar bristle brushes and this one is a great example. This Italian made brush has a chrome handle and a tall knot measuring 1.1 inches.
Boar bristles feel incredibly stiff when dry, but soften quickly with water. Although it may seem counterintuitive, sometimes a stiffer brush is desirable. For one thing, you’ll get more exfoliation action out of boar bristles than with badger hair. Also, boar bristle brushes work better with harder shaving soaps, such as clay or glycerin soaps.
Best badger means hair taken from the belly of the animal. It’s considered a step above pure badger in quality and you’ll definitely notice the price difference, but a best badger hair shaving brush is still far from bank-breaking.
This attractive best badger shaving brush from Edwin Jagger has a jet black, faux ebony handle and comes with a matching drip stand. Storing your brushes upside down in a drip stand will promote thorough drying, discourage mold and extend their life.
The Satin Tip The Purest shaving brush is the only brush with synthetic bristles on this list and for good reason. This is simply the best synthetic shaving brush on the market and a great choice for vegans or really anyone who just wants a quality shaving brush.
Some wet shaving aficionados look down on synthetic brushes, and it’s true that they usually provide an inferior lather. The Satin Tip, however, lives up to its name. The bristle tips are as soft as badger hair and they grow stiffer near the center, allowing you to get a great lather from the toughest shaving soaps. This brush also has a nice rubberized handle that prevents slippage during use.
Whether you use a straight razor, safety razor or modern cartridge razor, wet shaving provides you with a closer, smoother shave, and you simply can’t wet shave without a good brush. While the options above are all a good balance of price and quality, the choice of a shaving brush often comes down to personal preference. Although badger hair is usually trumpeted to be the ultimate material for shaving brush knots, boar bristles or high-quality synthetics can be just as good.
Any of the brushes on this list are perfect for newcomers or to add to a large collection. Plus, since they all are reasonably priced, you can try several without hurting your wallet. Just make sure that you end up pairing your brand new shaving brush with a great shaving cream or soap for the best results!
Product images sourced from Amazon.com