Edwin Jagger, Omega, Maison Lambert

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More and more men are discovering the simple joy of traditional wet shaving, and if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them. You may have already completed the first part of your wet shaving journey – selecting a good blade – but having already upgraded your routine with a double-edged blade


safety razor

your next step is to track down a high quality shaving brush.

A good brush is an essential part of your shaving ritual. When used with a good soap or cream (which, unlike canned foam, is designed for wet shaving), a nice bristle brush is the key to getting a rich, creamy lather that lubricates your hair well. face for a smoother shave. Your brush is used both to generate proper lather and to apply it to your skin, and the bristles of the brush, arranged in what’s called a “knot”, also help soften and straighten your front whiskers. your razor from doing its job.

Ideally, the bristles should be soft enough at the ends so they won’t be itchy or prickly on the skin, yet have good stiffness or “backbone” so they aren’t too floppy to lather up. A brush’s purpose is also to transfer heat and water to your face, and the different types of bristles each have distinct properties that help or hinder this. Badgers are thus classified according to their hair, which comes in four main types:

  • Badger: Badger hair is generally the softest hair used in shaving brushes and is further divided into four categories (in ascending order of quality): pure, best, super and silvertip. “Pure” badger hair comes from the belly, “best” hair is the finer, softer hair from other parts of the badger’s body, and “super” hair is even softer. “Silvertip” bristles are the rarest badger hairs that are naturally white at the tips, are extremely soft, and have excellent water-holding and lathering abilities.
  • Wild boar: Boar is less popular with wet razors, at least in the United States and England, but still remains the second most used brush material today. Boar brushes are not graded by hair quality like badger hair and are considerably less expensive. Boar bristles are also significantly stiffer than badger hair – which many razors prefer and ideal for harsh soaps – but boar is unique in that the bristles split at the ends over time to give a brush soft when properly broken.
  • Horse mane: Horsehair is the least common animal material used in brush knots and falls somewhere between boar and badger hair in softness and suppleness. Horsehair brushes are very popular in Spain, and high-quality examples usually come from that country. Horsehair is a great “Goldilocks” option on the stiffness spectrum for razors who find boar hair too stiff and badger hair too soft.
  • Synthetic: Shaving brushes with synthetic bristles are growing in popularity and have improved greatly in recent years, with modern examples offering impressive softness and flexibility (although never as good as animal fibers when it comes to water retention). Synthetic bristles are the best option for those looking for an animal-free brush as well as those who are allergic to animal hair.

Although bristles are by far the most important component of a shaving brush, there are other quality considerations. Good handle construction and a strong handle-knot connection are important for comfort and longevity. Poor construction here can cause the handle to separate from the knot due to moisture eroding the glue that holds the bristles together. A poor quality knot will also shed excess hair. However, almost all animal bristle brushes, especially badger hair, have minor shedding at first, which is normal.

All of our recommendations are, of course, well-made with high-quality bristles and well-designed handles. With all brushes, no matter what materials you use, you always want to invest in a good drip holder that orients the bristles upside down after use so that moisture evaporates properly and doesn’t soak into the base of the brush. node. Spending a little more to ensure you get a quality brush and strong drip backing will dramatically extend the life of your bristles for years of regular use.

Here are the best badgers:

Best Badger Hair Shaving Brush: Edwin Jagger best badger shaving brush, $32.57 available at Amazon
The Edwin Jagger Medium Shaving Brush has excellent construction, a timeless design and soft badger hair that produces a rich lather and feels great against your skin.

Best boar bristle shaving brush: Omega Boar Bristle Brush, $9.99 available at Amazon
Italian design, quality materials and an unbeatable price make the Omega Professional Boar Brush the best choice for budget-conscious buyers.

Best Horsehair Shaving Brush: Vie-Long horsehair brush, $21.89 available at Amazon
Hailing from Spain, the Vie-Long 12705 Horsehair Shaving Brush is a fantastic, 100% humane “middle-range option” for those looking for something in between badger and boar hair.

Best shaving brush with synthetic bristles: Fendrihan Synthetic Brush, $17.49 available at Amazon
Synthetic bristles have improved drastically in recent years, and the super soft Fendrihan shaving brush proves it with its excellent performance.

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