When it comes to choosing wet shaving equipment none offer more variety and choice then shaving brushes. Brushes come is all shapes and sizes and with several different types of hair. The brush has two main parts, the handle and the brush hair. The handle can be made of many different materials from Ivory, Crystal, Metals, Precious Metals, Wood, Bone and Synthetic materials. The handle material and design is chosen for comfort and aesthetics. Today the most popular choice is synthetic materials like plastics and nylons since they offer a long durable handle that can be shaped and coloured in many ways to suite every taste. The hair of the brush is what gives it its performance characteristics. Hair ranges from natural animal to synthetic with the most common hair types being Bore, Badger and Synthetic. Of these, Badger Hair is the most common and also the most desirable. Badger hair offers a good balance of water retention and lather ability.
What are the different types of Badger Hair and how do they differ?
Badger Hair is often broken down into three grades, Pure, Super and Silver Tip. Pure Badger is the most common badger hair and comes from the underbelly of the badger and covers approximately 60 % of the badger. It has a darker colour then the other grades and is firmer to the touch. It is favoured by traditionalists looking to exfoliate the skin prior to shaving. Super Badger hair is softer and lighter in colour than pure badger. This hair is chosen by the more discerning wet shaver for its softness on the skin and water retention qualities. A unique dark band capped by light, almost white tips makes this hair very recognizable in its appearance. Silver Tip hair is the finest Badger hair available in the manufacture of shaving brushes and it originates from the neck of the animal. Its limited availability gives the badger hair special status amongst the shaving fraternity. It is fluffy in appearance and very soft to the touch. It also provides exceptional water retention to form a rich warm lather quickly and hold it for duration of the shave.
How do I clean and store my brush after use?
It is always recommended to follow the manufactures instruction on brush care where and when available. In general a brush will last for a long time of cared for as follows. After each shave, rinse the brush well under running water until all remaining soap is removed. Gently squeeze the brush to remove water and shake lightly to get rid of the remaining water. Be careful not to be too rough with the brush as it may loosen the bristles over time. Store your brush in a brush stand to keep the brush dry and in good shape. The most important note is to NEVER store a damp brush in an enclosed cupboard, shelf or bag. This will ruin the brush.
Knowing the direction your face hairs grow in is the most important first step in achieving a close and comfortable shave. Wet shaving with, across and against the grain refers to shaving with, across and opposite to the direction of hair growth. Mark Of A Gentleman has developed a simple way to map your face that will provide an invaluable reference for achieving the perfect shave.
Download our easy to use Template - CLICK HERE -
Mapping your face:
- Stand in front of a mirror and take a good look at the direction your face hairs grow in.
- Draw short lines with arrows on the face above to represent the direction of hair growth, as you see them in the mirror. Remember when you are shaving and looking at this picture you should see a mirror image. – see sample below
- Make a photocopy of this page and keep the original for reference. Keep the copy with you when you are shaving for the first few times until you get a good feel for which direction to guide your razor.
- Enjoy a close and comfortable shave.