When considering to buy a shaving brush, the first thing to decide is your budget. Brushes start from under £10 but can vary in price, with the most expensive costing over £100.
You need to consider what the bristles are made from. You have a choice of boar bristle, badger hair or a synthetic bristle.
A brush made from boar hair has the stiffest bristle. This means it can be used to exfoliate the skin at the time of shaving. The problem with boar bristles is that they can be brittle and so, prone to breaking.
The advantage is that they are a cheap option, so are good for a first brush.
A brush made from badger hair is the most popular type of shaving brush. Badger hair naturally absorbs water, helping to produce a thick, creamy lather.
There are 3 different terms used to specify the quality of the badger hair used in a brush.
Pure Badger Hair – this is made using the most common hair from the underbelly of a badger. This is the economy grade brush.
Best Badger Hair – a good quality badger hair. It is generally darkish in colour. This creates a lather far superior to that resulting from the use of a bristle brush.
Silvertip Badger Hair/ Super Badger Hair – this the most expensive and rarest type of badger hair.
The hair is longer and softer than best badger hair. It is also finer so more hair is needed to fill the brush. Most silvertip badger hair brushes are handmade and filled, no machine trimming is used.
One point to remember with a badger hair shaving brush is that you must allow it to dry between uses. So a drip stand is recommended. This will help prolong the life of your brush.
In most cases, the synthetic brush is suitable for vegans. The bristle can be made of a variety of materials such as nylon or polyester. They are often a cheaper alternative to the natural badger hair brushes. The other advantage is they are more robust and so drip drying is not so important.
They are often not as soft as badger hair, so they may feel uncomfortable to use and they can be floppy.
The most common type of handle is synthetic. They can be made from a variety of materials such as nylon or plastic. They also come in a variety of colours. The advantages of a synthetic handle is that you are unlikely to break it.
You can also get brushes in horn, wood or pewter
With a wooden handle, they can split without the correct care. To avoid this, drip dry in a “bristle downward” position after use.
Handles come in a variety of different shapes and styles. This is personal preference, but one should also consider the length of the handle.
There is plenty of choices when choosing a manufacturer.
Edwin Jagger and Simpsons brushes both have a good reputation for producing quality brushes and are British made. Whilst if you want an economy brush then we would recommend the range of brushes made by an Italian company, Omega
Consider your budget
The type of bristle:-
Boar – entry level brush
Badger hair – Pure, Best or Silvertip. Silvertip being the most expensive
Synthetic – a robust alternative that is vegan-friendly
Handle – Choose a colour that suits and the length of the handle that is most comfortable.