Badger Bristles

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Badger Bristles

Postby dappershaves » Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:44 am

My thoughts on badger bristles...

I’ve previously mentioned the value of a synthetic brush in your den not just to change things up, but also as a backup or travel companion. This brings me to badgers and maybe somethings you did not previously know or considered when selecting a brush. I am only covering bristles and not other technical attributes such as overall dimensions, balance, size, loft, backbone and visual appeal/preference that completes a brush.

Firstly badger bristles don’t absorb water like boar so there’s no need to soak them like boar. I rinse mine under warm water for a couple of seconds like a synthetic and you’re good to go.

Secondly badger bristles don’t split like boar bristles so their character in terms of scrub, feel and backbone hardly change even when wet. So finding a balance in scrub, softness and backbone for your skin type is important when selecting a badger brush, remember things will not change a lot. If the feel of the brush dry out the box is not great it’s unlikely that your experience will change over time.

Thirdly badger brushes hold a lot more water than boar or horse and therefore require a slightly different lathering technique, or patience. Because of this and in my opinion badger brushes require a bit more effort than boar, horse and synthetic to create lather and typically works better with creams. That does not mean hard soap is not an option, it will just require more elbow grease and time. Badger like any other brush combined with good technique will create silky smooth lather.

Lastly I find dense badger brushes to hog lather like nothing else and IMO uses/waste a lot more product that the other brushes with same bristle density.

These are the things I typically consider when selecting a new badger brush but also apply the same thought process with other brush types.

So in conclusion for me badger is a good tool to have as they don't require soaking and their characteristics don't change much. Once you find a brush that works for you, life is great. It’s possible to soften up badger bristles through chemical processes, I’ve successfully demonstrated this previously by converting a pure badger to gel tips/manchurian. It’s the same technique the Chinese and artisan’s use to offer more bristle options and I am very happy with the results.

If you honestly look at badger bristles it becomes clear that over the past decade options like gel tips, high mountain and manchurian are “suddenly” on the menu. Badger bristles grading/classification did not change and we must ask why! Badgers did not suddenly evolve, nor did they suddenly became ultra rare super soft species living remotely somewhere in the Chinese mountains. Industry invented these terms to sell more product at higher prices whilst user demand justified this change and there’s nothing wrong with it. As they say “The more you know the better it gets” hold true especially when your are out to find a new brush.

I hope you found this useful in selecting you next brush purchase.

~happy shaves, dappershaves~
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