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Are Badger Hair Shaving Brushes Better Than Synthetic?

Are Badger Hair Shaving Brushes Better Than Synthetic?

We cannot emphasize the importance of a shaving brush during a wet shave. A good shaving brush makes all the difference. However, the debate lies between using badger hair brushes or synthetic brushes. Many widely consider badger hair brushes as the ultimate grooming tool, only second to your shaving cream. Badger hair brush is a traditional tool for beard grooming that many use with a razor. Both brushes have unique features that various users cherish.

However, deciding if badger hair brushes are better than synthetic ones is mostly by preference. While badger hair is a traditional grooming tool, synthetic brushes are modern, and this article will make choosing the best badget hair shaving brush easier. 

Are Badger Hair Shaving Brushes Better Than Synthetic?

The answer to this question is yes and no, as both brushes have upsides and downsides. However, many prefer the badger hair brushes as they are familiar with them. Synthetic shaving brushes may last longer than badger shaving brushes, but they do not offer the same quality wet shave.

Badger Hair Shaving Brush

Many consider badger brushes to be the ultimate traditional hair-shaving tool. The bristles of the badger hair brush are taken from different parts of the animal’s body. These separate bristle locations have varying textures and forms. As such, there are three grades of badger hair brush. 

Pure badger brush is the most common and less expensive in the pack. It comes from the underside of a badger, where the color is slightly darker. With more coarse bristles than the others, pure is good for exfoliation. However, the bristles’ ends are trimmed, which can lend a stiff or rough feel to the brush.

The Best badger hair brush is the most common, with the hair being finer and more flexible. The length is longer, and the bristles are lightly colored. For Best, the bristle ends are not manually trimmed; thus, they tend to feel softer. However, the soft feel may only do little to exfoliate the skin. Best badger brushes are typically denser than Pure badger brushes; thus, they lather better.

Silvertip badger brushes are the more expensive and luxurious option. Silvertip comes from the hair on the neck of the badger. The bristles here are soft and absorbent to form a good lather. The price tag on the silvertip is because the hair is quite rare.

Using a badger brush provides a unique experience as the natural hair retains moisture and warmth. Furthermore, humidity and warmth make for a superior lather and a great shaving experience.

Synthetic Shaving Brush

Synthetic brushes are a cruelty-free version of badger brushes. Badgers are a protected species in North America, thus the need for an alternative. Manufacturers customize them from nylon bristles, and they have become popular and quite functional. They have a more economical price, but that does not mean they are inferior. However, they are reliable and tend to last longer than their counterparts. In addition, some are as soft as Silvertip brushes. If you are uncomfortable using animal products, synthetic brushes are a good option.

Synthetic brushes dry faster and lather more quickly than badger, thus saving you time when shaving. These fiber brushes also tend to shed less and retain their shape longer than animal brushes. Aside from having a long lifespan, they are also relatively cheaper than badger brushes. However, because the bristles are softer, they may need more effort to exfoliate the skin. Thus, you would have to give special attention to pre-exfoliation.

Synthetic bristles are non-absorbent, typically needing less soap or foam to lather well. They are soft, yet they have a good amount of resistance when dealing with hair. These low-maintenance brushes are an excellent alternative for those worried about using animal brushes.

What Is the Difference Between Animal Hair and Synthetic Brushes?

The significant difference between animal hair and synthetic brushes is the source. Animal hair commonly comes from badgers, horses, and boars. Their source makes them more expensive than synthetic brushes. They become even more costly when the bristles are installed by hand, or the whole brush is hand-made. On the other hand, synthetic brushes are made from nylon and are vegan or cruelty-free.

Synthetic brushes also tend to last longer than badger brushes. The bristles of animal brushes fall away faster, as they are natural. In addition, they may lose shape with time. You must give special care to animal brushes to reduce wear, especially the silvertip. Conversely, synthetic brushes hold their shape longer due to their crafting mode.

Synthetic brushes have a faster drying time than animal hair, making them perfect for travel. Because synthetic brushes are made from nylon, they are less absorbent and retain less water. However, animal hair takes longer to dry because they have more absorbent bristles.

Regarding suitability, synthetic brushes are more sensitive to the skin. It is a sensitivity that is likely because they are made from materials less likely to irritate the skin. However, animal hair has a higher likelihood of causing irritation or allergies. In addition, the coarse bristles may be better for someone with less sensitive skin.

Are Synthetic Shaving Brushes Any Good?

Synthetic brushes are the preferred alternative for those who want to use cruelty-free products. A synthetic brush with a good handle and quality bristles works just as well as animal hair.

Synthetic brushes have a more straightforward lather process because of the nylon material. Their soap-to-water ratio is easily attainable, and the chances of over-lathering are less. In addition, they tend to use less foam or soap as they do not absorb as much as animal hair, which makes for easier maintenance since the bristles do not take in as much soap. Thus, it is faster to clean the soap from the strands than animal hair. Their bristles do not retain as much water as animal hair, thus causing them to dry faster.

Consequently, this is a feature that travelers love, as bacteria are less likely to form after keeping it away. Furthermore, synthetic brushes can rival the softness of the silvertip badger brush. It is ideal for a smooth shave without any cuts, coarseness, or irritation.

What Are Synthetic Shaving Brushes Made From?

Manufacturers have long been making use of nylon to craft synthetic shaving brushes. Since the 1920s, manufacturers have used nylon to create all forms of brushes. However, the brushes were stiff back then as their bristles were thick. In addition, their water retention rate was low. A polyester material, Taklon, was then used to create softer bristles. Taklon is still used now to make bristles for various synthetic brushes.

The major challenge with synthetic brushes then and now remains their absorbency and heat retention. When faced with badger brushes, synthetic brushes cannot retain water and warmth as they do. However, this feature has become an advantage as a synthetic brush only takes 1-2 hours to dry.

On the other hand, an animal brush may need a day to dry completely. Furthermore, the nylon material of a synthetic brush makes it last longer than badger brushes. However, this post has you covered if you’re wondering,  how long do badger hair shaving brushes last?


The experience of a wet shave is incomplete without an ideal shaving brush. Thus, there is no definite answer to whether a badger brush is better than a synthetic brush. Preference is critical when deciding on a shaving brush. However, when it comes to quality, the badger silvertip remains unbeatable. Presently, synthetic brushes cannot match badger bristles’ softness and natural feel. Additionally, most people use badger hair brushes as they have been around much longer.

Some may point out that synthetic brushes maintain their springiness with prolonged use. However, this feature may be an advantage or disadvantage to a user.

Badger brushes have a characteristic feel associated with a premium shaving experience. Synthetic brushes can mimic that sensation to a large extent without the use of animal hairs. Ultimately, the quality of the product gives badger hair the upper hand in this debate.