The key secret to a clean, smooth shave lies in your tools, from shaving creams to the type of shaving brush you use. For example, having the best badger hair shaving brush is one of the most important shaving accessories anyone can have. It beats any synthetic brushes in terms of performance and quality.
Below, we will walk you through the essentials, why a badger hair shaving brush is necessary, how to use one and how to maintain it.
Why Is Badger Hair Used for Shaving Brushes?
Badger hair shaving brushes are, hands down, the best shaving brushes you can get on the market, and expert barbers worldwide swear by them. But what makes this genre of shaving brushes the best material out of all of them?
Badger Hair Retains Water
When it comes to shaving brush bristles, there are many different options, like horse hair, boar hair, and even synthetic brush bristles. However, unlike other forms of animal hair, badger hair retains water the most instead of repelling it.
The main aim of a shaving brush is to hold water. You can infuse it with soap or shaving cream to produce a rich lather. Moreover, badger hair has a unique water retention quality that makes it the best material for the job.
When you add this to the natural softness of badger hair, you create a comfortable and relaxing shaving experience.
Badger Hair Has Exfoliating Properties
Thanks to the coarse nature of badger hair, a badger hair shaving brush can serve as a mild exfoliator. Brushes made with badger hair can effectively scrub the skin, clean pores, and stimulate hair follicles, thereby reducing the chances of ingrown hair.
This way, you can have a clean, close shave. By exfoliating your skin, badger hair shaving brushes help to remove dead skin and dirt, leaving you with fresh and cleaner skin.
Plus, if skin exfoliating is too much to add to your routine, especially given your daily schedule, you can save yourself the stress by using a badger hair shaving brush.
Badger Hair Prevents Razor Burns
If you suffer from razor burns, consider switching up your tools by adding a badger shaving brush to your collection. Unlike synthetic brushes, the bristles on a badger hair-shaving brush will help massage your skin and soften the hair.
This way, you can avoid adding so much pressure when using a razor. Massaging your beard with a badger shaving brush also aids blood circulation, protecting your skin from irritations and improving its texture. With a proper technique, you can eliminate ingrown hairs and have smooth, soft-looking skin.
How Do You Break in a Badger Shaving Brush?
Shaving brushes come directly from the factory and may feel slightly stiff to the touch. This is because the manufacturing and assembly process does not include breaking in your brush. So, here’s how you can break in your badger shaving brush at home.
Step 1: Clean Your Brush
First, clean and remove any odor on the brush. Think of this– your brush came straight from the manufacturing line to your house. So, although it may look clean, it may not smell as fresh.
You need hot water, a small cup, and some dish detergent. Moreover, using a small cup allows the brush to stand upright and keeps the handle out of the water to prevent damage.
Step 2: Soak and Rinse With Hot Water
Next, allow your badger hair bristles to soak in the solution for about 10 to 20 minutes.
After soaking, take your brush out of the water and rinse with fresh hot water. Make sure to remove all soap residue stuck on the bristles.
Step 3: Lather Up the Brush
Now your brush is clean—it’s time to break it in properly. The best way to break in a new badger hair shaving brush is to use it. So, pull out your shaving cream or soap to begin.
Follow the abovementioned steps to lather your brush as though you’re about to shave.
Be generous with the soap, and ensure you get lather on all the bristles, from top to bottom. You’re allowed to overdo it at this point, but remember to wipe down the handle.
Step 4: Leave the Lather on Overnight
Here’s the easiest step—set your lathered shaving brush on your bathroom countertop and leave it there overnight. Moreover, this allows the alkali in the shaving cream or soap to work on your brush bristles, softening them overnight.
Step 5: Rinse and Dry Out Your Brush
When you wake up, rinse your brush and let it air dry. By that time, you should notice an improvement in the texture, latherability, and smell of your badger hair brush.
How Do You Store a Badger Shaving Brush?
Here are some tips for storing your badger shaving brush and keeping it in good condition for future use:
- Place it upside down to dry: After every shave, store your brush upside down, ensuring that the bristles face downwards. This ensures moisture drains out of the brush, leaving it completely dry. If you store your badger shaving brush upright, moisture can get stuck in the knots, slowly damaging the adhesive over time and causing the bristles to come apart or shed.
- Avoid putting it in a damp area or closed space: Do not store your brush in a damp or humid environment; keep it on a well-ventilated shelf or window. Shoving your badger brush into a cupboard can prevent the bristles from drying properly, which can cause problems for you later and leave an unpleasant, damp smell. Storing your brush in a damp area can also deteriorate its quality and cause the handle to develop stains.
- Avoid using a blowdryer: Please don’t use a blow dryer on your badger hair brush; allow it to dry naturally.
How Do You Use a Badger Hair Shaving Brush?
Shaving is a ritual; like all rituals, there are essential steps to ensure you do it right. In this section, you give a step-by-step tutorial on how to use your badger hair shaving brush properly.
Step 1: Fill Up Your Sink or Shaving Bowl
First, you should fill your shaving bowl or sink with water. For best results, use a porcelain or stainless steel bowl. Otherwise, your bathroom sink will do just fine if you don’t have one.
However, the water needs to be warm enough to soften the bristles on your badger shaving brush but not too hot that it’s uncomfortable on your skin. Very hot water can dissolve the adhesive on your badger shaving brush, making the bristles fall out rapidly. So, you’re better off using lukewarm water.
Step 2: Dampen Your Badger Shaving Brush
With the right temperature, it’s time to wet your brush. Proceed to dip the bristles in the lukewarm water and allow them to soak. The purpose is to trap water within the hair bundle, a step you don’t need, with a synthetic brush, as synthetic brushes do not absorb water like animal hair. Once soaked, remove your brush and shake off excess water.
Step 3: Apply Shaving Cream or Soap on Your Brush
For an effective, clean shave, you need shaving cream or soap. Apply a small amount to your bowl of lukewarm water– you don’t need much product to form a rich lather if you’re using a quality shaving cream.
Alternatively, apply a small amount of shaving cream to the middle of your badger shaving brush bristles or run the brush lightly over the soap if it comes in a tin or cup.
Step 4: Work a Lather
Now, you can start lathering, and there are many recommended ways to do this. You can work the lather on your hand or your beard area.
Move your shaving brush around your beard area, using circular or back-and-forth motions, until you notice the soap thickening and creating a white foam on your skin. However, don’t get carried away; if you over-lather, the soap may get too runny and won’t protect your skin while shaving.
Step 5: Proceed to Shave
Once you’re satisfied with the consistency of the lather, you can go in with your shaving razor and proceed to shave as normal. The thick layer of soap lather will protect your skin and guarantee a close shave.
Step 6: Rinse and Dry
After shaving, run your badger hair shaving brush under cool water and use your fingers to hold the bristles apart to get all of the soap out. You can use a towel to absorb excess water or squeeze the brush before setting it back on its stand.
Store your shaving brush with the bristles pointing down to protect it from dampness and avoid compromising the adhesive. Many shaving brushes come with a storage stand, which is better kept in a well-ventilated area of your bathroom.
While shaving brushes are arguably the most important tool in a personal grooming kit, most people often neglect them. These brushes have, for centuries, been used to facilitate proper shaving techniques, with immense benefits to the skin.
These days, shaving brushes are made from natural and synthetic materials. But for a traditional clean shave, we recommend using a badger hair shaving brush for the many benefits outlined in this article. For further learning, you can hop on this article, How long do badger shaving brushes last?
Hi, I’m Theo, and I started Shaving Parlour to help men everywhere get the best shave of their lives. Check out my popular guides on Safety Razors, Shaving Cream, Shaving Brushes, Beard Oil, and more!