Shave brushes

Shave brushes are what you have to use to create lather from a shaving cream, as I mentioned in my last article. They come in different models. I'll go into some detail in the next paragraphs.

Firstly, you have to differenciate between the kind of hair that the brush uses. There is badger, horse, boar and synthetic. The first kind of hair that you will hear a lot about is badger, because it has been the standard and most used kind of shave brush for a long time. Badger brushes vary a lot in the price range, they can go from only 10 dollars up to over 1000!

Next, there is the boar brush. Those are usually moderately priced, with the cheapest ones going for about 7 dollars. Still, this does not make them worse shave brushes than badger brushes. They are a bit stiffer, which makes the feel on the skin a bit rougher in the beginning, but after some use, the bristles will get softer.

Horse hair brushes are much less common, but are still used. They are a kind of brush that has been used for a long time, next to the boar brush. They feel about the same as boar brushes, but not as stiff.

Finally, there are synthetic brushes. Those are also very differently priced, depending on how good they are manufactured. I would not recommend to buy a cheap nylon brush. They do not feel very nice in my opinion, and you can get badger or boar for not that much more (whoo, rhymes!). The more expensive synthetic models are indeed very good, and nicely fabricated. Those are particularly interesting for those among us who do not want to use animal products.

Another thing that differentiates brushes is the kind of handle they have. In recent years, those handles are mostly made from synthetic material. The more expensive or antique ones are often produced from wood or metal, sometimes even ivory (this applies to antiques). 

I think this should be a nice overview of what shave brushes are, and how they work. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Shaving cream – and why it is better than shaving foam out of the can

Two years ago, I stumbled upon the traditional way of shaving. It changed my view on that formerly tedious task, and now I enjoy and embrace it. It is my Zen garden.

Especially shaving cream, with its many aspects, has become a strange passion for me. Let me tell you about some of the things I have discovered.

For me, shaving foam out of the can is not pleasant. It doesn't feel very good on the skin and has a lot of chemical ingredients. The choices are very limited, or at least they are where I live. There are the big names, some cheaper ones, summing up to about 8 brands you can choose from. That's it.

Shaving cream out of the tube is, from my perspective, much better. The choices are so broad, I can't even put up an estimate of how many products there are. You can try as many creams as you want until you find the one that works for you. You can get them in any scent that you like. You can mix them with water in the way you want it, to get the consistency that you want. To make it easier for you, I will provide a 5 point list outlining why cream is better than your average foam out of the can:

1. It can come in a lot of different scents

You are not as limited when it comes to your personal preference. Where I come from, most products you get in the supermarket are unscented. Creams can have the smell of avocado, eucalyptus, lime, sandalwood. There is no way I could list all of the scents. Just pick your poison.

2. It is better for your skin

Since the standard foam is catered to a very large audience, even the products that are labeled “for sensitive skin” may not be for the type of sensitive skin you have. In the shaving cream market, the variety of brands gives you the possibility to try out as many products as you want until you find the right one. And I am sure you will. This should be especially interesting for people who get a lot of skin irritation after shaving.

3. It will last longer

Even though the initial price may often be higher, the overall price over time is much lower. Here in Austria, a moderately priced can of shaving foam sells for about 5 Euros. The average person will use it up in about three months, given that you shave every day. A shaving cream in the tube can last you up to six months. This can vary a lot since some of us just use a little bit of lather for each shave, others like to have a lot of it. But considering that with proper shaving cream, you will not have to buy some fancy skin moisturizer, in the end, you will definitely spend less.

4. It provides you with an easier and better shave

Foam out of the can is very dry. This may not make much sense at first, but when you have tried shaving cream, you will understand what I mean. The dryness leads to worse gliding of your razor, and thus much more irritation and nicks. Also, your beard gets soft with a good shaving cream, making it easier for the razor to cut your hair.

5. It has fewer chemicals and is more fun

As my last item on the list, I just have to point out how fun shaving cream is. I think it already came across, but having the ability to choose from different products, and work up your own lather really is satisfying. To add another very important point, shaving cream has fewer chemicals. Since it does not have to come out of a pressurized can, and in the form of ready-to-use foam, a lot of chemical ingredients can be left out.

I hope I may have spiked your interest, and sent you on your way to start using shaving cream instead of canned foam. Don't be shy, just try something out, and I am sure you will soon be as enthusiastic as I am.