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Anyone use horse hair brushes exclusively?

Rusty Blade

I have two horse hair brushes and I think they are excellent brushes. I often wonder why they are not more popular among wet shavers? They don't seem to get a lot of love.

Does anyone use horse hair exclusively or for the majority of your shaves?


Agree with the above. Could hardly go 2-3 shaves without the hair tangling and needing to be combed out. Lots of hair shedding. My least favorite hair for a brush.
Never used one, never bought one. All the negative feedback swayed me away from ever considering one.
Too busy to be bothered with yet, another shaving gimmick. I know, I know... not really a gimmick.
use them, not exclusively nor as majority of shaves, but I enjoy them.

look for knot style as only a couple of companies make them and they have very different characteristics than just described above.
I have one and I love it, a Vie-Long BGS 2012 Butterscotch Beehive in Natural Horse. I'm a boar guy but I do love this horse, been using it the last couple of shaves and thinking about getting another after this GRUME is over.

Mine shed some when I first got it, but it stopped after a few shaves and hasn't lost a hair in years.
It smelled when I got it but not as much as my badger did.
It will tangle if I get too aggressive with my swirling, but nothing a comb out doesn't fix.
Mine has a loft of 55 mm, a knot of 25 mm and is not floppy at all.

I've heard that Zenith makes a nice horse hair brush also.
Yes but not exclusively. I have a Vielong and love it. Took me a while to learn how to use it but now that I have got the hang of it I use it about once a week.

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Rusty Blade

Yes but not exclusively. I have a Vielong and love it. Took me a while to learn how to use it but now that I have got the hang of it I use it about once a week.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yes, this is where I am as well. I have two horse hair brushes both Vie-long and I really like them very much. It does take a while to get the hang of them. But they are great lather-makers!
Got the Vie Long Cremo brush. Guess i just don't have that girly-soft, delicate & sensitive skin y'all have, since it works just fine for me.
I have two Vie-Long brown horse brushes, and I enjoy using them a lot. Trouble is I really really enjoy boar knots, so the horses don't get the love they deserve.

Are the horses floppy? Not at all, they're both 24mm knots at a relatively low loft of 50mm.

Do they tangle? That's a trick question. The answer for me is no, but I preemptively comb them out every time they're used. Yes, they would tangle otherwise because I like to do circles.

Do they smell? That's a stupid question. Like all natural hair brushes, they smell if they haven't been desmellified at the factory. An Oxy-Clean soak and a couple of lathers with pet shampoo and the smell is completely gone.

Are they scritchy? Yup, that's why I like them so much.

I'd take a good brown horse brush over any badger or synthetic.
I have one horsehair brush now. It is a Vie-Long chubby 24mm x 50mm 50/50 white fan shape. I like it and use it every week. Initially, it had a pretty bad barnyard odor, but that went away quickly. I don't find it scritchy, it's really pleasant to use; holds a lot of water. It doesn't get tangled, but I do comb it out every other use. The dense knot with low loft minimizes the tangling issue. It's strictly for face lathering.

I would like to get a larger Zenith horsehair brush at some point, probably sometime next year.

Rusty Blade

I find with horse hair, like any natural fiber, you need to treat it right. I like to swirl my brushes when I load and when l face lather. That's half the enjoyment of a horse brush. I don't mash down hard -- light pressure is all that is needed. I always make sure I rinse the brush well, dry strop it on a towel in painting motion, then let it air dry. I also comb it once in a while. No tangles, no knots, no problems.
I used a Vie-Long horsehair exclusively for a while. Has a shedding problem. From what I understand, Vie-Longs are not the best out there for horse hairs. I’m about to try a Shave Forge horsehair knot on a Whipped Dog handle. If I get the feel I got with the Vie-Long with better all-around quality, I’ll be a happy camper. While I’m waiting for the handle to arrive, I’m trying a Maggard two-band badger and…I dunno. Badger feels too much like a bunch of mush on my face. I’m giving it a week but so far I suspect I’ll be going back to exclusively horse.
I've never used anything "exclusively", but I do have a rotation for razors, blades, brushes and soaps that I loosely follow. I've found that certain brushes perform best with specific soaps, and it's getting complicated. An exclusive brush could definitely make life easier.
Badgers can be a ¢rapshoot, even if you select a more spendy one. Synthetics, even cheap ones can easily outperform other brushes regardless of cost. I got a Vie long Cremo Horsehair brush and it was impressive enough that I recently got a Vie Long "American" style long handle, primarily for the handle length, but it works great with a wide variety of soaps. The horse brushes made me want to revisit my only boar brush, a vintage Ever Ready 100T of my Grandfathers', that is easily 80 years old. it works well, and I now have a Semogue 1305 enroute to me, so I'll soon do a better comparison of boar vs horse to see if they perform measurably better than any of my badgers.