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Battle of the Brushes

I recently had trouble using my Semogue 2000 to whip up a rich batch of Acqua di Parma (AdP), so without further ado our first event.

Was the problem the individual brush or do all boars struggle with creams? You should know that after struggling with the AdP I used the Semogue 2000 to successfully whip up a rich batch of Stirling Scots Pine Sheep soap. Puzzling, right?

Using a dollop of Proraso cream, I first whipped up a rich batch of lather using an Omega 10066, and then the same with a Semogue 1250, and then when I got to the Semogue 2000, the same thing - it just wasn't happening with the Proraso cream, so I cleaned the bristles of the Semogue 2000 with gentle Trader Joe's shampoo and repeated the exercise - but still no rich lather.

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The 1250 contains white best 90% bristles and the 2000 premium 90% tops.

Any ideas about why the 2000 is struggling?

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I should add that what started this was the coincidence of me buying my first batch of "high-end" (read expensive) creams and soaps, and the DecemBOAR thread. Even though I am now inundated with creams and soaps, I want to be efficient with my use of soaps like MdC. So far, I have not seen this sort of variance with my badgers. All of my badgers whip up amazing rich batches of lather with whipped cream like consistency which gets me asking myself a different question: Does a 27 mm badger use more cream/soap than a 22 mm badger?
 
Does a 27 mm badger use more cream/soap than a 22 mm badger?
Absolutely. The larger the brush, the more soap you need to fill it up and achieve a proper lather consistency. A lot of people talk about getting the right ratio of soap : water and forget that you also need to consider the volume of the knot mixing up the lather!

On the topic of why your 2000 isn't performing as well as your 1250, I find Semogues can struggle when they're new and not many bristle tips have split yet, especially in products that don't include any castor oil in their soap formula (which helps to stabilize lather). That may be why it was fine with Stirling but struggled with the Proraso and AdP.
 
For today's event, I put badger and boar brushes of the same size from the same manufacturer to the task of whipping up batches of the gold standard of vegan soaps - (what for it) MdC Rose.

It was not even close. The Semogue 2015 HD 22 mm 2-band finest badger whipped up a luxurious batch of stiff lather whereas the Semogue 1800 22 mm boar's lather was droopy/wet and lacked stiffness.

The shaves from both lathers were very good, but the lather from the boar dissipated much faster.

My advice is to make sure you have a good quality badger brush should you invest in MdC.

Semogue 1800 (boar) after applying the lather to one side of my face.

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Semogue 2015 HD (badger) after applying the lather to the other side of my face.

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For today's episode, I used a Semogue 1460 with Tabac soap with tallow and LEA cream, and a Rudy Vey Irish Bog Oak with a Shavemac 24 mm 2-band silvertip knot.

For me the 1460 was a better fit with the harder soap than the cream. And to prove that the LEA can perform, I used the Rudy Vey badger with the LEA cream to shave my neck. All in all, all three combinations performed well, and I have to see this as splitting hairs (pardon the pun). And @BigJ makes a good point about "more product".

1460 with Tabac.

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1460 with LEA.

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Rudy Vey/Shavemac with LEA - intentionally wet lather for using a straight on my neck.

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I have two Semogues and an Omega 10098 which I think has bristles similar to the 10066. I much prefer the Omega to the Semogues.

I also have a Semogue Owner's Club badger brush and find it to be a good value. It is not my favorite badger, but it is a part of my brush rotation. I rarely use the Semogue boars.
 
Of course a high density badger 2-band is going to pick up more soap than a less dense and longer lofted boar. And therefore will provide a richer lather. Not fair to compare unless you know you're pulling up the same amount of soap.
 
To be honest, I could never get a decent lather from any of my 3 boars, even after using them for a month. I'd like to blame it on my well water or inexperience, but maybe it was just that I was meant to be a badger guy.
 
I have two Semogues and an Omega 10098 which I think has bristles similar to the 10066. I much prefer the Omega to the Semogues.

I also have a Semogue Owner's Club badger brush and find it to be a good value. It is not my favorite badger, but it is a part of my brush rotation. I rarely use the Semogue boars.
Why do you prefer omega over semogue?
 
Why do you prefer omega over semogue?

If you look at various brush threads, you will find that most owners of boar brushes tend to fall into one of two groups: those who love Omega type brushes and those who love Semogue type brushes. The two companies process the boar hair differently, so the brushes "feel" and "work" differently. I fall into the Omega camp.

When I got my Omega 10098, I did a quick break-in using very hot (almost boiling) water. I dipped the tips of the bristles into the hot water for a few seconds and then allowed the bristles to cool. I repeated the process several times until the tips of the bristles split. After that session, the tips of the brush were as soft as a silvertip badger, yet the bristles maintained their original backbone. Due to the backbone, it is a superb brush for lathering hard soaps, yet it still has a very soft face feel which my sensitive skin appreciates.

I tried the same hot-water break-in with my Semogue brushes, but the bristles are processed differently and they did not respond similarly. I am not able to generate a nice rich lather with the Semogue boars that I am able to generate with the Omega or my badger, horsehair, or synthetic brushes. However, you will find many folks who love their Semogue boar brushes.

By the way, I have an old Barbershop Brand boar brush that was made in Austria over 35 years ago. The lacquer on the wooden handle has pealed off, but the brush still works quite well. It is smaller than the Omega, both in diameter and loft, so it takes a little longer to work up a lather.
 
For the OP, if you reduce the soak time for your brush, that should decrease the lather 'eating' tendencies of the boar brush.
 
I only have one boar brush, the Tatara by Semogue. It seems to create a nice lather with creams and soap. I only face lather, if that makes a difference. It seems to help if i add water in the center of the brush. I need to splay the brush a little more then my badger brushes. With MDC soap it seems to give a little less air in the lather. To me this means i can add more water quicker without risking to much bubbles. You may need to splay the brush a little more and/or adjust how you add water.
 
To be honest, I could never get a decent lather from any of my 3 boars, even after using them for a month. I'd like to blame it on my well water or inexperience, but maybe it was just that I was meant to be a badger guy.
it is possible to get equal lathers from badger and boar. Remember that boar holds more water after brush shaking off from water. This case might be that boar brush has been too wet. Better to start litttle moistured than wet (soak 5+min, shake excess water off). Swirl soap from puck, go to bowl, add water just few drops by time. If water added faster/more it decreases lather. Swirl and lather upp like your elbow and wrists are hurting, add more water. Once lather gets upp, you can choose now if want to go with that lather, or make it more wet. im adding little more water, and once i see lather go little down, i stop there.
 
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