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Boar Brush Prep - Why Refrigerate?

I found a technique that works pretty well to accelerate break-in.
  1. Soak the brush bristles overnight to get them thoroughly saturated. Room temperature is fine.
  2. Take your least expensive soap and palm lather to build up a large amount of lather.
  3. Rinse, hang to dry for at least 24 hours. Going from wet to bone dry helps the bristles to split.
  4. Repeat above steps four or five times. Now, the brush should be soft enough to use for face lathering.
  5. Finish break-in by using the brush normally.
 
It really depends on the results you're getting. Different boars behave differently at the start.

Only my first 2 boar brushes required soaking in water and refrigerated for 3 days. The subsequent ones did not. They were usable out of the box.
 

emwolf

Contributor
I had an Omega purchased new that I tried 24 hours in room temperature tap water. It worked wonders on splitting the ends.
 
I have zero idea how this works but it worked for me.

I received this brush for Christmas, my 2nd boar.



I'm not a fan of my first; I bought it used because I loved the handle, and the guy I bought it from said it was already broken in, but it's pretty brutal on my face. I suspect that I might have to accelerate the break in process on that one too eventually.

Anyway, I got this one for Christmas, and while I liked the handle a lot, the actual knot felt like a rock, no joke. I could barely move this thing AT ALL. I took it home and dunked it into a glass of water and stuck it in the fridge for almost 3 days....took it out, beat the crap out of it on a towel and then did a test lather and let it sit overnight.

Woke up next day and rinsed it, let it soak a bit while I showered and then went at it, with more than a little trepidation. I was blown away at the difference before and after.

Knot after all that?



Amazed...the difference before and after was night and day. I'm still not a super fan as the knot doesn't hold heat like my beloved badgers do, but the fact that this has an aluminum handle makes up for it by staying warm throughout the shave which is pretty cool.
 
I just ordered my first boar - a Semogue 830.

I read numerous postings about preparing the brush, including cleaning, soaking, and agitating. I get all of that and why.

What I don't understand is why, when soaking, that the mug and brush should be refrigerated. Soaking the brush, even at room temp, should have the same effect for softening the boar.

Can someone explain why the brush should be refrigerated when soaking? What benefit does it offer.

Thank you.
You do know that refrigeration is only to speed up the break in process? After that, you soak your boar brush in warm water like any other brush if you like. I tried it and it worked for me.

Check out this video. At 1:10 he states before using a boar brush to soak in cold water for 2-3 days.

The man is Franco Bompieri of Antica Barbieria Colla.

 
You do know that refrigeration is only to speed up the break in process? After that, you soak your boar brush in warm water like any other brush if you like. I tried it and it worked for me.

Check out this video. At 1:10 he states before using a boar brush to soak in cold water for 2-3 days.

The man is Franco Bompieri of Antica Barbieria Colla.

I think the advice of old barbers is often very relevant. However in this case, what he needs brush for and what we do, maybe a little different.

He breaks and a brush and needs to have that done quickly so that he can get to work using it. So, speed, to him, might be worth more.

And then he is not going to be as attached to a brush as we might be. When one wears out for him, he is going to pitch it and start up another one. I on the other hand, Want to have my boar brushes for as long as I can.

Maybe these stressful soaking procedures are not all that stressful . But for the most part, I don't mind taking the time to let them break-in with normal uses and or small amounts of soaking.
 
As I mentioned above, I decided against accelerating the break in process. Well I’m 9 shaves in, doing nothing but soaking in warm water while I shower then lathering. I usually do a three pass shave. Then rinse and hang dry. Nothing else. I can tell you that it’s already begun to have hairs split. It’s a lot softer already. You probably can’t tell from the picture but I’d say less than 5% of the hairs have split but it’s preforming more like my badger than at first. It doesn’t gobble up the soap anymore. Still not holding as much lather but it seems to get better daily.

A85FCFA8-C004-4DDE-8A1B-4F2FCFECED72.jpeg
 
Can someone explain why the brush should be refrigerated when soaking? What benefit does it offer.

Thank you.
It's something you just do :001_smile
If you want to test the benefit of refrigeration I guess you should try yourself ... and then it ends most people try it.
 
I soak mine in warm water after for 5 minutes and then let dry for 2 days. Repeated this cycle 4-5 times. The first cycle I also lathered with MWF to defunk this brush but didn’t lather after that. At the end of the process they had a nice bloom and had started to split and were more than soft enough to use.

I think it’s the drying process that causes the split ends we desire. Similar to human hair (women know using a blow dryer excessively causes split ends), except we don’t want to apply conditioner to prevent the split ends on our brushes.


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I had an Omega that needed to be softer. Wasn’t splitting as fast as I wanted. I soaked it for about half an out and then dunked half the bristles in boiling water. That got the split going nicely.

I would never treat a Badger this way but an $11 boar, who cares.
 
I had an Omega that needed to be softer. Wasn’t splitting as fast as I wanted. I soaked it for about half an out and then dunked half the bristles in boiling water. That got the split going nicely.

I would never treat a Badger this way but an $11 boar, who cares.
I have tried w 2 omegas similar....water was not boiling but really hot....those brushes are still horrible. Will dunk em in boiling today....nothing to loose.
 
I have tried w 2 omegas similar....water was not boiling but really hot....those brushes are still horrible. Will dunk em in boiling today....nothing to loose.
I think the key is that they are well hydrated prior to the boiling water dunk. My theory is the water in the bristles heats rapidly and expands helping split the tips.
 
With my new Semogue SOC boar, I soaked it in the fridge overnight. Then in the morning, I took it out and rubbed it vigorously to dry it on a bathroom towel. I repeated this five times and the bristles developed very nice and soft split ends. All this did was accelerate the break in process so I did not have to face lather with a stiff brush.
 
My SOC is one of my favorite brushes and I can’t imagine that with all of the moisture the brush will see in its lifetime, that a day or three in water in the fridge will truly harm it. If you want to accelerate the process so that you can comfortably put that boar to use, do it! If not, take the time. No matter how you go about it, it’ll take at least a couple months before that brush hits its true potential. Don’t get me wrong it’ll be great before that, but it really shines once it’s been well broken in.
 
My SOC is one of my favorite brushes and I can’t imagine that with all of the moisture the brush will see in its lifetime, that a day or three in water in the fridge will truly harm it.
Exactly. If the maker isn’t using glu that stands up to water they aren’t too smart.
 
What I did with my first boar brush (semogue 830) was hand lather with a hydrating shave soap, then rinse the brush and relather again using my hand. Then with the brush loaded up as much as possible leave it to sit over night full of lather. Next day, cold water rinse and leave it to dry 24 hours. Then use as normal. By the time the 3rd use it was starting to break in.

Larry
 
Can someone explain why the brush should be refrigerated when soaking? What benefit does it offer.

Thank you.
There is no benefit. There are countless threads on the topic and not one person has been able to explain in simple terms the how or the why. Reminds me of method shaving.
 
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