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Brush Damage from Soap?

Have been using Proraso Green every day for the past few weeks now. Usually a user of Williams Mug Soap. I only own one brush atm, a Simpsons Commodore X2 that I've had for about 3 years. This brush has rarely shed hair, maybe one or two when I bought it but none since, but now I have switched to Proraso I am shedding about two hairs every shave. Surprising since I am now using the brush more gently being as though the Proraso is so soft and loads very easily compared to a hard puck. Was wondering if there is something in the Proraso that is harming the brush? Thinking about picking up a synth if this continues.
 
Have been using Proraso Green every day for the past few weeks now. Usually a user of Williams Mug Soap. I only own one brush atm, a Simpsons Commodore X2 that I've had for about 3 years. This brush has rarely shed hair, maybe one or two when I bought it but none since, but now I have switched to Proraso I am shedding about two hairs every shave. Surprising since I am now using the brush more gently being as though the Proraso is so soft and loads very easily compared to a hard puck. Was wondering if there is something in the Proraso that is harming the brush? Thinking about picking up a synth if this continues.
Interesting Question , Proraso will leave a white film on my shave gear that is a annoying but still will still clean up. I suggest give your brush a good shampoo with some hair moisturizer and go back to a hard puck for a few shaves and see if the brush still sheds.
 
Have you ever gave your brush a good cleaning? About twice a year I try to soak my brushes in a very dilute solution of vinegar. Might be worth trying. There are other ways to clean a brush too, like Ron mentioned perhaps try cleaning with a good shampoo. I've heard of people using a clarifying shampoo for this purpose. Some brands put out soap specifically used for cleaning brushes, one of which uses a mix of vinegar and borax.
 

OldSaw

The wife's investment
Might just be a coincidence. Using only one brush exclusively could cause hairs to break off eventually. Perhaps it’s just that time.

Look in the middle of the knot to see if hairs are breaking off there. If so, it could be from swirling on the soap to load the brush. My Art of Shaving brush did this pretty badly after about six months of damp loading on hard soap. It’s the only brush that I had go bad like that. I don’t use the damp loading technique anymore and try to keep a good rotation on my brushes.
 
Some ideas...

 
Thanks for the suggestions. Some answers to some questions here:

I give my brush a clean about every 3 months with a shampoo/conditioner, nothing extensive, just lathering the shampoo into the hairs and a rinse in water, then the same with conditioner, more for hygeine than for the sake of the brush although I doubt it would hurt anything (Tresemme for those interested).

I also don't swirl my brush when I lather, I always thought that was a no no because of creating a hole in the brush, I think when I got this brush there was even a little note in the Simpsons paperwork about not swirling. To lather I kind of push the tips of the brush into the soap at about a low angle in a back and forward motion while rotating the handle of the brush in my hand. Although that being said maybe that can damage a brush also. I don't bowl lather, just load and go to the face where I use a swiping/slapping motion.

The shedding started happening as soon as I started using Proraso, like someone flicked a switch to make my brush start shedding. My concern was that something in the soap is damaging the hair like the menthol maybe, but of course, many use Proraso with no issues.

The Duke is Dead thread was interesting for sure, I don't have hard water, in fact it's very soft since I'm on a well in rural MT but I was wondering if a borax soak might help out in case there is some mineral build up in the hair from long use.

Some pics of the knot, nothing looks obviously wrong to me but thoughts appreciated of course. Brush was barely damp from today's shave.

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OldSaw

The wife's investment
Thanks for the suggestions. Some answers to some questions here:

I give my brush a clean about every 3 months with a shampoo/conditioner, nothing extensive, just lathering the shampoo into the hairs and a rinse in water, then the same with conditioner, more for hygeine than for the sake of the brush although I doubt it would hurt anything (Tresemme for those interested).

I also don't swirl my brush when I lather, I always thought that was a no no because of creating a hole in the brush, I think when I got this brush there was even a little note in the Simpsons paperwork about not swirling. To lather I kind of push the tips of the brush into the soap at about a low angle in a back and forward motion while rotating the handle of the brush in my hand. Although that being said maybe that can damage a brush also. I don't bowl lather, just load and go to the face where I use a swiping/slapping motion.

The shedding started happening as soon as I started using Proraso, like someone flicked a switch to make my brush start shedding. My concern was that something in the soap is damaging the hair like the menthol maybe, but of course, many use Proraso with no issues.

The Duke is Dead thread was interesting for sure, I don't have hard water, in fact it's very soft since I'm on a well in rural MT but I was wondering if a borax soak might help out in case there is some mineral build up in the hair from long use.

Some pics of the knot, nothing looks obviously wrong to me but thoughts appreciated of course. Brush was barely damp from today's shave.

View attachment 1362453

View attachment 1362455View attachment 1362456View attachment 1362457
Sounds like you are taking good care of the brush. At this point my only concern might be the conditioner, which could contain silicone products. When I let my hair grow out I learned a lot about how silicone can damage hair over time.

However, it seems odd that this would occur at the exact same time as using Proraso. Since I’m not a fan of Proraso (I know it’s popular but I just don’t dig it) I would just quit using it. See what happens if you go back to your old standby and if the problem subsides.
 
Sounds like you are taking good care of the brush. At this point my only concern might be the conditioner, which could contain silicone products. When I let my hair grow out I learned a lot about how silicone can damage hair over time.

However, it seems odd that this would occur at the exact same time as using Proraso. Since I’m not a fan of Proraso (I know it’s popular but I just don’t dig it) I would just quit using it. See what happens if you go back to your old standby and if the problem subsides.
I'll have to check the ingredients on the conditioner, thanks for the heads up.

I really enjoy the Proraso so I ordered a synthetic brush to continue using it.

While I'm waiting I'm going to go back to Williams and see if the brush is still shedding.
 
Have been using Proraso Green every day for the past few weeks now. Usually a user of Williams Mug Soap. I only own one brush atm, a Simpsons Commodore X2 that I've had for about 3 years. This brush has rarely shed hair, maybe one or two when I bought it but none since, but now I have switched to Proraso I am shedding about two hairs every shave. Surprising since I am now using the brush more gently being as though the Proraso is so soft and loads very easily compared to a hard puck. Was wondering if there is something in the Proraso that is harming the brush? Thinking about picking up a synth if this continues.
Hi thp001, I'm also a Williams's user (alone and part of a blend with Van Der Hagen and a bit of Ivory) who added a Proraso Red to my rotation a few months ago. No issues with my primary brush, a Razorock Monster synthetic plissoft. Never need to clean this brush, just thoroughly rinse after each use and have yet to see any build up.

As a regular Williams user you may want to consider a good boar brush as I've found this works much better when loading Williams. I'm using a Razorock Blondie that is a rebranded Zenith 80N with a 26mm knot and 64mm loft with great results. Similar to an Omega 10049. Recently posted on this (link at bottom of this post). The Blondie was $8.99 and have seen the Omega's for around $10. Find with the boar brush that the Williams now lathers as easily as my somewhat softer blend where I use the plissoft achieving really thick & slick lather with both.

 
No matter if it's Badger, Boar, Horse or Synthetic, I soak everything in warm water for at least 10 minutes before use. They say the synthetics aren't porus or don't absorb water, but they seem to hold onto soap. Even after thorough rinsing and shaking dry, some of my synthetics still cloudy up the water when I go to soak them for next use, if I didn't give them a throough enough rinse after use.
My rule o thumb is that if a brush isn't as fluffy as new when it dries, there's still residual soap present & it needs better rinsing after use.

Also, a tiny dribble of Woolite into a glass of warm water works well for bristle cleaning - no need for vinegar or harsh cleaners to maintain my brushes.
 
Was gonna use my new synth today but ended up using the Commodore just to see. Put the soap in a lather bowl to avoid any potential damage from the Proraso tub, brush lost 8 hairs in total tonight.
 
Was gonna use my new synth today but ended up using the Commodore just to see. Put the soap in a lather bowl to avoid any potential damage from the Proraso tub, brush lost 8 hairs in total tonight.
Wow. What the hell's going on here? I use proraso with my SOC badger all the time and never lost a hair. I will refrain from using proraso on a Simpsons brush from now on. Good to know.
 
Wow. What the hell's going on here? I use proraso with my SOC badger all the time and never lost a hair. I will refrain from using proraso on a Simpsons brush from now on. Good to know.
Simpson have been making brushes since 1919 and Proraso have been in business since 1948. If the two products cannot safely be used together then I will grow a beard and change my name to Shirley - yes I am serious 🤣
 
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