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Help identifying brush hairs type

Tl;dr: long time lurker needs tips on how to identify hairs in a shave brush

Hi Everyone,

I'm a long-time lurker, first time poster. I've relied on numerous Badger & Blade (B&B) posts to help me pick out products in the past. That said, I am also a blunderer. I blundered into DE wet shaving by accident, when I impulsively bought a Microtouch One DE razor at a sporting goods store. I blundered into wet shaving when I stumbled across a Van Der Hagen (VDH) Badger Brush Shave kit and bought it about a year after that.

My latest blunder happened earlier this year, before local health orders shut down the region. It was then that I happened across a VDH badger brush at TJ Maxx and bought it. However, after a couple uses, I lost close to 50 hairs from the brush. Additionally, a small black chunk fell out of the brush (I wasn't sure if it was just glue or part of the interior of the handle). I emailed VDH's customer service and was ignored. Last month, however, I sent VDH a message via Facebook about the issue. They were apologetic and promised to send me a replacement.

Last week I received the package from VDH. Did they ever replace the brush! They sent me two more of the VDH badger hair brushes, three boar hair brushes, a bottle of shave oil, and the brush which hairs I need help identifying.

After looking through the VDH website, I think the brush is from this set: Night Star - https://www.vanderhagen.com/products/shave-sets/platinum-sets/Night-Star However, I'm not entirely certain.

When I smelled the brush, it had a slight odor to it, but nothing like the wet dog hair many B&B members have posted about their badger brushes. For that matter, neither did the first VDH brush I bought smell all that bad. Similarly, none of the VDH brushes I have actually smell bad. Then again, the pure badger brush I bought (and regularly used) from West Coast Shaving (WCS) also never smelled bad, either. At most, they all have a slight funk to them, but it's really only noticeable when the (new and not broken in) brush is wet and right next to my face/nose.

As for the feel of the brush hairs, they're definitely soft. I think they're softer than the WCS pure badger and the VDH badger's hairs. The unknown brush also lacks the backbone of either of the other two brushes. Then again, the unknown VDH brush also seems to have a smaller knot size than either my initial VDH badger brush or the WCS pure badger. I suspect some of the lack of backbone is due to a lesser hair density in the unknown VDH brush knot relative to the other two brushes.

In any case, I used the unknown VDH brush this past Sunday night. It sucked up water much better than my WCS pure badger, even though it likely has fewer hairs than the latter. In fact, it sucked up so much water (into the knot) that my lather (made from a Proraso white croap) was a little thinner and more watery than normal. Still, the brush provided a pretty good lather and helped me achieve a three pass BBS shave.

Based on all this, I think the hair in the unknown VDH brush is likely neither boar hair nor pure badger hair. As I've never had a synthetic hair brush, a best badger hair brush, nor a super badger hair brush, I haven't been able to eliminate those options from consideration. This is where I'm turning to the collective wisdom of B&B for help.

Would a synthetic hair brush be softer than a pure badger brush?

Would a silvertip badger hair brush look like the brush in the far left in the attached pictures? (Going from left to right, the other two brushes are the WCS pure badger and the first VDH badger brush.)

How do I tell if the VDH brush is dyed/bleached or if the coloring is natural?

For what it's worth, I really like this brush. I just want to know what the hairs in it are. Short of contacting VDH, again, is there a way for me to figure out what they might be?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Hard to tell from photos, but they all look like natural bristles. The one on the far left doesn’t look light enough for Silvertip, and doesn’t look dyed. Synthetic bristles have no scent, and don't hold water as well as natural fibers. I suspect Pure or Best badger, but classifications are all over the map. Looks like a nice brush.
 
Hard to tell from photos, but they all look like natural bristles. The one on the far left doesn’t look light enough for Silvertip, and doesn’t look dyed. Synthetic bristles have no scent, and don't hold water as well as natural fibers. I suspect Pure or Best badger, but classifications are all over the map. Looks like a nice brush.

Thanks for that. I just realized I put the new brush on the far right in the picture. Sorry about that. The order of the brushes in the picture was WCS, VDH pure badger, and VDH unknown.
 
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