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How do you soak your boar brush?

Wow 11 pages its crazy. I hold my boar brush under running water for a few seconds then straight to bowl. If I need more water I hold brush under water and add it to bowl. If its too much water, I tip bowl and drain into the sink.
 
Here is a great post explaining the different grades of Semogue bristles:
I've just read this, great info, thanks.

They say the extra backbone on the 1438 is valued by face latherers. I'm currently a semi face latherer and it suits me just fine. I have to say, I don't think I'd want it to be an awful lot floppier, something to consider when choosing my next brush, if there will be others. ;)

It also says that the Best bristle hair brushes are effective on the face and I know from my own research that the "iconic 1305" with Premium tops is well liked by face latherers. It looks like I couldn't go too far wrong with any Semogue.
 
Wow 11 pages its crazy. I hold my boar brush under running water for a few seconds then straight to bowl. If I need more water I hold brush under water and add it to bowl. If its too much water, I tip bowl and drain into the sink.
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It looks like I couldn't go too far wrong with any Semogue.
I like my Semogues. They have their detractors. The usual criticisms are:
- Takes too long to break in
- Once it does finally break-in, it is too floppy, like a mop
- Loses its nice shape and blooms out too much aka "Bedhead"

There's an element of truth in these, but Semogues still have their charms. I'd suggest trying one of the less expensive ones first to see how you like it. For a versatile brush than can work for both face lathering and bowl lathering, I like the 1250. It is only around $12 on some of the Euro sites. The 1250 is not too stiff, not too soft, has a natural wood handle (no paint to chip), and natural color bristles (no fake badger stripe). The ergonomics of the wood handle are great.
 
I like my Semogues. They have their detractors. The usual criticisms are:
- Takes too long to break in
- Once it does finally break-in, it is too floppy, like a mop
- Loses its nice shape and blooms out too much aka "Bedhead"

There's an element of truth in these, but Semogues still have their charms. I'd suggest trying one of the less expensive ones first to see how you like it. For a versatile brush than can work for both face lathering and bowl lathering, I like the 1250. It is only around $12 on some of the Euro sites. The 1250 is not too stiff, not too soft, has a natural wood handle (no paint to chip), and natural color bristles (no fake badger stripe). The ergonomics of the wood handle are great.
I somewhat agree with those points. I know my 1250 took a while to break in. However, the mop-like feature and the bedhead shape is pretty iconic of Semogue. I like the looks of it and once it's soaked, it's ready to lather up. I still need to go back to some of my Semogues as I'm forgetting how they feel like.
 
I somewhat agree with those points. I know my 1250 took a while to break in. However, the mop-like feature and the bedhead shape is pretty iconic of Semogue...
What I was hoping to get across is that the Semogue "premium" or "special" grade bristles might be too soft depending on expectations. I like a little backbone so the "best" grade which is cheaper is actually a better choice for me.

I also have a Semogue 620 with shorter loft. The "extra" grade bristles on that one are really stiff out of the box (like a wire brush), but with time I expect they will be about right for face lathering with a bit of scrubby feel. It takes a long time to break in a 620, though, I am estimating around 30 uses or more.

The 1250 is more of a Goldilocks brush. Not too soft, not too firm.

The SOC is very soft, some would say too soft and floppy.
 
What I was hoping to get across is that the Semogue "premium" or "special" grade bristles might be too soft depending on expectations. I like a little backbone so the "best" grade which is cheaper is actually a better choice for me.
The classic YMMV. It seems there's no getting away from this when it comes to shaving.
 
I soap brush usually 15-20 min while I'm in shower. I shake most of the water out the brush and load on puck for 45 sec to 1 minute adding a little water when needed.
@Kealon7 I was finally able to edit a quick video for my YouTube Channel, and here is a link to how I load, face lather, and face wash with the soap. It is from my daily shave today. I used Sterling Soap Co. Margaritas in the Arctic and an Omega Boar brush on it's 15th? shave. Hope this helps. Let me know what you think about what I do compared to what you do.


Hope your shaves are going well.
 
So, I used the Omega Boar today for a 17th shave:

It is working well and I am finding it consistent now. I soak it for about 15 minutes while showering, and then I shake out a most of the water and leave the bristles just damp. I then swirl on the puck and load it up into the knot a bit by splaying out the brush, then letting up on the pressure and building more on the tips. It has become the most used brush and not just because I want to do 30 days with it, but because I really do want to use the brush. It just feels good to use. Not finding that it is any more broken in, but I wonder if I have hit a point where it will be stable for a little bit, then break in more and be stable? Any thoughts on if this happens with Omega Boars?
 
Shave 17

Merkur 34C
Gillette 7.00 Yellow (5)
Semogue 1438
Proraso White

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2 passes, WTG, cold water, bowl/face lather hybrid. I'm starting to develop a bit more consistency in my routine as my decisions are based more on what I prefer through experience, rather than just guess work, things I fancy or recommendations from others. I expect them to evolve or become more refined as I develop.

I dipped the brush once as I was loading, 3 more times in the bowl and another 3, maybe 4 as I was face lathering. This brush is great. Predictable and comfortable, both on the face and in the hand. I'll study handles more carefully before my next brush purchase.

For the first pass, though it could have been smoother, there was none of the tugging I felt on Mondays shave. That means it was mostly down to my lack of technique. Rinsing off between passes told me that the shave was pretty close, pretty consistent, a little patchy but getting generally better with each shave. I used pressure and went over the same areas repeatedly.

Second pass, I dipped one more time and had the kind of lather I really like. Slick, not thick. It was slippery enough to cause a bit of unexpected lateral motion on the front edge of my chin. Not much, but enough to get my heart pumping. I used pressure and repeated strokes again. It was all shallow angle. Around the face of my chin, the moustache area and even the lower lip, there was no audio or feeling of the blade cutting. That first pass was clearly not too bad at all and it would appear that my technique is improving, slowly but surely.

There would have been plenty of lather in the brush for a third pass and clean up if I'd wanted.

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The result was close to DFS where my technique was up to the mark (which is to say NOT around some of the jawline and all of my neck below the top of my adams apple) and, despite my flagrant abuse of the rules regarding pressure (plus, no prep) there was no irritation or redness at all. I have no doubt that the cold water has a part to play in this, along with the use of as shallow an angle as I could find while still cutting effectively. The cold water also really seems to bring out the best in this soap. My skin is not dry at all. I do nothing post shave.

No nicks, no weepers and the brush lost no bristles. Pretty good.
 
Not finding that it is any more broken in, but I wonder if I have hit a point where it will be stable for a little bit, then break in more and be stable? Any thoughts on if this happens with Omega Boars?
It happened with my Omega 10005. I used it daily for about two months and it got better and better over time. But, then, it seemed to regress a bit. It didn't seem to be lathering as well as before and the tips started to feel more skritchy.

Looking back, I think that I may have been pressing too hard while drying the knot on a towel at the end of my shaves and the split ends broke off. There's a thread describing this phenomenon... I can't remember who started it. Anyway...

Wait... I found it. See this thread started by bluesman7.

Anyway, I basically had to break-in the brush again. As before, I used the brush instead of following any particular break-in routine. Eventually after another 5-6 months, it felt like it was back to where it had been before the tips broke off.

At this point, I cleaned the brush in vinegar because I noticed some soap buildup deep in the knot. After that, it felt like the brush was changing again. In my mind, the knot felt more compliant and the tips were softer. However, it probably was the brush getting slightly floppier. Over the next year, it stayed pretty much the same.

Then, around the middle of my third year using the brush, I cleaned it again with vinegar. This time, I noticed that the hairs seemed stiffer. I suspect that the knot was wearing down and the hairs had become shorter. I kept using the brush, as before, but this time I inspected the knot regularly to see if/when the split ends broke off.

Well, it's now more than six years since I started using that brush and it's the best that it has ever been. I've babied it over the last few years, so the split ends haven't broken off again. Now, I just gently squeeze the water out of it, wipe the handle, then hang it up; no more whipping it over the bathtub and no more rubbing the knot hard on a towel.

So, the moral of the story might be that I've finally learned how to treat a brush so that it doesn't wear out as quickly. Should have figured that out a long time ago maybe, but like the saying goes "With age comes wisdom."
 
It happened with my Omega 10005. I used it daily for about two months and it got better and better over time. But, then, it seemed to regress a bit. It didn't seem to be lathering as well as before and the tips started to feel more skritchy.

Looking back, I think that I may have been pressing too hard while drying the knot on a towel at the end of my shaves and the split ends broke off. There's a thread describing this phenomenon... I can't remember who started it. Anyway...

Wait... I found it. See this thread started by bluesman7.

Anyway, I basically had to break-in the brush again. As before, I used the brush instead of following any particular break-in routine. Eventually after another 5-6 months, it felt like it was back to where it had been before the tips broke off.

At this point, I cleaned the brush in vinegar because I noticed some soap buildup deep in the knot. After that, it felt like the brush was changing again. In my mind, the knot felt more compliant and the tips were softer. However, it probably was the brush getting slightly floppier. Over the next year, it stayed pretty much the same.

Then, around the middle of my third year using the brush, I cleaned it again with vinegar. This time, I noticed that the hairs seemed stiffer. I suspect that the knot was wearing down and the hairs had become shorter. I kept using the brush, as before, but this time I inspected the knot regularly to see if/when the split ends broke off.

Well, it's now more than six years since I started using that brush and it's the best that it has ever been. I've babied it over the last few years, so the split ends haven't broken off again. Now, I just gently squeeze the water out of it, wipe the handle, then hang it up; no more whipping it over the bathtub and no more rubbing the knot hard on a towel.

So, the moral of the story might be that I've finally learned how to treat a brush so that it doesn't wear out as quickly. Should have figured that out a long time ago maybe, but like the saying goes "With age comes wisdom."
Yeah, might be time for me to stop stropping so much. Thanks for the link I'll take a look.
 
Used the Omega 10049 Pro Boar for the 18th shave and it worked great again, it seems to be holding more lather which is great. Feels soft and is at a point where I really like using it. Might be time to stop stropping against the towel at the end of each shave and just keep using the brush to 30 shaves!
 
Used the Omega 10049 Pro Boar for the 18th shave and it worked great again, it seems to be holding more lather which is great. Feels soft and is at a point where I really like using it. Might be time to stop stropping against the towel at the end of each shave and just keep using the brush to 30 shaves!
A wise decision, I think.

I've used no elaborate breaking in procedures with my Semogue and after less than 10 shaves, I love it already. Why do anything now other than just use it? BTW for me, that does include drying the knot on a towel gently between my fingers, then flicking the tips, lightly against the towel in a stropping action, but only gently and briefly.
 
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The Omega 10051 has finished it's cold water treatment.

It was subjected to a vigorous, 10 minute towel rubbing after 24 hours and another 24 hours after that.

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I decided to let it have some more. After 72 hours in total, I gave it a third 10 minute towel rubbing and left it to dry out for another 26 hours.

This is the brush before it's torture corrective treatment.

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And this is after.

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There's a small, but positive difference. It looks slightly looser and a little more opened up. It feels slightly softer against the hand too, but it's difficult to make an accurate assessment.

I'll see if it behaves more in line with my expectations when I next use it.
 
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The Omega 10051 has finished it's cold water treatment.

It was subjected to a vigorous, 10 minute towel rubbing after 24 hours and another 24 hours after that.

View attachment 1037141

I decided to let it have some more. After 72 hours in total, I gave it a third 10 minute towel rubbing and left it to dry out for another 26 hours.

This is the brush before it's torture corrective treatment.

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And this is after.

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There's a small, but positive difference. It looks slightly looser and a little more opened up. It feels slightly softer against the hand too, but it's difficult to make an accurate assessment.

I'll see if it behaves more in line with my expectations when I next use it.
That looks like one scrubby brush. What was your reasoning behind this purchase? More scrub/backbone or just variety?
 
That looks like one scrubby brush. What was your reasoning behind this purchase? More scrub/backbone or just variety?
This is the Omega that's responsible for this thread. It's been used for over 50 shaves, maybe near 100, since around June/July and sure is scrubby, with a lot of backbone. Initially, it struggled to absorb water when it was soaking before a shave, then cracked in several places and I wondered if this was normal for Omega boars. (not the cracking, but the water absorption)

Since the start of this thread it's had 2 seperate dish soap + vinegar deep cleans and now this cold water treatment. The ends are fairly well split and as I examined it during the cold water soaking period I noticed that the very tips of the brush have turned white; a sign that the brush is well broken in. But you're right, after all this it still is scrubby. Too scrubby for me maybe, but I'll see.

The Semogue is an entirely different animal. There's a couple of comparison pics of the 2 brushes on page 10 of this thread. But I'm happy to have variety. After all, I'm sure I'll add more brushes and as much as I love the Semogue 1438 I'd expect them to be different, otherwise I'd just keep buying the same brush over and over again. Mind you, if I continue to love the Semogue as much as I do right now, I may well end up doing just that!

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Shave 18

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Merkur 34C
Gillette 7.00 Yellow (6)
Semogue 1438
Proraso White

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This evening I used the Proraso Green Pre-shave again, not for the pre-shave benefit (I don't believe in it!) but to see how I feel about the scent as I didn't particularly enjoy it the last time I used it. Odd, because I really liked the smell prior to that.

Cold water shave again, 2 passes WTG, aiming for consistency. I read a brilliant couple of sentances by @Cal earlier today in which he essentialy says to breathe. Amazing! I hadn't even considered until now how often I'm holding my breath as I try to make my razor do what I want, never entirely with success.

I wet my face and applied a little of the preshave. I think I was just a bit too heavy handed with it last time. It smells nice and feels great. I like menthol.

Loading from the tub I had to dip my brush once, then started in the bowl before face lathering. Even here I was trying to think about my breathing.

I wet the razor and started, right ear, wtg. It wasn't the smoothest and I wondered if the lather wasn't quite wet enough. I carried on, the lower lip was really tuggy, enough to make my lip pull down slightly. The left and right jaw, lower corners, weren't a whole lot better. I had to re-lather my right side neck before I'd even begun the rest of it and I noticed a couple of those Proraso bubbles that float upwards in the air. The lather was too dry!

I don't think I took even one complete, easy breath for the whole of the first pass. It was hard work.

I rinsed off and re-lathered, dipping 2 or 3 times, aiming for better slickness.

Pass 2 started better. I relaxed, breathing a bit more easily, trying not to force the issue. If only my first passes could be as smooth as this. There was still tugging at the lower lip though. The neck was fine, the part where north meets south taken care of swiftly and much more easily than normal. This involved an inevitable bit of ATG shaving. It gives me confidence for the future.

I finished without cleaning up and rinsed off. No irritation, but a little bit of redness on the face of my chin. I had to look really closely in the mirror to see it, and it was gone in 10 or 15 minutes, but it was there. My initial aim is to get irritation free shaves with no redness consistently. I have been since cold water shaving, but not today. The right side of my face is not as close as the left, the other way around along my jawline. The neck is not too bad. No nicks, no weepers. The brush lost 2 bristles. I can do better.
 
Shave 19

Merkur 34C
Gillette 7.00 Yellow (7)
Semogue 1438
Cella

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The Cella has been drying out for 1 week. The strong marzipan fragrance has reduced by about half, maybe more, it's hard to say. I do know that I have a very strong sense of smell.

I soaked the brush as normal and started loading. It was a little foamy and I didn't need to add any water at the bowl stage. On to the face and I noticed straight away that the consistency was not quite right. Very airy, almost like whisked egg whites. With each dip the lather just got thinner. By the time I called it a day I could see the pink of my chin through it. But, no prickling sensation and the aroma is definitely nowhere near as strong as usual.

The first WTG pass was actually not too bad, a little tuggy around the chin and the lather had dried out on my right side neck. I normally get a warm, prickly sensation around the moustache and lower lip area at this stage with Cella. Not tonight.

I lathered up for the second pass and the lather was way too thin. There was plenty enough of it, it just wasn't thick enough. As I went back to the tub for more soap I started to get the first discomfort from the Cella. I tried to ignore it and carried on but decided to shave XTG for pass number 2. Comfortable and smooth enough, technically tricky around and under the chin, front edge. Shaving the moustache and I was clearly working with completely dry lather. I could tell by the sound and the feel of it but I carried on. I dabbed a finger on my neck before proceeding any further, not wanting to push my luck. I was proven right, it was completely dry so I dipped the brush again, re-lathered and finished the shave.

After rinsing and drying off, despite the sub par lather I'd been working with I was surprised to find no irritation, other than the tell tale Cella prickle, which was much milder than I've experienced previously. No redness, nicks or weepers and the finish was a shade closer than my normal 2 passes WTG. I'm still not achieving the kind of first pass that I want but my technique seems to be improving.
 
Well shaves 19, 20, and 21 happened with my 10049 pro boar.

The brush is working well, but I am noticing the brush feeling more scratchy the last few shaves. I am going to push through. The only thing I am doing different recently is I no longer strop the brush against a towel after shaking it dry. I’ll report back in a few days about how the brush is doing.
 
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