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I Guess It was Broken In

I have three boar brushes: And Eveready I've used since the 1970s, and two Van der Hagan. Haven't used them in a while, the Eveready due to shedding, and the VDH due to really liking the Fine angel hair synthetic that became my go-to brush. This morning, I looked at my first VDH boar, went, "Why not?' and used it.

I soaked it and the puck a few minutes in hot water. It was stiff when I took it from the shelf, as boar brushes can be be. But when I emptied out the lather, it was softer than anticipated. Didn't quite leave enough water in the brush, probably because I'm used to the synthetic, so the lather was a little stiff. I don't usually face lather with a boar brush, but decided to try it.

The brush was soft, nearly as soft as the synthetic, but with more spine. Amazing.

It looks like I'll start rotating brushes again.
 
I felt that way when I picked up an early-'80s Surrey kit (predecessor to VDH, it's the same brush) and lathered up the brush a few times. Even brand new that sad looking loose-packed banded boar performed better than it had any right to. Loaded quickly, lathered easily, plenty of flow-through (obviously) and soft on the face but just the right amount of backbone. A much better experience than my Omega. I still can't figure it out.

A similar one was my first brush, years ago, and I only got six months out of it because of excessive shedding though I don't remember any concerns about its performance otherwise. So I put the Surrey away, because I think the same thing would happen to it, but now I have another vintage banded boar and it works just as well.
 

Ice-Man

Moderator
Sorry once you used natural hair then go to synthetic, you will return back to your roots with natural boar or badger....as they are still the best knots to use IMO.....
 
Sorry once you used natural hair then go to synthetic, you will return back to your roots with natural boar or badger....as they are still the best knots to use IMO.....
COULD NOT AGREE MORE!!!!
I have a custom Ali handle synth that don't ever see the top side of any soap one day I'll end up heating the handle tearing out that plastic junk and re-knotting it with a proper Omega 49!
 
I'm gaining more and more respect for synthetics. I don't see them replacing natural brushes any time soon though.
 
Van der Hagen Boar Brush II

This brush is one I purchased at a grocery store some time back. Instead of a black hollow handle, this one is green and feels solid. A quick check doesn't show it on the VDH site (hmmm). When I first bought it, I made an effort to use it daily to break it it. Apparently, it was, too. Shave was just as good as the VDH Boar Brush I (black handle).
 
It’s not on the VDH site because they’re not offering a boar brush anymore as a stand-alone product, as far as I can tell. They stopped making that brush, which is kind of sad imo, and have a boar brush in their basic kits now that looks just like their badger brush.
 
My Van Der Hagen brush was a decent brush but it shed hairs like crazy. The handle was a really good shape and had a nice heft.

I see these things all the time used on eBay. Some are in good condition. Look for Surrey shave brushes.
 
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