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Kent has gone all Synthetic

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Funny, I just happened by chance the other day to notice that Edwin Jagger states on their site in their shaving advice section to wet your "synthetic" brush, quite specifically... seemed odd, and that got the wheels turning, so I clicked on the page detailing their entire brush range, which informed me that they only make synthetic brushes. Because it's "progress," you see (their word, their definition). I doubt they were being threatened.

I have both synthetic and badger brushes, both of which I like and am fine with (I was strongly considering buying a new synthetic, in fact), but I don't care for the distinction being made into a pseudo-moral issue, and prefer to avoid brands who affect that posture.
 

FarmerTan

George Bailey Fanboy
I have a pretty floppy Vulfix that I like for creams so i don’t mind having a couple of brushes with less backbone in the arsenal. More curious than anything else to try a larger Kent.
It's kinda sad if they have left badgers behind. But I can see in today's culture that PETA carries a LOT of weight.

As someone up thread said about it being different with boars, because we eat 'em anyway, and why waste anything on them. Thanks for stating that! Helped my simple brain understand the difference.

And Badgers are incredibly handsome animals. And tougher than just about anything in it's weight class.

As for synthetic brushes: honestly, I love the ones I've been given. Doubt I'll ever have to buy one. They seem like they will outlast me.

But I REALLY like a well broken in boar. The face feel is unlike anything for me.

I find that 2 things really OWN me in this "hobby": the "face feel" and "aftershave/fragrance" aspects.

If I ever get shtoopid and go back to cartridge shaves, those two things will remain with me. And it's all y'all's faults!
 
I rather enjoy big, floppy, well broken in boars. Big Zeniths and vintage old Rubbersets with the "barber" handle come to mind. They're great to slap the lather around the face. But a floppy badger just pancakes out on the face so that I'm lathering with the sides of the hairs in the centre/middle of the knot. The only way it works is to gently touch just the tips to the skin with no pressure, and that to my mind defeats the purpose of using a brush. Of course I only face lather; perhaps loading in a bowl and gently painting on the lather is different, but that holds no interest to me.
I love my Kent’s blk12 silver tip. Great with soaps plus a scuttle and because it’s nice and floppy I use brush strokes with applying the thick lather. A different shave which I love from my other firmer brushes.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
No soaking required, no shedding, no smell, no special drying procedure or care needed, no hassle, no nothing.
Yup! I went all synthetic with a Kent INF1 and a Maggards 22mm, then added a Simpson T2 as back up. An Omega Hi-Brush resides in my travel washbag.

When the T2 arrived, an Omega Mixed Midget arrived with it, as I wanted to revisit natural hair, and be sure I hadn't missed the experience. The Midget is the scritchiest brush I've ever used, but then again, it's also the only brush I've ever used which has any badger hair in it. The bottom line though, is that while I will continue to break it in, it's way too tedious to use regularly.

Synthetics make life so much easier. Less care, faff, worry, lather hogging, time, and cost. Maybe a £50+ natural hair brush would be better, but why on earth would I want to spend that, when a <£20 synthetic works so well, and is significantly less hassle in use?
 
I can't help but think that the effort required to use a natural brush is being overstated a little. I soak my badger brushes just long enough to get them wet, lather up in 30 seconds unless I take longer because I enjoy face lathering so much, rinse after use, and leave to dry until next time in the rotation. They give me huge pleasure and there is no smell, no shedding, no fuss, no worry, and no special drying procedure. I am not sure how much easier and more simple I want or need it to be, I still have time to watch TV, go out for a walk, and even browse here on B&B occasionally 🤣
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
I can't help but think that the effort required to use a natural brush is being overstated a little. I soak my badger brushes just long enough to get them wet, lather up in 30 seconds unless I take longer because I enjoy face lathering so much, rinse after use, and leave to dry until next time in the rotation.
With a synthetic brush, I don't need a rotation.

I think my boar brushes of old, expired when they did, because they never had time to properly dry. I had that one brush in the bathhroom, and it got use whenever I shaved. Having to own and use multiple brushes, just to give each time to dry, is not something I wanted to entertain. In fact, it's something I wanted to avoid.

I now keep two brushes in the bathroom, as one of my primary brushes works better with hard soaps, and the other works better with creams. I can now use them either one everyday if I choose, with no fear of them being ruined or starting to rot. I don't wet the brush, I wet the soap, pour off the excess, and what remains is the perfect amount of water for loading with a dry brush. I synthetics much simpler, quickers, and worry free, and for me that's added value in itself.
 

Chandu

I Waxed The Badger.
Stubborn nostalgists will probably always maintain a small market for naturals which is usually the case when familiar items become obsolete, but I'd wager naturals will phase further and further into novelty items as the next generation of wet shavers are incorporated into the hobby.
For me, it's that the synth fibers are not absorptive and the fact that wet or dry they don't bend any differently. A waterlogged boar or badger fiber doesn't move the same way as s dry one. Dry synths and wet synths mostly do.

I think synth fibers could develop to a point where I'd consider them the equal of natural, but I bet they never will have to because the young-uns will replace the old-uns and not having any knowledge of natural fiber will not have such lofty expectations of a synthetic fiber to replace natural fiber.

So.... if you want the best synths we can possibly have, drive the younger folks away from shaving so the brush makers have to keep trying to satisfy the natural fiber contingent. If the youngsters take over we'll regress back to white polyester or nylon slingshots. :)
 
Human ethics and
“gentle”men’s shaving brushes ...


Lots of talk lately about a certain razor maker who took
the money and did not deliver.
Lots of talk about “shady practices” inside the shaving industry .
And lots of criticism about.
Yet ,no issues and problems
with what’s going on in China
regarding the harvesting of badger hair .

“Ye blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! “
Matthew 23:24
 
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Rhody

I'm a Lumberjack.
I think that’s somewhat deceptive as peta shelter is a shelter of last resort. There’s probably much more going on that meets the eye.
badger mightbe the be new mink.
 

Rhody

I'm a Lumberjack.
You are right. I deleted my post.

@SCh5 should follow suit.
There’s a lot of cruelty out there so I guess we’re all making our way.
ive never been a peta member but my mom had an atrocious fur coat decades ago. Not for an animal rights but I was embarrassed to be with her and that thing. I used to threaten to pour fake blood on it myself! 🤣🤣🤣
now good thing she never knew I have several badger brushes
 
While I do not support PETA, and never will due to their extreme stance that even dogs and cats shouldn't be owned as pets, I also don't think it's acceptable to turn a blind eye to true animal cruelty that occurs in the world. For me personally, I'm no longer willing to purchase badger hair brushes due to the dubious circumstances under which they are harvested.

I hope to have a custom brush made soon and that brush is going to have a synthetic knot because I can't support the badger hair industry any longer. If it was humane, sure. But I don't believe it is humane and being a pet owner I can't support the treatment that badgers in China receive. Ymmv.

P.s. I have a couple synthetics (Muhle STF and two Shavemacs) and they're great. Yeah they throw a little lather if I get too exuberant with my hand motions but they don't hog lather, they create lather faster than naturals, and they aren't as fragile as naturals. I'm looking forward to what synthetics come next!
 
Knowing the source I really don't know just how much I trust the PETA report.

That said, I have three or four synthetics. The newer ones are really very nice. They lather and handle a little differently but are very easy to adapt to. A little over 10 years ago when I got back into badger brushes, I felt that it was just a matter of time for synthetic to improve to the point of equivalency or nearly there. We are pretty much there and there is still room for improvement. Too bad that plastics have their own dirty environmental footprint, both pre and post consumer.

It looks like I may never own a Kent BK12.
 
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