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Kent has gone all Synthetic

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A synthetic brush is just about
100 grams of polyester & acrylic
that should provide more than
5 years of service life.

An average automobile contains
lots more of plastics and may have an average service life of 5 to 10 years.

Clothing and various polymer fabric household products,food
& cosmetic containers and wrappings and many more every day use products are of
much more concern about
their environmental footprint .

No ,me thinks that the environment is not really threatened by synthetic shaving
brushes .After all ,they do not end up in oceans by themselves.Instead ,they can easily be recycled .

Even so ,the badger brushes ,
do have polymer handles.
At least most of them.
So they actually check two boxes :
-Animal cruelty.
- Environmental impact.
Whereas the synthetic brushes ,
check just the second .

———————————-
Ah ! The amazing ignore button !
Must be feeling good hitting it.
Just like burying the head in the sand...
 
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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
Absolutely, I use a scuttle and the extra time using this over face lathering would still be the same using synthetics. The only difference I have is using a brush stand with my badger brushes, synthetics I don’t bother.


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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 agree that a cheap synthetic is much better than a cheap badger - I own half a dozen. But my $65 Omega EVO is considerably better than my cheap synthetics. It splays much better, better backbone and less likely to fling lather.

However, it's no match for my Semogue 2 band badger. Splays easier, no soaking or break-in required, doesn't hog lather, doesn't try and un-splay in use and softer tips, along with the most comfortable wood handle in the business - for the same price as the EVO (my cheapest badger). Loads in 6-8 seconds and is no less hassle than a synthetic.

So if you're looking for a budget brush synthetic is better than badger, although there are plenty of nice boars in the same price range. If you just like synthetics that's a different story and obviously just fine. I use the EVO as a travel brush as it can't match the performance of my other brushes.

People have eaten badgers for centuries and in some countries such as Russia, Croatia and China, they still do. But if you're a vegetarian it's fine to prefer synthetics on ethical grounds.

You don't need to justify your brush choice (or the color of your shirt), your reasons are your own and should always be respected here. Just don't expect your reasons to necessarily make sense for anyone else.
 

RenoRichard

Contributor
As noted above, this thread has taken a turn for the worse. Industry will go where the profits and the political winds blow. I'm not adverse to synthetics, and unlike some years ago, a few of the newer ones I've tried are actually quite serviceable. But for me, nothing yet has equalled the performance of my natural bristle brushes. I don't mind the idiosyncratic nature of badger and boar; in fact that may be what I enjoy most. Each brush is somehow individualistic and those small differences make for more fun in my lathering and in choosing a brush to work well with my choice of soap or cream.

I'm also pretty sure the treatment of badgers in China is likely terrible, after all, if the reported treatment of the Uighurs is any indication- people aren't all treated well there. And, in many other places around our world. I would be happier if the animals were finished off humanely. That being said, if a few badgers have died for my brushes, it doesn't keep me up at night. I've hunted and fished since I was a boy, and I have no issue with harvesting wildlife, or in using badger brushes. Of course, the opposing point of view is fine, and those folks should live in accord with their beliefs. There is a very long list of things in our society I find very objectionable, but I'm not inclined towards telling others they should live in line with my views. Nor do I appreciate others trying to tell me how to live. Badgers and boars are simply not endangered species.
 
People have eaten badgers for centuries and in some countries such as Russia, Croatia and China, they still do. But if you're a vegetarian it's fine to prefer synthetics on ethical grounds.
This has nothing to do with being a vegetarian, I eat meat every day. It has everything to do with HOW they kill those poor animals.

I personally wouldn't eat a Badger, just like I've no interest in a bat soup or fried spiders... that said, I have nothing against people eating badgers, IF the animal is slaughtered in a "humane" way, without causing it tremendous pain and suffering.

In that video that @SCh5 shared, it makes a normal person sick to watch how they smash the poor animals head with a hammer.

So, in my previous post I commented that I was done buying badger brushes. It was purely for practical reasons, as I find the synthetic brush simply better. How and ever, after seeing the video I wouldn't buy another badger brush for ethical reasons, even if it were superior in quality and utility to a synthetic. I don't want to support those barbaric practices.
 

South Dakota Guy

Contributor
Unfortunately telling other people how to live is standard now in America. They even have Home Owners Associations now full of people telling their neighbors how to live. What will we call this site if badger brushes disappear? Synthetic Brush & Blade? It doesn't have the same ring to it.
 
I have two brushes, both small, a Kent BK4 and a Simpson T2. The BK4 is marginally better for lathering on the puck and painting on MdC. The synthetic is better at everything else but was no slouch this a.m. with lathering MdC on the puck and painting it on. About three seconds work yields enough lather for ten passes probably on the BK4 and maybe six on the T2.
 

Rhody

I'm a Lumberjack.
I was a full on convert to synthetic but now that I have more time on my hands I see again the benefit of badger and probably I’m thinking boar is really the best.
 

NoScrubs

Contributor
I would like to join you in that place, but sadly I cannot. I have a handful of synthetic brushes. The best one is the Omega EVO, and it is a nice brush, but my SOC 2 band is considerably better for face lathering at the same price. I prefer one of the boars for the scuttle, and nothing is like that big Kent BK8.

I'm glad you found your happy place.
+1 BK8
 
I was a full on convert to synthetic but now that I have more time on my hands I see again the benefit of badger and probably I’m thinking boar is really the best.
I think I’m going to try out a boar brush I’ve seen a few posts about them. Has popularity in boar increased recently or always been there?


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Rhody

I'm a Lumberjack.
I think I’m going to try out a boar brush I’ve seen a few posts about them. Has popularity in boar increased recently or always been there?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I think there is a huge fan base for boar. One of my first was a Semogue 620. Inexpensive and I felt like it broke in so quickly. I recently get it out and was so surprised at how soft and luxurious it is. But now I took this to a boar badger debate. Lol. 😂
 

Owen Bawn

"Ask me about a fluffernutter"
A couple years ago on Twitter I asked Joe from Italian Barber about the status of boar sales and he told me that cheap synthetics have all but destroyed the boar market.
 

Rhody

I'm a Lumberjack.
A couple years ago on Twitter I asked Joe from Italian Barber about the status of boar sales and he told me that cheap synthetics have all but destroyed the boar market.
I believe that. And brings us full circle ⭕ back to Kent going synthetic. Makes sense. Especially if that have great knots. My favorite these days is the omega evo but it’s not economical.
 
From what I’m aware of ,here in Europe boar brushes are still used by many shavers.

In Asia ( mainly China) they use
goat hair to make shaving brushes .Do not know much more ,especially about the “behaviour” of those.

EVOs are indeed great synthetic brushes,but yes ,
I also think that they are rather
pricey .Maybe it’s their resin-mica composite handles that raise their price.

But ,from time to time ,
I ‘m wondering how come there’s no shaving brush that uses plant derived fibres.
There are more than a few plants that can produce fibres
Others are quite stiff ,others are quite soft .
But there has to be a kind of plant fibre that is suitable for use in making shaving brush knots.

Another thing that pops in my mind ,is that with todays technology ,even artificial meat can be made ,right ?
Making keratin fibres should not be a problem .
Maybe in the near future there
will be artificial made badger hairs.Made of keratin like the
real thing .And then no wild animal has to be killed .Badgers can continue living their life in the wild ,and shavers all around the world will still be able to enjoy the luxurious feeling of a
“badger” brush.

Thing is that in order for this to be a profitable bussiness ,wet
shaving has to become a ritual for the majority of men.

Who knows ?
Maybe.

Myself would love to have such
a “badger” brush to enjoy ,
knowing that no real badger was struck in the head with a chair leg .
 
I think there is a huge fan base for boar. One of my first was a Semogue 620. Inexpensive and I felt like it broke in so quickly. I recently get it out and was so surprised at how soft and luxurious it is. But now I took this to a boar badger debate. Lol.
That’s good it didn’t take long. Perhaps the custom brush makers could offer a board knot with some beautiful handles.


A couple years ago on Twitter I asked Joe from Italian Barber about the status of boar sales and he told me that cheap synthetics have all but destroyed the boar market.
That’s a shame but not surprised.



From what I’m aware of ,here in Europe boar brushes are still used by many shavers.

In Asia ( mainly China) they use
goat hair to make shaving brushes .Do not know much more ,especially about the “behaviour” of those.

EVOs are indeed great synthetic brushes,but yes ,
I also think that they are rather
pricey .Maybe it’s their resin-mica composite handles that raise their price.

But ,from time to time ,
I ‘m wondering how come there’s no shaving brush that uses plant derived fibres.
There are more than a few plants that can produce fibres
Others are quite stiff ,others are quite soft .
But there has to be a kind of plant fibre that is suitable for use in making shaving brush knots.

Another thing that pops in my mind ,is that with todays technology ,even artificial meat can be made ,right ?
Making keratin fibres should not be a problem .
Maybe in the near future there
will be artificial made badger hairs.Made of keratin like the
real thing .And then no wild animal has to be killed .Badgers can continue living their life in the wild ,and shavers all around the world will still be able to enjoy the luxurious feeling of a
“badger” brush.

Thing is that in order for this to be a profitable bussiness ,wet
shaving has to become a ritual for the majority of men.

Who knows ?
Maybe.

Myself would love to have such
a “badger” brush to enjoy ,
knowing that no real badger was struck in the head with a chair leg .
Petri dish/test tube badger I like that!
Plant based would be good, a whole biodegradable brush would tick a box for me but it would need to last 10yr for me.


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thombrogan

Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
Lab grown badger fibers; lab grown exotic animal pelts with custom patterns (with the findings and money going towards skin grafts for injured animals); lab-grown kobē (so all the sakē and massages can go to me instead of overpriced food…); the future is potentially glorious.
 

SharpieB

Contributor
A couple years ago on Twitter I asked Joe from Italian Barber about the status of boar sales and he told me that cheap synthetics have all but destroyed the boar market.
Interesting but makes sense.

I bet Semogue and Omega still do well, but I can’t really think of another mainstream brand that does a lot of boar that is still relevant/popular. Parker and Wilkinson Sword come to mind and I guess custom makers like Rudy will make you one if you ask nice...
 
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