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New brush break in and care

Ratso

Mr. Obvious
I’m on the Proraso mailing list and got this today about new brush break in and maintenance. I’ve never heard of these recommendations before. I thought I was supposed to hang my brushes upside down.

Straight from our in-house barber and trainer, Sheldon, here is all you need to know to break in and care for your Professional Shaving Brush.

CLICK HERE For The Full Lesson

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Break In Your Brush
Soak your brush overnight in a bowl of water with about a tablespoon of salt. This will help soften the bristles and neutralize any "new brush smell" from the natural bristles.
 
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Ratso

Mr. Obvious
I don’t know what happened to the rest, but it also said to shake the water out and lay it on its side on a towel.
 
I stand all my brushes up. New or old, Wet or dry. A new brush gets a soaking in water and water softener that the wife uses in the laundry for an hour or two. Then rinsed and a soak in OxiClean water. Then lather with shave soap from one of my samples in a jar. After that rince and stand until the next day. I've never had an issue with funny smells but this is just the first step in breaking them in. A boar might take a week or two of use after the first cleaning and soaking to be broken-in.
 
I’m on the Proraso mailing list and got this today about new brush break in and maintenance. I’ve never heard of these recommendations before. I thought I was supposed to hang my brushes upside down.
Straight from our in-house barber and trainer, Sheldon, here is all you need to know to break in and natural bristles.

Hello Ratso! How are you doing?

Brush care ha? Well, I will tell you what, when I received my new Maseto Avatar brush, it looked like this...

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Then for its initial breakin period to remove smell if any, and to prepare the hairs for lathering use, I soaked the brush in warm shampoo water. First soaking was for 1-hour, then I dumped it out, and made more fresh water shampoo water for another 1-hour soaking.

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Then I fully rinsed out all the soap out of the brush, and this is what it looked like wet...

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And then, to insure my silver tipped badger brush was fully dry, to insure it doesn't get mildew, mold, whatever, I dried it with LOW heat from a low watt hair dryer. And this is what it looks like dry...

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This is my brush after several uses on it.
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And here is the brush just chillin in my shave den!
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I also never heard of this business with using table salt to make hairs on the brush softer. But to be completely honest, silver tipped badgers are plenty soft as it is. The best part about this brush of mine, is that its both soft, but also has solid backbone, which allows me to apply my lather.

This was an upgrade from my pure badger brush, which is far less dense in the knot, and the loft is far too high, and brush has 0 backbone, so it just spreads out, falling flat on its face. So ya, just keep it simple I say, shampoo water, all you need.

Now, I have heard that bore brushes need far more time to break in, as in 2 to 3 days of soaking. I've never used a bore, because I am not interested in scratchy brushes, so never wanted one. But thanks for posting the guide deal anyways, its interesting in the least.
 
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I have never used a boar but I understand they can have a smell when new, and can benefit from breaking in. Were I to use a boar then I would break it in by repeatedly using it; that is part of their appeal, that they gradually become 'your' brush. None of my bager brushes have had any noticeable aroma and I have never soaked them, cleaned them, or done anything else prior to first using them, and never needed to.
 
Boar brushes are a totally different animal from badger brushes. 😄
For boar brushes (like badger) you can have an animal smell to get rid of but no where near as bad as breaking in a horse brush.
The other thing you are concerned about with a boar brush is to get the brush to have split ends. That makes the knot feel soft to the face. It is also a guide to encourage you that your brush is breaking in. The best way to get the bristles to split as quickly as possible is to let the brush completely dry out after it has been wet/used.

When I am breaking in a new boar brush, I will soak the boar brush as it I was going to shave with it. Usually the soak water will get a tint to it the first time I do this but this will get less and less each time you do it. Then I proceed to lather the brush with a soap and to a hand lather to get the bristles going, work the soap into the knot (which will help take away the animal smell over a few lathers) and see how close the brush is to shaving.
I then rinse out the brush and let it dry for 48 hours. You want the brush completely dry to encourage the split ends to happen as quick as possible.
Depending on the grade of the bristles and how much backbone you like, your boar brush may be ready for shaving quicker than you expect.
After a couple of these hand lather cycles, I may try face lathering to see if the brush is holding water and lather well and see how it feels on the face (looking to see if the scratchiness is gone if it was ever present). Once it starts holding water and lather well, I may try using it for a real shave. It probably will still take a number of shaves from there for it to fully break in but you should start seeing it get better each week/month of use.

For drying the brush, I gently squeeze the bristles around the tips to drain excess water and then rub the brush on a dry towel like you are painting lather on your face to work out more moisture. Unless the brush came with a special stand and instructions on drying, I just store the brush standing on its handle (bristles up) on the counter (don't put it away in a cabinet where air doesn't move). You want the brush to be have good air flow to help dry the bristles. I use this process for all my brushes no matter what knot type.

When I first started using shaving brushes (which was probably at least a decade before I started using safety razors, just because I needed more face friendly shaving soap/creams with my cartridge razors), I always stored my brushes on a stand, bristles/hair down to drip dry. The thought is that drying that way would keep water from going down into the knot and compromising the glue that held the knot in the handle (if I remember correctly). But after assembling a few shaving brushes of my own as well as attempting to remove some knots from brushes that I bought, I no longer have that concern. If a little water could cause your knot to come out, your not was not properly glued to begin with, in my opinion. So for most of my brushes, they dry bristle/hair up on the counter as it takes up less space.
 
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Guys - Be cautious about what you copy and paste from another website.
We have issues displaying tables in the forum threads, it causes some severe alignment issues.
Don't know why, but it does.

Please - no tables in the threads if you don't mind.

Hello Phil! I hope you are doing well!

Personally, I don't know what a table is, other then one that you eat off of, or work off of. I just link to pictures I have hosted on IMGBB. And I have never seen happen on this forum what happened to this thread, and that was before I even posted!

I am guessing it was something that Ratso had in his post. Anyways, whatever it was, glad it was resolved, and now the forum thread looks normal again, and not all weird lol. At first I thought the forum was being updated with a new style look. Then I thought it was weird that only this thread had the different style.
 

luvmysuper

My Elbows Leak
Hello Phil! I hope you are doing well!

Personally, I don't know what a table is, other then one that you eat off of, or work off of. I just link to pictures I have hosted on IMGBB. And I have never seen happen on this forum what happened to this thread, and that was before I even posted!

I am guessing it was something that Ratso had in his post. Anyways, whatever it was, glad it was resolved, and now the forum thread looks normal again, and not all weird lol. At first I thought the forum was being updated with a new style look. Then I thought it was weird that only this thread had the different style.
Yep, he had a metric ton of tables in his post, and also anyone who quoted his post.
No problemo, fixed now.
If you copy and paste and that happens, and you don't know how to remove tables, just report the post or give one of us a shout and we can fix it.
Bear in mind that fixing it may change the post a bit.
 
Yep, he had a metric ton of tables in his post, and also anyone who quoted his post.
No problemo, fixed now.
If you copy and paste and that happens, and you don't know how to remove tables, just report the post or give one of us a shout and we can fix it.
Bear in mind that fixing it may change the post a bit.
Would it be helpful to first paste the items copied from another site into an editor and strip out the formatting before pasting it into a thread on this site? I wonder if that would prevent the table issue in the future. I have to do that at times when pasting items I coped from a website/PDF/etc into an email.
 

luvmysuper

My Elbows Leak
Would it be helpful to first paste the items copied from another site into an editor and strip out the formatting before pasting it into a thread on this site? I wonder if that would prevent the table issue in the future. I have to do that at times when pasting items I coped from a website/PDF/etc into an email.
That would identify tables for sure.
But a shortcoming here with our software shouldn't mean extra work for everyone else.
Just sing out if there's an issue and we'll get it sorted.
 
After you get a brush broke in and you favor that brush a lot it is a good idea to every once in a while give the brush a good deep cleaning to get rid of soap build up. If you notice the brush is not performing like it did when you first started using it more than likely needs a deep cleaning.
The biggest mistake is not rinsing after use good enough and placing to dry.
Lots of articles on this deep cleaning process.
 

Ratso

Mr. Obvious
Yep, he had a metric ton of tables in his post, and also anyone who quoted his post.
No problemo, fixed now.
If you copy and paste and that happens, and you don't know how to remove tables, just report the post or give one of us a shout and we can fix it.
Bear in mind that fixing it may change the post a bit.
Sorry for tables. I thought I was copying text from an email which included a link and a photo. I have no idea where the tables came from. Maybe the tables you refer to are different than what a table is to me. Could you expand on what a table is? Thanks.
 

Ratso

Mr. Obvious
That would identify tables for sure.
But a shortcoming here with our software shouldn't mean extra work for everyone else.
Just sing out if there's an issue and we'll get it sorted.
I forgot to ask the question of how can I determine if my post has tables embedded?
 

luvmysuper

My Elbows Leak
Sorry for tables. I thought I was copying text from an email which included a link and a photo. I have no idea where the tables came from. Maybe the tables you refer to are different than what a table is to me. Could you expand on what a table is? Thanks.

I forgot to ask the question of how can I determine if my post has tables embedded?
My apologies for de-railing your thread, it's a good one.
If you are not familiar with tables, not a big deal, we can fix it as it happens.

If you are copying and pasting a large amount of info from another source, you can (before you hit "Post Reply") click on the Toggle BB Code in your post. It's the two brackets shown below.

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That will show all code in the post, and tables will show up as "TABLE" inside brackets. You have to click that again to exit BB code mode, so don't forget!

In the long run, it's not that big a deal, and I really don't want members to have to worry about this shortcoming that we have and which is not the members fault at all, in any way shape or form.
 

Ratso

Mr. Obvious
My apologies for de-railing your thread, it's a good one.
If you are not familiar with tables, not a big deal, we can fix it as it happens.

If you are copying and pasting a large amount of info from another source, you can (before you hit "Post Reply") click on the Toggle BB Code in your post. It's the two brackets shown below.

View attachment 1448680

That will show all code in the post, and tables will show up as "TABLE" inside brackets. You have to click that again to exit BB code mode, so don't forget!

In the long run, it's not that big a deal, and I really don't want members to have to worry about this shortcoming that we have and which is not the members fault at all, in any way shape or form.
Thanks. I learned something today. Now I don’t have to pay attention the rest of the day.😄
 
TLDR: My preferred break-in process is through continued use with accelerated drying.

I recently acquired a Zenith unbleached boar and today I used it for the first time. There was no special break-in ritual. I took it out of the box, soaked the bristles in a cup of water (cold tap) while getting ready for the day, thoroughly rinsed and gently squeezed out most of the water, and took it to the puck.

After the shave, I placed it in front of a fan (an electric fan should be standard issue in Texas) so the bristles would be dry before tomorrow's shave. I happen to agree with the "You want the brush completely dry to encourage the split ends to happen as quick as possible." statement from @GoodShave (and others) and wanted to accelerate the drying time. I weighed the brush when it first arrived so I already knew the dry weight. After less than 8 hours in front of the fan, it was back to its original weight and ready for tomorrow.
 
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