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Stupid question time!

Ok, so I'm still fairly new to shaving correctly. And I got started the exact way I would never recommend anyone start anything. Walked into my local Art of Shaving with a wad of legal tender, pointed to a setup I like the look of, and said "I'll take that one". Don't get me wrong, I ended up with a pretty good set. Gillette silver tip brush, Mühle 3 piece razor, and stand. I've since learned soaps just don't agree with me. Dry my face out pretty bad. So it's creams for me.

That's background. My question comes to the brush. Silver tip badger I've read on the interwebs is the best. That's the second most common answer to fibers. The most common was they're all good in their own ways, use what you like. So I got the badger.

My question is, for creams only in the hands of a novice, which direction should I look in a new brush? In general I mean. I know there's too much out there that a specific horse can outshine a specific synthetic. But in general, a novice using creams, what fibers should I be leaning towards?

Yes, I've searched Google (which gave me lists of highest ranking Amazon lists) and past threads. The problem with past threads is its made of the best information. From 10 years ago. Things change and synthetics have evolved. And I posted here instead of brushes because we use creams in this subforum and it makes sense that any advice given would be inherently more tailored.

Thank you everyone for your advice!


Imagining solutions for imaginary problems
While I think you'd be able to lather creams with any natural hair brush, I do prefer using a synthetic with my creams. Something about the softness of the bristles and the splay of my synthetics makes me always grab them when I'm lathering with a tube cream. I'm a budget-minded guy, so my two recommendations for synthetic users are:
  • Yaqi brushes -- the 24mm Yaqi Sagrada Familia is a good one, but I've got about 6 Yaqi synthetics and I haven't run into a bad one yet. I will say that I prefer the smaller shorter set knots (24mm) when it comes to my creams (mew brown synth and tuxedo); the 26mm Timberwolf and Faux Horse knots I have are a bit firmer and I prefer them with croaps or soaps.

  • Razorock Plissoft brushes -- my very first brush was a black handled 24mm knot version....I like the Plissoft bristles and I actually prefer my larger 28mm beehive brush for creams.
I hope this helps. Those are really the only two synthetic brands I have, but my understanding is that you can't go wrong with modern synthetics; the only thing I'd say is that you don't have to spend a fortune on one, the value-brushes I laid out above will likely make you very happy.
I don't believe there is a preference between soaps and creams in terms of drying out your face. I have dry skin and MdC and WK don't dry out my face.

You can also find creams that are more drying than others, so you might want to consider a post about the least drying creams available.

Brushes are not determined by soap vs cream. There are brushes that are generally better for face lathering (or bowl lathering), although you can use any brush for anything. Your brush should work fine for creams.

If you bowl lather you might want a large brush. I do, but many don't. If you face lather you might want a smaller brush with plenty of backbone, but some people like to face lather with huge silvertips.

Of course if you just want another brush you've come to the right place. Badger, synthetic and boar all work with creams. If you list what you're looking for in a post you'll get great suggestions (price, face or bowl lather, big or small, stiff or floppy).

If you read a few "3 favorite creams" posts you'll see that there is absolutely no agreement on what's best, but you'll see a few brands surface on many lists. Start with those.

All the best.
I've had an expensive Thater brush and a $20 Razorock Plissoft brush. I don't think I've touched my Thater brush in 2 years. One difference between natural and synthetic is that the synthetic will not hold any water in the bristles.

More expensive doesn't neccesarily mean better. Sometimes, it comes to the cost of the handle (could be expensive wood), and how much they shed. Those 2 things in particular has nothing to with how good a brush perform in lathering.

I much prefer face lathering, where I can gauge the water to soap/cream ratio. I have no desire to go back to natural bristles.
I think you might like to try a good synthetic. The Yaqi Sagrada Familia as suggested above is very good for face lathering.

A versatile brush is the Yaqi Purple Haze with 24mm Mew Brown knot. Another is the Yaqi Mountain Lake with 24mm Arctic knot. All these are available from West Coast Shaving so you don't have to order from Aliexpress.

yaqi-phaze-5.jpg yaqi-clear-5.jpg

Another nice synthetic is the Turn 'N' Shave chess available from this vendor on Etsy.

Thank you everyone for your replies.

Musicman, I'm sorry, I should have listed criteria. Budget is somewhat fluid. I have other expenses in life, but I certainly have no problem paying for quality. Although beyond the $50-$75 range, it has to start working on convincing me of its added benefits. I mostly bowl lather, and with my beard, don't really use a lot of cream. Just cheek tops and neck. So I suppose that would lend itself to a smaller brush. Stiff or floppy, backbones, anything else I really don't know enough to know what I like or don't

And yes, partly it's because I want to try a new brush. I was just wondering if it mattered with a denser soap vs a, well, creamier cream. I have a very nice brush and I really can't fault it for anything. I'm not looking to replace a bad (or bad for me) brush.

And thank you for the recommendations, Flinstones65 and detroitreds (Wings fan?). I'll look into those. Certainly within budget.
Hi RookieGuy.

For what my experience is worth I managed to get through almost 6 years of shaving with creams and soaps and only ever using two pure badger brushes (one from TOBS and the other Cyril R Salter) and a Wilkinson Sword brush. The badgers got more use than the Wilkinson Sword but I liked the Wilkinson Sword so much I still have another one unopened in my shaving supplies!

After watching more than a few Paul H Films videos on YouTube and hearing the good man speak highly of Semogue boar brushes I invested in a Semogue 830 almost 2 years ago. It fast became my favourite brush for lathering with soaps and creams, whether I was bowl or face lathering. Semogue brushes don’t seem to cost much at all but I would recommend giving them a look.


I Waxed The Badger.
I'm a natural brush fan, so try a Zenith Boar or Horse since you already have a badger. I've heard their badger are good too. I've tried several synths, but they just aren't for me. I'm holding out hope that someday, but I think we are at least 5 years away (for me) from a fiber that will compete with natural for me.
I like the silvertip for creams... but I don’t believe silvertipz are the best brushes. Silvertip is only the best or second best grade of badger hair.

Silvertips and synthetics are my go to’s for creams. Boar would certainly do the job too. I use creams for speed and convenience andI like the ways synthetics and badger whip up lather. But generally I’m a soap guy, and I like boars and synthetics for that. I like the qualities of a boar brush when loading and the heartiness of the boar bristle backbone for face lathering.

if you are looking for a brush that is very different from your silvertip I’d recommend trying a boar, but with the Understanding that it’s a long term commitment if you plan to really get the most out of it. Otherwise if you are looking for lower maintenance a soft and not at all scratchy brush, then look into synthetics.There is no wrong choice, just need to identify what characteristics you are looking for in another brush.

On the topic of soaps drying you out... I would suggest checking an artisan soap and or see about hydrating your lathers a bit more, learn their true hydration potential. There are at least 3 brands of artisan soaps that I use that leave my skin so well hydrated and moisturized. Better feeling than applying a balm. I have had soaps that dry me out as well as some creams.
You won't regret buying Yaqi Sagrada Familia 24mm synthetic, recommended by other guys.

Also, you should reconsider, what "stupid question" is ;-)
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