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Synthetic brush tutorial?

I just received a synthetic brush. I have never owned nor used one before. I have boar, several grades of badger, from pure to HMW, and horse, but never synth until now. Basically, I thought it was about time to add a synth to the lineup.
I understand, however, that using a synthetic is a different skill set, for lack of a better term.
No soaking, brush is used fairly dry. I am trying to get my head around how a synth works, if it does not hold water, and whether or not I'm going to rip through soft soaps with it if I use it dry,
You might understand my inexperience by the statements above, because I have no clue, and am just guessing how synths work by recalling what I have read on the shaving forums.
Is there a tutorial on how to properly use a synthetic brush?
Or, can someone walk me through the technique, including, if you can, not just the how, but the why? I find if I can understand why things work the way they do, it is much easier to be successful with them.
Thanks.

$synth brush anthony mackenzie jr.jpg
 
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Okie, i posted a pic above. It is a brush by Anthony Mackenzie, Jr. Not a handmade. He finds brush handles, vintage or not, and sells them with a couple of synthetic knots he has a vendor make to his specs. Basically you pick a handle you like, pick a knot, and he puts the brush together, at whatever loft you want, and ships it out.
I like his business model, and he does great work. I have a restored Ever Ready with a 24mm HMW he stuffed in there. Lovely brush.
 
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IMO you're over-thinking this. You've obviously got some experience and know when a brush is loaded enough and how to make good lather, just have a go.

You're right that synths don't need soaking as they don't absorb water, just give it a sloosh in the sink, shake out the excess and have at it. One tip though, synths release water more readily than naturals, so it's best to add water a bit at a time by dipping the tips.
 
I have a Parker synthetic. I really want to like it, but it's definitely different.

Lathering, it is nice and easy. Fairly stiff, but it does a nice job. (I'm lathering in a bowl. Croaps and creams.)

My problems arise once I get the brush to my face. It flings lather everywhere, but doesn't seem to want to leave any on my face.

Do do synthetics break-in like boar brushes do?
 
Okie, i posted a pic above. It is a brush by Anthony Mackenzie, Jr. Not a handmade. He finds brush handles, vintage or not, and sells them with a couple of synthetic knots he has a vendor make to his specs. Basically you pick a handle you like, pick a knot, and he puts the brush together, at whatever loft you want, and ships it out.
I like his business model, and he does great work. I have a restored Ever Ready with a 24mm HMW he stuffed in there. Lovely brush.
No need to soak as the synthetic bristles don't absorb water, but you still should dip the knot underwater so that it retains/hold some water for loading.

I have a Parker synthetic. I really want to like it, but it's definitely different.

Lathering, it is nice and easy. Fairly stiff, but it does a nice job. (I'm lathering in a bowl. Croaps and creams.)

My problems arise once I get the brush to my face. It flings lather everywhere, but doesn't seem to want to leave any on my face.

Do do synthetics break-in like boar brushes do?
Synthetics bristles do not change over time. There are many different types of synthetic bristles with varying qualities. There are some really, really bad performing bristles while others have gained a cult following. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you anything about your Parker synthetic but I have never heard anything about it. On a large forum like B&B, that should tell you something about it. For a really good, inexpensive synthetic, take a look at the Omega S-Brush series (non-Pro) for about $8. I like the Plisson-type synthetics but those brushes start around $20 and go up from there.
 
I find that my EJ does a decent job of holding some water. After I soak it and let it drip dry, if I give it a good shake a ton of water comes out.
 
Okie, i posted a pic above. It is a brush by Anthony Mackenzie, Jr. Not a handmade. He finds brush handles, vintage or not, and sells them with a couple of synthetic knots he has a vendor make to his specs. Basically you pick a handle you like, pick a knot, and he puts the brush together, at whatever loft you want, and ships it out.
I like his business model, and he does great work. I have a restored Ever Ready with a 24mm HMW he stuffed in there. Lovely brush.
That is one sexy brush.
 
Run it under water or dunk it in the sink. Shake out the excess and lather. Generally the same as a natural hair brush but no need to soak for time and generally you shake out more water than normal because if there is excess when you bring the brush to your face it will drip out everywhere.
 
I can't get good lathers by shaking out the excess from my synthetic brushes, so--aside from not soaking these brushes--I use them just like my Omega boar: very wet, with a bit of a flick at the start, and then gradually add water as needed. As others have said, no need to over think it.
 

franz

Moderator Emeritus
I think you've gotten some fine advice. That's an interesting and eye-catching handle - hope you enjoy the brush.
 
My way of doing it, is soaking it under the tap, then just holding it up until it stops dripping. Leaves it very wet still, and seems to hit my lather perfect every time without adding water later.
 
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