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The Time Has Come? :: My First Badger-Hair Brush ::

So I've been wet-shaving for a couple years now but have never used a badger hair brush. Curiosity finally got the better of me and I ordered a "tortoiseshell" handled brush from WCS to see what all the fuss is about. It arrived today, two-days early. Why this particular brush? Well it has somewhere around 80 glowing reviews on WCS, it fit comfortably within my budget and I liked the look of the handle (similar to my Trafalgar T3). While I don't beans about badger brushes generally speaking, and maybe I'm easily impressed, but this seems like a really nice specimen, at least at first blush. It did have just a wee-little bit of badgerlicious funk going on, so I shampooed it, set it in hot-rollers and hung it up to dry. Okay, so I'm joking about the hot-rollers. I didn't realize it was going to "explode" like it did after washing. Wow. It's a honkin' big brush (26mm knot); and I've been using a Trafalgar T3 for a long time. Conveniently, it fits my extra-wide razor/brush stand perfectly, so that's a plus.
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Honkin Big.jpg
WCS Brush (post-shampoo) Posed With Trafalger T3
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So, what's next in this gripping saga: Will I be totes blown away by my first fur brush? Will I disavow synthetics forever more? Will I pass through the Looking Glass and fall down the "rabbit hole"? The anticipation is positively palpable!
 
So I've been wet-shaving for a couple years now but have never used a badger hair brush. Curiosity finally got the better of me and I ordered a "tortoiseshell" handled brush from WCS to see what all the fuss is about. It arrived today, two-days early. Why this particular brush? Well it has somewhere around 80 glowing reviews on WCS, it fit comfortably within my budget and I liked the look of the handle (similar to my Trafalgar T3). While I don't beans about badger brushes generally speaking, and maybe I'm easily impressed, but this seems like a really nice specimen, at least at first blush. It did have just a wee-little bit of badgerlicious funk going on, so I shampooed it, set it in hot-rollers and hung it up to dry. Okay, so I'm joking about the hot-rollers. I didn't realize it was going to "explode" like it did after washing. Wow. It's a honkin' big brush (26mm knot); and I've been using a Trafalgar T3 for a long time. Conveniently, it fits my extra-wide razor/brush stand perfectly, so that's a plus.
.....
View attachment 1310899
WCS Brush (post-shampoo) Posed With Trafalger T3
.....
.....

So, what's next in this gripping saga: Will I be totes blown away by my first fur brush? Will I disavow synthetics forever more? Will I pass through the Looking Glass and fall down the "rabbit hole"? The anticipation is positively palpable!
You're going to love it.
 
I am a big synth guy, but I have been on a bit of a badger kick lately. I will always prefer the way a great synth works for an every day shave. The way it holds water without absorbing it. The way it dries immediately. The way it whips up gobs of lather effortlessly. Not having to pre soak. But the luxurious feel of a badger is hard to beat when the mood strikes. I also have recently discovered that plunking down the dough for a high end badger is well worth the expense.
 
... I will always prefer the way a great synth works for an every day shave. The way it holds water without absorbing it. The way it dries immediately. The way it whips up gobs of lather effortlessly. Not having to pre soak. ...
You're making me wonder why I bought into fur! LOL!!

All kidding aside I am wondering what all the fuss is about with regard to the stank. Maybe my brush is just less stanky than most but there's really very, very little odor coming from it. I mean, yeah if I shove my nose into it and inhale deeply I get some funk, but one of my biggest reservations about fur brushes, that being the funky aroma I kept hearing about, has already been pretty much put to bed. Whar the funk in my brush? WHAR?! Have I been bamboozled?
 
Did my first shave with my new badger fur brush and I have to admit, the face-feel difference between the badger and my synthetic was more significant than I was expecting; in a good way. The badger felt sort of squishy on my face. There was no scritch, it just felt very soft and... well... squishy. Not sure how else to describe it.

I do think I need to better understand how to use this brush, though, as I don't feel I had a good soap-to-water ratio going on. The lather was good, quite good, just not what I'm used to. I soaked the brush for ten minutes prior to shaving, loaded a damp brush for about 20 seconds, until the brush looked full and the lather pasty. At that point I started lathering on my face. I added small dribbles of water to the brush, went back to face swirling and did this three times. In short, this just didn't seen to get the lather where I wanted it to be. I was using a Stirling soap that I'm quite comfortable bowl lathering and again, while the lather was quite good, I just don't feel it was AS good as I what I've gotten in the past. Not sure if I over or under-loaded the brush, used too much water, not enough water...

If anyone has any input, I'm all ears. This first time out was definitely a good experience, I'm just left with the feeling I didn't something quite right.
 

Hannah's Dad

I Can See Better Than Bigfoot.
Did my first shave with my new badger fur brush and I have to admit, the face-feel difference between the badger and my synthetic was more significant than I was expecting; in a good way. The badger felt sort of squishy on my face. There was no scritch, it just felt very soft and... well... squishy. Not sure how else to describe it.

I do think I need to better understand how to use this brush, though, as I don't feel I had a good soap-to-water ratio going on. The lather was good, quite good, just not what I'm used to. I soaked the brush for ten minutes prior to shaving, loaded a damp brush for about 20 seconds, until the brush looked full and the lather pasty. At that point I started lathering on my face. I added small dribbles of water to the brush, went back to face swirling and did this three times. In short, this just didn't seen to get the lather where I wanted it to be. I was using a Stirling soap that I'm quite comfortable bowl lathering and again, while the lather was quite good, I just don't feel it was AS good as I what I've gotten in the past. Not sure if I over or under-loaded the brush, used too much water, not enough water...

If anyone has any input, I'm all ears. This first time out was definitely a good experience, I'm just left with the feeling I didn't something quite right.
It will take some time (and a few shaves) for the brush to begin releasing the lather better than when it’s new. That will help; however, you might find that nothing produces lather more efficiently than a synthetic. As much as I’ve grown to love the luxurious feel of a dense badger brush, I have to be honest with myself and admit that my synthetic (@Graydog ) brush is simply the best in my den at creating lather for my shaves.
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nemo

Cheaper than ink
Gee, what took you so long? :a14:

You don't need to soak badger brushes, I'd suggest to try using it without that ten minute soak. Are you a face-latherer or bowl? Your description seemed somewhat contradictory. If you're comfortable with the bowl lathering as you say, go ahead and do that, paint it on without soaking the brush and it shouldn't feel so "squishy". Looks good.
 
Gee, what took you so long? :a14:

You don't need to soak badger brushes, I'd suggest to try using it without that ten minute soak. Are you a face-latherer or bowl? Your description seemed somewhat contradictory.
You're right, my post wasn't entirely clear: Normally I bowl lather, today I face lathered instead.

If you're comfortable with the bowl lathering as you say, go ahead and do that, paint it on without soaking the brush and it shouldn't feel so "squishy".
Ah, okay... Will give that a go (without the soak). Thanks!!
 
Did my first shave with my new badger fur brush and I have to admit, the face-feel difference between the badger and my synthetic was more significant than I was expecting; in a good way. The badger felt sort of squishy on my face. There was no scritch, it just felt very soft and... well... squishy. Not sure how else to describe it.

I do think I need to better understand how to use this brush, though, as I don't feel I had a good soap-to-water ratio going on. The lather was good, quite good, just not what I'm used to. I soaked the brush for ten minutes prior to shaving, loaded a damp brush for about 20 seconds, until the brush looked full and the lather pasty. At that point I started lathering on my face. I added small dribbles of water to the brush, went back to face swirling and did this three times. In short, this just didn't seen to get the lather where I wanted it to be. I was using a Stirling soap that I'm quite comfortable bowl lathering and again, while the lather was quite good, I just don't feel it was AS good as I what I've gotten in the past. Not sure if I over or under-loaded the brush, used too much water, not enough water...

If anyone has any input, I'm all ears. This first time out was definitely a good experience, I'm just left with the feeling I didn't something quite right.
I soak my badgers for at least 10 minutes then give a few shakes so the brush is nearly dry then add the water gradually.They hold a lot of water compared to a synth.The flow through will be better after a few shaves and then they just get better and better.Enjoy.
 
I soak my Boars, but not my Badgers. I find it does help though to dampen the entire knot on a Badger, shake most of it out, then get a bit of water on the tip before you start transfering soap from the puck to the knot. I have better success building lather if the whole knot is wet (but not soaked). If you don't, it takes longer to build lather, or at least that what works for me.
 
I had a chubby 3 badger and it took a months worth of shaves to reach what it should be like. My wonderful Saponificio badger needed no time to become a great performer.
 
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