Shave Brush Hair Grades

There are several different materials used in the bristle part of shaving brushes, including badger hair, boar bristles and synthetic hair. These different types of materials, perform different with regard to characteristics such as water retention, softness and ex foliation. For more general information on this topic look at the Wiki page for shaving brushes. Important to remember is that the price of shaving brushes is not always a function of how good a brush performs. Especially with regard to badger hair, the price is mostly correlated to the availability of the hair used. For example the very high priced badger grades are made of hair from only a small area of the animal. Different grades of badger hair are also thought to perform better for soaps, while others perform better with creams. As with most aspects of wet shaving, a lot depends on personal preferences. Some shavers prefer a relatively cheap boar or synthetic brush, while others will only use the softest and most luxurious badger grade brush. In other words a more expensive brush will not necessarily improve your shaving.




Badger hair for shaving brushes


There are several different grades of badger hair, based on what type of badger hair is used. Unfortunately different brands sometimes use different names to describe a specific type of badger hair. In order to create some order in this chaos, some of the most common brands of shaving brush manufacturers are listed below, detailing their own description of the types of hair they use.

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The Art of Shaving


Offers three grades of badger hair* shaving brushes:

  • Silvertip Badger

  • Fine Badger

  • Pure Badger

Each grade varies in hair quality, density, durability and craftsmanship.

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Col. Ichabod Conk


  • Silver Tipped Super Badger

  • Super Badger

  • Pure Badger

  • Bristle/Badger Blend

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Edwin Jagger


  • Silver Tip Badger: (very, very soft) Silver Tip badger hair with natural untrimmed silver tips is the highest quality available in shaving brushes world wide. The pure colouring, enhanced by careful hand grading and filling, comes from expert selection of only the finest hairs from the neck of the animal. The shape of Edwin Jagger silver tip filled brushes, is created by hand and is not trimmed to create the overall badger bundle shape. The long hair is ultra soft and very flexible, guaranteeing wet shavers many years of luxurious shaving.

  • Super Badger: This is a very high quality grade of badger hair, only used in hand filled brushes. Visually, the badger bundle displays a distinctive black band capped with pure white tips and is presented in a natural fan shape, using the natural hair ends to create the shape. The shape of Edwin Jagger super badger filled brushes is created by hand and is not trimmed to create the overall badger bundle shape, which is a time saving method used by many other suppliers. Therefore we can guarantee our super badger brushes are very soft due to the fact that the naturally tapering tips of the hair have not been removed. Super Badger is extremely soft and flexible and will guarantee the wet shaver many years of shaving.

  • Best Badger: This is a good quality of pure badger hair, machine graded for machine filled brushes. It is normally regarded as the benchmark standard of shaving brush manufacturers. The white/brown colour in our brushes indicates an above average standard and also confirms that the mixture of hair is very pure. The hair is stiffer to the touch and is always very popular with wet shavers who use their brush to exfoliate their skin at the same time as preparing it for shaving. Our standard of best badger will also last many years and is presented with a natural tapered shape.
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ê Shave


  • Silvertip Badger: A must have for the serious shaver. It is the ultimate quality in badger hair. It is the softest and the most resistance hair. Silvertip brush heads are hand assembled and should last 10 years or more when used properly (without pressure on brush when lathering), stored adequately ( hair down to dry in an open space) and with minimal maintenance (no pulling nor twisting of hair. Just rinse, shake excess water and hang hair down to dry).

  • Finest Badger: Best value for the money, the finest badger hair is a high quality hair that is hand assembled. It is soft at the tip yet resistant enough to last many years. Upgrade to it as soon as you know you will be using your brush regularly.

  • Pure Badger: Best suited for first time users. It offers all the benefit of a good badger hair at an affordable price. It is a good quality hair that will soften with time. This brush should last several years with minimal maintenance.
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Kent


  • Silver Tip: The highest quality Badger Brush. Hand graded using rare and finely graded, untrimmed, natural, silver tipped Badger Hair. This Brush will provide years of luxurious shaving.

  • Super Badger: This high quality grade of hair is only used in hand filled brushes. The hair is from the back of the badger and presents a distinctive dark band in the natural fan shape of the brush. This hair has superior water retention qualities and is generally softer than the Best Badger brush.

  • Best Badger: This grade of brush is generally accepted as being the benchmark standard of shaving brush manufacturers. Hair is used from the pelt including the belly and provides hair firmer to the touch. Great for exfoliating the skin during the shaving process. A high quality brush which will give years of service.
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Mühle


  • Handcrafted silvertip badger: The finest material for manufacturing shaving brushes. Its special features are the shimmering silver colour and a black band running naturally through the hair. This is used to make handcrafted, unique pieces, characterised by their longevity and their outstanding performance qualities.

  • Fine best badger + fine badger: Best badger is fabricated by hand, fine badger hair by machine. In order to maintain the typical form of the brush head, the crown is only slight trimmed. The best badger hairs are inserted into the form by hand, thereby completely preserving their natural softness.

  • Pure badger + pure black badger: Sound quality characterises these collections for wet shavers who appreciate the massaging effect while preparing to shave. The band is machine-made, and the hairs are more flexible than bristles. The colour spectrum ranges from brownish-grey to black.
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Omega


  • Silver tip bristle

  • Fine badger

  • Pure Badger
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Plisson


  • The best is the Mountain White is characterized by its suppleness, its softness and its extreme resistance. Its rarity makes it an exeptional brush, with a price often high.

  • The European White, while keeping most of the qualities of the first, will however be not as white, not as luminous.

  • The European Gray has more spring, is firmer. This quality combined with his softness, makes it one of the mostly used shaving brushes.

  • The Chinese Gray, more available, therefor not as dear as the latter, will have most of the qualities of an exellent Shaving brush.

  • The Black Quality is also pure hair. Its resistance and its price make it the most affordable of the range.
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Rooney


  • Finest Badger Hair: The finest badger hair is picked from the back of a rare breed of a long haired species of badger, only found in more remote areas of China. This hair is much more expensive as it is of a limited supply and consequently more expensive as a raw material. In the making of this fine brush you waste nearly half of the badger hair in the production process which is also an expensive overhead. Finest hair is of similar grade to what Rooney's used to make their special brushes when they first started.

  • Super Badger Hair: The hair is Silvertip then re-dressed and re-graded in England. This means the bundle of badger hair is sorted, the short and twisted hairs are removed from the bundle. This leaves the hair feeling softer and whiter. Also by doing this it gives the brush better lathering and water holding capability.

  • Silvertip: The hair is picked from the back of the badger.

  • Best Badger Hair: The hair is picked from the pars costalis of the badger.

  • Pure Badger Hair: The hair is picked from the neck, shoulder, abdomen and buttocks of the badger.
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Savile Row


  • Super badger is a superior hand-graded long hair with a very soft creamy white tip and produces the ultimate shaving experience. Brushes made with super badger hair are more expensive simply because the availability of hair in this grade is limited.

  • Pure Badger is a carefully selected grade of soft and supple hair and offers many years of luxurious shaving.
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Shavemac


  • DO1 Their most expensive silvertip. Bristles are very thin (making them prone to shedding brushes), but the brush is much more dense, thus giving it extra firmness.
  • DO1-Two bands.
  • Silvertip - Silberspitze. Supple and soft-tipped brush. Great water retention.
  • Finest Badger - Feinster Dach - machine or handmade. Mixture of Silvertip and pure badger. This quality is a small step below Silver Tip. It combine both - a very high quality for a comfortable and smooth shave and a very good quality and price relation.
  • Pure Badger Hair - Rein Dachs - machine or handmade. Pure badger hair - dark gray color - robust, and long-lasting. For men who have a strong grip and who appreciate a firmer massage effect, this particular brush is ideal. Likewise, those who are new-comers to the art of wet shaving and who would appreciate a relatively inexpensive introduction into the upper class of shaving brushes, can find it in this brush.
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Simpson

  • Super badger hair: The equivalent of other brands' silvertip. Very soft; many prefer Simpson's best or two-band for added scrubbiness.
  • Two-band super badger: A two-band hair with a fair amount of scrubbiness.

  • Best badger hair: nominally Simpson's mid-grade hair; Simpson's Best is known for being an excellent combination of softness and scrubiness. Probably Simpson's most popular hair.

  • Pure badger hair: a coarser, darker hair. The cheapest Simpson's hair, often ignored in favor of Best.
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Superior Brushes


  • Super

  • Best
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Taylor of Old Bond Street and Cyril R Salter


  • Silvertip Badger Hair: The Silvertip Badger brush is so called because of the silver colour of the tip of the hair. The lather obtained with this very fine hair is creamier than with any other shaving brush. The pure colouring enhanced by careful hand grading and filling comes from expert selection of only the finest hairs from the neck of the animal. The long hair is ultra soft and very flexible, guaranteeing years of luxurious shaving.

  • Pure Badger Hair: The Pure Badger shaving brush shows less colour differential along the length of the hair than the magnificent Silvertip. This soft hair is very fine and the most commonly used in shaving brushes.
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Vie-Long


  • Tejón punta de plata - silvertip
  • Tejón blanco dos bandas - Two bands badger
  • Tejón blanco tres bandas - Super badger
  • Tejón gris - Best badger
  • Tejón negro - Pure/black badger
  • Mezcla Caballo/Tejón - Horse & Badger Hair Mix
  • Caballo - Horse.
  • Mezcla Sintético/Caballo - Synthetic/Horse mix.
  • Cerda - Boar.
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Vulfix


  • Silver tip badger: This is the finest Badger hair available in the manufacture of shaving brushes and it originates from the neck of the animal. Its limited availability gives the badger hair special status amongst the shaving fraternity, indeed some would deem it the holy grail. The hair is untreated and comes in its natural state, shaped by the hand and left un-trimmed to give an exceptionally soft feel.

  • Super badger: This is a very high quality grade of badger hair, used only in our hand filled brushes. This hair is chosen by the more discerning wet shaver for its softness on the skin and water retention qualities. A unique dark band capped by light, almost white tips makes this hair very recognizable in its appearance. All of our Super Badger brushes are hand made and the tapered head shape is achieved without the use of trimming machinery, a time saving method employed by other manufacturers. As a result we guarantee the softest and smoothest of shaves from tips in their natural state. A Super Badger brush should give its user many years of service.

  • Pure badger: Our Pure Badger hair is of the highest quality, carefully graded for hand filled brushes. It is regarded as the benchmark in terms of quality by leading shaving brush manufacturers. The hair is dark and silver in appearance, immediately identifying the brush as being of an above average standard, and confirming the purity of the hair mixture. This grade of hair is firmer to the touch and is favoured by traditionalists looking to exfoliate the skin prior to shaving. Our Pure Badger range comes in the classic tapered head shape.

Zenith

The shaving brushes Zenith pure badger are available in the following variants:

  • Pure badger Silvertip top quality
  • Best badger
  • pure badger dark (cod. MS).

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Other types of materials used for shaving brushes

Besides badger hair, it is also possible to buy boar bristle shaving brushes or even completely synthetic shaving brushes. Boar bristle is generally considered as stiffer and harder than badger hair and retains less water, which give it better massaging and exfoliating properties, while reducing its lather producing ability. One of the obvious benefits of synthetic materials is that no animal products are used, and the newest fibres are starting to provide performance that is similar to natural materials.

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Boar hair shaving brushes

Col. Ichabod Conk


  • Deluxe Boar Bristle

  • Standard Boar Bristle
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Men-U


  • Barbiere
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Mühle


  • Pure bristle: This material taken from boars is harder than badger hair and produces the most bracing massage effect. The bristle brush becomes softer with use. It offers inexpensive, easy entry into the world of wet shaving. Colours range from yellow to white, with a black imitation band as decoration.
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Omega


  • Imitation Badger Hog Bristle

  • Hog Bristle

Taylor of Old Bond Street


  • Pure Bristle
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Vie-Long


  • Bristle
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Semogue


  • Premium

  • Super

  • Best

  • Extra

Bruno (Leon) from Vintage Scent also posted that: The "tops" percentage measures the amount of hair that has the full length of the loft. For example, in a 90% tops hair loft like the 830 or 1305, 90% of the hair in the loft has the longest hair in the loft, while the remaining 10% are a little shorter. The more "tops" percentage a grade is, the more uniform is in the tips, and performs better. There isn't any strict ranking. The only grade we know for sure is the best is the "Premium" which is like the "Silvertip" for badger hair. The other ones are slightly inferior than the "Premium".

Zenith

  • Pura Setola - Pure Brustle

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Horse hair shaving brushes

Vie-Long


  • Horse Hair

  • Horse & Badger Hair Mixture
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Synthetic shaving brushes

The Body Shop

  • Men's Synthetic Shaving Brush: A wooden shaving brush that enhances the foamy lather of your shaving cream. Made with Community Trade Russian birch wood and animal-free super-soft synthetic hairs. Its short, rounded handle makes it easy to hold in the palm of your hand.
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Culmak

  • Vega Nylon Bristle Shaving Brush: The Culmak famous easy-grip dimple handle with soft nylon bristle for those who may not wish to use animal bristle. Provides brushing almost indistinguishable from natural bristle shaving brushes.
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Men-U

  • Premiere: After 3 years in development - this is a revolutionary NEW type of shaving brush for the perfect shave. The bristles are as soft as pure badger but are in fact synthetic - great news for badgers!
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Mühle

  • Vegan fiber: The fine vegan fibers were developed specially for wet shaving. In terms of color and softness they are similar to natural badger hair and provide performance properties of comparably high quality.
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Omega

  • Imitation Badger Synthetic Fiber
  • Synthetic Fiber
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Rooney

  • Synthetic
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Taylor of Old Bond Street

  • Imitation Badger Hair: An alternative to a badger shaving brush that will also give you a luxury shave. Made from a fine blend of imitation badger hairs. The brushes are made to the same high standard as genuine badger brushes.
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Vulfix

  • Synthetic

Zenith


  • Sintetico: White synthetic spiral kinked fibers produce more lather and is massaging
  • T. Sintetico: Very soft fibers to replicate badger in look and feel.

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