You don’t know a good shave until you’ve had a wet shave with a straight razor or safety razor. Although you may think you're doing just fine with your expensive drugstore razor, don't be fooled. The truth is you are missing out on the closest, best shave of your life.
Classic wet shaving brings a combination of tools together that make shaving something to enjoy, while also reducing waste and saving money. And one of the most important elements of the best shave you’ll ever have? A quality shaving brush.
You might be wondering:
Why is a good shaving brush so important? The truth is, your shaving brush can mean the difference between the best shave of your life, and burning and cutting yourself with your blade.
Let me explain.
The only way to get the perfect lather is to use a quality shaving brush. And when lathered on the face, a good brush will comfortably exfoliate and lift the hairs for a cut-throat shave.
Here's the best part:
We spent hours pouring over different products and reviews to bring you this list of the best shaving brushes ever.
So, keep reading. We guarantee our list has something for everyone.
Very low cost and very little shedding make the Omega Pro an awesome value for such a small investment. It also lathers pretty much anything you throw at it.
Some guys mention it smells a little unpleasant, but that should reduce significantly after a week of regular use.
The Omega Pro 48 is made of boar hair, which is known for its strength and stiffness. It is virtually mistake proof and extremely forgiving when you are learning how to properly lather your soap.
The Pro 48’s handle is lightweight and fits comfortably in your hand. The chrome finished ABS is eye-catching and feels nice while working up a good lather.
Boar is more forgiving than badger, but you still need to make sure to clean and dry it properly. It is very easy to clean, and will hold up for 5-10 years or more if you take care of it.
Made from horsehair yet still has a similar feel of badger hair. Less expensive than many brushes on the market. Creates a thick lather that helps soften hair for an easier and smoother shave.
Some users don't like the grip of the handle.
The bristles are made from horse hair. The tips of the bristles are extremely soft, while the bases of the bristles are stiffer.
The handle is a dark redwood with a smooth and easy grip. The Vie-Long logo is visible on this handle.
This brush is built to last several years and with proper upkeep, the bristles should not fall out.
This is a very affordable brush that is great for wet shavers of all kinds. It’s such an attractive brush and works up a great lather with a variety of different shaving soaps.
The Parker Deluxe is the smallest brush on our list, and while some men like it, others would prefer something a little heftier.
If you have a beard and want a clean face, this brush is stiff enough to get the soap past a thick layer of hair to the skin underneath. The base of the brush is stiff with softer tips (that will only get softer over time), but enough oomph to work up a great lather.
This handle is absolutely stunning. It is so well balanced and feels nice in your hand. The pictures do not do the glossy Rosewood justice, by any means. The Parker Deluxe is a dapper little brush that looks great on the counter.
This brush includes a stand, that makes drying after each shave effortless. It takes 1-3 weeks for this brush to fully break in depending on how often you shave, and with proper care you can expect it to last you about 10 years.
The Edwin Jagger is handmade in England. It comes with a matching drip stand so your brush can air out after your shave. This brush made from badger hair, making it great for building up a good lather and handling coarse beard hair.
Some users wish the handle of this brush was a little longer.
The bristles are made from quality badger hair which holds firm to create an excellent lather. These bristles hold up even with the coarsest beard hair, they absorb hot water during the shave to create a smoother gentler lather. The badger hair softens and lifts beard hair to help get a closer shave that lasts longer.
The handle is imitation ivory and medium in size. It is very smooth and easy to grip. This Edwin Jagger brush also comes with a drip stand, to air out your brush after a nice shave.
After shaving, make sure to thoroughly rinse the brush with warm water. The drip stand helps preserve the brush by allowing it to properly dry out. The brush comes with special care instructions to help ensure longevity. The bristles of this brush do not fall out like with other brushes.
Wet shaving may be a forgotten art for some, but many of us still appreciate its merits.
Although choosing the best shaving brush and shaving soap may feel more intimidating than simply picking up a plastic razor at your local supermarket, the benefits of wet shaving make it all worth it.
Besides, it’s really not as complicated as you might think.
With literally dozens of options on the market today—from boar to badger to synthetic—choosing the right shaving brush is all a matter of personal preference.
Our comprehensive guide will break everything down for you—from selecting the right brush type to helpful tips and tricks for achieving the closest, smoothest shave.
You might be thinking, what makes shaving brushes so special? After all, we have perfectly good hands for applying shaving cream, right?
But shaving brushes elevate the entire shaving experience. Coupled with excellent quality wet shaving accessories, the right shaving brush will change your experience (and appearance!) for the better.
Simply put, a shaving brush is a small handheld brush that is designed to apply shaving lather or cream onto your face. The typical shaving brush consists of a handle (usually made of wood, horn, metal, or plastic) and bristles of either natural or synthetic origin.
The better the quality of the shaving brush you buy, the faster and smoother your shave will be. Of course, using a high-quality shaving brush will also result in a better and more enjoyable experience overall.
Here are the other benefits of using the best shaving brush:
Without the right shaving brush, achieving ideal results becomes difficult. As such, if you plan to delve into the world of wet shaving, you might as well invest in a good quality shaving brush to really get the most out of it.
As mentioned previously, four main types of bristles are commonly used in making shaving brushes: boar, badger, horsehair, and synthetic.
In this section of the buying guide, you’ll learn all the basics about these bristles, as well as their pros and cons.
Although synthetic shaving brushes aren’t as popular as natural-hair varieties, they do have their own advantages.
The most obvious benefit to synthetic brushes is that there are no animals involved in their creation. As such, it’s a great option for vegans and people who are allergic to natural fibers.
Synthetic bristles also come in all shapes, sizes, and price points. There are cheaper variants that you can enjoy if you’re on a tight budget, but pricier and better-quality options are also available. What’s more, synthetic fibers generally require less upkeep than natural hairs.
The main downside here is that synthetic bristles are less consistent in terms of quality. It’s a bit more challenging to predict the quality you’re getting if you’re buying from a specific store for the first time. Also, synthetic fibers are naturally less porous than animal hairs. This makes a nice, thick lather harder to achieve.
Many would consider the boar bristle shaving brush as the “beginner” shaving brush. It’s relatively inexpensive, so it’s a great pick for your first foray into the world of wet shaving.
Boar bristles are pretty stiff and retain less water. This means you’ll get a firmer scrubbing once you use it on your face. The stiffness of the bristles enables the brush to efficiently lift facial hair away from the skin’s surface. This makes it extra easy for you to get the lather underneath each hair strand, something that wet shaving beginners will find helpful.
What's more, the extra-firm bristles will also give you more exfoliating action.
Horsehair shaving brushes are great if you want to stick to natural hairs but find boar bristles too stiff and badger hair brushes too expensive.
In a nutshell, horsehair is a good in-betweener. The downside? They’re harder to find than other brush types. They typically require more maintenance, too.
If you’re in it for the long run, badger hair brushes are widely considered as the absolute best in the world of wet shaving. Simply put, badger hair brushes are the best you can buy quality-wise.
For one, badger brushes are soft without sacrificing durability. They will last for years and years if you take care of them properly. As such, they’re definitely worth the investment.
Badger hair is also more porous than other bristle types, which helps it retain more water. This makes it super easy to create a rich, luxurious lather using your shaving soap of choice.
So, how exactly do you use a shaving brush? And what guidelines do you have to follow to achieve the best results? Check out this step by step guide to know more!
Step 1: Warm your skin up.
Warming up your skin will improve the quality of the shave you’ll get. It helps open up the pores, which leads to softer hair and a closer shave. What’s more, added warmth also relaxes and softens your skin.
The best way to warm your skin up is to shave right after taking a warm shower. There is nothing better than warm steam for opening up the pores. But if you can’t take a shower before your shaving session, no worries! Dabbing your face with a warm towel works, too.
Step 2: Get your brush wet.
With your shaving soap already in a shallow bowl or shaving scuttle, start wetting your brush with warm water. If you’re using anything other than a badger hair brush (which easily retains moisture), it might help to soak your brush in warm water for a few minutes.
Step 3: Get whipping.
Dip the brush into the bowl of shaving soap and start whipping using circular motions. Keep whipping until you get the lather thickness you’re looking for. Remember: patience is key! A good lather is crucial to getting a close, comfortable shave.
Step 4: Apply lather on your face.
Once you’re satisfied with the thickness and texture of the lather on the scuttle, it’s time to apply lather up your face. Using your shaving brush, pick up some lather and start brushing your face using gentle circular motions.
Make sure to cover all of the areas you’re planning to shave. If you need more exfoliation, you can opt to keep brushing until you’re satisfied.
Step 5: Shave away.
Take your razor and begin shaving until you’re satisfied with the results. This part is pretty self-explanatory, really. Feel free to re-apply more lather if necessary.
Step 6: Rinse and squeeze.
After shaving, carefully rinse the brush using warm water. Make sure to thoroughly remove any leftover soap or cream.
Gently squeeze the bristles to remove excess water. It’s important to avoid squeezing or wringing the brush too hard to avoid unwanted shedding. Finally, store the brush in an upright position with the bristles facing down.
Cheaper shaving brushes (that is, boar hair, horsehair, and low-end synthetics) should last you anywhere between several months to 2-3 years if you use them properly. This includes cleaning them regularly and making sure that they’re stored correctly.
Meanwhile, badger hair shaving brushes and premium synthetic brushes are far more long-lasting. They can last for as long as 10 years or longer provided that they’re well-maintained.
Blew big bucks on a shaving brush and want to secure your investment? Check out these tips!
Is your shaving brush shedding way too much?
If you’re unsure whether the shedding you’re experiencing is normal or not, consider how long you've been using your brush. New shaving brushes typically shed during the first few uses. Some stray, loose, and short hairs that haven’t been picked up while the glue is setting will work their way out during the first month.
Shedding should stop or at least become minimal after the first month. If your brush continues to lose bristles at an alarming rate, you might be exposing it to water or environments that are too warm. Make sure to stick to proper usage and storage techniques to help minimize shedding.