A couple common question we get at shows is “how long does a shaving brush last?” or “how do you use a brush?”
As far as how long they last, as with most things in life, it varies. If you take care of a badger brush, it can last for many years. This brief article will help you avoid some common issues.
First things first, my new badger brush smells!? This is totally normal! Badger hair is a natural product and has a distinct smell. This will fade after a few uses, so don’t be alarmed. If you want to wash the brush then shampoo works fine, but don’t use harsh solvents or products like kitchen cleaners. Properly caring for your brush after each use will help you limit build up of water minerals and soap residue, but there are numerous safe options to clean your brush when needed for routine maintenance.
When mixing your soap lather, first pre-soak your soap as well as your brush in warm to hot water to soften both the soap and the brush bristles.
Another important tip to making sure your brush lasts is to avoid aggressively squishing the brush into your face or the soap when lathering. It is both unnecessary as well as more likely to break down the hairs.
When swirling to build soap lather do not push the badger knot into the soap. While it may be common, it’s really not necessary. The more swirling you do generally proves a more robust, thicker lather. A high quality soap really makes this step more enjoyable and also considerably faster. Cheap, “hard” soaps can take a lot more effort for an inferior lather.
If you find you’re not getting quite enough lather then add a very little bit of water at a time — a little can go a long way.
Perhaps the most overlooked and simplest way to ensure that your brush stays healthy is what happens when you’re done using it. After using your brush, rinse it thoroughly in warm water and shake it dry. You should not wring it out as this can compromise the knot. Then hang it to dry with the bristles down.
It is normal for a brush to soften after beginning to use it. Additionally, some initial light shedding of the bristles is normal.