05-05-2014, 07:54 AM
#1
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I've had my white horse Lord Randal for a few weeks now and I really like it. I do have a question though on how it's broke in.

As you can see in the pics below, there is only what I can call a "hole" in the bristles. It's been like this from the beginning. I can move the bristles with my finger, and none seem to be broken at all. It just seems to be the natural flow of the bristles.

Has anyone else noticed this with theirs as well? It doesn't seem to affect the brush at all. In fact, right now this is my favorite brush. I just wasn't sure if this was normal with horse hair brushes since this is the first I've ever had.

Thanks for looking,
Brian

[Image: 951k.jpg]

[Image: keb4.jpg]

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 05-05-2014, 08:43 AM
#2
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Although I do not own this particular brush, the "hole in the middle" phenomenon is quite common among horse hair brushes. It usually is the result of vigorous, circular lathering on one's face. The "hole" generally does not affect performance.

Often gently combing-out the knot reduces or eliminates the hole. If combing is difficult, you could try applying simple hair conditioner.

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 05-05-2014, 09:47 AM
#3
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Thanks branford. That is kind of what I thought. I read all about how to use these brushes before I bought this one. I don't mash it on my face or bowl, but in order to work up a thick lather, I feel the need to use circular motions with it, not just back and forth.

Like I said, the bristles don't look broken at all where the holes are. I've tried brushing it with my wife's hair brush, and it helps some, but they are always there. I don't have these holes in any of my synthetic, badger, or boar brushes, just this one horse. I'm hoping that I can "learn" to use this brush properly and the holes will "fix" themselves???????

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 05-05-2014, 10:14 AM
#4
  • W.S.O.
  • Banned
  • Philadelphia, Pa
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Take an empty toilet paper roll (the cardboard tube). After using and rinsing the brush well and shaking dry put the brush in toilet paper roll. Allow it to dry in this fashion. Do that for a few uses and the hole may disappear. When I first started using a synthetic I mistakenly soaked one in hot water and it immediately developed a much more pronounced hole than that. I used the method I described and after 3 uses, each time getting better, it was gone. I would think it will work in this case as well.

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 05-05-2014, 10:21 AM
#5
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Thanks! I'll give that a try

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 05-05-2014, 10:39 AM
#6
  • TheMonk
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  • Porto, Portugal
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The exact same thing happened in my Vie-Long horse brush, and was one of the reasons I stopped using horse brushes all together.
What's happening is that the hairs in the middle are somewhat "knotting" on each other, and that hole you see in the middle will have a tendency to increase with use.

After trying several methods, the only thing that indeed resolved that knotting was combing my brush vigorously, which also managed to rip out quite a few hairs in the process. I've also found this to be a temporary solution, as further use just caused the same problem again.

If there's a definitive solution to this, I'd be more than happy to learn about it. Rolleyes

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 05-05-2014, 12:05 PM
#7
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(05-05-2014, 09:47 AM)BriDroid Wrote: Thanks branford. That is kind of what I thought. I read all about how to use these brushes before I bought this one. I don't mash it on my face or bowl, but in order to work up a thick lather, I feel the need to use circular motions with it, not just back and forth.

Like I said, the bristles don't look broken at all where the holes are. I've tried brushing it with my wife's hair brush, and it helps some, but they are always there. I don't have these holes in any of my synthetic, badger, or boar brushes, just this one horse. I'm hoping that I can "learn" to use this brush properly and the holes will "fix" themselves???????

Don't worry, you're using your brush properly. I am aware of no secret or advanced lathering techniques to avoid the hole. However, this problem generally appears only in horse hair knots, and will not likely resolve itself without some intervention (although it is mostly cosmetic).

Try using an inexpensive comb to gently "unknot" the hairs at the base of the knot that are likely causing the issue. Be very careful if you are using a brush, you don't want to accidentally pull-out any bristles. As I mentioned earlier, if you have difficulty combing the bristles, massage a small amount of hair conditioner into the wet knot before combing. Just like human hair, you should then be able to more easily resolve any knotting.

Good luck!

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 05-05-2014, 12:19 PM
#8
  • W.S.O.
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I pretty firmly believe in this case the hairs are not knotted at all & this is simply a hole at the point where they are splaying outward. Where are they knotted at the bottom with the top not being tangled at all? Makes no sense. Not saying that tangles may not happen in some horse brushes by any means (coincidentally not in any of my now fairly numerous collection of horse brushes) but I do not think that to be the situation in this case. Combing wont hurt but I dont think knotting is the cause here. My 2 cents

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 05-05-2014, 12:58 PM
#9
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(05-05-2014, 12:19 PM)W.S.O. Wrote: I pretty firmly believe in this case the hairs are not knotted at all & this is simply a hole at the point where they are splaying outward. Where are they knotted at the bottom with the top not being tangled at all? Makes no sense. Not saying that tangles may not happen in some horse brushes by any means (coincidentally not in any of my now fairly numerous collection of horse brushes) but I do not think that to be the situation in this case. Combing wont hurt but I dont think knotting is the cause here. My 2 cents

I certainly will not swear that the hole is caused by knotting, but that was how it was explained to me quite a while ago.

In any event, the comb and conditioner trick has generally resolved the problem in my horse hair knots, although the solution is only temporary.

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 05-05-2014, 01:08 PM
#10
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I'm experiencing the exact same issue with my Lord Randal. Brian's photos could be of my my brush.

I'm pretty sure that I haven't mashed the knot, but have used it both face lathering and in the bowl as I would any other brush over the past five years.

Realizing that this is a denser knot than my previous Vie-Long Barber brush, I've gently combed it out after each use, occasionally loosing a single hair.

This weekend, I googled Vie Long horsehair doughnut or hole. This seems to be an occasional characteristic of horsey brushes.

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 05-05-2014, 01:32 PM
#11
  • refles
  • Senior Member
  • New York
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I get that as well when i do circular motions, no matter how gentle you manipulate the brush. If I had to venture a guess, I think its a byproduct of how soft/flexible/pliable horsehair is when we use it to lather up. I've been correcting for the swirl with going to the paintbrush strokes and then going back to circular or using an oblong motions which seems to fix the swirl that develops.

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 05-05-2014, 01:37 PM
#12
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Robert,

I also searched that topic and found many posts where guys swapped the knot out for badger. I really love the Lord Randal handle, it's very solid and heavy. If the brush continues to keep the hole, who knows in a few years I might put a silvertip knot in there and call it good.

The photo I posted is after I brushed it out somewhat. If I post a pic right after I use it, then you can clearly see one large hole and one smaller hole next to it. I like the horse knots, but maybe they aren't for me?????? I just don't know what I'm doing wrong. I'm not abusing the brush at all, and it's a little sad that it's less than a month old and looks like it's 20 years old. Maybe that's just the nature of the beast (horse, LOL)????

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 05-05-2014, 03:48 PM
#13
  • TheMonk
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(05-05-2014, 12:19 PM)W.S.O. Wrote: I pretty firmly believe in this case the hairs are not knotted at all & this is simply a hole at the point where they are splaying outward. Where are they knotted at the bottom with the top not being tangled at all? Makes no sense. Not saying that tangles may not happen in some horse brushes by any means (coincidentally not in any of my now fairly numerous collection of horse brushes) but I do not think that to be the situation in this case. Combing wont hurt but I dont think knotting is the cause here. My 2 cents

That may be the case in the brush in the pictures, but on my brush some of the inner hair (the softer one) was actually broken and somewhat knotted. The comb itself got stuck in the hairs, much like it happens when you try to use a comb on curly dry hair. I had to use quite a bit of strength for the comb's teeth to pass through the hair, even when it was wet. As I stated above, this also caused a lot of individual hairs to be ripped from the knot.

My method may very well not have been the most adequate, but it was the only one I found that actually worked, and there was/is definitely something wrong with the knot on my brush, and I know for a fact it's not the only one. Also, my brush's knot is a 50/50, not sure if that may make a difference. Oh, and I face lather.

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 05-05-2014, 04:57 PM
#14
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I had the same issue with the one I have. I had to comb it out gently.
I learned I can't use a circular motion with it, so it just sits on the shelf.

BTW, I just moved from Frisco about 6 mos ago.

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 05-05-2014, 08:36 PM
#15
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I would think that the horse hair might develop a "cowlick" because they naturally occur while on the horse.

Is there any difference in the hole depending on size or loft? Are any more prone to it (on those variables)?

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 05-06-2014, 10:44 AM
#16
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Turns out horse hair isn't for me. I've been using this brush every other day for the last few weeks. Every time I get done shaving, my eyes itch really bad. I've tried different soaps to make sure that wasn't the problem. The only thing I can narrow it down to is the horse. Badger and boar don't do this to me on the other days.

In my ever-tinkering I decided to "steam" out the horse knot today. I really love the handle, and want to put a silver tip in there instead. I was amazed how easily and cleanly the knot came out after 20 min. Now to find a replacement knot.

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 05-06-2014, 05:28 PM
#17
  • DLP
  • Senior Member
  • Missouri
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I've noticed that Horse Hair brushes tend to knot up in the middle if you use a circular motion when lathering. If you use a back and forth motion like painting on the lather I've managed to avoid the hole on 3 of my 4 horse hair brushes.

Just my observations, YMMV of course. :-)

Enjoy the brush it looks like it should be a wonderful brush to use.

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 05-06-2014, 05:31 PM
#18
  • W.S.O.
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(05-05-2014, 12:58 PM)branford Wrote:
(05-05-2014, 12:19 PM)W.S.O. Wrote: I pretty firmly believe in this case the hairs are not knotted at all & this is simply a hole at the point where they are splaying outward. Where are they knotted at the bottom with the top not being tangled at all? Makes no sense. Not saying that tangles may not happen in some horse brushes by any means (coincidentally not in any of my now fairly numerous collection of horse brushes) but I do not think that to be the situation in this case. Combing wont hurt but I dont think knotting is the cause here. My 2 cents

I certainly will not swear that the hole is caused by knotting, but that was how it was explained to me quite a while ago.

In any event, the comb and conditioner trick has generally resolved the problem in my horse hair knots, although the solution is only temporary.

I totally believe this occurs and maybe it even is a form of knotting or bunching at the base of the knot. Too many people report it for it not to be so. I just had a hard time getting my head around the knotting concept but either way thats just semantics.

(05-05-2014, 03:48 PM)TheMonk Wrote:
(05-05-2014, 12:19 PM)W.S.O. Wrote: I pretty firmly believe in this case the hairs are not knotted at all & this is simply a hole at the point where they are splaying outward. Where are they knotted at the bottom with the top not being tangled at all? Makes no sense. Not saying that tangles may not happen in some horse brushes by any means (coincidentally not in any of my now fairly numerous collection of horse brushes) but I do not think that to be the situation in this case. Combing wont hurt but I dont think knotting is the cause here. My 2 cents

That may be the case in the brush in the pictures, but on my brush some of the inner hair (the softer one) was actually broken and somewhat knotted. The comb itself got stuck in the hairs, much like it happens when you try to use a comb on curly dry hair. I had to use quite a bit of strength for the comb's teeth to pass through the hair, even when it was wet. As I stated above, this also caused a lot of individual hairs to be ripped from the knot.

My method may very well not have been the most adequate, but it was the only one I found that actually worked, and there was/is definitely something wrong with the knot on my brush, and I know for a fact it's not the only one. Also, my brush's knot is a 50/50, not sure if that may make a difference. Oh, and I face lather.

In thinking about it I replied above. I totally think it does occur. In considering my situation it is prob the least likely to do so. I bowl lather 80-90% of the time and only scrub lightly with the brush on my face then apply the majority of the lather with a painting motion. So I am probably the last person in the world this would happen to. Which probably explains why it has not occurred with any of my horse or mixed horse/badger brushes.

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 05-06-2014, 05:55 PM
#19
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I'm curious if the frequency or magnitude of the problem changes depending on white v. brown v. dyed hair or if the mix of mane and tail (50/50, 36/65, or 25/75) makes any difference.

I would think that that the stiffer tail (brown?) hair would be more resilient.

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 05-06-2014, 06:00 PM
#20
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Brown 65/35 is what I have, and it happened.

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