10-08-2014, 02:57 PM
#1
  • Lando
  • This deal is getting worse all the time
  • Bellevue, WA
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I'm sure this has been mentioned somewhere before, but I don't think I've come across it. The thought occurred to me again when I recently started putting one of my three band brushes into heavy rotation and it shed hairs for consecutive days.

I have a decent brush collection at this point, with a ratio of maybe 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 two band vs three band. I don't believe any of my two bands has ever shed a single hair, and that includes the bargain tgn finest knot. In contrast, more than half of my three bands will shed a hair or two with each shave. I wouldn't call them "shedders" though.

My thinking is that this minor shedding is related to breakage of the thin three band hairs. The two band hairs are thicker and stronger and resistant to fracture or splitting.

Wondering if this follows the experience of others?

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 10-08-2014, 03:21 PM
#2
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I also have had more 3-band shedders than 2-bands. I've only had 3 shedders, and one of them was 2-band.

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 10-08-2014, 03:24 PM
#3
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
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You're making a valid point, Bill, but personally I believe actual shedding issues are more commonly related with poor workmanship (on a particular brush) and/or poor use and maintenance of the brush.

As an example, my only shedder to this today was a 2-Band Finest knot, with pretty thick hairs. It was shedding around 5-8 hairs with each use, and this started happening immediately after the first use. When I removed the knot I could clearly see the problem was knot construction, in this particular case lack of proper application of glue at the base of the knot.

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 10-08-2014, 03:34 PM
#4
  • Lando
  • This deal is getting worse all the time
  • Bellevue, WA
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I agree with you David, I guess I should have differentiated "shedders" and "light shedding". I've had two brushes that I would classify as actual "shedders", and they gave up larger amounts of hair, and if i pulled slightly on the knots even more hair. Likely related to poor construction as you explained.

In contrast, I have a Rooney silvertip i've had for years, that gives up a hair every shave or every other shave. In this case I think the hairs may be breaking. Not a huge problem really, but enough to be slightly irritating, for me anyway.

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 10-08-2014, 03:55 PM
#5
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A new brush can shed a few hairs and then settle down to not shedding. That's normal.

If a majority of brushes are shedding after a short time double check the way they're used. In use, a brush should only be using the outer 1/3 of the fiber to generate lather. If more than that is being used, that is, down to the handle or close to it, that's the culprit. Use less of the brush.

There are fairly easy solutions to this. One is to just be aware of the problem and back off. A stiff synthetic will allow the feedback desired to be experienced without brush damage. Or just accept that damage will occur and know you'll be buying new brushes soon. Save the handles, they can be reknotted. One could also use less expensive brushes if buying new badgers will hurt. Boars are quite inexpensive; so inexpensive that they are almost disposable. (I'm not suggesting that! A quality boar, though inexpensive, used properly will last many years.)

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 10-08-2014, 04:58 PM
#6
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I agree that it comes down to workmanship. I've had many 3-band Savile Rows and none have ever shed a hair. OTOH, my 2-band Tulip 3 lost hair like it was built at Chernobyl.

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 10-08-2014, 05:32 PM
#7
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Hmmm, I think OP may be on to something!

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 10-08-2014, 05:56 PM
#8
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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I may be way over-generalizing, but I think because 3 bands are much more common, you'll hear of more shedding cases (in general).

Another, probably more applicable thought, I would imagine two band brushes are more specialty brushes for a target audience, so perhaps a little more attention is given to them during manufacture versus 3 bands?

I'm just thinking out loud...good observation though! Now I'll be over-analyzing this throughout the weekend, thanks Tongue

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 10-08-2014, 06:10 PM
#9
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This is interesting. I have mostly used 3 bands, and now always since my 2 bands are gone, but I have never had a brush that hasn't shed a hair or two.

I will say that my 3 bands probably shed a few more than the 2 bands though.

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 10-08-2014, 06:23 PM
#10
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My only real shedder --on to the point that affected the eventual use of the brush --I was a boar.

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 10-09-2014, 04:31 AM
#11
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
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(10-08-2014, 05:56 PM)Giorgio Wrote: I may be way over-generalizing, but I think because 3 bands are much more common, you'll hear of more shedding cases (in general).

Another, probably more applicable thought, I would imagine two band brushes are more specialty brushes for a target audience, so perhaps a little more attention is given to them during manufacture versus 3 bands?

I'm just thinking out loud...good observation though! Now I'll be over-analyzing this throughout the weekend, thanks Tongue

Those are also two very good points, Giorgio. There are a lot more 3-band brushes around, usually 2-band brushes are not available at brick and mortar shops, only online, which means they're usually bought for someone looking specifically for such a knot, and will most likely be better cared for than the average brush is.


(10-08-2014, 03:34 PM)Lando Wrote: I agree with you David, I guess I should have differentiated "shedders" and "light shedding". I've had two brushes that I would classify as actual "shedders", and they gave up larger amounts of hair, and if i pulled slightly on the knots even more hair. Likely related to poor construction as you explained.

In contrast, I have a Rooney silvertip i've had for years, that gives up a hair every shave or every other shave. In this case I think the hairs may be breaking. Not a huge problem really, but enough to be slightly irritating, for me anyway.

If we're talking about "light shedding", which usually happens with regular and continuous use of a brush, your thought does make quite a bit of sense IMO.
When you look at a 3-band and 2-band knot, just after use, you will see some tangled hairs on the 3-band, but rarely on the 2-band. That is most likely due to the thickness and backbone of the individual hairs, which would also mean the hairs wouldn't break as easily. I also believe this is more likely to happen with face lathering then with bowl lathering, but of course it always comes down to how you use the brush.

On the other hand, and although this argument portrays to current batches of hair, the 2-band vs. 3-band argument can be a bit misleading, as there are (or should I say, used to be) very thick 3-band hairs, and not so thick 2-band hairs, like Semogue's more recent 2-band batch. After all, I don't think there is such a thing as actual 2-band hair, at least not in nature. Biggrin

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 10-09-2014, 07:54 AM
#12
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I haven't noticed this with my brush, really. It could also be that the 3-Bands are a bit more dense to compensate for the lack of backbone, so you may have more individual hairs falling out than the 2-Band counterparts.
As long as they work well and feel good on my face, I don't mind! Biggrin

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 10-09-2014, 08:15 AM
#13
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To the cause of 'normal practical use' being the shedding's genesis, I think what you're saying makes perfect sense.

They're probably breaking off above the glue base from the twisting that the higher tensile strength, more reflexive, and thicker 2-banded hair can more easily endure.

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 10-09-2014, 09:38 AM
#14
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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None of my 3-bands shed, be they Simpson, Thater, Shavemac or Kent. All my 26 brushes lost a hair or two on first use, but after that there's been none.

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 10-09-2014, 10:00 AM
#15
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not much of a problem here. I am getting so many brushes now that they get a lot less use as I rotate through. only one close to a shedder for me was a simpson special and its hairs were so small I could barely see them with my old peepers.

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 10-09-2014, 02:38 PM
#16
  • Lando
  • This deal is getting worse all the time
  • Bellevue, WA
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Thanks for the great comments everyone, made me rethink this a bit.

I'll admit I face lather almost always and greatly prefer the scrubby sensation of a good soft two band brush. Maybe I am subconsciously babying the two bands, or possibly using greater force with the three bands in order to emulate that two band sensation.

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 10-13-2014, 11:31 AM
#17
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(10-08-2014, 03:55 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: A new brush can shed a few hairs and then settle down to not shedding. That's normal.

If a majority of brushes are shedding after a short time double check the way they're used. In use, a brush should only be using the outer 1/3 of the fiber to generate lather. If more than that is being used, that is, down to the handle or close to it, that's the culprit. Use less of the brush.

There are fairly easy solutions to this. One is to just be aware of the problem and back off. A stiff synthetic will allow the feedback desired to be experienced without brush damage. Or just accept that damage will occur and know you'll be buying new brushes soon. Save the handles, they can be reknotted. One could also use less expensive brushes if buying new badgers will hurt. Boars are quite inexpensive; so inexpensive that they are almost disposable. (I'm not suggesting that! A quality boar, though inexpensive, used properly will last many years.)

I tend to agree. Workmanship certainly enters into the equation--and yes, most every manufacturer lets substandard knots through occasionally. But with rare exceptions a well-made
brush, properly used and cared for, should settle down.

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 10-15-2014, 07:27 AM
#18
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I have a sizable collection and my badger ratio is probably 1.5:1 in favor of three band and I've seen no difference in the amount of shedding where one type has a tendency to shed more than another.

For me, it's come down to brush quality. I will say that I've got several Simpsons, a couple Rooneys, a Thater, a Shavemac, a couple WSPs and a couple Plissons and none of them has shed a single hair (aside from a few strays right out of the box) for up to a 4 year use period.

On the other hand, the brushes that I purchased from EBay and Etsy early on in my wet shaving career claiming Silvertip for $25 from an unknown Chinese manufacturer would be shredders maybe one in every three purchases. I would stay away from Parker. I had very bad luck with them.

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 10-15-2014, 07:52 AM
#19
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thankfully shedding is unknown to me. i always facelather and load directly from a relatively hard soap - but never press down the hairs much - neither on face nor bowl - and i load for a very long time - about 5 minutes. i have used the same simpson 58 for all my shaves during 6 months and not a single hair came off.

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