05-28-2012, 03:59 PM
#1
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Hi folks, My name is Nick aka marz. I'm not new to wet shaving, been doing it for 50 years. I've always used cheap brushes and Gillette shaving cream from the local drug store, just like my dad. As I got older, I changed to Proraso and Speick. I am thinking of getting a more expensive shaving brush. I don't understand what "loft" is. It seems to be important. Can someone explain to me what "loft" is and why is it important?
I really enjoy reading all these posts about shaving. I never knew how passionate guys can be[/size][/font] about shaving. It's pretty cool.
Thanks.
Marz

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 05-28-2012, 04:07 PM
#2
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Loft is the overall height of the brush hairs (or fibers) starting from the end of the handle to the top of the brush hairs free end.

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 05-29-2012, 08:57 PM
#3
  • Fido
  • Unregistered
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Loft is a guide to how much backbone a brush will have. Usually, the shorter the loft, the more backbone it will have. But shape also has a significant effect. A bulb shape with the same loft as a flat top fan shape will be much firmer - all other things being equal. And among the other things are the density of the knot and it's overall length before being set in the handle. So a 20 x 65 and a 20 x60 - both set to a depth to ensure a loft of 50mm will perform differently.

And then there's the hair grade variations from the softest silvertip to the firmest two band.

So loft is important but how a brush performs depends on seveal other factors.

Just try a lot of brushes!

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 05-30-2012, 05:08 AM
#4
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Loft certainly does impact on backbone, but so does the grade of hair. 3 band versus 2 band for example, with the latter providing significantly more backbone. Apart from the strength of individual hairs the density of the knot also has a directly proportional impact on backbone. And as Fido mentioned shape, such as Fan versus Bulb provides similar results again.

The loft influences how the brush feels and the way it behaves. A short loft can provide a scrubbier sensation and is often favoured by face latherers. A long loft provides a more painterly feel and often suits bowl latherer's preferences.

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 05-30-2012, 07:39 AM
#5
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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Thank you Marz for asking this great question. I want to say welcome to The Shave Nook and I hope you got your answer. I know I certainly just learned something.

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 05-30-2012, 07:51 AM
#6
  • Codfish
  • Product Tester
  • Connecticut Shoreline
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Excellent question and thread. I would add that the lofts of natural brushes behave differently than synthetic brushes.

Because synthetic fibers are solid rather than hollow as in natural-hair brushes, they usually require more loft to achieve similar results. They are not directly comparable, and may appear to have unusually high lofts. The 62mm loft of the Mühle XL synth might appear to be quite floppy, but it is not.

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 05-30-2012, 07:58 AM
#7
  • Persius
  • On the learning curve
  • Reading, England
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Someone clever needs to come up with a formula that links hair grade, size and shape to a grading system for firmness. Any ideas anyone?

Do we open the whole "flow" can of worms too?

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 05-30-2012, 06:01 PM
#8
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(05-30-2012, 07:58 AM)Persius Wrote: Someone clever needs to come up with a formula that links hair grade, size and shape to a grading system for firmness. Any ideas anyone?

Do we open the whole "flow" can of worms too?

That is a great question! i would love to see a chart like that!

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 06-01-2012, 04:58 PM
#9
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Wow, you guys are the best. Thanks to everyone who answered my question. I do learn something. Happy Weekend End one and all.
Marz

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 06-02-2012, 12:26 PM
#10
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I've always thought knot density should be included in the specs of brushes. I assume that density is measured in dollars. LOL

I'm sure every manufacturer uses hair or bristle weight for each brush and have a weight per mm. The grade of the hair or bristle is yet another variable.

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 06-02-2012, 06:44 PM
#11
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(06-02-2012, 12:26 PM)Johnny9 Wrote: I've always thought knot density should be included in the specs of brushes. I assume that density is measured in dollars. LOL

I'm sure every manufacturer uses hair or bristle weight for each brush and have a weight per mm. The grade of the hair or bristle is yet another variable.

It would be possible for the manufacturers to include the weight in their brushes specs but I don't think it can work to describe the density. Different combinations of loft length and knot diameter can have the same weight but different density.

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