01-06-2015, 10:09 AM
#1
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Hey Gents,

I recently acquired a brush which feels perfect in my hands and it's bulb size and shape is perfect for my face. The only thing I dislike about the brush is that it has a fair amount of scritch (it's a silvertip badger if that helps).

Is there something I can do to the brush to get rid of the scritch? I was thinking of trying to lather with some conditioner to see if it softens up the hairs but I wanted to run it by you guys before I ruin an otherwise great brush.

Thanks!

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 01-06-2015, 10:26 AM
#2
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I've never been able to remove scritch. I've heard of people using conditioners and even as far as gently brushing it on sandpaper...yes, sandpaper.

I worry about doing anything outside of the normal shave soap lathers as if you ever go to sell or trade, these funky de-scritching methods should be disclosed and may limit the amount of people who would want it.

For me, once a scritchy brush, always a scritchy brush.

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 01-06-2015, 11:05 AM
#3
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I would have to concur with Bruce regarding most 'scritchy' badger brushes that it will be very difficult to eliminate the 'scritch', all together, but some folks have mentioned that their Shavemac D-01 2-Band has softened after quite a bit of uses, so there is a bit of hope. Biggrin
I would recommend bowl-lathering it, every day, for at least one to two months to see if it 'softens up'.
Best of luck!

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 01-06-2015, 11:13 AM
#4
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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I think it depends on the hair. There are some hair qualities which exhibit scritch when new and then it fades after continued use. And other hair qualities in which it never seems like you can get rid of it. So you can either keep using it constantly and hopefully it will go away. Or, if you are very attached to the handle you might just consider reknotting it with a TGN or something Smile

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 01-06-2015, 11:26 AM
#5
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I think what many feel is scritch disappearing over time is actually the knot opening or loosening up. When the knot is as concentrated and not in full bloom that hairs are more spread out and give the sensation of being softer.

The same thing can be felt with a new scritchy brush or a stiff boar if you press it a bit and mash it on your face.

Just my theory and I have no scientific tests or calculations to back it up.

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 01-06-2015, 11:47 AM
#6
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I think some of it has to do with getting used to it as well. I'm sure you can get used to any brush if you used it enough. I think that's what happens in a lot of cases when people say that their scritch "disappeared."

But my general thoughts on the matter is that scritch doesn't usually disappear. At least not in my den. Can be different for others of course.

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 01-06-2015, 11:50 AM
#7
  • davizera
  • Non Dvcor Dvco
  • São Paulo - Brazil
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There was a guy who said, if I'm not mistaken, in the portuguese speaking forum, that he removed the scritch from a brush by using hair bleach.

He left the bleach in the tips for around 45 min, and it softened them, making the brush usable again.

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 01-06-2015, 12:22 PM
#8
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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My thoughts on scritch are based purely on my observation of my own brushes...

Scritch (the uncomfortable kind) I have found is primarily due to some hairs having the tips either trimmed off or broken off. I have pictures of this in the Plisson HMW thread. The trimmed tips do not have the typical taper which usually yields a soft feeling to the face...instead they are "squared" with sharp edges, and in my unproven opinion, are the cause of scritch in my brushes that had/have this sensation. These hairs are usually black, since the silvertips are trimmed off and the cut is usually on the black band, however I have seen some trimmed tips that are silver. I think that with continued use, your beard acts as sandpaper and on some of the softer quality hairs will wears down those sharp edges of the trimmed tips, hence fading away. I have actually seen some of those hairs splitting in my Plisson. And then there are hairs that are too tough or stiff to be affected with continued use.

Again this is just my opinion/perspective, and I am very open to the possibility that I am completely wrong and overthinking it and that scritch is due to something else Biggrin. I agree with the knot opening up causing less scritch, and I also agree that your face can get used to it, and they are both valid factors that can contribute to the decreased scritch sensation. Smile

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 01-06-2015, 12:57 PM
#9
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I like the getting use to it factor. After using my Plisson Synthetic for several months (super soft) then switching to my Plisson Pure Black Badger put my face in altered states. Talk about scritch. But the more I use it, the less I notice it.

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 01-06-2015, 01:07 PM
#10
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I would agree with Bruce and Celestino: I've never been able to satisfactorily "de-scritch" a brush. Saying that, the "getting used to it" factor makes sense. Another thought is that the brush just might need to be broken in. To that end, I'd try bowl lathering for 10-12 shaves, as Celestino suggested, and see if that helps.

If all else fails, you could try re-knotting with a TGN Premium (not "grade A") Silvertip. They're about as soft as they come.

Good luck.

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 01-06-2015, 02:27 PM
#11
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(01-06-2015, 11:50 AM)davizera Wrote: There was a guy who said, if I'm not mistaken, in the portuguese speaking forum, that he removed the scritch from a brush by using hair bleach.

He left the bleach in the tips for around 45 min, and it softened them, making the brush usable again.

David, that seems like a long time to leave the hair in the bleach for. I have also heard the so-called gel-like tips are achieved in this way, but I can't confirm it.

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 01-06-2015, 02:43 PM
#12
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There is no way I'm soaking a brush in bleach to make it softer or whiten the tips.

The MFG can do that all they want and experiment, but it's too risky to try at home. I guess if you are tossing the knot anyway, but I'd look to sell or trade it before I went through home bleaching.

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 01-06-2015, 03:08 PM
#13
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Thanks guys. The primary reason I bought the brush was because of the particular knot/bulb shape - it's a Vie-Long knot. I had a similar brush a while ago, but with a longer loft. I loved the brush but the long loft, hints of scritch and other newer brushes with softer tips won out and I sold the brush.

I got an opportunity to buy a similar brush with a lower loft again. I love the lower loft and the shape of the knot is perfect; it doesn't splay at all, the backbone is ideal (very scrubby). It keeps it's shape and doesn't bloom at all which I seem to prefer, perhaps because the knot is so dense. It's just the scritch is more than what I remember. I believe Giorgio is correct in saying that the scritchy hairs are the ones which are cut; I can see some of these hairs (black in colour) aren't tapered as the other ones are.

I'll give the brush a few test lathers and see how it feels. One thing I noticed was that when I used painting strokes, it was super soft. When I made swirling strokes, I could feel the little stingers, so I believe that the scritchier hairs are a little lower down and are possibly there to give the hairs backbone/support.

I have the same handle with a horse hair knot in it that is balding. My thought was to eventually have it reknotted with a TGN knot, but I loved the feel of the Vie-Long knot, just not the scritch that seems to come with it.

Bruce; welcome back!

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 01-06-2015, 09:08 PM
#14
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Hugh, I think you may need to try a good 2-Band badger as some of the knots have these characteristics that you seem to like. Biggrin

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 01-07-2015, 06:57 PM
#15
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rudy vey is making shavemac 2 band knots for his custom handles. I got it from the le 14 one he made and love it. also I have two more posts to hit 300. look out celestino here I come

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 01-08-2015, 07:10 AM
#16
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Thanks Celestino; I've tried a few TGN 2-bands and they're great! I enjoy my Thater silvertip, it's very soft and has just enough backbone. I find the same is true for my Savile Row. But this Vie-Long just feels nice in my hand and the knot is the perfect size, not too big and not too small. It's not floppy and has enough backbone to not lose it's shape when I use paint-brush strokes.

It's only knock is the scritch.

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 01-08-2015, 07:25 AM
#17
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I can't stand scritch, it drives me nuts.

For soft brushes, you can't beat Kent, SR and Thater (at least in their 3 band). I really wish Kent would make some more short lofted Silvertips like the 2008 & 2008 B&B LE's. A Thater 2 band Bulb is on my wish list to buy too.

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 01-08-2015, 09:24 AM
#18
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How to soften black badger

http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread....adger-hair!

I hope that will help you.

Wink

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 01-08-2015, 09:34 AM
#19
  • refles
  • Senior Member
  • New York
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(01-08-2015, 07:25 AM)Bruce Wrote: I can't stand scritch, it drives me nuts.

For soft brushes, you can't beat Kent, SR and Thater (at least in their 3 band). I really wish Kent would make some more short lofted Silvertips like the 2008 & 2008 B&B LE's. A Thater 2 band Bulb is on my wish list to buy too.

couldn't agree more with both points.

It would be nice to see Kent come out with a shorter lofted brush that would undoubtedly be very popular.

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 01-08-2015, 01:02 PM
#20
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Several years ago, I had a Semogue SOC 2 Band that I eventually disposed of because it was too scritchy for me. Since I liked the attributes of the brush (looks, lathering capability, etc) I decided to give one another try. The new one has no scritch; the tips are wonderfully soft - a fun brush. Go figure!

Ed

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