02-19-2015, 03:36 AM
#1
User Info
Hello everybody, 
First time poster here, and a newbie when it comes to  wet shaving. I wish my first post were to come under happier circumstances, but as fate would have it I have a shaving brush conundrum on my hands and a potential problem: curved/hooked/barbed hair tips.

Before continuing I to have emphasize that my collection contains just a few brushes, and my only other Simpsons brush is a Duke 3 in best badger, so my points of reference are small.

A few days ago I received my brand new Chubby 2 super, and in my limited experience everything seemed to be in order - the knot was more or less uniform and the hairs were straight and soft to the touch. Instead of washing or shampooing the brush before first use I opted to use it as is in my morning shave... soaked it between 5 and 10 min in warm water (not hot), loaded the soap using only light pressure, and then proceeded to build lather on my face. Now, I know the manufacturer supplied instructions advise using only painting strokes and not circular ones, but as I found this technique to be overly time consuming and to result in a lesser quality of lather I took the liberty and used light circular motions. After use I thoroughly washed the brush in warm water and gently dried it on a towel; the brush was placed on its handle to dry completely.

Next morning I noticed that the tips of the hairs were curled or more accurately kind of hooked; this discovery immediately raised some concerns since before the purchase I was thoroughly exploring different brush options and sizes, and all the pictures I've seen of used Chubby 2 supers did not exhibit this particular hair characteristic... at lest not to this extent. 
The curling of tips is most noticeable at the outer hairs of the knot, but it can also be observed in more central areas also. The hooked tips only occur when the brush is dry... when wet everything appears to be normal and its lathering capabilities do not seem to be effected. As of this writing I have used the brush four times including a wash with a shampoo for normal hair (last use), and after each time there is more hair displaying hooked tips.

Other than visual, the only differences I could discern are regarding hair softness:
 1) Dry brush - hair was softer to the touch right out of the box and before first use; one could say it got progressively less soft after each use; not a big difference but still noticeable. Don't know if this normal or to be expected because I never payed attention to this sort of thing with my other brushes.
2) Wet brush - during first use the brush felt ever so slightly softer than in subsequent uses. The differences are minor and I guess they could be attributed to a number of different factors...perhaps its just paranoia creeping in Undecided 

As it stands the curled/hooked tips are more of an aesthetic problem rather than a functional one, but I would be lying if I said it didn't bug me, especially taking into account that all the Chubby 2 super pictures I found online did not show hooked tips. It makes the brush somewhat scruffy looking - like a hobo Tongue

My concern is if this keeps progressing it could hinder the brush's performance in the future.

I welcome any and all comments, suggestions and experiences... also, please excuse the quality of the pictures. The camera on the Nexus 5 and my photography skills leave a lot to be desired.

Thanks 

[Image: IMG_20150219_101634.jpg]
[Image: IMG_20150219_101953.jpg]
[Image: IMG_20150219_102138.jpg]

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 02-19-2015, 03:51 AM
#2
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
User Info
First of all, welcome to TSN. When you've got a chance, please introduce yourself to the community here.

Regarding the hooked tips (also known as gel tips), it's a very common characteristic with shaving brushes nowadays, particularly with 2-band knots, and it's generally attributed to the degree of bleaching that the tips are treated with, usually by the Chinese hair supplier.

You should feel the hair is somewhat stiffer and "crunchier" when dry, but that usually also results in a very soft "gel-like" face feel, as what is in contact with the skin in your face are not the tips of the hair, but instead a more round (and therefore softer) surface. I's somewhat odd that the brush felt softer in the first use then in subsequent ones, but give it at least a dozen uses to assess how it is behaving.
Also, very accurate and critical analysis of a shaving brush for someone new to wetshaving. Congratulations on that!

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 02-19-2015, 04:49 AM
#3
  • jtmke
  • Ex shaving hater
  • milwaukee
User Info
You can contact Simpson and explain what you believe is happening. I would use it for a couple weeks and judge the brush on its performance. I too just acquired a Chubby 2 and felt it scratchy the first time or two. Now it is an awesome brush

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 02-19-2015, 05:05 AM
#4
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I have had brushes with hooked tips that were not providing the gel tip feel. I wouldn't say there is anything wrong with this brush as I have said before I have had this on quite a few occasions. I agree maybe contacting the manufacturer could provide you with some sort of idea as to why this may happen. I remember once I soaked a brush in water that may have been to hot as the tips started to curl and the hair became less soft. Maybe doing a bit of conditioning with the hair will help enough to take some of that out.

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 02-19-2015, 05:23 AM
#5
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I don't think it is a bad thing...I have a brush with 'hooked' tips, and it is my favorite.

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 02-19-2015, 05:40 AM
#6
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
User Info
Welcome to TSN!

You, my friend, have yourself a winner of a brush with those hooked tips! They are typically a desired quality as they contribute to a luxurious and velvety feel when lathering. I haven't heard too many people talk about hooked tips in a best or super grade Simpson...it seems most of the times I hear it are people describing the limited editions in 2 Band silvertip or Manchurian.

As David mentioned, the cause is usually correlated with the treatment/bleaching of the tips. It is not a bad thing and no cause for concern....quite the opposite actually. With that in mind, enjoy your new brush Biggrin

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 02-19-2015, 05:51 AM
#7
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I don't believe there is anything wrong with any hooked tip brush.  I own both 3 band and 2 band with hooked tips, and unless you shave with it DRY, you won't notice it.

In general, they are softer when in use and it's usually a favorable and something people seek out.  No need to contact any maker, vendor or manufacturer.

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 02-19-2015, 05:52 AM
#8
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I've never seen so pronounced hooks   Huh

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 02-19-2015, 05:54 AM
#9
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
User Info
First time I see this with a Simpson Super 3 Band. There is typically not much bleaching going on with these (so I thought at least).

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 02-19-2015, 06:09 AM
#10
  • Giorgio
  • Senior Member
  • Pennsylvania, US
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(02-19-2015, 05:54 AM)German Wrote: First time I see this with a Simpson Super 3 Band. There is typically not much bleaching going on with these (so I thought at least).

+1. If this is what the new standard is for Super, I may actually have to pick one up myself Biggrin

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 02-19-2015, 06:14 AM
#11
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
User Info
(02-19-2015, 06:09 AM)Giorgio Wrote:
(02-19-2015, 05:54 AM)German Wrote: First time I see this with a Simpson Super 3 Band. There is typically not much bleaching going on with these (so I thought at least).

+1. If this is what the new standard is for Super, I may actually have to pick one up myself Biggrin

Very true, I thought the same myself - Simpson's Super didn't use to have hooked tips, at least none of my Super's do, and the latest one is not even one year old. Perhaps this was an exception, or a newer batch of hair. Either way, it should provide for a very soft face feel.

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 02-19-2015, 06:33 AM
#12
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Thank you all for your informative replies, it is greatly appreciated.


Using my keen detective skills I actually found quite a few threads concerning hooked hairs on this forum and on B&B. As far as I can tell the key terms in those discussions are "2 band" and "over time" (not including boar brushes). Most brushes in question are 2 bands, and any curling/hooking that occurred did so, in most cases, over time... not right after the first shave as is the case with mine. 

Also, I found this reply on another thread from a few years back:
(04-01-2012, 01:20 PM)Gary Young Wrote: 'Hooked' filaments can be created way back at the sterilising stage of the hair's 'life'. If the hair has naturally very fine tapered filaments sterilising can cause slight splitting of the hair. Until the hair is used to form a knot and then used by the shaver in the completed brush the 'hooking' doesn't occur. We used to find that some batches of the finer super hair reacted this way, it was something that did create a different feel to the brush - not a bad feel, just a different feel to normal.

Gary

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 02-19-2015, 07:04 AM
#13
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(02-19-2015, 06:33 AM)Duckrabbit Wrote: Thank you all for your informative replies, it is greatly appreciated.


Using my keen detective skills I actually found quite a few threads concerning hooked hairs on this forum and on B&B. As far as I can tell the key terms in those discussions are "2 band" and "over time" (not including boar brushes). Most brushes in question are 2 bands, and any curling/hooking that occurred did so, in most cases, over time... not right after the first shave as is the case with mine. 

Also, I found this reply on another thread from a few years back:

(04-01-2012, 01:20 PM)Gary Young Wrote: 'Hooked' filaments can be created way back at the sterilising stage of the hair's 'life'. If the hair has naturally very fine tapered filaments sterilising can cause slight splitting of the hair. Until the hair is used to form a knot and then used by the shaver in the completed brush the 'hooking' doesn't occur. We used to find that some batches of the finer super hair reacted this way, it was something that did create a different feel to the brush - not a bad feel, just a different feel to normal.

Gary

That's an interesting post from Gary, thanks for digging that up. 

It may be the case that it is more common with 2 bands, but I've seen curling/hooking with both 2 and 3-bands. Thater 3-band comes to mind. Also, for me it has always been immediately after the first shave that curling occurs. 

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 02-19-2015, 07:25 AM
#14
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My 3 year old CH 2 super has some hooked tips.  Not as noticeable as yours but definitely present. It also appears as though your knot is formed from hair with a number of different hair thicknesses.  I noticed this a a two band I received from Simpson late last year, this could contribute to some increased curling of the hair as well.   I have also noticed a similar phenomenon with Manchurian hair ie tips curling slightly over time. All this to say, for me this should not be viewed as a problem, curled tips provide a nice soft face feel and in no way detract from the ability of the brush to produce excellent lather.  Enjoy that brush!

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 02-19-2015, 07:42 AM
#15
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
User Info
To my experience "curling" appears right after the first use with knots that are susceptible to it. I am excluding abuse here (overly hot water or mashing the knot). This has no negative effect per se, however, it may foster breaking of the tips over time when used rough. I just bought a new PJ3 Super which has (surprisingly) very soft tips (almost Thäter like) but shows no curling.

[Image: czpcGFw.jpg]

All my Thäter (2 and 3 Band), some Shavemac silvertips and all my Simpson 2 Band and M&F 2 Bands have curled tips.

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 02-19-2015, 07:44 AM
#16
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
User Info
(02-19-2015, 06:33 AM)Duckrabbit Wrote: Thank you all for your informative replies, it is greatly appreciated.


Using my keen detective skills I actually found quite a few threads concerning hooked hairs on this forum and on B&B. As far as I can tell the key terms in those discussions are "2 band" and "over time" (not including boar brushes). Most brushes in question are 2 bands, and any curling/hooking that occurred did so, in most cases, over time... not right after the first shave as is the case with mine. 

Also, I found this reply on another thread from a few years back:



(04-01-2012, 01:20 PM)Gary Young Wrote: 'Hooked' filaments can be created way back at the sterilising stage of the hair's 'life'. If the hair has naturally very fine tapered filaments sterilising can cause slight splitting of the hair. Until the hair is used to form a knot and then used by the shaver in the completed brush the 'hooking' doesn't occur. We used to find that some batches of the finer super hair reacted this way, it was something that did create a different feel to the brush - not a bad feel, just a different feel to normal.

Gary


Not sure if Gary was referring to the same thing, or if the wording wasn't the most appropriate, but IMO hooked tips and split tips are different phenomenon. Splitting is common with boar hair, and usually happens during the breaking in period, while hooked tips, although present in some boar hair, are much more common in badger hair. You can see an example of boar hair splitting here.

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 02-19-2015, 07:55 AM
#17
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(02-19-2015, 07:25 AM)merkur man Wrote: It also appears as though your knot is formed from hair with a number of different hair thicknesses. 

Yes, it definitely looks like the hooked hairs have a smaller diameter than others. What I personally find intriguing is the fact that the vast majority of hooked hairs are the ones located at the edge of the knot - the outer hairs so to speak. I would think that hairs at and around the center would be more prone to hooking or any kind of mechanical damage in general since they are exposed to more stress (both intensity and duration)

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 02-19-2015, 08:07 AM
#18
  • refles
  • Senior Member
  • New York
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The brushes that I have the hooked tips on are generally uniform in that the entire brush head would be hooked, its possible that it may not be as readily visible or may not curl at the same rate. I've noticed the hairs along the edges curl first but usually the hair in the rest of the hair in the knot are from the same batch so it should have the same result. 
But I have Simpson Best and Manchurian examples that exhibit curled tips as well as other manufacturers, I've asked Mark years ago and its considered normal, if that helps as this was a question I had when I first got into using the shaving brush.

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 02-19-2015, 08:53 AM
#19
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Wow! Those are some pronounced hooked tips! I have never seen anything quite like it, especially, for a Super 3-Band from Simpsons. I have two Chubby 2 Supers and have had other 3-Band Supers from Rooney, M&F, Shavemace, Semogue, etc. and have never seen this with 3-Band hair. I know that batches of hair vary, but his seems to be quite extraordinary, but I could, of course, be mistaken! Biggrin
I am wondering if it could have been an error with a 2-Band knot being mistakenly set in your Super. Regardless, if it doesn't meet your expectations in the next few day, or so, you may want to contact the vendor to express your concern.
Best of luck!

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 02-19-2015, 04:40 PM
#20
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Here are a couple of my Hooked Tipped Brushes.

Photo's taken with my Nexus 5 after seeing how well the OP's were when zoomed in.



Anyone are to guess what they are?  One is Simpson Manchurian, one is Whipped Dog Silvertip, one is M&F Heritage,

[Image: R1ihn9p.jpg]


[Image: kGbuuIf.jpg]

[Image: kAajJ8d.jpg]

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