04-24-2015, 11:48 AM
#1
  • Teddyboy
  • Guilty, with an explanation
  • NYC
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I just received a two-band brush from shaving.ie and had my first face lathering.  I must have lost at least 50 hairs, I think that is a conservative gestimate.  Hopefully it will stop, but I've not seen anything like this.

My question is, why should a brush shed?  Do less expensive brushes get less care by artisans in assembling the knot?  It doesn't quite make sense to me b/c intuitively, the amount of additional work or care to ensure a quality knot seems minimal.  It irks me that a little extra effort could make a brush like the one I referenced above, into a real winner for the money, ~$35.


Am I off base here?  Is there a lot more that goes into knot assembly that I am unaware of?

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 04-24-2015, 01:03 PM
#2
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Brushes at any price point can shed. Some sub standard glue caused problems with some of Lee Sabini's brushes a couple of years ago. 
Don't feel too bad. I bought a Plisson HMW a few months ago that was fine at first and then started losing more hairs with every shave. The vendor says he'll replace it though. 
Once a brush shears shedding heavily they almost never get better. If it continues, collect some of the hairs and send a photo to the vendor and they'll likely replace it for you.

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 04-24-2015, 01:31 PM
#3
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I've been exceptionally fortunate.   I've purchased many brushes over the years, from inexpensive boars to expensive two bands, and have never gotten a shedder.  For me, 50 lost hairs on the first shave is beyond the small amount of shedding that one should reasonably expect to experience with any new brush.  I'd like to know what your brush does on the second and third shaves.  I'm also interested in how the vendor handles this in the event you determine it's a shedder.  

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 04-24-2015, 01:49 PM
#4
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That seems excessive, Ted. I would document the shedding with photos and contact the vendor as soon as possible. You shouldn't be losing that many hairs on the first shave unless the brush is the size of a Chubby 3 Super, or such. 
Regarding the knot(s), any brush has the possibility to shed if the knot wasn't prepared, properly, especially, in the gluing stage, unfortunately. Remember, the majority of knots used in brushes are assembled in China and the artisans just order these knots, so they aren't assembling them, themselves. As far as I understand it, only Simpsons, Shavemac and Muhle assemble their own knots in-house. However, I could be mistaken. 
With regards to a less expensive brush being a 'real winner', many of TGN knots/brushes, Whipped Dog brushse and some others are just that for many folks. It seems you were just unfortunate with the one you received. 
Good luck in trying to remedy the situation. 

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 04-24-2015, 03:35 PM
#5
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If I had spent $35 or $350 and my brush shed 50+ hairs the first time I used it--I would return it immediately for a refund. JMO.

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 04-24-2015, 04:19 PM
#6
  • Teddyboy
  • Guilty, with an explanation
  • NYC
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Actually, I hadn't thought of going the photo/refund way, but since you guys make it unanimous, I'll give it a shot if it does not improve.  Thanks to all.

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 04-29-2015, 05:04 AM
#7
  • Teddyboy
  • Guilty, with an explanation
  • NYC
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UPDATE:

I contacted Shaving.ie to inform them of the brush shedding, which it still does albeit more slowly, and >48 hours later have not received a response.

I had also submitted a two-star review of the brush and specifically indicated that shaving.ie was not to blame and that I would still be doing business with them.  However, they apparently refuse to publish my review.

So, buyer beware.

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 04-29-2015, 08:52 AM
#8
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I purchased 3 shedders in 2014 and each time I kept notes, provided it to the vendor and they gave me a refund. I'd be very surprised if Shaving.ie doesn't do the right thing.

I did give each brush 2-3 weeks of continuous use to stop shedding. Perhaps yours will stop shedding as well if you see a slow down in the amount shedding already?  

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 04-29-2015, 11:57 AM
#9
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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In my 45 years of wet shaving I've only had 2 brushes shed excessively; I currently own 30 brushes.  In both cases the vendor gave me a replacement no questions asked.  In the most recent case, which was earlier this year, the vendor mailed a replacement brush before seeing the shedder, based strictly on my email advise, and this was the first purchase I'd made from him.

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 04-29-2015, 11:59 AM
#10
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(04-24-2015, 01:49 PM)celestino Wrote: As far as I understand it, only Simpsons, Shavemac and Muhle assemble their own knots in-house.

This is not the first time I have heard this and it isn't even close to being true. 

I personally watched Dovo (whom I have previously read from 'authority' positions online before that they bought their knots from Thaeter) make weigh, form, bind, and set knots before my eyes using a mechanical scale and their hands and a little wooden "anti-knot" dowel.   I rather doubt they got all that stuff together and just happened to be doing it in a big room where only brushes and their handles were just for my piddling 1-hr factory tour.

VP Leonhardy and our 'house brand' maker have both told me unequivocally that they never buy anyone else's knots.  On cheaper models they use machinery to set them; on the costliest they do it all 100% by hand. 

I would be rather shocked if Rooney, Thaeter, and Plisson are buying others knots at their top end, and I'm sure the list of those doing it all their own is longer than that.

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 04-29-2015, 12:13 PM
#11
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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(04-29-2015, 11:59 AM)kwigibocity Wrote:
(04-24-2015, 01:49 PM)celestino Wrote: As far as I understand it, only Simpsons, Shavemac and Muhle assemble their own knots in-house.

This is not the first time I have heard this and it isn't even close to being true. 

I personally watched Dovo (whom I have previously read from 'authority' positions online before that they bought their knots from Thaeter) make weigh, form, bind, and set knots before my eyes using a mechanical scale and their hands and a little wooden "anti-knot" dowel.   I rather doubt they got all that stuff together and just happened to be doing it in a big room where only brushes and their handles were just for my piddling 1-hr factory tour.

VP Leonhardy and our 'house brand' maker have both told me unequivocally that they never buy anyone else's knots.  On cheaper models they use machinery to set them; on the costliest they do it all 100% by hand. 

I would be rather shocked if Rooney, Thaeter, and Plisson are buying others knots at their top end, and I'm sure the list of those doing it all their own is longer than that.

Thank you for killing this oft-spread rumor.  I have seen many manufacturers accused of using China made knots, which is possible (mainly due to the increased quality of said product), but unlikely for the majority of the high-end brush manufacturers.  I have also seen it posted by a well respected brush collector of yore that if you can feel a glue bump above the handle, that indicates it is a machine made knot.   Rolleyes

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 04-29-2015, 12:54 PM
#12
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I've only had one shedder, a SR. Other then that, I've been fortunate.

If it's a brand name brush (not store brand) and you got no response from the vendor....go to the source and tell them.

I'm guessing they won't be happy with the lack of response (although 48hrs may not be long enough).

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 04-29-2015, 12:57 PM
#13
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Shavemac - Rudy Vey posted a travelogue at B&B of a visit to Shavemac's workshop including pictures of the knot making process.
Thater - SRD did an onsite interview at Thater with discussion about the knot making process.
Simpsons - Have a youtube video showing their workers making knots
Rooney - Classic Shaving visited their workshop a few years ago and attest to them making their own knots. 

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 04-29-2015, 01:04 PM
#14
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(04-29-2015, 12:57 PM)shevek Wrote: Shavemac - Rudy Vey posted a travelogue at B&B of a visit to Shavemac's workshop including pictures of the knot making process.
Thater - SRD did an onsite interview at Thater with discussion about the knot making process.
Simpsons - Have a youtube video showing their workers making knots
Rooney - Classic Shaving visited their workshop a few years ago and attest to them making their own knots. 
Anyone have confirmation on the following:

Plisson
Kent
DaVinci
Wiborg
Vie-Long
Semogue Badger

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 04-29-2015, 04:55 PM
#15
  • Teddyboy
  • Guilty, with an explanation
  • NYC
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(04-29-2015, 08:52 AM)shevek Wrote: I purchased 3 shedders in 2014 and each time I kept notes, provided it to the vendor and they gave me a refund. I'd be very surprised if Shaving.ie doesn't do the right thing.

I did give each brush 2-3 weeks of continuous use to stop shedding. Perhaps yours will stop shedding as well if you see a slow down in the amount shedding already?  

That is my hope.  But, in some cases I get the feeling that maybe the hairs are not completely shed, but that the shaft breaks and I lose the working end.  It's essentially the same thing if the hair quality is so fragile.

This conversation is very informative.  Thank you all for your interesting comments.

P.S.  The brush I have been talking about has no name or brand whatsoever - source unknown to me.

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 04-30-2015, 04:54 AM
#16
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A quick thought about your brush.  I'm with Primo about returning it, but if you're not getting a response from the retailer, you can try shampooing the brush a few times and run a very fine comb through it after every lathering.  It's not a sure-fire solution, but hopefully doing that a few times will remove most of the loose hairs.  If that doesn't work, drop me a PM and I'll try to help.

In any event, let us know what you find.

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 04-30-2015, 04:57 AM
#17
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(04-30-2015, 04:54 AM)BSWoodturning Wrote: A quick thought about your brush.  I'm with Primo about returning it, but if you're not getting a response from the retailer, you can try shampooing the brush a few times and run a very fine comb through it after every lathering.  It's not a sure-fire solution, but hopefully doing that a few times will remove most of the loose hairs.  If that doesn't work, drop me a PM and I'll try to help.

In any event, let us know what you find.
Are you running the comb through after the lathering when it's still damp or do you wait for it to completely dry?

I've heard doing it damp can make it worse.

If you ask me, a shedding brush (except the few initial lathers) will always be a shedder.

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 04-30-2015, 05:11 AM
#18
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(04-30-2015, 04:57 AM)Bruce Wrote:
(04-30-2015, 04:54 AM)BSWoodturning Wrote: A quick thought about your brush.  I'm with Primo about returning it, but if you're not getting a response from the retailer, you can try shampooing the brush a few times and run a very fine comb through it after every lathering.  It's not a sure-fire solution, but hopefully doing that a few times will remove most of the loose hairs.  If that doesn't work, drop me a PM and I'll try to help.

In any event, let us know what you find.
Are you running the comb through after the lathering when it's still damp or do you wait for it to completely dry?

I've heard doing it damp can make it worse.

If you ask me, a shedding brush (except the few initial lathers) will always be a shedder.

First off, you're generally correct:  a shedder is a shedder.  But sometimes a brush can be salvaged--especially a large, very dense brush.   But to answer your question: I run the comb through the wet brush.  The idea is clear out as many loose hairs as possible--kinda like ripping a bandaid off quickly.  If that makes the shedding worse, you've got a defective knot and there's not much, if anything, that can be done to save it.  Evidence isn't destroyed, rather it's made stronger as a photo of shed hair and a "balding" knot make a compelling case. 

That said: any reputable retailer will be very anxious to make good on a shedding brush because, let's face it: one "aw shucks" is worth 1,000 attaboys! Angel

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 04-30-2015, 07:14 AM
#19
  • Gago
  • Active Member
  • Rio de Janeirto
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Thankfully I never had a shedder.

PS; Semogue makes their knots, too.

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 04-30-2015, 07:40 AM
#20
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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(04-29-2015, 01:04 PM)Bruce Wrote:
(04-29-2015, 12:57 PM)shevek Wrote: Shavemac - Rudy Vey posted a travelogue at B&B of a visit to Shavemac's workshop including pictures of the knot making process.
Thater - SRD did an onsite interview at Thater with discussion about the knot making process.
Simpsons - Have a youtube video showing their workers making knots
Rooney - Classic Shaving visited their workshop a few years ago and attest to them making their own knots. 
Anyone have confirmation on the following:

Plisson - Most assuredly, mentioned on their website but I'm not heard of anybody getting inside the factory
Kent - ???
DaVinci - video on YouTube shows them hand tying the knots
Wiborg - highly suspect - knots may be handmade, but owner has avoided question several times
Vie-Long - Surely Juan at G&C has been to the factory, perhaps he could shed some light
Semogue Badger - A YouTube video (in Portuguese) shows the factory hand making boar knots, surely they would do the same for badger with all the tools and craftsmen already in place

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