05-02-2015, 09:54 AM
#1
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I seached and did not find a specific thread for this subject.
I found some information in various threads, but not a specific thread for this.

So here it is.

The thread for all you synthetic brush fanatics that also prefer to facelather  Smile

I have tried a bunch of Plissons, a bunch of Mühle STF v1 and v2 brushes and 3 Edwin Jagger STF v2 25 mm brushes.

I still can't figure out why people prefer synthetics over a quality badger, if you look at quality and feel - and not price point and drying time.

Actually I still can't figure out what people see in synthetics if you facelather.

Currently stayging at hotel this weekend, so used my Edwin Jagger STF v2 XL faux horn with Tabac stick and Lavanda cream for my shave today.
Yes, I got plenty of lather, but no not faster than my 30+ high quality badgers can make it.
I still have to press rather hard for my EJ XL STF brush to really create the lather, if not pressing it, I spend more time making the lather than I do with my badgers.
If ansd when I press in, the lather is created fast, but I lack control over the lather, especially when I lather around my ears and lips. The splay is rather uncontrollable to be honest.

Almost the same issue with the much smaller Mühle STf v2 23 mm synthetic. Once splayed out, I seem unable to get the same control over the brush, even compared to a much larger Simpson Chubby 3 30 mm Manchurian brush, which gives me more face lather precision.

And I still have yet to mention the feel. I get close to zero feel when I use a synthetic, Plisson gives me ZERO, the Edwin Jagger XL STF v2 perhaps 5% feel. A great badger gives me 75-90% feel, depending on hair and knot.

What struck me to day was, that I perheps don't know how to face lather properly with my synthetics.
Maybe I need a guide to do it the right way.

At first I soaked it just like badger. This is not what you should do, since a synthetic will drop the water, when you least want it drop it  Blush
I then started to just wet the tips with warm water, not hot water, this gave me a nice lather, but still not up to parwith what I get with one of my 30+ badgers.
Then I tried to use it completely dry, as some have recommended, but this gives me a paste like lather, comparable to my first attempts at making lather years ago, when I was a novice.
Adding drops of water to the tips, drop by drop seems to work best for me now. But still, I just don't feel I get alther control and lather quality and overall face lather experience remotely close to what I get with one of my beloved high end badgers.

Realizing synthetics may just not be for me, I still want to know if some one has a better tip for me, a new way of face lathering with a synthetic, that I have yet to try.

So what do I need to do to get the best out of face lathering with a synthetic brush ?

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 05-02-2015, 06:04 PM
#2
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I am with you Claus, I prefer badger to synthetic.  However, I have found a synthetic that in my opinion actually has some backbone and face-feel, the Simpson's Chubby 2 Synthetic Badger.  Is it as good as a badger, no, in my opinion nothing is, but is it a pleasure to use, absolutely.  This is the only synthetic that has stayed in my den, all others have been passed on quite quickly after I discovered they had no backbone/face-feel to speak of.  Try one Claus, I think you'll like it.

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 05-02-2015, 07:16 PM
#3
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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i've face lathered with my omega barberpole synth about a half dozen times, and think its safe to say i haven't got a clue as to what to do. just can not figure it out. it seems more suited to making lather in a mug. then again, ive only tried a handful of times. try, try again...

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 05-02-2015, 07:50 PM
#4
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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I face lather exclusively and it took a bit of time to figure how to face lather with a synthetic as opposed to boar or badger brushes. In the end I can get a good a lather from all 3 types of brushes. I have also been cold water shaving for 2 years but I don't think it makes too much of a difference in the making of a lather compared to hot water. My preference is for a synthetic but I use all 3 types in my shaving rotation and do not feel I would be at a disadvantage if I had, for some unknown reason, to be limited to one type of brush. I really don't understand shavers who are single type of brush fanatics. It seems to me that would give you a mind set not conducive to enjoying other brush types in the first place and predisposing you to failure in their use. Oth if you enjoy only one type of brush nothing says you have to use anything else either or even understand the people that do use other types. I would simply keep enjoying badgers exclusively in your shoes and avoid the frustration. I have eliminated horse hair brushes which I simply do not care for. 

That said, this is how I face lather with a synthetic brush. I run the tips of the brush across the water, dive it a light shake, got to the puck and give it another light shake to put some water on the puck. I start loading the brush and go back to skim the water and go back to loading some more soap. I get a thick gooey lather on the brush this way. Then go to face lathering adding a bit of water as needed by skimming the water till I get the lather I want. Works with the Plisson synthetic, the 2 Simpsons synthetics, the 2 Muhle synthetics and the one Virginia Sheng synthetic I have. It works for me but maybe nobody else, dunno.

That still leaves the face feel with synthetics that you don't like and not much can done about that except try a much lower loft than the most production synthetic brushes are set at. I really like the face feel of my Chubby 2 synthetic with a 50mm loft compared to the Plisson synthetic. They both work well but I just prefer the face feel of the Simpson.

Bob

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 05-02-2015, 07:57 PM
#5
  • jamesrobson5
  • Chubby Chaser... Big Brush is Best!
  • Sherwood Park AB Canada!
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Good write up Bob, I think I will try out your technique for tomorrows shave. I will use a CH2 Synth 

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 05-03-2015, 06:15 AM
#6
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(05-02-2015, 07:50 PM)BobH Wrote: I face lather exclusively and it took a bit of time to figure how to face lather with a synthetic as opposed to boar or badger brushes. In the end I can get a good a lather from all 3 types of brushes. I have also been cold water shaving for 2 years but I don't think it makes too much of a difference in the making of a lather compared to hot water. My preference is for a synthetic but I use all 3 types in my shaving rotation and do not feel I would be at a disadvantage if I had, for some unknown reason, to be limited to one type of brush. I really don't understand shavers who are single type of brush fanatics. It seems to me that would give you a mind set not conducive to enjoying other brush types in the first place and predisposing you to failure in their use. Oth if you enjoy only one type of brush nothing says you have to use anything else either or even understand the people that do use other types. I would simply keep enjoying badgers exclusively in your shoes and avoid the frustration. I have eliminated horse hair brushes which I simply do not care for. 

That said, this is how I face lather with a synthetic brush. I run the tips of the brush across the water, dive it a light shake, got to the puck and give it another light shake to put some water on the puck. I start loading the brush and go back to skim the water and go back to loading some more soap. I get a thick gooey lather on the brush this way. Then go to face lathering adding a bit of water as needed by skimming the water till I get the lather I want. Works with the Plisson synthetic, the 2 Simpsons synthetics, the 2 Muhle synthetics and the one Virginia Sheng synthetic I have. It works for me but maybe nobody else, dunno.

That still leaves the face feel with synthetics that you don't like and not much can done about that except try a much lower loft than the most production synthetic brushes are set at. I really like the face feel of my Chubby 2 synthetic with a 50mm loft compared to the Plisson synthetic. They both work well but I just prefer the face feel of the Simpson.

Bob

Thanks for your input, Bob

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 05-03-2015, 06:16 AM
#7
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(05-02-2015, 06:04 PM)merkur man Wrote: I am with you Claus, I prefer badger to synthetic.  However, I have found a synthetic that in my opinion actually has some backbone and face-feel, the Simpson's Chubby 2 Synthetic Badger.  Is it as good as a badger, no, in my opinion nothing is, but is it a pleasure to use, absolutely.  This is the only synthetic that has stayed in my den, all others have been passed on quite quickly after I discovered they had no backbone/face-feel to speak of.  Try one Claus, I think you'll like it.

Will give the Ch2 Synth a try soon :-)

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 05-03-2015, 06:39 AM
#8
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For me I prefer synthetic>badger>boar. Synthetics are just so efficient and lather much more consistently and faster than naturals. Boars waste too much product and have not much to show for it. With synthetics. I never have to return to the cake of soap as I always have to do with boars, and sometimes have to do with badgers. Also if I shave too long the lather can get pasty on a badger and I have to start all over again to get a good lather.

Synthetics never shed. And last literally a lifetime. I really don't like the gross feel I get from naturals. The synthetic fibers always feel clean. Like you said--the Plisson has no feel; I like that because my skin is sensitive and face lathering with a tough brush abuses it.

Other than these reasons, I don't like to buy China anything and try to avoid it as much as I can. Badger hair always comes from China no matter what the label says.

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 05-03-2015, 07:56 AM
#9
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I'm new, so take this for what it's worth I guessSmile I have a few Boars, a Rudy Vey TGN Silvertip & a Grooming Co synthetic. I sold a Plisson Synthetic for the Grooming Co to get more backbone.

I feel the TGC syn is a face lathering beast, my favorite brush. My RV is 24mm knot x 50mm loft, and while it is very good, I just feel the TGC is faster and more consistent. I'd like to try a Chubby 2 syn soon. I use mostly higher end creams like CF and AdP. But even with the few soaps I have, PA & Stirling, I always seem to do better with the TGC.

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 05-03-2015, 10:06 AM
#10
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Claus, I believe we share similar perspectives on brushes, so here is my advice: Just keep using your lovely badger brushes and let the synthetics go, my friend! No sense in not enjoying face-lathering while you're doing it. Biggrin

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 05-03-2015, 10:14 AM
#11
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I have about 30 brushes, both high end badger and the best boars. They have been collecting dust since I've discovered synthetic brushes.

Here's how I use mine: I dunk the brush in warm water the take it out and squeeze the brush over the soap, drain the soap and proceed loading the brush. Then I go about gave lathering, I dip the tips on water 2-3 times while lathering.

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 05-03-2015, 12:11 PM
#12
  • Niro884
  • Italian Shaving Enthusiast
  • Stoney Creek, Ontario CANADA
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I have had great success with synthetics. They will never replace my boars which I still prefer overall, but they have surpassed my badger brushes.  I have only a select few badgers left. I don't think there is a wrong or right answer with brushes.  It's all about preference and personal experience. 

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 05-03-2015, 06:35 PM
#13
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(05-03-2015, 06:16 AM)CHSeifert Wrote:
(05-02-2015, 06:04 PM)merkur man Wrote: I am with you Claus, I prefer badger to synthetic.  However, I have found a synthetic that in my opinion actually has some backbone and face-feel, the Simpson's Chubby 2 Synthetic Badger.  Is it as good as a badger, no, in my opinion nothing is, but is it a pleasure to use, absolutely.  This is the only synthetic that has stayed in my den, all others have been passed on quite quickly after I discovered they had no backbone/face-feel to speak of.  Try one Claus, I think you'll like it.

Will give the Ch2 Synth a try soon :-)

Claus, I realized that I completely missed the question posed in your post.  I do however wholeheartedly recommend the Simpson Chubby 2 Synthetic Badger.  My method is actually identical to how I use my badger brushes. 
-Soak while in the shower (I know soaking isn't necessary, but in my view it can't hurt either).
-Shake out all excess water
-Load
-Facelather while adding a water by just dipping the tips until the lather is just right. 
***This method has worked particularly well with the Simpson's synthetics.  I feel like there is enough backbone to pick up enough soap to make a great lather in the first place. 
I hope you try one out.  I think you might find it to be to your liking.  It is the closest thing I have found to badger hair.  

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 05-05-2015, 04:19 AM
#14
  • Balj86
  • Senior Member
  • Maryland USA
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IMHO the best synthetics i found that were great for face lathering is The Grooming Co. Synthetic & MUHLE Black Fibre V2. They splay very nicely without the springiness. I believe Ravi had a thread on TGC Syn SB and mentioned that whomever enjoy using 2Band SBs for face lathering will enjoy this brush and I concur. Only dilemma is that the handle is short but I haven't had any issues with it. 

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 05-06-2015, 01:07 PM
#15
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Just ordered my Chubby synthetic to go head to head with my Grooming co. Can't wait!

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 05-07-2015, 04:33 AM
#16
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-Shake out all excess water

-Load
-Facelather while adding a water by just dipping the tips until the lather is just right. 
***This method has worked particularly well with the Simpson's synthetics.  I feel like there is enough backbone to pick up enough soap to make a great lather in the first place. 
I hope you try one out.  I think you might find it to be to your liking.  It is the closest thing I have found to badger hair.  
-Nathan

Nathan wrote ths above and it is what I do to get great lather from a synthetic. He starts with soaking the brush while he is in the shower which is unnecessary. Simply submerge the fibers briefly then the most important thing....shake out all excess water. Otherwise you will have lather and water all over the bathroom or wherever you shave. Really like the EJ XL and Muhle 25mm. 

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 05-07-2015, 07:20 AM
#17
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I face lather exclusively no matter what the brush.

For synthetics I don't prewet the brush*. That works for natural fibers but synthetics don't require it or respond well to it. One exception... using a cream soap. I just put the snurdle of cream on my face and the brush gets a very light touch to the water in the basin.

When using harder soaps and soaps in a tub I put an amount of water on the soap. Then the dry brush gets loaded. Of course once it hits the water on top of the soap it's no longer dry, but the point is that you need to be in control of the water. After loading I take it to the face and start developing proto lather. I continue very lightly dipping the tips of the brush into the water to pick some up to further develop the lather. As lather develops and fills in between the fibers lightly dipping can be replaced with more aggressive dipping.

Clause, if synthetics aren't for you, they aren't for you. Why not just move on and use what you like? Yet I salute your perseverance in continuing trying to get them to work for you. I've read that some folks find that synthetics lack "soul". I'm betting that is what you're missing in the feel of them. A natural fiber brush has a certain amount of scratchy fibers mixed into the knot. It just can't be helped. With a synthetic every fiber is exactly like the other fibers. If one could get a badger of similar quality I have no doubt that it too would lack "soul". Of course brushes like that aren't made and if they could be only very few people could afford to buy them. But once in a while a badger like that does get made and it's said to have "gel like" tips. The only synthetics I have that don't fully exhibit that quality are the Muhles. To my face, when in use,  they feel something more  badger like at the tips. All of the others that I own have gel like tips.

* If a synthetic is aggressively pre wet I've found that it puts the brush in control of the water. What happens is that the fibers will pick up water like a sponge and hold too much, then the first time the fibers are flexed they dump that water. That is, except for the fibers near the handle. Those fibers weep water when face lathering and make a mess as the mixed water and soap flies everywhere. Yes, I know prewetting is something that must be done with natural fibers but break the habit for synthetics.

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 05-07-2015, 07:56 AM
#18
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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Amazing what a couple of years can do to one's opinion:

http://shavenook.com/thread-maybe-going-...-synthetic


I have tried most of the synthetics, main exception being Simpson, and the Plisson is the only one that I enjoy face lathering with.  The rest, including those claiming to use the same hair (TGC, Romera) are too springy and synthetic feeling.  For me the Plisson makes for the perfect travel brush along with whichever shave stick I feel like grabbing. 

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 05-07-2015, 07:56 AM
#19
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Yup, the key to using a synthetic brush is to let the soap/cream hold the water not the brush.

Bob

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 05-07-2015, 10:12 AM
#20
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(05-07-2015, 07:56 AM)blzrfn Wrote: Amazing what a couple of years can do to one's opinion:
http://shavenook.com/thread-maybe-going-...-synthetic

  Biggrin

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