07-18-2015, 06:17 AM
#1
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I just ordered my first quality badger brush yesterday. I am a little concerned about how fragile the badger hairs are. In an interview with Thater CEO, he said this about how you can damage badger hair:

"Another would be excessive pressure, whether during the creation of lather in a bowl, or on the face. Like paint-brushes, high quality shaving brushes should never be pumped into a bowl, or mushed into the face. Gentle painting like strokes will have a much better effect. Additionally, the excessive use of pressure during the lather building phase will do nothing except drive soap into the knot, where it will make the badger hair become brittle, and eventually break. Think of this as not rinsing your hair after washing it. Keeping the brush free from soap residue is paramount to making it last for ten years or more."

So when face lathering how careful should one be not to damage the badger hair? I know he said "excessive pressure" who knows what that is.



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 07-18-2015, 06:25 AM
#2
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To me this is one of those things where common sense comes comes in to play. With proper care your brush will last a long time. If someone is smashing the brush to their face or bowl it obviously won't provide the desired lather/effect that is wanted and can be painful providing that much pressure. The results would show your doing it wrong with the damage done to the knot. There are plenty of tutorials on how to properly lather and brush care that someone would be foolish not to look at if the have never brush lathered before.

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 07-18-2015, 06:35 AM
#3
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I never understood people who "whip lather" with crazy force and speed. I set out to add water to my soap and create just the type of slickness and volume I need to shave. I see people whipping lather and all I think of is how much airy dry lather are you trying to create? I lather slow and gentle without pressure, I let the tips do the work starting with the circular motions they say not to use and finishing with the painting motions. I have never had a problem with a brush after receiving it without issue , breaking period , and long term use. The only time I have ever had issues were failed knots from the manufacturer, and this is uncommon as I have had 35 brushes or so and only 1 arrived defective.

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 07-18-2015, 06:36 AM
#4
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I don't even smash my synthetic brushes. I'm usually pretty gentle with my brushes. I don't face lather except when I use a shave stick. I use to only bowl lather. I guess minimum pressure is the key.

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 07-18-2015, 06:38 AM
#5
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That is partly the reason I was unwilling to spend much money on a high end badger brush. I bought a Semogue silvertip badger at $45 instead. I'm not bowl lathering. Even if my brush only lasts half as long. Really though I think Thater is just erring on the side of caution because you know how customers like to blame companies for their own ineptitude. 

What I do with it is just be very thorough in washing it. I rinse it under running water from the top after squeezing the lather out. Then I completely submerge it in water and swirl our around quickly.. I repeat these steps multiple times. If you hear a squishy sound in the hairs even after doing this that means you still have lather in there.

You must also soak the brush in a tiny amount of dish detergent water once in a while to maintain.

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 07-18-2015, 06:39 AM
#6
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(07-18-2015, 06:35 AM)ultra~nova Wrote: I never understood people who "whip lather" with crazy force and speed. I set out to add water to my soap and create just the type of slickness and volume I need to shave. I see people whipping lather and all I think of is how much airy dry lather are you trying to create? I lather slow and gentle without pressure, I let the tips do the work starting with the circular motions they say not to use and finishing with the painting motions. I have never had a problem with a brush after receiving it without issue , breaking period , and long term use. The only time I have ever had issues were failed knots from the manufacturer, and this is uncommon as I have had 35 brushes or so and only 1 arrived defective.

In all the videos I see, it seems everyone uses circular motions to make lather. So this is not recommended?

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 07-18-2015, 06:47 AM
#7
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It's not recommended by some manufacturers as it may cause unnecessary stress on the hairs , or as mentioned work the soap down to the knot which in time can fail from either dried soap or water residuals, or the glue used to secure the knot may become comprimised. I have heard a lot of different opinions on this matter , the only advice I can give you if you are ultimately concerned of the brushes long life is follow all cautionary procedures. I myself do not necessarily and have not had a problem to date but if I were to ever have a problem I certainly would not go running to the manufacturer complaining. I use the circular motions but I do not use pressure, I do not force the soap down past the first 1/4 of the hairs length. I gently clean and dry my brushes out after every use, and deep clean them regularly.

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 07-18-2015, 08:00 AM
#8
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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My belief is that comments like that are a manufacturer's CYA policy to guard against those who would use excessive pressure on a brush. This is not a recommendation but just what I do. I do use circular motions to load a brush and circular motions to build a lather face lathering. I do not apply excessive force to the brush doing this and so far have had no problems. In the end it is your brush and your call.

Bob

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 07-18-2015, 08:06 AM
#9
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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(07-18-2015, 08:00 AM)BobH Wrote: My belief is that comments like that are a manufacturer's CYA policy to guard against those who would use excessive pressure on a brush. This is not a recommendation but just what I do. I do use circular motions to load a brush and circular motions to build a lather face lathering. I do not apply excessive force to the brush doing this and so far have had no problems. In the end it is your brush and your call.

Bob

Exactly, it's just exculpatory language.  I lather the same way you do Bob and haven't had a problem.  Common sense must prevail along with respect for your shaving kit.

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 07-18-2015, 08:08 AM
#10
  • kwsher
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX - USA
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(07-18-2015, 08:00 AM)BobH Wrote: My belief is that comments like that are a manufacturer's CYA policy to guard against those who would use excessive pressure on a brush. This is not a recommendation but just what I do. I do use circular motions to load a brush and circular motions to build a lather face lathering. I do not apply excessive force to the brush doing this and so far have had no problems. In the end it is your brush and your call.

Bob
I would agree with this from Bob. In all my years of wet shaving I have not damaged a brush using circular motion to both load and lather. In addition to using a circular motion, I also use common sense Smile 

A modicum of care, including when splaying the brush etc. and you will be fine. Think of that poor badger in the wild- I doubt he refrained from a circular motion when scratching his back on that tree stump to get the itch. Kidding aside, these brushes are not porcelain and with some amount of care and maintenance will serve you well. My first Silvertip is now over ten years old and although not necessarily "as new" it is closer than not. Or knot as the case may be. No change, damage, etc. to the bristles other than typical splay.

The internet is a great source of info but I would not let things get in your head too much- enjoy that brush!

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 07-18-2015, 08:11 AM
#11
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Go down to a paint or art store and buy some paint brushes. Go at it and do your best to destroy one, coddle another and find a happy medium in between.

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 07-18-2015, 08:41 AM
#12
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(07-18-2015, 08:08 AM)kwsher Wrote:
(07-18-2015, 08:00 AM)BobH Wrote: My belief is that comments like that are a manufacturer's CYA policy to guard against those who would use excessive pressure on a brush. This is not a recommendation but just what I do. I do use circular motions to load a brush and circular motions to build a lather face lathering. I do not apply excessive force to the brush doing this and so far have had no problems. In the end it is your brush and your call.

Bob
I would agree with this from Bob. In all my years of wet shaving I have not damaged a brush using circular motion to both load and lather. In addition to using a circular motion, I also use common sense Smile 

A modicum of care, including when splaying the brush etc. and you will be fine. Think of that poor badger in the wild- I doubt he refrained from a circular motion when scratching his back on that tree stump to get the itch. Kidding aside, these brushes are not porcelain and with some amount of care and maintenance will serve you well. My first Silvertip is now over ten years old and although not necessarily "as new" it is closer than not. Or knot as the case may be. No change, damage, etc. to the bristles other than typical splay.

The internet is a great source of info but I would not let things get in your head too much- enjoy that brush!

Good to hear your 10 year old badger still looks good. I guess common sense is the answer.

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 07-18-2015, 08:51 AM
#13
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I mostly own Simpsons and they come with a nice set of instructions, enough said Wink

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 07-18-2015, 08:58 AM
#14
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(07-18-2015, 08:51 AM)hrfdez Wrote: I mostly own Simpsons and they come with a nice set of instructions, enough said Wink

Do they say not to face lather? ? ?

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 07-18-2015, 09:13 AM
#15
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Maybe if you have  really really heavy stubble- anyone have a clam razor?
[Image: ZHD3q1l.jpg]

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 07-18-2015, 09:44 AM
#16
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(07-18-2015, 08:58 AM)shave/brush Wrote:
(07-18-2015, 08:51 AM)hrfdez Wrote: I mostly own Simpsons and they come with a nice set of instructions, enough said Wink

Do they say not to face lather? ? ?

Seriously?   Assuming this is a serious question, no, it doesn't say that.  I does tell you how to properly use it.

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 07-18-2015, 10:02 AM
#17
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The Simpsons instructions only mention that you should generate the lather lightly on the tips and use painted strokes when applying the lather as opposed to Heavy circular motions. It is mostly common sense, as long as you're not mashing the brush into your face or the soap then it should be fine with either method of application.

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 07-18-2015, 10:06 AM
#18
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(07-18-2015, 10:02 AM)AndyC Wrote: The Simpsons instructions only mention that you should generate the lather lightly on the tips and use painted strokes when applying the lather as opposed to Heavy circular motions. It is mostly common sense, as long as you're not mashing the brush into your face or the soap then it should be fine with either method of application.

Exactly, that's all one needs to know.  Like you mentioned good common sense :-)

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 07-18-2015, 10:16 AM
#19
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(07-18-2015, 06:17 AM)shave/brush Wrote: I just ordered my first quality badger brush yesterday. I am a little concerned about how fragile the badger hairs are. In an interview with Thater CEO, he said this about how you can damage badger hair:

"Another would be excessive pressure, whether during the creation of lather in a bowl, or on the face. Like paint-brushes, high quality shaving brushes should never be pumped into a bowl, or mushed into the face. Gentle painting like strokes will have a much better effect. Additionally, the excessive use of pressure during the lather building phase will do nothing except drive soap into the knot, where it will make the badger hair become brittle, and eventually break. Think of this as not rinsing your hair after washing it. Keeping the brush free from soap residue is paramount to making it last for ten years or more."

So when face lathering how careful should one be not to damage the badger hair? I know he said "excessive pressure" who knows what that is.





I do. If you're using more than just the outer 1/3 of the knot it's too much pressure. Lots of folks mash the brush into their face clear down to the knot base. It's easily seen on youtube videos as "what to do". Don't do it. It's clearly wrong.

BTW, after lather develops, some brushes with little backbone will automatically splay and get large all on their own clear down to the base of the knot. One still just uses the outer 1/3 of the knot. My Omega 599 is such a brush since it has so little backbone. It's OK for the lather to splay it down to the knot since lather is gentle. It's not good for the operator to force the knot base against the face.

Face lathering done properly won't hurt a brush.

If one needs more feedback from their brush then I suggest that they get a synthetic known to have huge backbone; or maybe even a horsehair brush.

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 07-18-2015, 10:54 AM
#20
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(07-18-2015, 06:38 AM)fram773 Wrote: That is partly the reason I was unwilling to spend much money on a high end badger brush. I bought a Semogue silvertip badger at $45 instead. I'm not bowl lathering. Even if my brush only lasts half as long. Really though I think Thater is just erring on the side of caution because you know how customers like to blame companies for their own ineptitude. 

I agree that the brush companies are erring on the side of caution. My Simpson brush manual says the same thing. If you listened to them then you would not ever splay your brush, nor build much of a lather imo. I will just use my brush as I feel comfortable, take care of it by washing and storing it properly, and if it wears out buy another, but I don't see that happening too soon.

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