11-25-2015, 10:30 AM
#1
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I bought a Semogue 830 about 2 months ago, and decided to give it a try this morning. The soap was Beaver WoodWright Frankincense and Myrrh. Soaked the brush for nearly 30 minutes. When I started loading, I was not getting a lot of lather. I loaded for close to 2 minutes, and then attempted to face lather. No matter how much I worked it I had a semi-opaque coat of very light later on my face. I attempted to reload the brush, same result. 

I finally grabbed my Plisson synthetic, loaded it for maybe 20 seconds, and I had awesome lather. Enough for 3 passes.

So, what am I doing wrong with the boar. Are there some techniques that differ from badger or synthetic? I don't want to give up after one attempt, but I am not feeling like boar brushes are my thing. I'd like to keep it and use it on occasion just for the different experience.

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 11-25-2015, 10:33 AM
#2
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Boar takes time to break in, but once you do, they can be very nice.

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 11-25-2015, 10:56 AM
#3
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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That was the case with every boar brush I've tried. Like Hector said they need a bit of time to get going. Don't give up on it. I find that even when I take an extended boar break, when used infrequently, it takes a while for boar brushes to return to previous levels of performance. In my experience boar brushes don't react well to inactivity. They like to be used.

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 11-25-2015, 10:59 AM
#4
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As Hector points out, boar brushes needs breaking in - you are basically waiting for the hairs to split in the tips. A lot of shavers accelerate the process by hand-lathering, with the end result looking something like this photo.

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 11-25-2015, 11:59 AM
#5
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It's already been said, and Semogue boars are notorious for being much harder to break in.

For what it's worth: Make practice lathers on your hand, (every other day) for as long as you can, without going insane. After about 10-14 days, you should be ready to go.

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 11-25-2015, 12:56 PM
#6
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Very recently I was in the same place with a Semogue 820. It takes time both to learn how they work and to break in the hair. I followed the advise I found somewhere in the forums on giving the brush 10 lather and dry cycles before I even put it on my face. IME letting the brush soak longer than you would with badger is key to make it work. For breaking in I recommend soaking in warm water (just a little hotter than lukewarm), let it soak for 10 minutes and palm-lather with a lot soap or cream and add small amounts of water until its too much. This way you learn how it reacts to adding more water (IME they take less water than badger), loading time, etc. Then dry it on a towel using painting strokes for 2-3 minutes. It really got the hairs splitting.

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 11-25-2015, 01:13 PM
#7
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To echo. You're looking to split the hairs. So don't press too hard into the knot. You want to use the tips of the hair more than deeper in the knots the way you use a Badger...

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 11-25-2015, 01:53 PM
#8
  • Shanman
  • Reserve Collection Squirrel Hair
  • NE Florida
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Yes to all the above, and a recommendation to let it dry thoroughly before next use. I feel the wet/dry cycle is another part of the tips fraying and splitting into soft curls of bovine love.

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 11-25-2015, 02:44 PM
#9
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(11-25-2015, 01:53 PM)Shanman Wrote: Yes to all the above, and a recommendation to let it dry thoroughly before next use. I feel the wet/dry cycle is another part of the tips fraying and splitting into soft curls of bovine love.

Absolutely. The wet/dry cycle has been long established. BUT, at this point, the OP just needs to open up the bristles, so the brush functions. The splitting of bristles usually takes a longer time. It certainly can't hurt to start the wet/dry cycles now.

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 11-25-2015, 07:34 PM
#10
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You could always use a hair-dryer on the low setting to expedite the breaking-in process. Just a thought, but be prudent.  Another thing for now, just go back to the puck to get more soap and use more 'forceful' paint-brush strokes when face-lathering.
Good luck.

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 11-25-2015, 10:26 PM
#11
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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(11-25-2015, 11:59 AM)Nusquam Humanitus Wrote: It's already been said, and Semogue boars are notorious for being much harder to break in.

For what it's worth: Make practice lathers on your hand, (every other day) for as long as you can, without going insane. After about 10-14 days, you should be ready to go.

it would seem so.   I was able to get a fine lather and shave from day one back when I was using my Omega boar.

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 11-25-2015, 11:35 PM
#12
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Just use it daily. It takes about a month of daily shaves for a Semogue to break in. It took two months to fully break in my 1520. All my Semogue are lather monsters.

Clayton


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk

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 11-26-2015, 12:53 AM
#13
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(11-25-2015, 10:26 PM)Mouser Wrote:
(11-25-2015, 11:59 AM)Nusquam Humanitus Wrote: It's already been said, and Semogue boars are notorious for being much harder to break in.

For what it's worth: Make practice lathers on your hand, (every other day) for as long as you can, without going insane. After about 10-14 days, you should be ready to go.

it would seem so.   I was able to get a fine lather and shave from day one back when I was using my Omega boar.

Omega boars are much less dense, so there's enough space throughout the bristles to hold a lather from the start. I'm sure most guys would agree with this. Semogue boars are a different beast...extremely dense knots.

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 11-26-2015, 02:45 AM
#14
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How to break-in boar brushes: just palm lather with them for a few days using a soap. It can be any kind of soap, even a common hand soap, like ivory soap.

In a few days it will be ready for use. And it will continue to improve.

Here's a video:


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 11-26-2015, 10:07 PM
#15
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you need to let it soak, warm up, and get juicy. the best thing you can do is the following.

take a 1 cup measuring cup, microwave safe.
put your brush in, and fill it with tap water until its about 3/4 of the way up the bristles, yank the brush out and microwave for say 44 seconds, till it starts to nearly boil in the microwave.

pull it out of the microwave and put your brush in, now put in some cold tap water to about touching the bristles at the handle. let it soak up. say 5 minutes, till it splays out and softens.

at this point you are ready to grab you soup bowl with puck of Williams, and then remove brush let the excess water immediately drain onto the Williams puck and start making lather.

do that a lot.

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 11-27-2015, 07:36 PM
#16
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I've had Semogue and Omega. I prefer Omega boars to Semogue. I have an Omega that out lathers all badgers and synthetics I own.


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 11-28-2015, 07:44 AM
#17
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Boars don't lather well when new, especially the first 2-3 shaves. I actually prefer to build the lather in a bowl when the boar is new, but I'll still work the brush against my face for a few minutes, like face lathering, to help "wear" the tips. Boars just don't seem to face lather well when new, but once they're broken in, they're just fine. 

How much/how little water did you leave in the brush when you first started loading?

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 11-28-2015, 09:17 AM
#18
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(11-25-2015, 10:59 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: As Hector points out, boar brushes needs breaking in - you are basically waiting for the hairs to split in the tips. A lot of shavers accelerate the process by hand-lathering, with the end result looking something like this photo.


body lathering works too.. or you can shave your SO's legs/arms to accelerate the process Smile

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 11-28-2015, 05:19 PM
#19
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I can't add anything that hasn't already been said. What I can do is comiserate with you. I bought four Semogues back in August including an 830. It has about 50 lathers on it now (I did a bunch of practice lathers) and has a very nice face feel. However, it still doesn't seem as far along in the breakin process as the 620 I bought at the same time. I find this puzzling because the 620 is notoriously difficult to break in. Both brushes have no trouble making a good quality lather, but as of yet the 830 isn't yet holding the quantity of lather that it is capable of holding. I don't think there is anything wrong with your brush or mine. I just think that we both need to be patient and let the brushes come to us.

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 11-28-2015, 07:24 PM
#20
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Thanks to all for the suggestions. I have been hand lathering every other day. That said, I suspect I am more of a badger fan than boar. I just enjoy the different experience.

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