08-28-2012, 03:32 PM
#1
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Preface: I have tried 5 Vie-long natural horse hair brushes of different knot widths and lofts (from 18 to 23mm knot and 47 to 55mm loft). I have also tried 5 different Turkish No 6 horse hair brushes in the process of "defunking" them prior to PIF. I have tried bowl and hand lathering them, but really do prefer face lathering all the time.

As much as I like to have one of each type of brush, I think I am going to let go of the Vie-long horse hair brushes. Despite months of break-in (and letting dry for more than one day in between uses) I cannot get past the intermittent prickliness when I face lather in circular motions. It is possible to almost completely alleviate this with painting motions or with almost no pressure on the handle, but this is not enjoyable to me. Another helpful tip is loading the brush with more soap than usual. The hyper-loaded brush hides those dastardly offensive bristles. And this point highlights the advantage of horse hair (besides cost, unique look and no harm to animals): they create good-quality lather easily. Higher lofts decrease this sensation but then they just become too "mop-like" for me.

The Turkish No 6, on the other hand, is about as much backbone as one can find and breaks in nicely with softer tips but persistently strong backbone. I did not have the same issues of prickliness with this brush as I did with the Vie-long horse hair brushes. Quality (at least of the older brushes) was not great, but I think it is safe to say that this is one of the best brushes one can purchase for less than $10 USD. I would personally suggest trying a FS synthetic or Semogue boar for a couple dollars more.

If horse hair was all there was, I would use it and would still be happy. As it is in this golden era of wetshaving, there are simply too many other excellent choices. For someone looking for an inexpensive brush solution, the boars and synthetics are where it is at for latherability and face feel.

Sigh, I tried my best horse hair.

[Image: img0290dh.jpg]

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 08-28-2012, 03:35 PM
#2
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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I wouldn't force it, if you don't like it, it's not for you. I have 1 horse hair brush, I do use it from time to time but very rarely. I can't find and excuse to reach for it.

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 08-28-2012, 03:43 PM
#3
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(08-28-2012, 03:35 PM)beartrap Wrote: I wouldn't force it, if you don't like it, it's not for you. I have 1 horse hair brush, I do use it from time to time but very rarely. I can't find and excuse to reach for it.

That's exactly how I feel. YMMV. Some love them, to be sure. I guess they just "rub" me the wrong way.

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 08-28-2012, 05:06 PM
#4
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Some of the horse hairs are not suitable for face lathering with circular strokes ,but with painting strokes.Other horse hairs (the dyed ones) works perfect with circular strokes on the face as well as with painting strokes.

Im more of a fan of the badger/horse hair mix since theyre softer on the tips while keeping backbone and flow.

That brush that you have its good for making lather on the bowl and with painting strokes.

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 08-28-2012, 05:17 PM
#5
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(08-28-2012, 05:06 PM)Teiste Wrote: Some of the horse hairs are not suitable for face lathering with circular strokes ,but with painting strokes.Other horse hairs (the dyed ones) works perfect with circular strokes on the face as well as with painting strokes.

Im more of a fan of the badger/horse hair mix since theyre softer on the tips while keeping backbone and flow.

That brush that you have its good for making lather on the bowl and with painting strokes.

Excellent points, Teiste. I have not yet tried a badger/horse mix. How does it compare to the Semogue TSN 2012 LE?

For reference, I thought the TSN LE was a bit prickly initially but has mellowed to a mild scritch with use and is quite pleasant. I am finding that I like softer tips and probably would want a brush with tips as soft or softer than the TSN LE.

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 08-28-2012, 05:21 PM
#6
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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(08-28-2012, 05:17 PM)kentclark Wrote:
(08-28-2012, 05:06 PM)Teiste Wrote: Some of the horse hairs are not suitable for face lathering with circular strokes ,but with painting strokes.Other horse hairs (the dyed ones) works perfect with circular strokes on the face as well as with painting strokes.

Im more of a fan of the badger/horse hair mix since theyre softer on the tips while keeping backbone and flow.

That brush that you have its good for making lather on the bowl and with painting strokes.

Excellent points, Teiste. I have not yet tried a badger/horse mix. How does it compare to the Semogue TSN 2012 LE?

For reference, I thought the TSN LE was a bit prickly initially but has mellowed to a mild scritch with use and is quite pleasant. I am finding that I like softer tips and probably would want a brush with tips as soft or softer than the TSN LE.

My friend , if you use more the TSN LE brush you will find that the tips would become softer.Trust me,but you need to use it frequently.

The badger/horse hair mix is very similar to the badger/boar TSN LE but maybe,with a little less of backbone.The Beehive BS badger/horse has soft tips even when its dry , and it has a nice bloom once wet ,keeping the natural bristle flexibility.The backbone is there also , but its not an ultra firm backbone.To be honest,is a very good mix.

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 08-28-2012, 05:26 PM
#7
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I had a dyed 13061 and it was impossible for me to use in circular motions. It's the only brush that gave me brush burn. I'm not in the market for another horse brush anytime soon.

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 08-28-2012, 05:45 PM
#8
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(08-28-2012, 05:21 PM)Teiste Wrote:
(08-28-2012, 05:17 PM)kentclark Wrote:
(08-28-2012, 05:06 PM)Teiste Wrote: Some of the horse hairs are not suitable for face lathering with circular strokes ,but with painting strokes.Other horse hairs (the dyed ones) works perfect with circular strokes on the face as well as with painting strokes.

Im more of a fan of the badger/horse hair mix since theyre softer on the tips while keeping backbone and flow.

That brush that you have its good for making lather on the bowl and with painting strokes.

Excellent points, Teiste. I have not yet tried a badger/horse mix. How does it compare to the Semogue TSN 2012 LE?

For reference, I thought the TSN LE was a bit prickly initially but has mellowed to a mild scritch with use and is quite pleasant. I am finding that I like softer tips and probably would want a brush with tips as soft or softer than the TSN LE.

My friend , if you use more the TSN LE brush you will find that the tips would become softer.Trust me,but you need to use it frequently.

The badger/horse hair mix is very similar to the badger/boar TSN LE but maybe,with a little less of backbone.The Beehive BS badger/horse has soft tips even when its dry , and it has a nice bloom once wet ,keeping the natural bristle flexibility.The backbone is there also , but its not an ultra firm backbone.To be honest,is a very good mix.

(08-28-2012, 05:26 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: I had a dyed 13061 and it was impossible for me to use in circular motions. It's the only brush that gave me brush burn. I'm not in the market for another horse brush anytime soon.

Thank you both for your input.

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 08-28-2012, 05:50 PM
#9
  • DLP
  • Active Member
  • Missouri
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sorry to hear you are having issues with your horse hair brushes. I've only got one Horse hair brush that I find scratchy and it is a Vie-long travel brush. My 5 full size horse hair brushes all provide a very enjoyable lathering experience even when face lathering. My 13061 with a 50mm loft is as soft as most of my badger brushes.

I haven't tried the #6 Turkish horse hair brush yet.

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 08-28-2012, 08:20 PM
#10
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Thomas, that is unfortunate. i have four Vie-Long natural horse-hair brushes and i find them fantastic.
Good luck.

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 08-29-2012, 11:20 AM
#11
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I had a Vie-Long natural horse, and got rid of it for this reason. I like my Rooney Finest, so I'm not opposed to that exfoliating feeling, but I could never get used to the prickliness of horse.

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 08-31-2012, 07:14 PM
#12
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(08-29-2012, 11:20 AM)insomniac Wrote: I had a Vie-Long natural horse, and got rid of it for this reason. I like my Rooney Finest, so I'm not opposed to that exfoliating feeling, but I could never get used to the prickliness of horse.

Agreed. I am a fan of anything between soft and what we call "scrubby" or "scritchy." I feel like prickly brushes are stabbing me ever so slightly on a microscopic level.

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