09-15-2012, 03:31 PM
#1
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Since Gary (GDCarrington) turned me on to the H.I.S synthetic brush a few months ago it has become my exclusive brush. Like many, I was first attracted to the hype of this new breed of synthetic brush that acted more like real animal hair than did its predecessors. I pulled the trigger on the brush and anxiously anticipated its arrival. When it arrived I was impressed by the sheer size of the thing- this brush was much larger and heavier than any other brush in the stable. The day I received it I immediately took it to task, giving it a palm lather. I soaked the brush for a minute or so, gave it a gentle squeeze, and then loaded it up with VDH and proceeded to take it to task. When the palm lather turned into to a palm and forearm lather I was blown away- this beast knows how to produce lather no doubt about it! But there was something about the lather that intrigued me- it had a very moist, creamy, yogurt like feel to it- one which I had always struggled to get. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made tons of good lather, but even on my best day, I was unable to achieve results like this.

The next day I used the brush for an actual shave. This time I used Mike’s Barbershop scented soap, loaded the brush and proceeded to face lather. I will pause here to comment on face lathering with this brush. Yes the brush is big, yes the loft is tall, and yes when you face lather and the brush splays out and has a large footprint. For me this works- I’m a tall guy with large hands and this brush feels right in them. I can see how some do not like the size and how this size doesn’t work for everyone- I would like to see them come out with some other size options. So back to the story- I got the same results face lathering this brush as I did when I test lathered it the day before- copious amounts of moist, creamy, yogurt like lather.

This brush has been my go to brush ever since, and after 3 years of wet shaving, I was finally able to get the primo lather that I had been striving for. This got me thinking- what was so different about this brush compared to the other synthetics, badger, boars I have tried?

The answer recently came to me this month as I joined the Semogue-tember group and switched to using my Semogue boar brush. Since making the switch, I've been struggling to once again get that great lather. Thinking my technique was off, I gave it a couple weeks- tweaking things here and there, but still having the same problem. More product led to drying lather, more water led to thin and runny lather. The problem is that I have hard water and face lather- the brush and my face is where the magic happens- there is no bowl to add more product or water to- the product and water needed to create the magical lather either needs to be on my face or in the brush. The mantra I’ve heard over and over again in regard to hard water has always been “more product and more water”. I’ve tried this with many different brushes, but I have never been able to get it just right- as stated earlier, I’ve made tons of good lather, but until the H.I.S brush, I’ve never been able to get GREAT lather.

So why the H.I.S? What’s the secret of this brush? Why can I get copious amounts of GREAT lather with this brush and not any others?

My theory goes back to the fact that I have hard water and the capabilities of this brush. Firstly, this brush holds a lot of water- fully loaded this brush holds more water than initially needed and left fully loaded will create a sloppy mess while attempting to load the brush- this is where the gentle squeeze comes into play prior to loading. Secondly, this brush can load a massive amount of product. And now we circle back to the hard water mantra- “more product and more water”. I believe the reason this brush works so well with hard water is that its large platform allows for enough product and enough water to be loaded in the brush that it can overcome the negative effects of hard water- creating perfect, top quality lather especially while face lathering.

I recognize that this brush is not for everyone- that is evident by those that have tried it and do not like it. As with everything in the shaving world, brushes are a YMMV thing and if one brush worked for everyone, well we’d be pretty limited on options then. However, for someone who has been struggling to get GREAT lather with hard water, and/ or someone who is comfortable with a larger brush, this brush might be a great solution for them as it has been for me.

Some quick tips for face lathering: What works for me-


1) Soak the brush for a few minutes in hot water. The purpose of this is not to allow the bristles to soak up water as synthetic bristles will not do this- rather, the purpose is to allow the bristles to absorb heat, which they will do quite effectively.

2) Pull the brush out of the water, bristles down, and allow gravity to take out the water it needs to- after this, give the brush a gentle squeeze.

3) Proceed to loading the soap or cream:

-For soaps, load by making circular motions on the soap with the tips of the brush for 60 seconds- use only the tips of the brush as pushing down too hard of the brush will release too much water down on the soap.

-If using a cream, place a healthy amount of cream in the center of the knot.

4) Proceed to face lathering. If more water is required, dip the tips of the brush in water and go back to lathering. If more water is needed, repeat as often as necessary.

Hopefully, this helps to lend a different perspective on the H.I.S. Synthetic Brush.

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 09-15-2012, 03:36 PM
#2
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Tom,

Thank you for your review. Interesting perspective on the hard water issue.

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 09-15-2012, 03:44 PM
#3
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Congrats on getting great results with this brush. I live in an area where our water is classified as "very hard". I'm thankful that the HIS is not the only brush that gives me great lather as it's too unwieldy for me; just way too big. However, I agree that it's the synthetic fibers that make such a difference in the ease with which such a quality lather can be made. I'll stick to my Muhle Black Fibre and be more than satisfied.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this nightstick brush! Tongue Winky

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 09-15-2012, 03:56 PM
#4
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(09-15-2012, 03:44 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this nightstick brush! Tongue Winky

Yes, I have no doubt that brush could hand out a good beat down if necessary. Star-wars-smiley-023

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 09-15-2012, 05:10 PM
#5
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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Thanks for the review! I am glad someone enjoys it. I should probably ask someone proficient in physics... If that brush is dropped from Empire State building, how long until California reports an earthquake? Tongue Biggrin

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 09-15-2012, 05:24 PM
#6
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(09-15-2012, 05:10 PM)beartrap Wrote: If that brush is dropped from Empire State building, how long until California reports an earthquake? Tongue Biggrin

24

Not sure the answer to that one, but I for sure wouldn't want to be walking by when that brush is dropped.

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 09-15-2012, 05:31 PM
#7
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Tom, we share a name and an affinity for this unique brush. I enjoyed reading your experience. I do, however, prefer to load the brush dryer and push on it slightly harder than you may do when loading it and then add water judiciously later on. I also prefer cold water. To each his own.

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 09-15-2012, 06:19 PM
#8
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(09-15-2012, 05:31 PM)kentclark Wrote: Tom, we share a name and an affinity for this unique brush. I enjoyed reading your experience. I do, however, prefer to load the brush dryer and push on it slightly harder than you may do when loading it and then add water judiciously later on. I also prefer cold water. To each his own.

ThumbupThumbupThumbup Glad to see another proud user! Hey, that's the great thing about this whole deal...nothing's set in stone, and there's more than one way to skin a cat so to speak.

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 09-15-2012, 06:27 PM
#9
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(09-15-2012, 06:19 PM)BladeDE40 Wrote:
(09-15-2012, 05:31 PM)kentclark Wrote: Tom, we share a name and an affinity for this unique brush. I enjoyed reading your experience. I do, however, prefer to load the brush dryer and push on it slightly harder than you may do when loading it and then add water judiciously later on. I also prefer cold water. To each his own.

ThumbupThumbupThumbup Glad to see another proud user! Hey, that's the great thing about this whole deal...nothing's set in stone, and there's more than one way to skin a cat so to speak.

Wait, what'd I miss??? You making brushes out of cat now. Well that's one brush I know I'll be allergic to.

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 09-15-2012, 06:28 PM
#10
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Tom, congratulations on the H.I.S brush. If i were a bigger lad, i would have also kept it, but, alas, i am not, so the brush had to go. i find the Frank Shaving synthetic brushes to be equal to this brush when making lather; they are lather monsters. i have the 24mm and the 21mm and i just ordered two custom 24mm knots with 48mm loft that i hope to review, very shortly, when Semogue-tempber is finished; if i can hold out for the rest of the month!
These two brushes, for the money, are fabulous and have become my favourite brushes. Enjoy.

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 09-15-2012, 06:37 PM
#11
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(09-15-2012, 06:28 PM)celestino Wrote: Tom, congratulations on the H.I.S brush. If i were a bigger lad, i would have also kept it, but, alas, i am not, so the brush had to go. i find the Frank Shaving synthetic brushes to be equal to this brush when making lather; they are lather monsters. i have the 24mm and the 21mm and i just ordered two custom 24mm knots with 48mm loft that i hope to review, very shortly, when Semogue-tempber is finished; if i can hold out for the rest of the month!
These two brushes, for the money, are fabulous and have become my favourite brushes. Enjoy.

The Frank synthetic brush is next on my list. I have an email out to Ian Tang to see about getting a custom synthetic w/ a 28x54mm knot. I'd love to see how it compares with the H.I.S.

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 09-15-2012, 07:02 PM
#12
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Tom, i think you will find it a fantastic match, in my opinion. i think the H.I.S brush has better bristles, but they both perform very well; lather monsters, in my opinion. Let me know how you find it when you get it in.

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 09-16-2012, 04:47 AM
#13
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(09-15-2012, 06:37 PM)BladeDE40 Wrote:
(09-15-2012, 06:28 PM)celestino Wrote: Tom, congratulations on the H.I.S brush. If i were a bigger lad, i would have also kept it, but, alas, i am not, so the brush had to go. i find the Frank Shaving synthetic brushes to be equal to this brush when making lather; they are lather monsters. i have the 24mm and the 21mm and i just ordered two custom 24mm knots with 48mm loft that i hope to review, very shortly, when Semogue-tempber is finished; if i can hold out for the rest of the month!
These two brushes, for the money, are fabulous and have become my favourite brushes. Enjoy.

The Frank synthetic brush is next on my list. I have an email out to Ian Tang to see about getting a custom synthetic w/ a 28x54mm knot. I'd love to see how it compares with the H.I.S.

I have the same configuration coming my way since Samjax at B&B had his made it seems that a lot of people are pulling the trigger on it. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the H.I.S. with a 60 mm loft and the modified H.I.S. with the 54 mm loft.

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 09-16-2012, 06:49 AM
#14
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Gary, do you mean that you ordered a Frank Shaving brush with a 24mm knot and 48mm loft? If you did, the loft is much shorter as the glue bump is quite prominent. Let me know how you like them. i had to do a test to see how they would lather and they do have more backbone than the regular 24mm. Good luck.

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 09-16-2012, 10:59 AM
#15
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(09-16-2012, 04:47 AM)GDCarrington Wrote: I have the same configuration coming my way since Samjax at B&B had his made it seems that a lot of people are pulling the trigger on it. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the H.I.S. with a 60 mm loft and the modified H.I.S. with the 54 mm loft.

Gary- that thread is what got me excited about trying it. I curious to see what the bristles feel like. Do they have a more natural feel like the H.I.S or a more nylon feel like the Parker?

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 09-16-2012, 01:04 PM
#16
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(09-15-2012, 06:37 PM)BladeDE40 Wrote:
(09-15-2012, 06:28 PM)celestino Wrote: Tom, congratulations on the H.I.S brush. If i were a bigger lad, i would have also kept it, but, alas, i am not, so the brush had to go. i find the Frank Shaving synthetic brushes to be equal to this brush when making lather; they are lather monsters. i have the 24mm and the 21mm and i just ordered two custom 24mm knots with 48mm loft that i hope to review, very shortly, when Semogue-tempber is finished; if i can hold out for the rest of the month!
These two brushes, for the money, are fabulous and have become my favourite brushes. Enjoy.

The Frank synthetic brush is next on my list. I have an email out to Ian Tang to see about getting a custom synthetic w/ a 28x54mm knot. I'd love to see how it compares with the H.I.S.


(09-16-2012, 06:49 AM)celestino Wrote: Gary, do you mean that you ordered a Frank Shaving brush with a 24mm knot and 48mm loft? If you did, the loft is much shorter as the glue bump is quite prominent. Let me know how you like them. i had to do a test to see how they would lather and they do have more backbone than the regular 24mm. Good luck.

No, the one I ordered is the one that Tom (BladeDE40) discussed getting from Ian which is the 28 knot X 54 mm loft. That allows me to compare to what Tom (Samjax) had custom made.

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