01-06-2013, 09:45 AM
#1
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So I don't have much in the way of experience, or quality brushes yet.

I started down the wet shaving path with a Van Der Hagen Luxury set (apothecary mug, brush and stand) The bush is a low end badger.

I've never gotten quite the quality of lather that I've seen on videos and tutorials. Also the brush never seemed to hold the lather itself, the mug over flowed but the brush was fairly empty.

So in a fit of frustration I drove down to the local Walgreens and bought a cheap Van Der Hagen boar. Now I've read about the need to break in boar and that this is not exactly a high quality brush but out of the box it lathers better than the badger. The brush holds the lather and I can apply it properly. I'm sure with more breaking in it will get even better but something seems amiss with this experience.

I should add a few more details I realize.

This post is after 2 test lathers where I just wet the brush under running water for a minute or two. I used the Van Der Hagen soap and Proraso. Proraso I hand lathered (which I never do but didn't want to take the time to pry the soap out of the mug)

The badger I've experimented with hand, mug, and a salsa bowl which I've seen people mention. All with similar results.

I just finished shaving where I followed my normal process. I fill the sink and soak the brush while showering. Then drain the sink and refill with hot water. Swish the brush around in it to get the temperature up and drain excess water.

With the badger I've tried lots of water, squeezing out the water and adding water in a little at a time with the tip dipping method.

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 01-06-2013, 10:35 AM
#2
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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yugami , and whats the odd experience ? The boar performs better than the badger one?The other way around ? Any other experience that I have missed/not understood (sorry)?

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 01-06-2013, 10:48 AM
#3
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I am also confused as to what the odd part is.

The best cheap badger brush is going to be made from black badger. And even then, it isn't exactly cheap. Expect to pay ~$25 for a quality version.

Any less and you can't really expect to experience true badger. Truly good badger brushes start at $40 for the inexpensive versions direct from China.

Going back to boar, quality boar can be had for $15 a brush. Boar is pretty much free compared to badger hair. Well, the price for raw hair anyway, costs the same to turn it into a knot and glue it in the same handle.

Thus, you can get an excellent boar brush for 1/10 the cost of the equivalent quality badger brush.

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 01-06-2013, 10:49 AM
#4
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I'm wondering why the badger does not hold the lather the way I believe that it should. After lathering up the lather is pretty much entirely in the vessel.

The boar is acting more like what I've seen on the tutorial videos where it is full of lather and I can apply it to my face.

The badger is pretty much empty and I have to scoop it out of the mug and paint it on. If I squeeze the badger there is some good lather in it but not much.

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 01-06-2013, 10:59 AM
#5
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Got it now , yugami.
Being a pure badger hair brush , maybe needs more break in , or absorbs much lather than the boar one , so use more product (cream or soap) to ensure that it will be enough lather on the brush , without you having to squeeze it from the middle.
However , I will always say , that I prefer a boar brush than a pure badger one.The Van der Hagen boar one its not the best on the neighborhood , but Im sure that it performs better than many other pure badger hair brushes.

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 01-06-2013, 11:36 AM
#6
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(01-06-2013, 10:49 AM)yugami Wrote: I'm wondering why the badger does not hold the lather the way I believe that it should. After lathering up the lather is pretty much entirely in the vessel.

The boar is acting more like what I've seen on the tutorial videos where it is full of lather and I can apply it to my face.

The badger is pretty much empty and I have to scoop it out of the mug and paint it on. If I squeeze the badger there is some good lather in it but not much.

It is my theory that badger builds lather all throughout the length of the hairs, but boar builds lather only in the flexible tips.

The reason being that badger hair is finer and more flexible therefore the lather building will occur throughout the knot. But boar, being less flexible and for the most part unbending, will only produce lather in the flexible tips. Especially the split tips.

Just a theory. Don't own enough boar to really confirm it. Perhaps Teiste can tell us if this bears out in practice.

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 01-06-2013, 01:14 PM
#7
  • vuk
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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That was my first badger brush as well yugami. I can't compare it with a boar brush but it is pretty floppy and sparse so I find it works better with creams. I haven't had a problem with it holding lather. You might try lathering in a shallower bowl like a cereal bowl or something to give yourself more room to work with.
Or just keep with the boar brush in the mean time if you find you like it better.

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 01-06-2013, 07:56 PM
#8
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I think Lee explained the why.

Both brushes are low quality, but for less $ the quality of a boar can be higher. Put another way, one can spend more money for a badger, but when still not breaking into the quality threshhold, you get a lower quality brush compared to boar.

I was PIFed a Shea Moisture Brush quite awhile ago, and I'm betting it was similar to your VDH Deluxe. I face lather and it did that OK, but clearly the brush was terrible. Until I had a bit of lather worked up it would spray soap everywhere and it felt like every hair in the knot had been trimmed. I doubt it was even badger, maybe low grade synthetic. It was OK for bowl lathering, and I made sure that's who got the PIF when I sent it down the road.

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 01-07-2013, 06:26 PM
#9
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I'll need to upgrade somewhat soon but I am pretty impressed with this cheap little boar. Lots of reviews quote poor quality so I got lucky.

The only real down side that I've seen with this is it will only hold about 2 1/2 passes of lather max (that includes scraping the mug). I've been doing a 3 pass shave lately and its just not quite enough for that.

I've been using Green Proraso soap and loading from the container then using the VDH mug. Today I received my red Proraso cream (tube) and squirted a little extra in there to boost the lather for the final pass.

I don't know if it was the switch to cream or if I'm finally just getting good but todays shave was the best one yet. Smooth, no irritation on the neck (used a hot towel there while making lather) and only nicked my adams apple once (its pretty prominate)

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 01-07-2013, 07:41 PM
#10
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And it'll get even better. As long as it trends to a progression in the direction of "better" in no time at all you'll be an old hand, or at least shave like one. Expect some bad shaves, but even folks who know what they're doing get those once in a while if they try to challenge themselves.

When I was using a VDH boar I thought it was a pretty decent performer and size for the money. Mine kept shedding though and that's what prompted me to move on. I knew it's days were numbered.

Cream makes it easy to get enough soap into the mix, but that boar will shred a puck of soap (that's good), and you really should learn how to use hard soap. There are LOTS of hard soaps that are incrdibly good. Don't be afraid to make test lathers to practice. The soap you'll "waste" isn't wasted, you're learning. You'll also get uo to speed much faster. When I was learning my shaving skills I worked at it the same as anything else I had a drive to learn. I got good real quick, and it's not because I have any natural talent.

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