01-22-2013, 11:29 PM
#1
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From what I've read there are two theories as to why boar hair splits.

1) Agitation
2) Soaking and then drying

Unfortunately, I don't have the answer. What I do have is some interesting evidence that supports theory #2.

Attached is a picture of a brand new boar brush. The ends are clearly split. In fact, I'd say it's already broken in.

Nothing was done to this brush other than the knot factory formed the bristles into a knot.

What was done to the hairs however is a little interesting.

I won't go into complete details, but part of the processing process involved soaking in water and drying 3x. The end result: split ends. And, off topic but, the best boar I've ever put to my face (which isn't saying a lot since I've only tried the Semogue 830 or 620 or some such).

[Image: izz0ax.jpg]

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 01-23-2013, 12:13 AM
#2
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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Hmm, interesting. I have boars that have been used many times and have still not broken in. I wonder...how long did you soak?

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 01-23-2013, 12:24 AM
#3
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(01-23-2013, 12:13 AM)Shaun Wrote: Hmm, interesting. I have boars that have been used many times and have still not broken in. I wonder...how long did you soak?

Shaun, I'm usually able to get my boars to start splitting after the first lather. I soak in warm water for about 10 minutes, load the soap for about a minute and then palm lather for a few minutes. I then rinse the brush and let dry. By the next day splitting can be seen. Following the first lather I do a similar process, but instead of palm lathering, I use it to face lather and shave. I would say the brush is well broekn in by its 10th soak, lather, dry cycle.

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 01-23-2013, 01:25 AM
#4
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(01-23-2013, 12:13 AM)Shaun Wrote: Hmm, interesting. I have boars that have been used many times and have still not broken in. I wonder...how long did you soak?

I did not soak it at all. The knot is brand spanking new. The hair processor soaked it for several hours (and did other stuff to it) 3x.

On it's way to Teiste for further evaluation while I mess around with the second one. Perhaps he'll be brave enough to just use it without a test lather to confirm that the brush is ~90% broken in.

Your boars may be made from lots of cut or broken ends.

I'm not sure at all how or if those ends are sorted out. In fact, other than how the hair is processed and a vague notion of why % of tops matters, I have no idea why one boar hair grade is better than another.

Wild v. domestic boar OTOH, I can explain that.

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 01-23-2013, 01:58 AM
#5
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(01-23-2013, 12:24 AM)BladeDE40 Wrote: Shaun, I'm usually able to get my boars to start splitting after the first lather. I soak in warm water for about 10 minutes, load the soap for about a minute and then palm lather for a few minutes. I then rinse the brush and let dry. By the next day splitting can be seen. Following the first lather I do a similar process, but instead of palm lathering, I use it to face lather and shave. I would say the brush is well broekn in by its 10th soak, lather, dry cycle.

What he said Thumbup
Just use it, plain and simple.

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 01-23-2013, 02:43 AM
#6
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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I'd noticed some boars are softer but not older than other brushes, so yes, it might have to do with the selection of hairs, how they were cut before arrangement into a knot, etc. Clearly there would always be differences between brands, sources, models, etc. I have a cheapie Omega which I like but slow to break in. On the other hand I have a Vulfix Hyde Park and it is as smooth as silk, really 'creamy' tips, as it were. It's a far younger brush, too, so go figure. I don't really mind you know, just making observations.

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 01-23-2013, 10:24 AM
#7
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Looking forward to test this boar knot , and yes , I will use it without any softening cicle , to see how it feels.

Theory number 2 makes sense in some quality boar hair , like 90% premium tops.

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 01-23-2013, 10:27 AM
#8
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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Someone with more time than me should buys some inexpensive Omega brushes and do a side-by-side comparison of the two methods.

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 01-23-2013, 10:35 AM
#9
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(01-23-2013, 10:27 AM)Songwind Wrote: Someone with more time than me should buys some inexpensive Omega brushes and do a side-by-side comparison of the two methods.

Need to buy unsplit boar hair. But you could just test the 2nd theory. Soak & dry takes very very little input from the tester. Just need to use a fan to speed up the drying process.

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 01-23-2013, 10:37 AM
#10
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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(01-23-2013, 10:35 AM)asharperrazor Wrote:
(01-23-2013, 10:27 AM)Songwind Wrote: Someone with more time than me should buys some inexpensive Omega brushes and do a side-by-side comparison of the two methods.

Need to buy unsplit boar hair. But you could just test the 2nd theory. Soak & dry takes very very little input from the tester. Just need to use a fan to speed up the drying process.

I have been using a hair drier with some of the Omega brushes I got recently , to speed up the break in process.

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 01-23-2013, 11:24 AM
#11
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Hmmm, maybe there are 2 causes of split ends?

There is a gent on here (Or he used to be on here) who spent 30 minutes "working" his brand new brushes on a rubber sheet while watching the talking heads. I think he did it with 3 brushes actually. He claims each was broken in after that treatment.

He also wet them (obviously) and let them dry.

I never tried it myself. I always gave the credit to wet/dry cycles combined with working the bristles.

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 01-23-2013, 02:29 PM
#12
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(01-23-2013, 11:24 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Hmmm, maybe there are 2 causes of split ends?

I don't know. The only way we can truly rule out the drying cycle is to either measure the split ends while the bristles are still wet, or do it when dry.

All I can say for sure is that these particular bristles were never agitated in any way. Just boiled & dried 3x. So I think we can say with some certainty that this particular processing cycle *can and does* cause splitting. Whether agitation accounts for more splitting, I don't know. Whether other processes cause splitting, I don't know.

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 01-23-2013, 02:52 PM
#13
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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I think there is a pretty good chance that both agitation and wet/dry cycles will cause the boar hairs to split, I don't believe it is only one or the other. Also I think that high temperature and exposure to soap (or other chemistry) may aid in the acceleration of split ends. One thing for sure is that we will not be able to truly understand the causation until a controlled experiment is produced. Receiving a knot that has only been boiled and dried outside of your possession does not make for solid proof to come to any conclusions.

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 01-24-2013, 05:16 AM
#14
  • RobE
  • Active Member
  • NY USA
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Oh man, maybe my ignorance won't show too badly. To make it worse (and give y'all grounds to take me less seriously on this topic), I don't even own a boar brush. So, no hands-on... WTF do I know? ...but I read a lot.

I thought split ends (especially for a boar brush) are good. The more the merrier and softer. Isn't that the ideal? Of course it is.
I'd be using the sh*t out of the thing to accelerate the bristle ends splitting. If I've been reading & understanding correctly... boar bristles require far more soaking (in order to absorb & hold water), than badger does by a considerable margin.

But then again, I'm not sure of the point of this thread. I mean, "theories of why boar bristles (hair) splits?" ... Umm, with all due respect, and no offense intended towards anyone... I would think, it splits for both of the above reasons. Why not? It's natural, organic, subject to wear & tear... and should break down for all of the above. Why slice it & dice it for the why's, wherefores and myriad of other reasons that boar bristle's get split-ends? Just be glad they do.

But, I ramble sometimes. Smile Forgive me. Smile Maybe I'm missing the point... Nevermind. Smile

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 01-24-2013, 05:21 AM
#15
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(01-24-2013, 05:16 AM)RobE Wrote: Oh man, maybe my ignorance won't show too badly. To make it worse (and give y'all grounds to take me less seriously on this topic), I don't even own a boar brush. So, no hands-on... WTF do I know? ...but I read a lot.

I thought split ends (especially for a boar brush) are good. The more the merrier and softer. Isn't that the ideal? Of course it is.
I'd be using the sh*t out of the thing to accelerate the bristle ends splitting. If I've been reading & understanding correctly... boar bristles require far more soaking (in order to absorb & hold water), than badger does by a considerable margin.

But then again, I'm not sure of the point of this thread. I mean, "theories of why boar bristles (hair) splits?" ... Umm, with all due respect, and no offense intended towards anyone... I would think, it splits for both of the above reasons. Why not? It's natural, organic, subject to wear & tear... and should break down for all of the above. Why slice it & dice it for the why's, wherefores and myriad of other reasons that boar bristle's get split-ends? Just be glad they do.

But, I ramble sometimes. Smile Forgive me. Smile Maybe I'm missing the point... Nevermind. Smile

I think the main reason we ask this question is so we may speed up the process as much as possible. Some people like the controlled break-in period by just using it and watching the brush change. Others can't use the brush due to irritation until the ends split so they want it to happen as quickly as possible.

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 01-24-2013, 05:24 AM
#16
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Split hairs in boars are caused by the same stresses that cause it in human hair... thermal, chemical and mechanical stress.

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 01-24-2013, 10:16 AM
#17
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(01-24-2013, 05:24 AM)SteelTown Wrote: Split hairs in boars are caused by the same stresses that cause it in human hair... thermal, chemical and mechanical stress.

This answer makes sense to me. Thumbup

Guess that it would be the boiling that splits the hairs and not the drying then.

Clearly more controlled testing is required.

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 01-24-2013, 11:36 AM
#18
  • pcumby
  • Junior Member
  • Newfoundland ,Canada
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(01-23-2013, 12:24 AM)BladeDE40 Wrote:
(01-23-2013, 12:13 AM)Shaun Wrote: Hmm, interesting. I have boars that have been used many times and have still not broken in. I wonder...how long did you soak?

Shaun, I'm usually able to get my boars to start splitting after the first lather. I soak in warm water for about 10 minutes, load the soap for about a minute and then palm lather for a few minutes. I then rinse the brush and let dry. By the next day splitting can be seen. Following the first lather I do a similar process, but instead of palm lathering, I use it to face lather and shave. I would say the brush is well broekn in by its 10th soak, lather, dry cycle.

I use much the same process and get similar results

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