The shaving brush. It is, quite possibly, one of the more neglected aspects of the modern male grooming practice. There are many reasons that men leave this out of their routine. It can take a bit of extra time in the morning, or you can very easily put some shaving foam on your hand and do it this way. However, if you incorporate a shaving brush into your routine, you will see a big difference. Shaving brushes are something that is almost viewed as a relic of yesteryear. But let’s show you how to use a shaving brush but also what the benefits are of a shaving brush in terms of your skin and the quality of your shave, as well as what to look for in a shaving brush and how you can get the most out of it. Let’s show you you how this oft-forgotten implement can add some character to your skincare routine.
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What Does a Shaving Brush Do?
A shaving brush is not just a way to apply shaving foam to your skin, but a shaving brush yields so many other little benefits that you might not have considered:
It softens your skin
The importance of creating a thick lather cannot be underestimated. Instead of using your hand, the bristles on a shaving brush can achieve a high-quality lather, ensuring that your skin is softer before the razor makes contact with your skin. As a result, you won’t have as much irritation after your shave.
It raises your hairs
A shaving brush is a great way to get underneath the facial hair and the whiskers. The shaving brush lifts the hairs away from the surface. As your hairs will stand upright, this means the shaving cream can penetrate deeper into the skin. Therefore, whatever razor you use, it is able to get through to the hair much closer than usual.
It acts as a lubricant
A shaving brush creates a very thick lather, making it act as an effective lubricant. This lubricant provides a far more hydrated surface for your razor. For anybody that experiences that horrible friction between razor and skin can benefit from a shaving brush. The lather created results in a smoother shave and comfortable skin post razor.
It exfoliates your skin
In a very subtle way, shaving brushes act as an exfoliator. The bristles move in a circular motion. This will help you to brush away dead skin cells from the surface. This results in your razor being able to glide smoother and get to work.
The Anatomy of a Shaving Brush
Whether you are an expert on shaving or not, there are a variety of terms associated with a shaving brush. When you are looking for the ideal shaving brush, understanding what these little terms mean is vital to selecting the best one for your needs.
Bristle, which is the hair or fibre the brush is made from. While bristles can come from animal’s hair, ours are made from synthetic materials.
Loft, which is the length of the hair. This goes from the crown of the bristles all the way to the top of the handle. Size doesn’t always matter here, but the average loft for most brushes is around 55 mm.
Height is the length of the handle and the length of the loft altogether.
Base, which is at the opposite end to the tip. They are either squared or rounded off to stand upright on a surface or held in a shaving brush holder.
Knot, where all of the hair or bristles meet. They are glued inside the base of the handle. When looking for a knot, the larger it is, the firmer the brush feels against the face skin and the more water it retains, which is crucial to making a stronger lather.
Scrub or scrubbiness, which is determined by the friction between your skin and bristles. Brushes with a powerful scrub will have a stiff backbone and a tight knot. This is what you need to look for if you need to exfoliate your skin more effectively.
Backbone, which is the stiffness of a brush’s knot, the more backbone, the more scrubby the brush.
Scuttle, this is a purpose-built bowl that holds your shaving cream or soap.
Shaving cream warmer, which warms the cream which opens the pores making for an easier and closer shave.
And lather is what happens once the shaving cream or soap has been whipped into a foam, and provides protection and lubrication for the razor while also moisturising your skin.
Choosing the Right Shaving Brush
With the wide variety of shaving brushes out there, it is so important to make sure that you find a shaving brush that feels right. But if you’ve never used one, you’ve got to make sure that you consider the following factors:
How strong is the backbone?
The amount of backbone a shaving brush has will be an indicator of how it performs when creating a lather. If you are looking for scrubbiness in your brush, you need a stiffer backbone.
Does it shed bristles after every use?
You may be concerned if it sheds a lot of hair after every use. But if a synthetic brush sheds a couple of hairs, this is nothing to be concerned about. Ideally, the hairs should be plyable and hold the shape for years to come.
Is it ethical?
Finding the right shaving products is not just about it doing the job that’s on the packet, but we need to make sure that the provider is doing what it can for the environment. These days, you can very easily find a plastic-free shaving brush or vegan-friendly products to suit your needs.
How does it feel?
Sometimes we’ve got to go with our gut instincts. If it feels good, it’s very likely it will do the job you want it to. But if you are looking for a good quality shaving brush, it will always have that slight heaviness to it. This is the telltale sign of a good quality shaving brush. Conversely, if it feels cheap and the bristles don’t feel sturdy when you apply them to the skin walkaway. But sometimes selecting the right shaving brushes about trying it.
How was your shave?
Using a shaving brush instead of your hands will make a big difference. Using your hands could stick hairs to your face. However, a shaving brush will make for a more efficient shave and will exfoliate your skin at the same time. A shaving brush should hold moisture and cover the area you want to shave easily.
How to Use a Shaving Brush
You’ve got the glossary of terms down, you’ve chosen the right shaving brush, and now it is time to get to work. Let’s give you a play-by-play play on how to use your shaving brush to get the most out of it and your shaving experience.
- Fill the shaving bowl or sink
You don’t need a shaving bowl or a mug. The sink will be fine. Make sure that the water is hot enough to soften the bristles of the shaving brush. At the same time, you need to make sure that the water is not boiling. You want it to be comfortable on your skin.
- Wet the shaving brush
Wet the brush by gently dipping the bristles into the warm water. Let them soak for a short period of time. Depending on the type of bristles you’ve got will determine how long you need to soak the brush for. If you are using a synthetic shaving brush, you may need to leave it in there for longer. When the brush feels soft and wet, shake off any excess water.
- Add shaving cream to the brush
Whether you are using soap or shaving cream, you won’t need to put much on there. Squeeze some shaving cream onto the bristles so the brush can soak up some of the product. Depending on the quality of your shaving cream, this will determine how much lather you can create.
- Create the lather
There are no hard and fast rules for creating the ladder. You can use the shaving bowl or you can use your hand to apply the foam or put the brush onto your face right away. When moving the shaving brush, make sure that you use a gentle circular motion or back-and-forth approach. You should see the soap starting to thicken and create a white foam on your face. It’s important not to overdo this. You can cause the lather to become too runny, which won’t protect your skin. If you have got a good quality shaving brush, you won’t need to press too hard onto your skin. By pressing too much, you can damage the bristles over time.
- Start shaving
As soon as you’re pleased with the lather, you can start shaving your hair as normal. By creating a thick lather, the shaving cream will protect your skin so you will be able to go in for a closer shave than normal. You should be able to feel the benefits, but also instantly see what this lather is doing to your skin. It’s important to have a good quality razor of course, but as this provides an extra layer of protection to your skin.
- Rinse and dry your shaving brush
After you have rinsed your shaven face, you can run the brush under cold water or slightly warm water. It’s important at this stage to use your fingers to massage the bristles, as this gets rid of all of the soap. When you are happy that the shaving brush has removed every single particle of soap or shaving cream, use a towel to soak up any excess water.
Looking After Your Shaving Brush
Look after your shaving brush and it will give you years of enjoyment.
- The important thing to remember is that after you have washed the shaving brush that you store it safely. If you store it improperly, your shaving brush may start to smell damp or show signs of rotting. To offset this, you need to store it with the bristles pointing downwards, as this draws moisture away from the base.
- Most shaving brushes have their own stand, and while you may want to leave the shaving brush in the bathroom, you have to make sure it is a well-ventilated area. Because the shaving brush is exposed to so much moisture, it is important to make sure the bristles dry thoroughly before the next use. Reducing clutter from your bathroom shelves is crucial for adequate airing, but also make sure that you don’t put your shaving brush in a storage cupboard or in a bag, as mildew or mould could build up.
- Rinse the shaving scuttle or bowl to get rid of all the residual foam, and give it a quick wipe down.
- When drying your brush, don’t pull or tug at the bristles or dry your brush in front of a heater, always make sure the brush stands out in the air and dries naturally rather than trying to force it to dry quickly as this can harden the bristles.
How to Give Your Shaving Brush a Proper Clean
We can clean our brush properly after every use, dry it, and store it properly, but no matter how much of an effort we put into it, it’s likely that it can look a little on the limp side after daily use. The temptation at this point might be to go and get a better shaving brush or a different style, but you can opt for a few simple treatments to ensure that your shaving brush is staying strong after months and years of usage, and it’s all about something we all have in our bathroom!
Shampoo it by adding a bit of mild shampoo where you normally create your lather. Run the shaving brush under warm water and whip the shampoo up into a foam. Massage the shampoo into the brush head with your hand without damaging the bristles. Rinse the brush under cold water until all the suds have been removed. Add more shampoo to the brush, and do it once again. Shake and flick the brush to straighten it out.
Learning how to use a shaving brush is not just about applying shaving foam but it’s about making sure that you give your shaving brush care and attention, just as long as you have chosen the right one for your needs. From plastic-free to vegan-friendly, we have a wide variety of shaving brushes. Learning how to use a shaving brush is about choosing the right one for your needs. Pick the right one and it will be your constant companion on your shaving journey.