Robin Worboyes, from the UK, asks:
“Dear sir, I have long struggled with poor shaving results, using the typical shop brands, and would like to shave properly (having never actually been taught). Could you recommend a razor and cream etc for sensitive skin and thin blond hair. I would also very much like to know where the badger hair comes from (I thought it was a protected species) and how it is sourced? Many thanks, Kind regards Robin.”
Thanks for your question! I can certainly recommend some products for you! As to razors I recommend the Merkur 34c, the Bluebeards Scimitar, and the Muhle R89 & R106 razors. As far as creams, I really like the creams carried here at Shaving-Shack including (but not limited to) Bluebeards, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Proraso, and Cyril Salter among others. You should be able to find something in those that would satisfy your scent palette and shaving needs.
To answer your second part of the question Badger is a protected species in Most of Europe and the USA. However most badger hair comes from China where the badger is still quite a nuisance and many of the farmers there trap them to protect their crops, selling their furs to brush manufacturers. I hope this helps ease your mind that they are not being killed needlessly! Thanks for you questions, and good luck with your shaving journey!
Best of Shaves,
Do you have any burning questions you would like ask our wet shaving expert Aaron Wolfenbarger?
Philip Morgan, from the UK, asks:
“I am thinking of starting to use a DE razor after a lifetime of overpriced Gillettes and not very good Azors. However, I am utterly bewildered by the choices on offer, from pre-shaves to post-shave products, especially brushes, razors, and blades. Re the razor I would like one razor, instead of several different razors for different levels of “aggression”. I have a beard that is quite tough in places, and currently have to shave against the grain to get a decent result – shaving with the grain leaves my face only half shaved. Any advice you can give me across the whole board of shaving products would be greatly appreciated.”
Thank you very much for your question! As wet shaving becomes ever more popular the number of choices and options grows exponentially! Confusion is easy, and I hope to help with that. Regarding your razor choice, I highly suggest going with the Merkur Progress. It is one of the most popular adjustable razors on the market right now, and is well loved by anyone that I’ve talked to that has used it. Another thing that will greatly affect this end of your shave is the blade. Buying a blade sampler is a very good way to find out which blade works best for your skin and hair type.
Regarding a brush go with a badger hair brush around 20mm in diameter. This will give you the all around best general application brush that you can use for now, and you can choose the grade of hair (Pure, Best, Finest, Silver tip) that suits your budget.
Any of the other products are really kind of up to you. Many of the top brands have complete lines of products that go from pre-shave to post-shave with everything in between. My suggestion is to go with a well known brand such as Bluebeard’s Revenge, Art of Shaving, Geo. F. Trumper’s, Taylor of Old Bond Street, Truefitt & Hill, Proraso, Speick or another of many numerous others and pick the scent that you like the best. This will give you great products to use and in a scent that you will enjoy!
Do you have any burning questions you would like ask our wet shaving expert Aaron Wolfenbarger? CLICK HERE TO ASK AARON YOUR QUESTION
It’s the shaving sale of the century – a massive array of razors, shaving creams and shaving brushes with up to 60% off – act fast and stock up on your favourites!
Parker 98R Heavy Duty Premium Barberpole
Fancy treating yourself to a stylish double edge safety razor? Well look no further than the Parker 98R Heavy Duty Premium Barberpole – Parker’s answer to the awesome Merkur 38C!
We believe Parker have surpassed themselves with this beautiful razor. Taking styling cues from the exceptionally popular Merkur 38C, this chrome plated razor provides excellent grip, balance and performance.
The head is taken from their top of the range 3 piece razors which are near identical to the heads of the Merkur 34C/Merkur 38C and likewise, the barberpole handle design is very similar to the Merkur 38C.
Mike Sandoval, from Shaving101.com, is also a big fan of this razor, describing it as “a good value razor for the budget conscious wet shaver”.
WAS £29.00, NOW JUST £15.99 – SAVE 46%
Parker Model 52 Metal Safety Razor with Chrome Finish
If you fancy something a little cheaper then why not opt for the Parker Model 52 Metal Safety Razor with Chrome Finish. This razor offers a screw down blade change and a substantial feel.
WAS £25.99, NOW JUST £9.99 – SAVE 61%
Simpsons Duke Best Badger Brush (D3)
This is a very impressive and popular shaving brush, handmade in England and densely filled with best badger hair.
Dimensions: Bristle Diameter: 45 mm, Bristle Length: 45 mm, Overall Length: 95 mm, Handle Diameter: 35 mm
This really is the height of shaving brush quality. Buy yourself a piece of English luxury today!
WAS £71.49, NOW JUST £50.00 – SAVE 30%
Simpsons Polo 8 Best Badger Brush (PL8)
The Polo is another great brush from the experts at Simpsons. The handle has a great size and shape to it with a ridge that provides excellent grip. Handmade in England it is densely filled with best badger hair.
WAS 84.99, NOW JUST £59.99 – SAVE 29%
These are just a few of the very special deals we have in the March sale. You can check them all out by clicking here. But hurry as the sale ends March 31.
We are delighted to announce the safe arrival of The Bluebeards Revenge ‘Privateer Collection’.
The new range is an exclusive set of contemporary shaving tools designed for comfort, visual impact and individuality.
A unique, stylish and contemporary brush for the modern man!
The highlight of the new collection is the pure badger brush, which is fashioned from durable high-grade resin sporting a silver The Bluebeards Revenge logo against a rich bespoke “Bluebeards Blue” colour.
High-grade resin requires expert craftsmanship where the material is turned from round rods and then polished.
The chrome ring at the base of the hair provides an understated yet elegant modern accent to the brush.
It comes with a clear acrylic “The Bluebeards Revenge” drip stand for storing, presenting and correctly drying your brush.
This luxurious badger brush has a bristle diameter of 45mm, bristle length of 55mm, handle diameter of 35mm and an overall length of 110mm.
A unique, stylish and contemporary razor for the modern man!
The ‘Privateer Collection’ also consists of a luxurious Mach 3 razor that is fashioned from durable high-grade resin sporting a silver The Bluebeards Revenge logo against a rich bespoke “Bluebeards Blue” colour.
Lightweight yet comfortably substantial, the handle provides for a solid grip. The razor is 13cm in length and has a total weight of 32.5g with blade attached.
We are also pleased to announce the arrival of two Bluebeards Revenge shaving bowls.
The first is made of stainless steel and is ideal for whipping up a lather using The Bluebeards Revenge shaving cream.
The second is a platinum rimmed bowl made from the finest porcelain.
American wet shaving legend Mike Sandoval has described The Bluebeards Revenge ‘Corsair’ Super Badger Shaving Brush as having “an outstanding density and lathering capability packed into a comfortable size format that will appeal to a wide range of wet shavers”.
The lathe turned handle was previously marketed under the name “Buccaneer” and filled with a good quality pure badger hair, making it an affordable luxury.
But the Corsair is knotted with super badger grade hair that Vulfix is well known for using in some of their finest shaving brushes. In addition to the upgraded hair type, the brush is also loaded with around 20 per cent more hair to create a knot that has a stiffer feeling and more density for water retention and lathering capability.
Mike, who runs leading shaving blog Shaving101.com, started off his review by saying: “Vulfix brushes are softer than and not as stiff as other brands, such as Simpsons. They are well made and are well known for their quality and durability, and the Corsair is not an exception to these standards.
”The Corsair is not a firm brush but rather a soft and luxurious brush with a full density that gently massages the face and easily releases the lather on to the skin where you need it rather than holding it in the brush’s core like some overly stiff brushes tend to do,” Mike Sandoval, Shaving101.com
“Unlike the standard Vulfix models, the added badger hair gives it denser feel that is immediately noticeable upon first inspection. The loft of the brush is perfectly uniform in colouring with an attractive three-band colour pattern and a nice shape that is symmetrical and not overly bulbous.
”The handle of the brush is made of a quality faux ivory material and is polished to a nice shine and stamped with the Bluebeards Revenge logo in blue.”
Mike, considered a legend in the wonderful world of wet shaving, tested the Corsair on both shaving creams and hard shaving soaps and said he “found it to be useful for almost any product”.
“When submerged in water, the brush absorbs an impressive amount of water and infuses it effortlessly with any quality shaving cream to create a rich and voluminous lather,” he explained.
“Despite the softer characteristics of the fine super badger hair, the Corsair easily loads with shaving soaps and is great at producing quality lather directly on the face. The tips of the badger hair feel soft on the skin and combine well with the added backbone of the brush to create an ideal balance of density and comfort, which is heavily favoured by many experienced wet shavers.
”The Corsair is not a firm brush but rather a soft and luxurious brush with a full density that gently massages the face and easily releases the lather on to the skin where you need it rather than holding it in the brush’s core like some overly stiff brushes tend to do.”
Mike concluded his review by describing the Corsair as a “well made piece”, adding it is “filled with quality super badger hair”.
You can read the full review by clicking here.
In the last article we explained that badger hair is particularly suited to shaving brushes because of its unique qualities. Also, there are various hair grades to choose from when it comes to badger brushes. Now, we will take a look at some of the classifications of badger hair grades available to buy online.
Pure badger hair
This is the least expensive type of badger hair as it is highly available. Pure badger is great for beginners who wish to experiment and learn their craft before progressing to a higher quality wet shaving brush. These brushes can be bought in a variety of colours and are fairly coarse which makes it useful for lathering the soap.
Best badger hair
This is the next level up for wet shavers with an improved quality over the badger hair above. It has better qualities in terms of water absorption and in creating a shaving lather. There is also a softer feel with best grade hair and you can still get good value for this product.
Super badger hair
This type of badger hair is even softer still and is much finer than the best grade. You will find it feels luxurious when used on the skin. However, you will need to take greater care with a more delicate brush such as this, and it is also more expensive. The performance of this brush is particularly high and this is why it is a popular choice for wet shavers.
Silvertip badger hair
Silvertip is the highest grade of hair and is much harder to come by. This is softer and even more luxurious than super badger hair, while also being the more delicate, requiring special care to be taken in caring for the brush. This brush has a very distinctive quality making it stand out from the rest in terms of price and performance.
As well as the types of badger hair above, you can also decide to go for one of the special grades offered by some of the leading shaving brands.
Handmade badger brushes do have a variation in colour between grades and different makes, but if you need help when choosing, it is always best to speak to the wet shaving experts on what product would be most suitable for your shaving style and the budget you have to work with.
When you are in need of a shaving brush but you are fairly new to wet shaving, it is worth spending some time getting to know the various grades of badger brush which are available. This will help you to understand the benefits of each grade and be able to select the right one for you.
There are quite a number of different types of brush on the market these days, but the most popular is certainly badger hair. The most standard grades of badger brush are pure, best, super, and silvertip. This material is the most suitable for a shaving brush due to its excellent capabilities of absorbing water.
For wet shaving novices there is no industry standard in place to work on, and so this is why it can be confusing to choose between variations of brush offered by the main brands. If you want to find out more it is important to think about shaving brush quality and how to select the right grade of brush for your shaving needs.
In the next article (to be published on Wednesday) we will look at the main types of badger brush and the particular qualities of each. This should hopefully give the newcomer more of an idea when going shopping for a badger brush.
The recent revival of the shaving brush has gone to show that many men are turning back to wet shaving methods to find the perfect shave. Badger brushes in particular are growing in popularity because of the particular properties which it offers to shavers.
There are many benefits associated with using a shaving brush and a number of these are highlighted below.
When you are getting ready to shave using a cut-throat or straight razor, preparation is the key to everything. If you want to enjoy the experience to the full and get the most from your shaving experience then using a shaving brush is an important part of the process.
Before you begin shaving a shaving brush can be used to apply the lather as it helps to gently exfoliate the skin.
As you massage the face with the brush, this also works to improve the skin circulation and gets you ready for the wet shave, with its luxurious feel.
Another area where a shaving brush proves to be particular useful is in the production of a much richer lather than if you lathered your face by hand.
Finally, the brush can lift and soften the beard hair, making for a better and easier shave.
Overall, if you put your trust in a shaving brush as an important component of your wet shaving experience, you will find that it contributes to a far smoother, closer and more enjoyable shave than ever before.
In May, we managed to get a Question and Answer session with American wet shaving legend Mantic, a veteran of the BadgerAndBlade and ShaveMyFace forums.
The session proved very popular, with lots of excellent entries being submitted. We cherry picked the very best ones and sent them onto the wet shaving guru.
The first question Mantic answered was: “Why do I on occasion find that the lather from a soap is fine on the first pass, really creamy and slick, but when I start to apply with the brush for subsequent passes, it has turned airy and foamy? It is with soaps that I have had good results from before too.” You can watch his detailed answer by clicking here.
Today Mantic answers two more questions.
David asked: “It is assumed that boar shaving brushes need to be broken in. Do badger brushes also improve after a break-in period? I have read occasional mentions of this but have seen no definite discussion on the shave forums.”
And Kevin wanted to know: “Not having much experience with different brushes, is there a particular type of brush that I should use with soaps or creams? Boar hair brushes, or badger hair brushes?”
You can watch Mantic answer both of these questions in the video below.
Shaving brushes are experiencing something of a resurgence at the moment. As wet shaving is back in fashion, with many men rediscovering what a pleasurable experience shaving can be again, so people are trying out various shaving products to make their daily routine even more enjoyable.
Incorporating a badger brush into your shaving procedure can help you to generate a rich lather which can raise and relax the hair on your face, improving the quality of the shave. The badger hair is great for massaging the face and adds to the luxurious nature of wet shaving.
However, when you use a shaving brush you really need to look after it in order to benefit from its fine qualities. There is a wide variety of shaving brushes out there and you can make a choice depending on its firmness, but each kind needs to be maintained well to ensure its longevity.
A badger shaving brush can provide over 10 years of service, if it is used delicately with lather applied gently to the face. It is important not to allow the brush hairs to splay through excessive force being applied. The brush should also be cleaned every time following use. This can be achieved by rinsing it with warm water and shaking off any excess moisture. This natural product should be kept on a drip stand, with the hairs pointing downwards.
Make sure you pay careful attention to how you handle the brush and you will be able to enjoy all the benefits a shaving brush provides.