What Type of Bristle is Best for a Shaving Brush?

July 28, 2022 4 min read

What Type of Bristle is Best for a Shaving Brush?

The shaving brush was invented between the 17th and 18th centuries in the upper classes of western Europe. Shaving brushes came into fashion within the nobility because a clean-shaven face was the most popular fashion trend among the high class at the time.

The highest quality shaving brush bristle is badger bristle because it is a great water retainer, allowing the fine bristle to collect a rich lather for an ideal shaving experience.

On the other hand, synthetic bristle shaving brushes have been growing in quality and popularity. They are almost as good as natural bristles because they feel practically identical and can retain water at similar levels.

Why is a High Quality Shaving Brush Important?

A high-quality shaving brush is indispensable for every shaving kit because it will facilitate a fast and smooth shave. A well-made shaving brush will remove dead skin from your face and easily exfoliate your skin.

The bristles of a shaving brush are great for giving your face a slight exfoliation before a shave to allow your pores to open up and prepare for the harshness of the razor.

A Kent shaving brush creates a rich lather by mixing water and your preferred shaving cream. A foamy lather protects and lubricates your skin, creating a perfect environment for shaving your facial hair.

Without a shaving brush, you might never achieve the incredible results of an expert lather, and you might increase skin irritation.

The Different Types of Shaving Brush Bristles

Badger Bristles

Badger bristles are a great water retainer and absorb more than most animal hair or synthetic fiber.Also, their hair is very fine, meaning each brush has a high density of bristles that allow for a richer lather.

Our personal recommendation is a Kent Badger Bristle VS60, with a mock ivory base and pure badger bristle knot, this brush provides the most gentle shaving experience.

Boar Bristles

Boar badger bristles are more firm and do a solid job lifting hair from the surface of your skin. This makes getting the lather underneath each strand easier for an ideal shaving experience.

One of the main benefits is that they are less expensive than a badger hair brush. Nevertheless, they can be uncomfortable and stiff for the first few shaves.

Synthetic Bristles

One of the best things about synthetic bristles is that as technology improves, so do the bristles. This means that just a few years ago, synthetic bristles provided the worst performance compared to natural bristles, but now they are similar in performance.

Synthetic bristles are ideal for those who are vegan or have an animal allergy. They are usually cheaper than natural bristles, and they feel very similar, even a little softer.

Horse Bristles

Horse bristles are softer than boar hair, they tend to retain less water than synthetics, and require more care than badger hair. This means that horse bristles have to be appropriately cleaned and stored to prevent bristle loss.

Types of Handles for a Shave Brush

Kent, with more than 400 years of experience in shaving brushes, has modeled perfectly ergonomically handles allowing for a more proper grip on the brush.
A shaving brush handle, regardless of its material composition, rarely affects the overall performance of the brush, although some people still prefer natural materials such as wood as opposed to synthetic handles.

Which Badger Bristle is Best?

Pure Badger: This bristle is the most common and least expensive of all types of badger bristles. The hair of these shaving brushes is picked from the neck, shoulders, and abdomen of the badger.

They are great for scrubbing and exfoliating your skin, thanks partly to the coarseness of the hair, and their color ranges from dark tan to black.

Best Badger Hair: Synthetic materials can increase static electricity or frizz because of the friction they create in the hair. Using a bristle made from natural materials is highly similar to human hair and will eliminate any static or frizzing.

Best badger bristles will release tension in the hair during brushing. This will result in smoother, static-free brushing.

Fine Super Badger Hair: This kind of bristle is expensive, rare, but does provide fantastic performance. The color spectrum runs between mottled white to a light grey center and then white tips.

Silvertip Badger Hair: Found on the neck of the badger, this is the most luxurious and exclusive bristle in the world. Its reputation as the best stems from the fact that it can hold more water than any other kind of brush, this delivers the most fantastic shaving experience.

A Little History About Shaving Brushes

A handful of historical references point to the origin of the shaving brush coming from 18th-century France. France calls shaving brushes blaireau or "badget". It was standard for handles to be made of ivory, gold, silver, tortoiseshell, and other materials.

The most expensive ones used badger hair, and on the other hand, the cheapest ones used horse hair. In the 1800s, the folding-handle straight razor design made men want to shave practically at home, rather than visit a barber.

A shaving brush became a symbol of status, and an expensive or eccentric bush was a way of asserting one's personality or affluence. Previously, barbers did shaving almost exclusively; the shaving soap was lathered with a sponge, squeezed into the barber's hand, and then applied to the client face.

The Right Brush for You

Shaving brushes provide an excellent and high-standard shaving experience. They produce rich lathers to avoid irritation on your skin and depending on the bristle, can offer you exquisite exfoliation before a shave, allowing your pores to open up prepare for the harshness of the razor.

Synthetic brushes have been improving thanks to new technological advancements and they tend to retain water and feel almost as good as a natural badger bristle. Nevertheless, we believe that badger brushes are the highest level of quality.

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Our Recommendation For You


Kent BK8 Shaving Brush Large Size Pure Silver Tip Badger Bristles

 Kent Silvertex Synthetic Bristle Large Shaving Brush - Ivory - BK8S

Kent VS80 Small Wooden Barrel Pure Bristles Shaving Brush. Badger bristle effect

 Kent Badger Bristle Wooden Socket Shaving Brush - VS80 

Kent VS60 Black Socket Shaving Brush Pure Badger Bristle Effect

Kent Badger Bristle Black Socket Shaving Brush - VS60


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