Badger Hair Shaving Brush
For nearly 300 years, the shaving brush has been an integral part of traditional shaving. As a necessary tool in shaving, it acts like a magic wand to make the shaving soap produce smooth and dense foam, making all preparations for the final harvest of the beard by the razor.
Break-In, this is a unique concept of bristle brush. The bristles are extremely hard and stiff when they are newly made, and slightly softer when exposed to water. After a period of use, the bristles have repeatedly absorbed and dried water, and the microscopic deconstruction of the hair has produced some changes. The hallmark change is that the tips of the bristles have started to split. The bristle brush at this time is still very hard when it is dry, but it is no longer straight, but in a scattered state. After contact with water, it becomes softer than before, which is equivalent to the "the more you use the better." . Break-In refers to the artificial acceleration of this process of change of the bristle brush. The main method of Break-In is to use a bristle brush to grind and foam without shaving or washing off the soap. Instead, leave it to rest for half a day or a day while keeping the foam wrapped in a dense foam. Repeating several times can basically complete the Break- In and remove the peculiar smell of bristles by the way. What's more, putting the bristle brush directly into the refrigerator while standing still is said to speed up the break-in process. Even if it is not a bristle brush, you can also use this method to remove the peculiar smell of other natural bristles.
Shedding means literally, shed hair. All shaving brushes may shed hair, especially the head 2 or 3 times, almost all hair shed, but bristle brushes and horse hair brushes are definitely the most serious of these problems. Hair loss is related to many factors, but here we only talk about what everyone can choose and control. First of all, hair loss is definitely related to the assembly process, so it is very effective to avoid unreliable brands and products. Secondly, bristle brushes with large brush diameters are likely to continue to shed hair. It is not recommended to choose too large bristles. Then the environment for storing the shaving brush should not be too dry, and the temperature should not be too high when using and storing the shaving brush (such as a boiling brush). Finally, do not apply large pressure in the "plucking" direction to the shaving brush. After use, replace the longitudinal dry brush with radial squeeze.
The badger brush is the oldest shaving brush. As early as the 1750s when the shaving brush was invented, it was the badger brush, called blaireau in French. In the later history, it has long been regarded as a precious and high-quality shaving brush. This culture has also influenced the current Wet Shaver. In addition, badger brushes are simple to make, so there are many brands involved, and they are also popular areas for craftsman brushes and DIY brushes. Today's discussion of Wet Shaver shaving brushes is mostly centered on badger brushes, so let's talk about it first.
The main distinction between badger brushes is based on the hairs used in the brushes, which come from different parts of the badger's body. Different parts of the hair have different properties, appearance, and area.
In addition, some badgers choose a different way to brush their "badger" types, using hair from other badgers that have different sources from traditional badger hair.
Except for Plisson, almost all badger brushes use badger hair from the Qing Dynasty, even the hairs of other badgers are cultivated and processed by the Qing Dynasty.
The structure of the industrial chain and the scale of the badger breeding industry determine that brand owners have a very limited influence on the quality of badger hair. They can only choose the relatively better one among a number of suppliers with little difference, and then they can make a certain selection of the processing method of the badger hair, and finally they can carry out a certain amount of manual picking and removal after obtaining a batch of bristles. Not good enough hair.
The general characteristics of badger brushes are strong water storage and poor toughness overall. The degree of softness varies greatly depending on the grade. The softest and most shaved shaving brushes are all badger brushes.
Trimmed and Untrimmed Badger, trimmed bristles and untrimmed bristles, are mainly reflected in badger hair, and other types of bristles will not be distinguished by trimming. In fact, this concept is rarely mentioned, mainly because Trimmed Badger is marginalized in the Wet Shaver group. Untrimmed refers to badger hair whose tip is white or yellow with normal structure. Corresponding Trimmed is badger hair that is black or brown from the front end, which is a cut cut. Because the tip of Trimmed Badger is a cut cut, it will be very shaved, so it is generally not considered as high-quality badger hair.
Black Badger, this is a very continental concept, and British brands basically don't use this concept. Basically refers to the black ones of Trimmed bristles, mainly derived from the limbs and tail of badgers. Black Badger is very tough, and at the same time, because of the tip trimming, the shave is very obvious. Relatively speaking, Bowl Lathering is better. In addition, the badger hair is only recommended for experienced players or early adopters.
Grey Badger is also a very continental concept. Grey in most cases refers to the brownish-gray color of Trimmed bristles, which are trimmed after mixing the hairs of various parts of the body. The toughness is also relatively strong, but as Trimmed is also relatively scratch, but the toughness scratches are milder than Black Badger, also recommended only for senior players or early adopters. In addition, there is a rare case of European Grey of Plisson, which is a kind of 2-Band Badger below.
Pure Badger, of course, literally means pure badger hair, but because high-quality badger hair is used for higher-grade badger brushes, Pure Badger is often in fact not good badger hair. Generally refers to the badger hair of a certain brand after the HMW->Silvertip->Best selection path, although the remaining badger hair still presents the color of white brown white or yellow brown yellow, its quality is already very general and generally has low toughness. It is similar to the phenomenon of better quality badger hair, but the softness is not much different. In addition, some brands will name Black Badger or Grey Badger in the name of Pure Badger, which can be judged by the color and shape of badger hair. What is called is not important, what is important is that everyone can judge what it is.
Best Badger, Best can be understood as relative to Pure, it is also the badger hair remaining after the screening of Silvertip->HMW. But of course, although this is the case, the product lines of various brands are often scattered, and very few brands occupy all of these names, and generally there is one advantage and one inferior. Best Badger is also the appearance of three colors of visible badger hair. However, because Best Badger is in the middle of the quality sequence, different brands have different screening criteria for their bristles, and the performance varies greatly. However, overall, Best Badger's toughness is inferior to higher-quality badger hair, and its softness is similar.
Silvertip, literally means silver tip. The hair of the badger's whole body belongs to the upper back. The hair is soft and has strong water storage. The area is small but it is most suitable for shaving brushes. At the same time, the hair tip is the lightest and whitest color, so it is called silver tip. Silvertip's hair is the best in various brushes in terms of softness and water storage, and its toughness is just right (especially for brands with Pure or Best product series). However, the concept of 2-Band that has been popular in the past two years is slightly dim under the trend, but for operations that have enough time to make a full bowl of foam or slowly massage the foam on the face, Silvertip is still the best choice.
2-Band Badger, traditional badger hair presents three colors of white, black, brown, and white from the root to the tip of the hair, while 2-Band has only two colors of black, brown and white, which is a definition of appearance. The three-segment color is the inherent characteristic of badger hair. The effect of the two-segment color is to select the longer badger hair with the dark brown part and the white part at the tip, and then cut off the white at the base during processing. It mainly comes from the hair on the side of the badger's body, and part of it comes from the hair on the back of the badger. These two sources will result in better toughness, less water storage, and slightly lower softness. It is the best badger brush that is closest to the performance of the bristle brush. It is suitable for Wet Shaver that is just starting to use the badger brush. It is also a badger brush in all aspects. More balanced options.
Super Badger, this concept only appears in British brands, the grade referred to by Silvertip.
Finest Badger, this concept mainly appeared in British brands, was the old name for the badger hair used in 2-Band (but not the source of the pig badger), that is, the hair on the side of the badger. However, because the 2-Band concept was not popular at that time, Finest did not use the method of cutting off the white part of the base at that time, but the black and brown part of the middle section was longer. The current Finest is basically equal to the 2-Band of the brand.
High Mountain White, referred to as HMW, originated from Plisson, French Blanc Haute Montagne. Since the names used by Plisson are obviously similar to European White, European Grey, Russian Grey, such as straightforward origin + color naming, High Mountain in HMW is an independent meaning, referring to the origin of this badger hair. It means that there is a high probability that the badger producing area in the Alps. Switzerland is located in the Alps. The mountains were originally not the preferred habitat of badgers, but the hunting volume of Swiss badgers ranks third in the European Union, and the number of wild badgers in Switzerland is steadily increasing. Plisson's badger brush only uses the hair of the European badger (Meles meles meles), so the real HMW should refer to the badger hair of the Silvertip part of the European badger produced in the Alps. At present, the concept of HMW or HM has been abused. Even many brands clearly state that their badger hair comes from the Qing Dynasty, but they can call themselves HMW or HM. The badger in Northeast China and North China in the Qing Dynasty is the Asian badger (Meles meles leucurus), which is no longer consistent with the original intent of HMW. There are also some brands of HMW or HM that use the upper back hair of the badger (the 2-Band of these brands is also derived from the badger, which is complementary), which is also inconsistent with the original intention of HMW. At present, only Plisson insists on using the European badger on the market. The HMW or HM of other brands are completely inconsistent with the original intention of HMW. It can be understood that these brands define "Silvertip better than Silvertip".
Manchurian, literally translated as Manchuria, don't misunderstand its age because of the name. In fact, the concept of Manchurian was born after 2000, and this concept was born from Simpson. According to anecdotal legend, at that time, Simpson supplied a batch of shaving brushes labelled Extra Super to Enchante Accessories (then it was Simpson's agent in the United States). Charles Roberts, a tycoon of the early Wet Shaving revival, said after using the brush that the brush was very good. The bristles came from the bitter cold land of Manchuria. Then the people in the Wet Shaver community said it was very appropriate to call it Manchurian, and Charles Roberts suggested David Carter (Simpson's boss from 1990 to 2008) continued to choose badger hair from "Manchuria", which is the northeast, and officially named it Manchurian. David adopted this suggestion, and Manchuria was created. At that time, European countries, including the United Kingdom, banned the hunting, breeding, and fur processing of European badgers. The use of pig badger hair in the market had been widely used. The Asian badger (for the European badger) was widely used in the market. It’s a historical trend to use Northeast badger hair at that time, and now it’s an uncommon practice to use Northeast badger hair at that time. It is a historical trend that the source of badger hair has turned to Qing Dynasty, with high quality and low price. The processing industry chain is complete. So Manchurian no longer has the meaning it was referring to at the time, and now almost every badger brush is "Manchurian". Now Manchurian or Manchuria can generally be understood as the brand's 2-Band, or the brand claims "2-Band better than 2-Band".