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Synthetic vs. Badger: The shaving brush debate

Synthetic vs. Badger: The shaving brush debate

If you’re a fan of a wet shave, then chances are you will have used a shaving brush in conjunction with a razor. But with so many to choose from, how do you know which ones are the best for you? A great debate rages in the shaving world, and it centres around whether or not badger hair shaving brushes are the best ones for the job, or whether the more modern synthetic options can match their traditional counterparts. We had a look at what each type of brush has to offer your shaving routine, along with a few of our favourites for the job.

Badger hair brushes

Badger shaving brushes are the ultimate traditional grooming tool. There are various different types of badger hair brushes. Best badger brushes are made with the finer, more pliable hairs of the badger’s body whilst Pure badger brushes use the most common hair from the underbelly of a badger. Silvertip badger brushes tend to be the most expensive, as it’s the most rare type of badger hair used, and these differ slightly in appearance from the other two as the tips of the hair are naturally white.

The benefits of using a shaving brush in general are that it works your preferred shaving foam or soap into a rich lather. However, due to the slightly coarse nature of badger hair, badger shaving brushes also act as a mild exfoliator. This means a pre-shave routine of washing and exfoliating skin isn’t necessary.

Often finished with an ivory or porcelain handle, a badger hair shaving brush is the ultimate luxury item.

Synthetic Shaving brushes

A new generation of shaving brushes has also arisen, crafted from custom-made synthetic bristles. Due to badgers being a protected species in North America and most of Europe, the successful usage of synthetic bristles is the first significant change to the shaving brush in 250 years.

Synthetic bristles are super soft and offer a certain amount of resistance to raise the beard up and prepare it for shaving. Not as exfoliating as Badger, you will still need to keep up your washing and exfoliating routine to fully prepare the skin for shaving. as the bristles are non-absorbent, synthetic bristles often require less shaving cream or soap to generate a fine, rich lather.

A synthetic shaving brush is perfect for those who want a slightly cheaper and cruelty-free version of the real thing, synthetic brushes are also really easy to clean as there is no bristle loss.

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Andy Wood

Andy Wood

Men's Beauty Editor