Please note that with some of our shaving brush suppliers, the categorisation terms used for their badger hair shaving brushes may differ from that stated below. Simpson's for example call their silvertip brushes 'super'. In general, Europeans call the silvertip grade silvertip while Americans and Simpson's prefer to use 'super'.
Super Badger Hair is the most expensive type of shaving brush hair due to its rarity and quality. Over half the badger hair used in the making of this exquisite brush is wasted during the production process. After production super badger hair shaving brushes have remarkable soft tip qualities and are durable enough to last a great number of years, providing excellent water retention and an exceptional shaving experience.
The hair used in the making of these super badger shaving brushes is the same as that used in a silvertip badger shaving brush. However these super badger hair shaving brushes receive special treatment. Firstly it is shipped all the way back to Europe before it is comprehensively and thoroughly redressed and re-graded. This specialist redressing results in the bundle of badger hair being sorted and the short twisted hairs of each shaving brush is removed. This in turn leads the shaving brush hair feeling softer and with a whiter appearance and creates an even better lathering and water holding capacity of each shaving brush. (A lot of badger hair brushes are in fact made in China).
Silvertip badger shaving brush hair is one of the most expensive and rare types of badger hair underneath those classified as ‘finest'. These wonderful shaving brushes contain natural untrimmed hair whose tips appear white naturally, without the use of bleaching or any other processes. The pure and distinctive colouring of each silvertip shaving brush is enhanced carefully by the hand grading and filling of these fine hairs from the neck of the animal.
The flared bristle load of this glorious brush results in the shaving brushes fluffy appearance and lends the brush its ability to hold a large amount of water. Due to their extreme water retention capacity a silvertip badger brush can create an all-round well-formed shaving lather quickly and easily.
Shaving brushes made from best badger hair are created using picked hair from the pars costails of the badger whilst the rest is made up of finer and more pliable hairs from 20 – 25% of the badger's body. These best badger shaving brushes contain longer hair than most other types of shaving brush, with the badger hair having a lighter colour than that of the pure badger hair variety of shaving brush.
A best badger shaving brush is more densely filled with hair than a pure badger shaving brush and so will produce a richer and greater lather on the face.
Pure badger shaving brushes are the most common type of shaving brush used in the UK. Pure badger hair is picked from the neck, shoulders, abdomen and buttocks of the badger and so is made up of hair which covers around 60% of a badger's body. The hair of a pure badger shaving brush varies greatly in softness, colour and pliability. Pure badger shaving brushes are predominantly dark in colour but can fluctuate between a light tan colour to a near black silvery sheen.
The hair of a pure badger shaving brush is coarser than that of best or silvertip shaving brushes due to its noticeably larger shaft.
Mixed hair brushes are surprisingly, fairly popular, probably due the low cost of these brushes. Mixed hair is basically what's left after the grading has been done for silvertip, best and pure. A mixed hair brush will mainly be made from best and pure badger hair.
The new generation of synthetic hair brushes are known as 'G2 or Generation 2'. These G2 brushes mimic the lathering qualities of a good quality badger hair brush. They may not retain heat as well as a badger brush but that aside, they perform very well with soaps and creams. They are better suited as travel brushes than badger hair as synthetic hair dries out almost immediately, badger hair takes a lot longer. Synthetic hair brushes outperform badger hair brushes in many respects, they don't suffer from hair loss, they are super-soft on the face, they don't tend to smell and they do react well to harsh treatment such as splaying when lathering up.
Boar hair is much cheaper than badger hair, mostly boar hair originates from China, Russia and India. Boar hair is not nearly as flexible and soft on the skin as badger and synthetic shaving brushes, men who swear by boar hair brushes seem to enjoy the slightly prickly sensation as the brush exfoliates the skin and softens up the beard bristles while lathering up on the face. Me? I don't like them, too harsh by far on my skin.
A few manufacturers of high quality badger shaving brushes produce shaving brushes classified as ‘finest badger hair'. The finest badger hair for each shaving brush is picked from the back of a long haired species of badger that is only native to the most remote areas of China, such as the Guangxi province.
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