My First Badger and Boar Shaving Brushes

My First Badger and Boar Shaving Brushes

I just bought my first badger and boar shaving brushes. They came from the same supplier from China. Yes. I bought them through eBay and got a really good price for them. The supplier regularly updated his items. I think they really specialized in shaving brush.

I bid quite low for a shaving brush. I thought it will be good enough for me to try a boar brush or a badger brush. It will help me to decide when I want to buy a luxury shaving brush.

My First Boar Shaving Brush

This is the first boar brush that I bought. I have read that many people love boar brushes.

The reasons are:

  • They have more backbones
  • Because of that, they are scratchier
  • They hold water
  • They last a “life time”

I couldn’t wait to try it for the first run. But, first thing first. I have read that animal hairs can hold unexpected guests. So, I shampooed it for the first time.

Oh, man… the smell of it. Yes, it did give out a smell. A very wet animal smell. The closest thing that I can describe is that it smells like a wet dog that has been running a marathon.

I was glad I didn’t immediately use it. I even did another washing with my wife’s shampoo. Just to get the nice fragrance. It did not help.

I let it dry. I hope the wind will help to wipe the smell away. It did not happen until my 4th time washing and drying cycle. The smell was not completely gone but it was now bearable for me to use. YAY!!

My First Boar Shaving Brush Try4x3 Badger Boar Synthetic Shaving Brush

I usually do a face lathering. I apply my Body Shop Maca Root Shaving Cream to my beard and mustache area. Then I will do face lathering with a wet brush. I have a very good lather with this technique.

I did the same technique while trying the boar brush for the first time. It was horrible!

The boar brush really held a lot of water. Even after I squeezed a good amount of water out. I can’t build lather on my face. The water made it too watery.  

What are you saying, Arief? Of course, the water will make things wet and watery.

Yeah, I know. But this was horrible. It is like putting too much water in porridge. You got a watery porridge. And this lather was just like soap water. Yes. Soap water.

It wasn’t a lather. I immediately have to add more shaving cream. Almost 3 times than my usual amount. The lather still would not build.

I really noticed the hard backbone of the boar brush. It was scratchy indeed. My face looked like it had been scratched by thousand needles. It was really red. It really was my fault to use too much strength while trying to build a lather.

I washed all my lather and cleaned the boar brush. I restarted with my synthetic brush, built a lather, and shaved.

My Second Boar Shaving Brush Try

Learning from the mistake of my first try, I prepared my shaving bowl. I did not soak my boar brush this time. I only dipped it several times until I was sure it was wet enough.

I put a generous amount of shaving cream in the bowl and started to build a lather.

Oh my, it was such a workout. The lather was really hard to build with this boar brush. I had to put several drops of water. It was too dry.

After a forever time, I built a good lather. I noticed that most of the lather was inside the brush. The brush really held them well. I couldn’t help to get frustrated with this boar brush.

When I applied the lather, it would only apply the thinnest layer I’ve ever seen. I brushed my face several times but the lather just stayed inside the brush.

Well, I did shave away with that thin layer of lather. It did not give the protection I needed. I was devastated.

Omega Shaving Brush #10048 Boar Bristle Aka the PRO 48

My First Badger Shaving Brush

I was really excited with my first badger brush. People consider badger brushes are the best brush. You will always love your badger brush, they say. I got two badger brushes from this same supplier.

When I opened the package, I saw that the two brushes use the same handle. The description from the supplier said they were the same. But after a quick look, I noticed that they were not.

I guessed I bought the brush from QC rejection stocks. They really looked different.

So I chose one. One that is taller and bloomier.

With my boar brush experiences, I knew that badger brush can have badger’s smell. So I shampooed it, too. Sure enough, a wet animal smell quickly filled my nose. Argh!!

I did 2 cycles of washing and drying with this badger brush before I can bear the smell. I really thought that only horse hair brush smell. People keep telling me that. Boar and badger brush are fine. They do not smell, they said. It was my nose or people are wrong.

Why people love badger brushes:

  • They are smooth
  • Still have backbones
  • Hold water
  • They last a lifetime, too.

Badger brush is way smoother than boar brush. When you brush your face, it doesn’t scratch you. It will feel that you are being caressed by your loved one. I’m not joking. It does feel like that.

My First Badger Shaving Brush Try

I have the habit of soaking my brush. So I did this with my first badger brush, too. Animal hairs really hold water. I have to shake several times to remove excess water.

You know what? After making sure that I did not have excess water, my lather was still too watery. I did a face lathering and the lather just dripped down onto my shirt.

Not again, I thought. My lathering skill was not good enough apparently. I had to abandon current lather and re-lather again.

But I really love the smooth touch of this badger brush. It was a bit floppy but spread the lather nicely. It did not hold as much lather as the boar brush inside it.

Parker Safety Razor 100% Silvertip Badger Bristle Shaving Brush (Chrome Handle) and Free Shaving Brush Stand

My First Synthetic Shaving BrushThe Body Shop Shaving Brush

All the above experiences were benchmarked against my first synthetic brush, The Body Shop Shaving Brush.

After trying the boar brush and the badger brush, I can safely say I still prefer the synthetic brush.

Why? Because:

  • It holds less water.
  • The knot is small.
  • It doesn’t “eat” the lather.
  • Lather easily.
  • It has the right stiffness for me.


What Will I Recommend?

I confess that I still need practicing. I still struggle to build a nice lather with both badger and boar shaving brushes.

I love how badger shaving brush holds its stiffness. I am looking forward to having my boar brush past breaking in period. It will not as scratchy but will still have its stiffness. I will force myself to continue to use this brush.

I love how badger shaving brush smoothly caressed my face. But it is too floppy for my taste. I really wish to have this smooth touch with a bit more backbones.

I easily grab my synthetic The Body Shop shaving brush. I already accustomed to its features. I can use a small amount of shaving cream and it will lather nicely.

I will recommend you to have ALL of them. Why? Because you will love their different personalities.

They are not the same. They’re unique. You may have preferences but you can’t hate what you didn’t choose.

This is like saying, you love chocolate but prefer cheese.


What Do You Think?

I know that you have several brushes. You have not? You should.

Get each one of them. So you can say “My First Badger and Boar Brushes” too.

Which shaving brush do you prefer? Share your experiences with me down below.



10 Replies to “My First Badger and Boar Shaving Brushes”

  1. Quite interesting article, I actually never considered the use of badger and boar shaving brushes before … not even when I started to shave ,… wait a second I am not that young … I am 46. … However, for some reason after reading your post I feel like I should have tried them … your paragraphs are full of very descriptive words that make my feel like I am the one actually shaving. I think I will give them a try … after all .. Why not?

  2. Hmmm… are these similar to the kinds of brushes they used in “old school” shaving stuff? I’ve heard that, in the old days, razors used to be heavier and have more metal in them, and they may have actually gotten a smoother shave than some of the cheaper, more “mainstream” plastic brushes on the shelves today. I know that, as a man of color, I’ve had some serious problems with most of the current shaving set ups out there, which is why I use electric razors.

    1. Hi Hilton,

      I don’t think that color is the issue here. I can safely say that it is the multiblade razor issue. Try using a safety razor. A single blade will reduce razor burn and prevent ingrown hairs.

      To answer your question. This is the “old school” shaving brush. You need to build the lather with it. I have not once use another canned shaving foam again.

  3. your article has brought something to my mind I have never even considered these shaving brushes of any kind, I do shave with the old type of razor and shaving cream but never ever considered trying one of these brushes until reading your article today.

    I am not sure how to go about using these brushes, but I am going to consider giving these brushes a try possible and all because of your article today

    Thank You

    1. I am guessing that you are using a shaving gel from a can. That shaving foam is not helping you with a proper protection. You should find a shaving cream or a shaving soap. That way you can build your own lather using a shaving brush.

      A proper lather will give you protection, cushion and slickness. It will tremendously boost your shaving experience.

  4. I did not know that there was so much to shaving. I do it two times a week whether I need it or not. ; ) I do just use shaving cream and a razor with expensive price tag. That mean I don’t change them very often. I remember my father using a brush. He used the small leftover pieces of soap. You have done a great job with your site. Good luck. Dave

    1. Hi David,

      Shaving is so much more. It was a revelation for me, too. The first revelation was I shaved with the wrong technique. The second was the wrong gear. Yes, you should properly have the right gear. You can check some of the safety razors that I recommend.

      Hope you will find that shaving is a wonderful chore and hobby. Yes.. hobby! 😀

      Have a great day!

  5. I have the escali pure badger and for 12 dollars I think it’s a steal. I don’t understand why so many people complain about it. I had mine for two years now and it looks like new. Some people like to buy expensive stuff just because they are expensive. Escali does the job just like any other fancy brush

    1. Actually, Escali Pure Badger brush is one of the best sellers in Amazon. With that many sales, I think you can’t go wrong with it. And you already proved it for TWO years! That’s a great investment for 12 dollars.

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