- Choose the badger shaving brush according to your needs and budget. While the cleaning methods provided in this article are appropriate for each type of brush, it is helpful to understand the way in which badger shaving brushes are “graded” (noting, however, that there is no standard naming convention, so name variations are given here):
- Pure badger, or dark badger (standard) – the hair used here is derived from the stomach, shoulders, neck, and buttocks of the badger. This hair is usually very dark and it is coarser than other types of badger brush. Brushes made from this hair tend to be machine assembled, and they are the most affordable version of the badger shaving brush range.
- Gray badger, standard, pure – this hair is taken from the tail and back of the badger. It is lighter, almost gray. Again, this version tends to be machine assembled.
- Premium badger, finest, tapered, or best badger – this hair is taken from the back of the badger and the color band varies from light, to dark band, to light again. The tips of the hairs are thinner than the base and this makes them soft. This version is usually assembled by hand and is expensive. It is thought to be best for light beards.
- Silver tips/silver-tip badger, sometimes referred to as “super”, (although that can mean it is slightly inferior to the silver-tip) – this type of brush uses only neck hair that lightens during winter, making it very expensive. It is white, with a small dark band. It is very soft and is suitable for men with skin conditions.
- Wash a new badger shaving brush well before using it. Prior to its first use, a new badger shaving brush should be washed gently but thoroughly, using warm soapy water.
- Be prepared for some hairs to come loose. When you get a new brush, it is quite natural for a few loose hairs to come away from the brush in the first few weeks–these are shorter hairs that did not quite reach the glue base and this should not be a cause for concern.
- Let it dry. Place the shaving brush in its holder with the bristles facing down. Before storing, it is always important to allow the shaving brush to dry thoroughly, as leaving it wet and damp can damage the bristles. As shown in the image, run your clean thumb across the brush to check that it is dry.
- Wet the brush thoroughly before use. Dip the tip of the brush into the shaving cream or soap (you can use a shaving bowl). Lather gently using a light circular or up-and-down motion. When applying the shaving cream or soap, avoid applying so much pressure that the badger hair splays – be gentle.
- Rinse the brush. After shaving, rinse the brush gently but thoroughly in clean, warm water.
- Flick the excess water away and place the brush in a stand with the hair pointing down. If you do not have a stand, leave the brush pointing out rather than horizontal, so that air can get to all hairs and dry the brush naturally.
- Be sure that your brush has air. Natural hair that is left wet can develop mildew try to avoid enclosing a wet brush in a too small space.
- If you keep it in the bathroom cabinet, make sure that it has sufficient space to dry.
- If you shave away from home and keep your shaving brush in a travel tube or kit bag, give it an opportunity to dry as soon as you can.
- Clean if needed. If your brush becomes affected by mildew or a build-up of soap, soak it in a solution of borax, which can be obtained from a pharmacy.
Courtesy of Wikihow and Art of Manliness