After having the luxury of having access to many shaving brushes to try out I have finally settled on 4 favourites that all bring something unique to the table.
I'll list the 4 shaving brushes below and talk a little about each and what their features are that makes them attractive to me.
Bear in mind, what I have learnt, more than anything, is that everyones preferences are different, hence the very wide variety of shaving brushes available.
My most used brush.
At present I am a face latherer. Using tallow based soaps I like a brush that caresses my face and "paints" the lather. I enjoy the motion of it and mainly use my neck and cheeks to press harder and help generate the lather. For this I like to use a SilverTip Badger Brush and my go to is the AQUA. Blue is my colour so the translucent blue handle was perfect and the size of the handle and contours make it just right for the grip required when face lathering.
My Bowl Lathering Brush
On occasion and when in the mood I'll change my shaving gear and switch to a bowl lather. I find this a meditative exercise in trying to create the most luxurious lather in the bowl. Experimenting with soaps and the right amount of water takes time.
For this I have found a brush with good backbone to work the best, but not too scratchy.
My go to brush for these luxury shaves is the OUMO LotusTip 2Band Badger. I treated myself to the DIAMO handle as this suited my grip for bowl lathering. The LotusTip Knot is something else, fantastic at whipping up a lather and it holds the lather really well making loading the brush a joy. The gel like tips and great on the face too. This is luxury shaving.
With this shave I usually pull out an Single Edge Shaver as well, you can read about my Top 4 Razors here.
I don't think you can delve too far into traditional wet shaving without feeling the need to try a boar bristle shaving brush. They are unique and offer a totally different feel to Badger & Synthetic Shaving Brushes.
The one I went for was the YAQI Violet BOAR brush, which will soon be replaced with the new YAQI Viper because I prefer that style of handle. The boar brush is great for harder soaps as it has a great deal of backbone and stiffness in the bristle. Equally so it feels great on the face for a good exfoliation. I use it for exactly that, every now and again I'll break it out and scrub the hell out of face. Exhilarating.
The New Age Synthetic
My newest brush and the one that I'm finding hard not use all the time is the G5 Synthetic from OUMO. I don't think the word has really got out yet on just how good these are. The best attributes of a natural Badger brush; water retention, backbone & splay mixed with the best bits of a synthetic; easy maintenance, longevity & animal friendly.
The G5 really is smack bang in the middle of both and I just love using it. Hopefully these knots will become even more common place and even more affordable over the coming years.
As always, my opinions and experiences with these brushes are mine and mine alone. Wet Shaving is a very personal thing and everyone has a slightly different experience when shaving. Hopefully sharing these experiences will help in someway when choosing your next shaving brush.