Traditional Wet Shaving & More!
I’ve purchased a new synthetic brush: Beauty Strokes H.I.S. Face Shaving Brush, sold by Artist Brushstrokes on Amazon (I incorrectly labeled the photos). As mentioned in previous posts and the Begin Wet Shaving for $30 video, I prefer synthetic shaving brushes.
I used a cheap (quality) boar brush during my first two years of wet shaving. I then received an affordable Fine badger brush (not the brush pictured below), which exponentially increased my lathering performance and overall shaving experience. I used that badger brush for two years and then decided to try a synthetic.
After careful research I decided upon the Men-U Premier Synthetic Brush. Later, I would realize that it is a rebranded Omega synthetic brush, but I am still quite pleased with it’s performance. In addition to the Men-U, I would eventually try the Omega 643167 Synthetic Brush, The Body Shop Shaving Brush, and the Bluebird Syntex Shaving Brush.
The Men-U brush outperformed all 3, even though it uses the same bristles as the Omega, that Omega model had a smaller brush knot (diameter) and height (bristle length). The Body Shop and Bluebird brushes were not as densely packed with bristles, which affects lathering performance. Each brush felt “equally” soft to my skin, even though The Body Shop and Bluebird brushes had noticeably springier (resilient) bristles when fanned out and released. I’ve since given away these brushes, keeping only the Men-U.
I have never used a Silvertip badger brush, which are considered to be the softest and best quality badger hair, but one reason that I prefer synthetics is their softness and lathering performance (compared to Fine/Super badger hair) and usually at a fraction of the cost. The Men-U, while a nice brush, is expensive compared to other equally good or better synthetics now available.
After reading about the new generation of synthetic brushes at Mantic’s Sharpologist site, earlier this month, I decided to try the Beauty Strokes H.I.S. Face Shaving Brush. It was $32, including the shipping cost. It just arrived this week, and I must say it’s a very nice brush! Also, it is a very large brush (compared to any other brush I’ve owned). It stands at 5″ tall compared to the Men-U at 4″ or VDH’s badger at 4.25″ (and the H.I.S. bristles are also about 1/4″ longer too).
Compared to the Men-U, I didn’t expect there to be much difference in bristle softness, but it is much, much softer. The H.I.S. brush is definitely a different material, compared to the 4 previously mentioned brushes which seemed quite similar. While the other brushes would be thoroughly dry after a strong shake, the H.I.S. brush acts more like natural hair and will still be damp and requires about an hour or so to completely dry. It’s hair knot (base diameter) is also larger–meaning more densely packed. I’ve used it during 2 shaves and, so far, I really like it; it’s size is taking some getting used to.
Here’s a review of the H.I.S. brush by GDCarrington from the Shave Nook forums.
I’ll do some video comparisons in the future. (click to enlarge images)