With the recent resurgence of "wet shaving" and the demand for high-quality shaving gear more input is being provided by users and industry professionals concerning the benefits of badger hair shaving brushes. Since we were not around in 1750 France when the badger brush first gained prominence most of what you read here is the result of research and general acceptance of a few facts. One thing that is clear to us is that industry standards regarding the quality of the badger bristle are not set in stone and opinions may vary depending on who you are dealing with. In this brief summation, we will try to simplify and provide information that we feel is generally accepted throughout the industry.
Badger Hair shaving brushes date back to mid-seventeenth century France. Since that time the badger brush has been instrumental in creating the best shave possible and has remained the choice among "wet shavers" ever since. There are reasons for this. Badger hair generates a great lather because of its natural water retention capabilities. It exfoliates and conditions the skin while removing dry skin cells and it softens the hair and sets the tone for a close shave.
There are two main components that determine the price of a shaving brush - the bristles and the handle. The bristles range from animal hair to synthetics. Synthetics are usually made from nylon bristles. All bristles, whether animal or synthetic, are fixed together to form a "knot" that is placed in the handle of the brush. Since the "knot" or the bristle load is the key element in the brush, the first consideration when purchasing will be in the quality of the bristle. We realize that brush options are numerous. For example, a boar hair brush is preferred by some because of its stiffer bristle load. Synthetics are the choice of those who oppose using any hair from animals. However, when looking for the best possible shave, the general consensus is that badger fulfills all the requirements. After all the experimentation with synthetics, the use of boar and horse hair, there does not seem to be any other brush that stands up to the badger.
Badger hair brushes are graded by the quality of the hair and its ability to provide the elements of water retention, lather generation, skin exfoliation and overall beard preparation. The varying grades are determined by what area of the badger the hair comes from.
We have found that there are as many as 8 different grades of badger hair. For the sake of clarity and time, we have narrowed it down into three categories. The remaining five categories are sub-categories of these three:
1. "Pure". This is the least expensive and lowest grade. 2. "Best". This is a notch above Pure. 3. "Silvertip". The most expensive and finest of all badger grades.
Since our custom brushes are primarily made with High Mountain Silvertip Badger that is the grade we are most involved with. It's obvious why we prefer Silvertip to place in our custom made handles. We are offering the best brush knot possible to compliment our use of exotic hardwoods. Although more expensive, after using the Silvertip you will understand why we have selected this grade as or choice of knot for our brushes.