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When it comes to shaving with a safety razor, shaving brushes are absolutely essential to get the perfect lather to protect the skin. You're spoiled for choice, with options for every budget out there from everyday affordable to downright luxurious.
Regardless of what you’ve chosen, shaving brushes can be a long term investment if they’re properly taken care of. In this article, we’ll run through some essential care tips you can easily implement to ensure you get the most out of your shaving brush. With the right care, shaving brushes have the ability to last for years, even decades.
DO: be gentle when using it
This applies to both producing the lather and applying it on your skin. When you’re creating a lather, avoid pressing too hard on the brush when loading it with soap or cream. Though it is tempting to mash the brush to get the most product out, this causes problems down the track.
Firstly, the soap will enter the knot, where it will dry and won’t lather, therefore wasting product. Secondly, applying excess force causes strain to the bristles, reducing its efficiency in picking up and holding onto product as well as its ability to spread the lather evenly onto your skin. Instead, be gentle when lathering or applying - let the tips of the brush do most of the work.
DO: let it dry naturally
When you’ve washed off all of the product from the shaving brush and shook out any excess water, let the bristles air dry by hanging the shaving brush upside down. This will let any moisture and water drip out, away from the handle. If you’ve got nowhere to hang it, lean the shaving brush upside down on an angle against something sturdy, with the tip of the bristles sitting on a small towel to absorb the water as it drips out.
If a shaving brush doesn’t dry properly, moisture and water buildup creates bacteria that sticks to the brush, and that’s the last thing you want to be applying straight to your face!
DO: clean it regularly
Always wash the brush after every shave. We also recommend giving the brush a deeper clean once a month. It doesn’t have to be anything extremely fancy - a mild detergent is acceptable. In doing this, you’ll be preventing dried up lather from accumulating which is the most common source of broken hairs.
DON’T: use very hot water
Instead, use lukewarm water when preparing the brush for a lather or washing the brush after shaving. While a hot shave may sound great (especially in Winter), the bristles are sensitive. If the water is too hot, the ends get damaged over time and cause them to curl. Not to mention, hot water breaks down any glue inside the brush that keeps everything together, which will eventually break it entirely.
DON’T: wring or twist the bristles by hand
Some men do this subconsciously, especially when they’re trying to remove the shaving cream or soap from the bristles after a wet shave. By doing this, you are actually damaging the brush follicles. Instead, hold the brush under the tap and let the water work its magic by running through the bristles. When the product is removed, use quick flicking motions to remove excess water rather than manipulating the bristles yourself. The less touching, wringing or twisting that you do, the longer your shaving brush will last.
DO: enjoy it!
Last but not least, enjoy the shaving brush. Not only are they pleasing to look at in the bathroom, but they are a staple item in every man’s grooming routine. When you’ve tried them once, you’ll never go back to applying a lather to your face by hand. So take your time when using them, don’t rush. Be gentle. Enjoy the process.
If you’re unsure about which brush will suit you, take a look at our guide about choosing the right one here. Otherwise, if you’ve got your necessary equipment already - that is, shaving soap, shaving brush and a loaded safety razor - then it’s time to get shaving.