If you are serious about shaving then you want a complete kit including a razor, strop, skincare products, and of course, a shaving brush.
Many people overlook the shaving brush and feel they can simply make a lather of shaving cream by massaging it into their face. While this is possible, a shaving brush always gives better results. You can work the cream easier and get a much more complete lather.
The result is that your razor will glide across your face and neck with no issue. But which type of shaving brush is the best? There are several options available including synthetic, horse hair, hog hair, and badger hair shaving brushes. All have their pros and cons.
In this article, we look specifically at two natural shaving brushes – badger and horse hair. We delve into their history and usage, and which one is better in the badger hair vs horse hair brush debate.
- Available in multiple qualities: Badger hair comes in four tiers – pure, best, super, or silver tip. Silver tip is the best quality and the fact that you have four options to pick gives you greater flexibility.
- Better water absorption: Badger hair is known for its excellent water retention and this allows you to work your shaving cream easily and create a fantastic lather. For pure shaving experience and convenience, they are the best choice.
- High bristle density: Compared to horse and boar hair, badger hair is denser and has a higher density of bristles. This further contributes to the quality of the lather.
- Not always authentic: Due to the popularity of badger hair brushes there is unfortunately an entire industry of knock offs that do not use real hair. They claim to be authentic but are simply cheaper alternatives. You have to be careful when choosing these brushes therefore and we only recommend authentic options on our online store.
- Potential for animal cruelty: We can’t ignore the fact that some badger hair is obtained unethically. Countries like China are known for their poor practices and manufacturers don’t always disclose how their hair is obtained. This can make badger hair brushes an unethical choice.
- Expensive: Compared to synthetic, boar and horse hair, real badger hair brushes are by far the most expensive. This means that they might not be a suitable option for beginners. You can typically expect to pay double the price for a badger hair brush compared to a horse hair option, for example.
- Cheaper: As stated, horse hair shaving brushes are usually much cheaper. Badger hair is the most expensive option with bore, synthetic, and horse hair typically being around the same cost. For example, you could easily buy a horse hair shaving brush for around £25 whereas badger hair brushes can cost upwards of £50. If you want a cheaper option for occasional use or as part of a starter kit, horse hair is the best model.
- Softer than synthetic and boar: While horse hair is tougher than badger, it is softer than both bore hair and synthetic brushes. This means they could be a fantastic option if you have sensitive skin as it will cause less irritation.
- Initial smell: As with many animal-based products, horse hair shaving brushes can have an initial smell. This should only last for a few days but some people can find it unpleasant and it will put them off using the brush. This can be remedied simply by washing it in a pet shampoo then rinsing and drying it thoroughly.
- More maintenance: Horse hair brushes are also more prone to bristle loss and degradation of quality if they are not stored and cared for properly. Generally, they require more work to upkeep compared to badger brushes.
Which Shaving Brush is Better? Badger or Horse Hair
We hope you have found this guide on shaving brushes useful! As you can see both badger and horse hair brushes have pros and cons and neither is perfect.
But which one is right for you? If you are a beginner and just starting to wet shave, a horse hair brush is the better option. This is because they are generally cheaper and could be a great stepping stone as you get used to how they work, before investing in a more expensive badger option.
If you want the ultimate in quality and have plenty of experience using shaving brushes then badger hair is the top choice. It allows you to create a better lather, is generally easier to maintain, and can feel softer on your skin.