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Brush Basics

We offer three different varieties of badger bristle brushes. Badger hair is the superior material for shave brushes over boar bristle, horse hair, or synthetic mixtures because it has the ability to efficiently hold large amounts of water and maintain heat. Water and heat are the two most necessary components mixed with shave soap to produce a rich, creamy lather. The softer the bristle usually means there will be better water retention. As you move down the range of bristle coarseness water retention diminishes somewhat, however any badger hair holds water so effectively you really can't go wrong. Badger hair is also known to possess natural antibacterial qualities.

  • Good- Pure Badger Bristle Brush: This is the coarsest of all the badger hair. It is ideal for a man that prefers a more aggressive texture that will give the skin a good exfoliation. Men with sensitive skin may opt for a softer bristle. The hair is harvested from the underbelly, the largest area of the badger. Because this hair is more plentiful it keeps the cost of this brush low in comparison. This is a great brush for the budget minded guy.
  • Better- Super Badger Bristle Brush: This brush will offer the ideal middle ground for the guy interested in a softer grade bristle without giving up the exfoliation feature. The hairs are taken from the dorsal region of the animal, which is significantly less course than the underbelly. This brush has a nice balance between stiffness, backbone and soft tips for comfort against the skin.
  • Best- Silvertip Badger Bristle Brush: This brush is regarded as the highest grade bristle available. This hair is the finest and softest of any part of the badger. It is harvested from a small area around the neck therefore less of these hairs are obtainable. The Silvertip retains more water than any other bristle type, which creates a luxurious velvety lather that provides ample lubrication for the razor to smoothly glide over the skin. We recommend this brush for any type of skin but especially for sensitive skin because the soft tips make the shave experience more comfortable. The Silvertip brush is a definite status piece for the serious wet shaver!

In this visual comparison you can see a distinctive difference in color and pattern based off the respective sources which provided the hair for each brush.

 The different grades of badger hair shaving brushes

Very distinctive differences between pure badger, super badger and silvertip shaving brushes

The diameter at the base of the brush is what is referred to as "knot size". Typically, the larger the knot size means there is more hair. Some knots are more densely packed than others. The Parker shave brushes offered here are packed at a higher density than many of it's competitors. Our Parker brushes also have long loft bristles, which refers to the height of the hair from the base of the knot to the top of the hair. The loft and density dictates how well your brush interacts with shave soap. Each of the Parker shave brushes we carry are ideal for pairing with The Shave Shoppe private label Gentleman shave soaps.

The "backbone" of a brush refers to how strong the hairs stand up to pressure. This is a function of knot, loft, and bristle type combined. A brush lacking backbone is considered "floppy". Desired backbone is more of a preference versus a definitive right versus wrong however, we recommend enough backbone to effectively manipulate the shave soap into a lather and lift the beard hairs up from the skin to prepare for the shave. We selectively chose our collection of brushes to fall within the sweet spot in regards to backbone.

It is with great confidence we present our Parker brushes that offer the utmost quality at a very economical price point making it possible for every man to enjoy the tradition of this grooming ritual. Join us in your journey of wet shaving and you will soon be convinced yourself!

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