Raise your hand if you use a traditional shaving brush as part of your current grooming routine. Very few men actually do. And even fewer men realize that a shave brush is one of the secrets behind a more superior, luxurious, yet easier shaving experience. But those who do use one report that using a shave brush results in an even closer shave and a more relaxing experience.
But how do you choose or use a shave brush? Shave brushes made from natural hair rather than ones made from synthetic materials are more durable. In addition, natural hair bristles are usually finer and flexible making it easier to pick up the right amount of shaving cream and work into a rich lather.
One of the more affordable, but high-quality shave brushes comes from the Cremo grooming company. Its Spanish Horsehair Shave Brush ($21.99 USD) is handcrafted by Vie-Long of Spain from premium 100 percent cruelty-free horsehair that is removed ethically through natural grooming, causing no harm to animals. The tips of the Cremo brush are softened to be gentler on the skin while the base of the hair is left natural to provide firm but pliable brush for lathering. The brush pairs well with the Cremo Sandalwood Lathering Shave Cream, which is specially formulated to work with it.
Adding a brush to the mix does switch things up a bit. These steps make it simple:
1. Begin your shave brush routine by properly preparing your face – soak a washcloth or wet your face with very warm or hot water – as hot as you can stand.
2. Next, thoroughly wet the shave brush with warm or hot water.
3. Remove excess water before applying a small amount of shave cream to the brush. Work the cream into a lather in the palm of your hand or use a shave bowl or cup.
4. Apply the shave cream with a brush onto your face using smooth circular motions without exerting excessive pressure. This is the relaxing part! The circular movement ensures a more even application and better lather and helps stimulate the hair follicles.
5. Finally, shave with your razor of choice!
Like all things, caring for your shave brush is key, too. Always wash after each use to remove excess soap residue. Be sure to store your brush by hanging in a stand or placing upright. As the shaving brush becomes a fixture in your shaving routines, the steps get easier and soon will be a breeze. Also be sure to follow the tips in my ultimate shaving guide to ensure you get the best shave possible.