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A Beginner's Guide To Shaving Brushes

For those looking to upgrade their shaving routine, a quality shaving brush is a solid starting point. Shaving brushes add real style and regalness to every hair removal situation, but more importantly, these tools can improve sometimes monotonous and painful daily shaves.

The first step in integrating a shaving brush into a daily routine is choosing one from the litany of options available. While most shaving brushes are made of badger hair due to their fantastic water absorption abilities and supple feel, there are other cheaper and viable options -- like boar or horse hair. Let's take a few minutes to review the pros and cons of each.


Pure Badger is the most common grade and makes for a great starter brush that won’t break the bank.
  • Pure Badger bristles occupy approximately 60% of the badgers coat and therefore, are more abundant and affordable.
  • When compared to other grades of badger hair, Pure Badger has a scratchier feel, which is beneficial for exfoliation and lathering a shave soap.
  • Over time, a Pure Badger brush will soften, but will never become as soft as higher-quality grades.


Best Badger brushes represent the next step up in quality and in price.

  • Most of the bristles that make up a Best Badger brush are sourced from the smaller back area of the badger.
  • Best Badger hair can absorb more water than lower-grade brushes and therefore, create a higher-quality and longer lasting lather.
  • Best Badger brushes are perfect for very dense shaving creams that may require extra hydration to foam up.
  • The feel of Best Badger hair will be notably softer, but it does retain some of the same, albeit lesser, scratchiness of Pure Badger.



 Super Badger brushes utilize some of the rarest badger hairs and offer an unparalleled luxurious experience.
  • Super Badger bristles are sourced from a small area on the neck of the badger.
  • Super Badger bristles are thinner than Best or Pure Badger bristles, meaning more hair is needed to form a quality brush.
  • The delicacy of the hairs provides a luxuriously soft touch with virtually no coarseness.
  • Since the hairs are more delicate, proper care is key to maintaining brush quality.



While not in the same quality category as badger, with proper cleansing, technique and confidence, these tools can help improve any shave.
  • Horse hair brushes are generally softer than Boar or synthetic brushes, but often have difficulty retaining the water necessary to create a good lather.
  • Boar bristle brushes are very coarse and tend to have a very short shelf life.
  • Synthetic brushes are made up of synthetic bristles, which tend to be brittle and coarse. Synthetics also tend to be of the lowest quality in nearly all measurable categories.



Most buyers these days choose to upgrade the quality of the badger hair rather than the quality of the handle. That said, there are two main types of handles: Wooden and Synthetic. Synthetic handles are more common and are usually a blend of modern composites. These handles are very low maintenance and are less likely to break. Wooden handles, while beautiful, require extra care and tend to be more fragile. Unfortunately, wood inherently does not handle moisture over time as well.



So, if you're looking to buy a shaving brush, here's the must-know facts:

Pure Badger brushes are the perfect starter brush and apply shaving cream much better than a hand.
Best Badger brushes are a fantastic upgrade over Pure Badger and offer a higher degree of luxury at a still affordable price.
Super Badger brushes are most luxurious brushes on the market, perfect for the gentleman who wants nothing but the best.
Nothing wrong saving a few bucks and getting a Boar or Horse Brush, just don't expect as much as from a Badger.