Of all the instruments we use to keep ourselves groomed, few are as mysterious as the shaving brush. To the untrained eye, they might look like a makeup brush. Even to those who can clearly clock a shaving brush, they’re all too often passed off as nothing more than an ancient grooming tool that grandpa once used.
However, shaving brushes are making a comeback. We spoke with eShave CEO Danielle Malka to get her insight on why shaving brushes matter and the steps you should take to choose and use the right one.
Why is using a shaving brush so important to you?
It’s simply the best way to prep for shaving. You can use very little cream, the brushing keeps pores open, and raises and softens hair. Plus, it significantly cuts down on razor burn. Proper shaving was somewhat of a lost art, but it’s have a revival of sorts. We’re catching up to countries like Turkey, India and Morocco where going to the barber for a shave has been standard culture for a long time.
Badger hair seems to be a consensus choice for brush material. Why is that?
Badger hair is the only type of hair that repels water in a brush. It’s a material that works with you to prep your skin and assist in the shave. Interestingly enough, in the French language (Malka is Moroccan and French is her native language) there is no word for “shaving brush” – there is only “blaireau,” which means badger. The point being that the French adopted badger hair as the go-to material in their shaving practices long before brushing returned to the mainstream.
It’s a very common question. For the modern man, cream is the easiest way to go. If you’ve never used a brush, it’s easier to start with cream, then move on to soap once you have the technique down. It’s also a more efficient way to shave during the week. However, on the weekends when you have more time? Go for soap. Shaving soap is romantic and we’re all entitled to romance. Pamper yourself! Just the practice of whisking the brush on the soap to generate a lather can be a relaxing moment.
What is a good brush option or alternative for frequent travelers?
It’s hard to replicate a home shave on the road. Traveling is so much of an inconvenience today and everything has to be smaller, so you’re going to compromise on something. We shrunk the handle on our travel brush because we found that the hair length needed to stay the same, but a smaller handle was workable. It offers a similar quality shave in a smaller overall package.