When I first began figuring out how to wet shave with a double edge razor, the predominant advice seemed to be to use a badger brush. Softer, better quality. My first brush was an Omega 13109 Creamy Curved Handle Pure Badger Shaving Brush
. It’s a great brush, luxuriantly soft. I also had an inexpensive boar brush, part of a shave kit I bought for the bowl. The boar brush, frankly, has an odd odor and is much rougher than the badger.
Fast forward to recently when I had some Amazon gift card money to burn and I decided to pick up the Proraso Professonal Shaving Brush. Some of the reviews mentioned how soft it was, so I figured it was a badger brush. But imagine my surprise when I opened it and felt bristles much stiffer than my badger. It was a big brush, too, the handle is a large one and it takes two hands to jam it onto the stand slot. This appeared to be two cons right off the bat. But then…the lather!
I did notice that distinctive boar odor as soon as the brush was wet and sweeping around my face. It’s not a good smell. But here is what put that out of my mind: In just a few passes around the soap, the lather was already quite thick and fluffy. Maybe it’s the stiffness of the bristles? Maybe it’s how the boar hair holds the right amount of water? (As always, let it drip, then three taps to have just the right amount of water in the brush). Whatever it is, the lather is some of the best I’ve gotten from a Proraso soap. It’s also been consistent. In the week that I’ve used the brush, the soap has whipped up soft and creamy each and every time.
Proraso brush with my favorite Proraso Eucalyptus Hard Shaving Cream / Soap, 150ml
I’ve also noticed after a week’s use that the bristles have softened ever so slightly and the smell has gradually gone away. That’s a big plus because I don’t think I’d keep using it if it didn’t. And did I mention the lather?
(The Proraso Shave Brush is made by Omega and is a rebranding of the Omega Boar brush. The Proraso name may add a couple of dollars to the cost, but…Proraso!)
I was pleasantly surprised by the Proraso Shave Brush! It has challenged my preconceptions about the superiority of badger over boar hair brushes. It’s a good reminder that when it comes to the art of wet shaving with a good razor, there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. After all, finding the perfect combination of tools and technique is all part of the art of shaving with swagger.