The shaving brush is vital to a good shave. Why?
Firstly, shaving foam from a can is gross. Canned foam is largely made up of air bubbles and therefore has a very hard time lubricating and protecting skin. Foam also tends to soak into skin, leaving an itch causing residue when you rinse. Throw a shaving brush into the routine and you open yourself up to a whole new world of shave soap possibilities (see our SOAPS & SKIN CARE information and products)! A shaving brush works hard to lather good quality soaps and creams into thick, skin protecting lather. Without a brush, soaps and creams just are not the same.
The second reason you need a shaving brush? Exfoliation! The bristles of a shaving brush effectively remove dead skin cells right before you shave, ensuring your razor has the clearest path possible. Thirdly, you should also use your brush to lift your hairs (by running your brush against the direction of hair growth after you lather) so that your razor slices through them, rather than over them. By using your brush to lather soap, exfoliate skin and lift hairs, you can go from a mediocre shave to a “feel how smooth!” shave. Who knew such a little brush could do so much!
All Brushes by The Copper Hat are lathe-turned by Brad or Kate. Each brush handle design comes from our imagination, we never use patterns. We usually turn wood, but are also venturing into materials like acrylic, stone and nylon. Every wood brush is sealed with marine-grade epoxy, keeping it water proof for years to come. (We always welcome custom requests: have a piece of your childhood kitchen table or climbing tree? We can turn that into a beautiful shaving brush handle).
Currently, we set all of our brushes with silver tipped badger hair, the highest quality available in shaving brushes worldwide. Badger hair is extremely soft and is perfect for lathering all soaps and creams. It is excellent for exfoliation while being gentle on skin. We use badger hair from China, where badgers exist in great numbers and are considered pests, and are therefore killed. We are, however, beginning production of horse hair (sections of hair cut from the horses tail while alive) and synthetic fibre brushes.
What are all these Numbers?
In the description of every brush you will read its size (ex: 22mm) and loft (ex:57mm) in millimetres. The size is the diameter of the circular knot of bristles that was set into the brush handle. Typical brushes are between 18mm and 22mm, with bigger sizes lathering faster, holding more lather and covering more skin per lather. The loft is the height of the bristles measured from the top of the handle to the top of the highest bristle. A short loft will result in slightly stiffer bristles (great for lathering hard soap) compared to a taller loft that will be a bit more floppy (better for lathering cream). Most of our 22mm brushes have lofts between 52mm and 58mm and are excellent for lathering both soap and cream.
To ensure your brush lives a long life, it is important to care for it properly. Always hang your brush upside down to dry when you are done using it. We offer the handy option of embedding your brush with a magnet so it can hang under your towel bar or medicine cabinet. Don not have a towel bar or medicine cabinet? We also have brush stands. When you soak your brush before use, only leave it in the water for about a minute. Rinse your brush in warm water when finished, and don not pull hard on the bristles. Some shedding of bristles should be expected on the first few lathers.
A Quick How To
If you are using a shave puck (a hard bar-type soap), put the puck in your lathering bowl/mug and fill it with warm water for a few minutes. Soak the bristles (always pointing down) with warm water either in the stream from the tap or in another bowl/mug (this will fill the bristles with water and help lather the soap). The brush only needs to be soaked for 30 seconds or so. Before lathering, shake most of the water off of the brush and empty the water from the bowl containing the puck. Next, swirl the brush around the puck of soap quickly until lather appears (if you are using a cream from a tub or tube, put a quarter-sized amount into your bowl to lather). A good lather should take about 1 minute to build. If it seems like not much is happening after a few seconds, add a few drops of water. If the lather is very bubbly, there is too much water in the mixture and you should shake the brush out a bit more. The optimal lather will look just like whipped cream – fluffy, thick and white, but few bubbles. Make sure your skin is damp, then swirl lather onto your skin moving your brush in a circular motion. Once you have distributed a thick, even layer over your skin (you may choose to go over the same spot with your brush more than once), pull your brush over your skin against the grain of your hair growth (this lifts the hair so that it is easier to cut).