Where do you get your shaving brushes and supplies
from: Most of the brushes and shaving supplies are imported by Em's Place
Germany, England and Italy. We work directly with a variety of manufacturers in
order to provide you with a large and diverse selection of products. There are a few items that are made in other countries which are
imported from our other vendors.
What is the difference in brush hair grades: All
of the shaving brushes will provide a lathery shave. However there are several different
and distinct grades that determine price and performance. Em's Place has identified the bristle
type on our web pages either by category or by badger bristle grade as
identified in "quotations".
Information in parenthesis
is to help clarify our understanding of the various terms used in the
marketplace. Please understand there is no universal standard and bristle
grading can be subjective.
A) Synthetic bristles - Come
in a faux boar nylon bristle or a faux badger synthetic fiber bristle and are
alternatives to natural hair for making lather.
B) Hog bristles "boar" (aka pure bristle, white or
Stronger and thicker than badger hair. These bristles are not as flexible as the
badger. When water comes into the hog-bristles they are not as elastic as badger
hair and the user cannot make the shaving soap as creamy as he could do with a
badger brush. That's why hog bristles are the least expensive class.
C) Standard Badger "dark solids" (aka dark badger) - This
kind of hair is the under-hair of the badger. It is not as elastic as tapers for
example. But it keeps it's flexibility much better than hog bristles. This hair
is dark (nearly black) and has a cylindrical structure. That means each hair is
the same thickness at both ends. They are typically machine clipped to shape
unless noted otherwise.
D) Standard Badger "greys" (aka pure or grey badger) - This explanation is used for the hair from
the tails and the back of the badger which has nearly the same structure as dark solids
although it is from the upper-hair. This hair is more light than dark solids - nearly
grey. They are typically machine clipped to shape unless noted otherwise.
E) Premium Badger "tapers" (aka fine or best badger)
- This hair has the typical sketch on it (light-dark-light). It comes from the
back of the badger and its structure is conical. That means that the tips are
thinner than at the base of the hairs. This provides a softer feel while in use.
Moreover it guarantees better foaming of the shaving soap. This hair is much
more expensive because it is more rare than the types c) or d). These brushes
are hand assembled or handmade.
F) Premium Badger "silver tips" (aka super badger)
- This explanation is used for the neck hair only which is the softest, rarest
and most expensive kind of badger hair. In the winter this neck hair gets
extremely light tips. These brushes are
hand assembled or handmade.
Note: It is important to understand that
natural hair can vary slightly as to shading and attributes, even within the
same category. Natural products will always have slight variations because they
are not synthetics and this is considered a normal part of the product range.
For more details
this subject visit the Bristle Types
and Additional Information page.
to Clean a Shaving Brush
What are some shaving tips?
Moisten area to be shaved with warm water to soften hairs, wet
brush, shake off some excess water, rotate brush over shaving soap and apply in a circular
scrubbing motion to shaving area - the lather is created on your face and the brush should
not be dripping water. You can control the amount of lather created by how much water
remains in the brush, how much soap is applied to the brush and the scrubbing motion used
on the shaving area.
Why does Em's Place promote glycerin soap?
Our glycerin soap is made using only the finest ingredients and essential oils for a
masculine scent and beneficial for skin care. It lathers well and provides a nice shave
while rinsing clean. We have had a lot of positive comments on this soap formulated for
all skin types, especially sensitive skin. Not only is it a good shaving soap, you can
bathe and shower with it too!
Do I need a stand to hold my shaving brush with
bristles facing down between use? I have heard both answers to this question, Yes
and No. While it makes sense that a brush will last longer when excess water can drain
out, I have also noticed that a well rinsed brush that is shaken of excess moisture does
not have dripping water. However, a brush with the bristles facing down in a holder will
provide you with the longest brush life. We feel a stand is especially
beneficial for wood and metal handle brushes.
What about wooden handle brushes? Wooden handle brushes and razors are water resistant and will be long
lasting when properly cared for. Wood is a personal favorite at Em's Place and
is why you will see a variety of wooden handle selections to choose from. Wood
has its own personality and will weather over time. Sometimes wood may discolor
by the rim near the bristles, especially if well used and the hairs remain moist
most of the time. A damp cotton swab can be dipped in bleach and swabbed on the
wood around the rim occasionally where the bristles meet the handle to help cut
down on discoloration and keep things fresh. You can also spiff things up and
add back oils to the handle by using a polish, wax or oil safe for wood items -
test a small area first to check results.
What about metal:
Chrome, nickel, gold and brass finishes
are popular products and are long lasting when properly taken care of. Golded
items are not of a high grade gold unless specified otherwise. Generally, most
finishes are platting over brass. Be sure to keep items dry between use. For example, keeping metal in the shower
would not be a good idea. Sometimes metal may discolor by the rim near the bristles,
especially if well used and the hairs remain moist most of the time.
You can use a metal polish and old
toothbrush if helpful to clean brush handles,
razors, stands and so forth to freshen things up. Test the kind of polish on a
small area first. We find the carnauba wax types to be gentle and multi-purpose.
Toothpaste on an old toothbrush works well to gently scrub razor heads and parts that have been soiled
by soap buildup. ~Additional info:
Metal Items, Care and Cleaning - info
Brush care & which kind of brush - boar or
badger? Both kinds of bristles will work up a lather and provide a good shave.
Typically, boar is stiffer and may even be preferred by men with coarse hair or when extra
scrubbing action is desired. Badger is more expensive and comes in different grades.
Badger is generally softer and more flexible. Some hair loss is normal with the shaving
brush lifestyle, however should not be unreasonable. A brush needs to be thoroughly rinsed of excess soap and
shaken of excess water
after use. A properly shaken brush will only be damp and not dripping with
water. See the
detailed explanation about bristle types above.
Do not expose to boiling water, pull or tug as
this can weaken the hairs. Shake off excess water and store between use –
preferably with the bristles facing down especially for wooden or metal handles.
Leave in open air to dry and never enclose a damp brush for any extended time.
Rinse the bristles in a mild borax solution once or twice a year and let
thoroughly dry as this will help prevent mildew from attacking the hairs and
give longer life to the brush. Another technique to help remove residue is to
swish the bristles in a 20% vinegar to 80% water solution, rinse, massage cream
rinse onto the bristles and rinse again.
How long will my brush last: I
have heard from men who are in the replacement market and have brushes that
lasted many years. Quality brushes will provide long lasting service. While
manufacturer defects are rare, we work with companies that problem solve any
manufacturer defects that may occur after our return policy. There are many different grades and quality of brush, and each user
will take care of it in a different way. In general, boar hair tends to have the
most breakage and shedding with the shortest useful life. For badger, the higher
the bristle grade the less hair breakage and shedding together with the longest useful life. A well cared for brush should provide you
with many years of useful service.
Shave, Rinse and