Maintenance: Shaving Brushes

Bristle Loss

Your shaving brush will undergo different stages as you use it. When you first begin to use your shaving brush, the hairs will expand and fan out (called 'blooming'). For the first 3 months, it is common for the brush loft to continue to grow which will cause the brush to lose full bristles with each use. After the initial 3 months with normal usage, you may still see the occasional bristle fall out, but the rate of hair loss should drop significantly compared to the first three months.

If you continue to see a significant number of bristles falling out, please look out for the following:
    • Broken hairs: This can be caused by improper treatment of the brush. Three common symptoms are:
      • Improper water temperature - Not properly soaking the shaving brush prior to using it will cause the bristles to snap because they are not properly softened and don't have enough flexibility
      • Improper drying - Rigorously shaking out a shaving brush over the tub is sufficient for drying - it is not necessary to dab the bristles into a towel.
      • Soap residue - If a brush is not cleaned properly after lathering, the soap residue builds on the bristles and causes pressure which will cause them to snap
    • Full Length Shedding: After the 3 month "breaking-in" period, if full bristles fall out with remnants of glue at the ends, it is a sign of manufacturer defect. This shows that the glue used to put the knot together is no longer holding onto the hairs. Please contact your manufacturer to let them know of this problem.

Smell

When receiving a new shaving brush, it is common for the brush to have a certain smell because of the natural badger hairs being used. If you notice that the smell gets worse after the first use, this is completely normal. After 4-5 uses, this smell should go away. If the smell remains, we recommend giving it a clean wash with regular hair shampoo or dish washing detergent. Repeat this process until the smell dissipates

Storage

We always recommend storing your shaving brush upside-down in a shaving stand. This allows for any excess water to drip away from the brush after it has been used. Even with a proper shaving stand, it is necessary to shake it dry before storing. Never put the shaving brush in an enclosed container or small cabinet because it can cause mildew and potentially damage the bristles in the long run. Also always store the brush in a dry environment (Do not store in the shower or anywhere that is affected by the steam that develops from hot showers). If you must pack your brush for travel or other purposes, allow sufficient drying time beforehand or limit the amount of time that your brush is in a confined space.

Handle Care

For metals, try a metal polish or use toothpaste on an old soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub away soap residue. For wooden handles, some discoloration is normal over time and does not indicate a problem with your shaving brush. With exclusive horn handles, we recommend a product like the Gold Dachs Horn Protection Balm. These specialized balms will keep the horn handles from cracking and warping.