Monday, January 12, 2015

A Boar Brush Face Lathers Nicely with Grandad's Soap

For most of my shaves in the last month or two, I have used an Omega brand Syntex shaving brush, and made lather in a five-inch-diameter lathering bowl.

Comparison photo of the Omega Syntex, left, the Tweezerman
badger, center, and the Van Der Hagen (VDH) boar, right.
The Syntex brush, with its synthetic bristles, holds a large amount of water despite the bristles that absorb none. This large water capacity is a good thing because my Grandad's shave soap likes a lot of water.

A couple of days ago I deviated from the usual process and used my Grandad's shave soap with my Van Der Hagen (VDH) boar brush to face lather.

I had previously tried face lathering with the Syntex brush, but the results were much better in the relatively-large lathering bowl; face lathering with the Syntex brush yielded an adequate lather, but nothing close to the best. However, when I tried the boar-bristled VDH brush, face lathering with Grandad's soap was a delight.

This is the 50-cent, five-inch-diameter cereal bowl from Target
that I use as a lathering bowl. The center was roughed up with
sandpaper to help a soap puck adhere if desired. I currently keep
the soap puck in a re-used Greek-yogurt cup and just use the bowl
to build lather when not to face lathering.
I did my usual minimalist preparation, which includes cool tap water rubbed into my whiskers, and I also soaked the VDH brush in cool water for minute as well.

I then loaded the fairly-wet brush generously with shave soap began to swirl against my face. I added a bit of water to the brush tips a couple of times as the lather built nicely becoming not only slick, but also very rich and more stiff than when I use the synthetic brush in the lathering bowl.

I then shaved with a three-pass shave, which was very close. One of my best, in fact.

Happy shaving!


  1. I have yet to try a synthetic brush but I love omega brushes and it's now on my short list. Thanks!

  2. I thought the Syntex would be a nice travel brush because it's small, light, and can likely dry bristles up without harm. However, it is a bit coarse for face lathering -- not as face friendly -- and for what ever reason, just doesn't make great lather when face lathering my preferred soap. So at this point, if I had to take a plane trip, I'm not sure which brush I'd pack.

  3. I've found that a tub of Taylor of Old Bond Street crème works perfectly for storing shaving pucks and for lathering them, just the right size.

    1. Thanks for the tip. I'd appreciate you posting the dimensions of that container, if possible.