Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Morning After: Non-Rinsed Brush, Day 1

Yesterday after I face lathered with my Omega Syntex brush, I tried the advice from a 1920s-era Gillette pamphlet, which encouraged shavers to NOT rinse their brush after shaving, and merely let the lather on it dry overnight.

So this morning, I applied the soap to my wet beard, and carefully ran a gentle stream of tap water into my unrinsed brush -- I did this carefully because dry shaving lather is rather powdery, and can easily be shaken off the brush to float uselessly away. Then I face lathered.

My experience when re-using lather in a bowl is that the lather is slightly richer. And this face-lathering re-use was no different. Yesterday, I used mostly Grandad's shave soap, with just a bit of a non-tallow-based shave-cream sample for some scent.

Today I again used Grandad's shave soap primarily, with just a bit of tallow-based Palmolive shave stick. So tomorrow I will carefully check my brush for the tell-tale pinkish color of microbial growth, which I have observed in re-used tallow-based lather in my lathering bowl.

So far, the advice from Gillette about 95 years ago seems to be good. There are still a couple of questions to be answered:

  1. Does tallow-based-soap lather dry quickly enough to discourage microbial growth?
  2. What is the long-term effect on a brush that isn't rinsed daily?
For now, I'm continuing to use the Omega Syntex. Some time in the future I will try my Van Der Hagen boar. I will not use my badger brush because it has too little backbone to face lather comfortably.

More to come; stay tuned.  Happy shaving!

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