Most guys have heard of the term “shaving brush”, but there are actually two kinds. The two kinds are natural and synthetic.
A natural shaving brush is made of real hair (usually badger hair) while a synthetic shaving brush is artificially made. Though both kinds serve the same purpose, the difference in the materials makes one kind more suitable for your needs than the other.
First and foremost, though – what purpose does a shaving brush hold?
A shaving brush tends to be used to apply shaving cream, and applying via a shaving brush will bring extra moisture to the foam, thickening the lather and making applying this lather a much easier process.
Remember, having a thick lather of moisture on your face while shaving makes the shave much more comfortable and leads us to have a much more luxurious shave which ends in little-to-no irritation.
So, why choose a synthetic shaving brush, which is the best synthetic shaving brush, and how do you choose the best brush FOR YOU?
Well, this article is the place to learn which synthetic shaving brush matches your perfect shave, and we have assembled a list of some of our top picks, depending on what you are looking for!
Why Synthetic Over Natural Hair Shaving Brushes?
There are a few simple reasons one may opt for a synthetic shaving brush over a natural hair shaving brush.
A natural hair brush tends to be made with badger hair and although both have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages, a few people may lean towards a synthetic shaving brush due to:
- Less irritation – Synthetic shaving brushes have soft nylon bristles, reducing the likelihood of skin irritation, whereas badger hair brushes tend to cause irritation to those with sensitive skin.
- Cruelty-free – A synthetic shaving brush is completely vegan whereas a badger brush is made from natural animal hair, so even though the bristles are tougher, they threaten the population of badgers.
- Fast Drying – Synthetic shaving brushes are great travel brushes as the synthetic nylon bristles don’t absorb moisture very well, therefore they dry a lot quicker than absorbing badger hair shaving brushes.
- Cost – Synthetic shaving brushes tend to be a lot cheaper than their natural hair counterparts, due to a lot fewer stages in the process of creating them.
- Maintenance – Synthetic shaving brushes are a lot easier to keep clean, and rarely shred or come apart, so another reason why they are a lot cheaper than natural hair brushes.
What To Consider When Purchasing A Synthetic Shaving Brush?
As with most things to do with shaving, the perfect shave depends on your skin, and what we choose to put on it.
Making the decision on what the best synthetic shaving brush is for us depends completely on personal preference. Maybe we want a cheaper brush with more splay, or maybe we want to splash out more and prefer our brush to have little to no backbone.
What things must we consider when we are purchasing a synthetic shaving brush, though?
Below is the list of all things we must decide upon when choosing our perfect brush. A lot of it comes down to personal preference, whether we prefer a brush that requires a lot more pressure to splay or one that covers a lot of our face when lathering up with a small amount of required pressure.
- Price – An obvious start is our budget. You can get a pretty good synthetic shaving brush for quite a low price as they are relatively cheap to manufacture. However, if we have the money to spare, and want a much more luxurious shave, we could also push the boat out and get a more expensive option. If we are looking for a low-priced shaving brush, why not check out our budget option below!
- Splay – During this article, you are going to see a lot about splay. Splay is the spread of the brush’s thistles when you push it against your face and some brushes require more pressure than others to splay completely and cover your face. This is affected by loft height, backbone, and knot size.
- Loft Height – This is the length of the actual brush, from handle to tip. Quite simply, the greater the loft, the more the brush will splay with less pressure.
- Knot Size – The diameter of the knot (the thistles in the brush) at the base of the brush mainly comes down to personal preference, however, there are some performance qualities to consider, as well. A knot with a smaller diameter may feel tighter and splay less, but one with a greater diameter will splay more. It is down to you. Smaller knots are known to take a bit longer to create a good quality lather.
- Backbone – This is the amount of resistance felt when the brush is pushed against your face. If a brush has a lower backbone, then it requires less force to splay. A brush with more backbone may require a lot more force to splay. Someone with sensitive skin may want to opt for a brush with no backbone.
- The Shape/Size Of The Handle – Purely down to personal preference and aesthetics. If you prefer a longer handle with a round shape to lather up with, then choose a brush that matches that.
- Water Holding Quality – A brush’s ability to keep moisture within the bristles is a major component to consider when purchasing a synthetic shaving brush.
The hardness of the brush in addition to depending on the spine and buttons, it also depends on the material of the bristles. Soft bristles will hold water better, creating a better lather than stiff bristles. However, in terms of durability, hard bristles will be more durable.
The hardness of the brush also affects the exfoliating power of the brush. Hard brushes exfoliate better, soft brushes are gentler on your skin, especially if you are someone with sensitive skin.
TOP 6 Best Synthetic Shaving Brush Review
Our Top Pick – Omega 0146745 HI-BRUSH Synthetic Shaving Brush
Choosing just one top pick for a synthetic shaving brush was no easy feat. It ultimately came down to my favorite brush from a top brand, at a reasonable price.
We decided to lean more towards a brush that is balanced. One with little backbone and a taller loft, but a smaller knot size for more accuracy when lathering up.
This is why we choose Omega 0146745 HI-BRUSH Synthetic Shaving Brush being the best of The Best Synthetic Shaving Brushes.
This brush gives the best of both worlds. Being an amazing choice for beginners, experienced and people with sensitive skin! This brush has a ton of positive reviews, including:
‘It is very soft, yet has enough backbone to produce and hold lather for 4 passes either from the bowl or on the face.’ from one very pleased buyer.
- Very fairly priced at $27.24, which is towards the lower end of the price bracket for synthetic shaving brushes.
- The tips of the thistles are treated to be softer and last longer than natural hair brushes, as well as being tinted to give the aesthetic design of a badger hair shaving brush.
- It holds a 58mm loft height, which is a lot larger than the average synthetic shaving brush, giving a larger splay.
- On the contrary, the knot is 25mm which is rather tight, making the brush very balanced, allowing it to resist shredding.
- Soft synthetic fibers are easy to clean and soft on the skin so are perfect for sensitive skin and create a perfect lather for shaving.
- The long, white handle design is aesthetically pleasing as well as comfortable to use.
- The backbone is moderate which is a perfect balance for most.
- Completely vegan.
- Some may find the loft height a bit too long, and find it a bit too “floppy”.
- The moderate backbone may be a little too rough for sensitive skin.
- Doesn’t come with added extras, like a shaving brush stand.
GBS Synthetic Shaving Brush – Best For Newbies
As a new shaver, or at least new to lathering up with a synthetic shaving brush, then let’s be honest, we are going to want something easy to pick up and use, but also cheap.
Why do we want a relatively cheap first shaving brush?
Because finding the perfect brush for you is a trial-and-error process!
The synthetic shaving brush that I believe is best for beginners is GBS Synthetic Shaving Brush.
This brush is both comfortable on the face and the pockets. It is neither too soft nor too stiff and is great for beginners to introduce themselves into the synthetic shaving brush world.
- Cheap, so perfect for those who do not know how to use a brush without destroying the thistles.
- Produces a nice thick lather for a better shave.
- Bristles are neither too soft nor too stiff.
- The loft height is also pretty average, causing a splay that does not require a lot of pressure to cover the face.
- A nice comfortable-length handle that is easy on the eye.
- Completely vegan and cruelty-free.
- A moderate backbone is easy for newbies to handle, as well as being able to exfoliate while being soft on the skin.
- A tight knot can make it easier to target the lather, rather than it getting into unwanted crevices, like our nostrils!
- Comes with its own travel case, which is so useful for trips away.
- The knot could be bigger, as the moisture tends to mat together with the thistles in the brush. The tighter knot reduces the splay of the brush as well as making it harder to create a lather.
- The tips of the brush thistles have been known to be quite scratchy and could be bad for sensitive skin.
- Doesn’t hold moisture very well, and can leave water and soap running down your hand. This means the lather isn’t staying on the brush as well as larger brushes.
- The handle is noticeably low quality, due to it being acrylic. This can feel quite plastic-like.
RazoRock Plissoft Synthetic Shaving Brush – Best Budget Synthetic Shaving Brush
Searching for a synthetic shaving brush on a budget can seem like a daunting job, but it isn’t!
Our main objective is to find something that isn’t hefty on the price tag but is high quality and long-lasting. The only difference between a shaving brush for beginners and the shaving brush on a budget is finding one that will last longer, as the intention for a budget shaving brush is to save money!
That is why I have decided the best synthetic shaving brush for those of use on a budget is RazoRock Plissoft Synthetic Shaving Brush.
This shaving brush is well-known and can be found cheap on Amazon here for less than $20. If we are looking to save EVEN more money, we can buy this brush for about $12 on The Italian Barber’s website!
It is a high-quality brush that is simply perfect for those on a budget and can feel like a steal!
- This brush has a loft height of 57mm allowing a much higher splay than usual, allowing greater coverage of lather than most brushes.
- It has a 24mm knot size, which is about average. This is a great balance between splay size and accurate lathering.
- This brush is known for its high-quality, heavy-duty resin handle, which is very luxurious looking.
- The thistles are extremely soft on the skin, so are great for sensitive skin.
- Very long-lasting due to the lack of shredding.
- A decent backbone for a firm lather, but is still soft on the skin.
- The bristles tend to be a bit thinner than most, so can tend to take a few more passes than usual to lather up the skin.
- Although the brush handle is heavy and an indicator of high quality, it has been known to require an uncomfortable grip to maneuver with if you have smaller hands.
- May require a bit more effort to pick up the soap with the lather.
Parker Safety Razor Ultra Soft Synthetic Bristle Shaving Brush – Best For Sensitive Skin
Put simply, the shaving brush needs to be soft for sensitive skin. We want little to no backbone and a brush that splay’s with little pressure.
The thistles must be soft on the skin and the ends cannot be scratchy, as this could leave us with irritation, even before shaving.
The perfect brush for those with sensitive skin is Parker Safety Razor Ultra Soft Synthetic Bristle Shaving Brush.
This synthetic shaving brush is not only uniquely beautiful with a marble handle design, it is super soft on the skin, as stated in its name. It has plenty of 5* reviews, including this one from a verified purchaser:
‘Excellent, nice and soft but firm enough to hold the soap and feel good on sensitive skin.’
- The main standout point with this particular shaving brush is that the bristles are super soft on the skin, making lathering up the face a gentle process.
- The loft height is greater than average allowing a greater splay, making application a soft process.
- The knot diameter is a little bit smaller than average, making lathering up a lot more accurate.
- Is packaged in a gift box with a free brush stand included!
- The backbone is limited to keep the brush soft, but hard enough so that the brush is not ‘floppy’ and still easy to lather with.
- Completely cruelty-free!
- Drys quickly and so is perfect to take on your travels!
- This synthetic shaving brush is relatively affordable, especially for the quality you receive.
- The marble handle is extremely unique and very aesthetically pleasing.
- The brush stand it comes with seems to be flimsy.
- Is made in China, so if you are looking for something made locally, maybe look elsewhere.
- The brush can be a little stiff but holds the soap well.
FS Synthetic Hair Brush Travel Chrome – Best For On-The-Go Shaving
An easy one to pick, we just need a small shaving brush that dries quickly to take on our travels.
It needs to be small enough to carry but keeps the quality of any other shaving brush. It doesn’t have to be flashy but does need to be of the highest quality.
This is why the best on-the-go synthetic shaving brush is FS Synthetic Hair Brush Travel Chrome.
This compact synthetic shaving brush is perfect for traveling due to its fast-drying capability and the chrome case it comes with.
This travel brush can be purchased on Amazon for less than $20 and comes with plenty of high reviews, as well as a few low ones.
This brush is mainly for travel purposes, and even though it has great quality, it is not perfect and is not to be used as a primary shaving brush.
- Compact and comes with a travel case for easy transport within tight luggage allowances.
- Exceptional quality, especially for the low price.
- Dry a lot faster than most bristles.
- Bristles are stiff and the knot is tight which is great for exfoliating, but soft enough for a comfortable lathering process.
- The solid backbone for accurate coverage when you are lathering.
- The knot has a common problem of coming unglued.
- The fibers may be too stiff for people with sensitive skin.
- The travel brush needs to be smaller, and so the loft height is lower than usual. This means the splay is smaller than most brushes.
- The soap and moisture are not held as well as natural brushes so it can take a while to lather the face.
- May be quite difficult to get a comfortable hold on the handle due to it being small in stature.
- The metal plating is of poor quality metals, and due to a lot of contact with water, it can lead to rusting.
Alexander Simpson Trafalgar Synthetic Shaving Brush – Amazon’s Top Rated Synthetic Shaving Brush
Sometimes, the best method to search for a high-quality shaving brush is to find the one that has been used and rated the highest. This can allow you to potentially purchase the best synthetic shaving brush on the Amazon market without having to trial and error!
Taking into account the highest rating, as well as the number of ratings, I found the top-rated synthetic shaving brush on Amazon is Alexander Simpson Trafalgar Synthetic Shaving Brush.
This synthetic shaving brush comes in at a 5-star review, even with a staggering 250 ratings at the time of writing this article, this shaving brush has a wide range of reviews that are majority positive!
This brush is recommended for its soft, badger brush style, while also being completely cruelty-free. The handle design is luxurious due to it being a faux ivory style, which is a cruelty-free polyester with all the characteristics of ivory! It can be found here on Amazon with a ton of reviews.
- Knot Diameter is greater than usual at 26mm, allowing a greater splay and face coverage.
- Soft, but not too soft so that it creates a volumetric lather without losing moisture too quickly.
- Beautiful handle and thistle design.
- Made by the only hand-made manufacturer in Great Britain.
- This brush has the backbone of a boar brush, very sturdy but also allowing a decent amount of splay.
- Very fairly priced, especially for a handmade brush!
- Vegan and completely cruelty-free.
- The loft height is below average, making the knot a bit stiffer and requiring more pressure to splay.
- If you are a beginner, the price may be a bit out of budget.
- The handle height stands at 50mm, which is smaller than most and can be uncomfortable to hold, especially for those with larger hands.
- Can be quite difficult to form a decent lather on the first use.
To conclude, it can be easy to get confused when trying to decide on the perfect synthetic shaving brush for you.
From knot diameter to loft height, plenty of factors play into why a shaving brush may be right, or wrong, for you.
Hopefully, this article has given you an insight into the best options for you. Whether you are wanting a cruelty-free shaving brush for sensitive skin, or need to pick one up for a trip but only have a low budget, this has hopefully allowed you to make a decision!
- Why Synthetic Over Natural Hair Shaving Brushes?
- What To Consider When Purchasing A Synthetic Shaving Brush?
- TOP 6 Best Synthetic Shaving Brush Review
- Our Top Pick – Omega 0146745 HI-BRUSH Synthetic Shaving Brush
- GBS Synthetic Shaving Brush – Best For Newbies
- RazoRock Plissoft Synthetic Shaving Brush – Best Budget Synthetic Shaving Brush
- Parker Safety Razor Ultra Soft Synthetic Bristle Shaving Brush – Best For Sensitive Skin
- FS Synthetic Hair Brush Travel Chrome – Best For On-The-Go Shaving
- Alexander Simpson Trafalgar Synthetic Shaving Brush – Amazon’s Top Rated Synthetic Shaving Brush