Shaving brushes are the classic tool when it comes to men’s grooming. Indeed, if you’re a shaving lover, you’ll know how beneficial this tool is. Yet, “how long do shaving brushes last?” still acts as one of the most common questions newbies tend to ask.
If you’re also looking forward to the answer, today’s post is for you. We’ve also included some tips and tricks for extended longevity.
How Long Do Shaving Brushes Last?
Even as a rough guess, 10 years is acceptable and normal longevity of a decent shaving brush, considering many elements. On the other hand, low-quality ones only last a few months or years at best if cared for properly.
Yet, it is not uncommon for wet shavers to laud the benefits of their brushes 30, sometimes half a century later. Indeed, some people still use family heritage brushes passed down from generation to generation through decades.
All in all, the lifespan of your shaving brush depends on many elements, both within your control and outside of it. However, the item may serve well for years for those who know how to correctly take care of their brush.
5 Main Factors To Affect A Shaving Brush Longevity
There are 5 main factors that affect the durability of shaving brushes, including the build of the shaving brush, the bristle type, the water, the frequency of use, your technique, and maintenance, plus storage.
Shaving brush quality and different bristle types
The famous saying “you get what you pay for” holds some validity in this case.
A premium shaving brush featuring an excellent adhesive bump and securely attached, high-quality bristles will undoubtedly outlast its inferior rival.
Now, you might wonder if a hair-shedding brush is decent or if it’s a sign of low-grade products. Sometimes, it is and sometimes, it isn’t.
There are many reasons behind a hair-shedding product. When using a new shaving brush for the first session, expect some hair to fall off.
However, if it keeps losing hair (which degrades the brush’s quality and shortens its lifespan), higher chances are that you’ve encountered a low-quality product.
Aside from fabrication concerns, different types of bristles can also impact its longevity. There are 3 primary hair variants one could find in the market today: The badger, boar, and synthetic bristles.
Classic men’s grooming tools, such as badger shaving brushes, are peerless. This type of brush usually comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The finest, most supple badger body hairs tend to be the primary material of the top-of-the-line badger brushes. In contrast, the most typical badger underbelly hairs go into the fabrication of Pure badger ones.
On the other hand, the most costly type of badger brush (or maybe the entire brush range) is the Silvertip one. It’s because Silvertip brushes use the rarest kind of badger hair, which looks somewhat different from the former 2 due to its naturally white ends.
What makes badger hair brushes so famous is their absorbent characteristics which help to create a thick, foamy lather. But this quality also means it retains moisture much better and requires a longer drying time.
Regarding durability, a nice badger brush may serve for several decades and is quite sturdy.
However, if you’ve never used a badger brush before, you will probably notice a special odor your first time using it. But don’t worry – the smell will disappear after 2 – 3 sessions.
Boar bristle brushes are more “exfoliating,” rougher, and perform a great job of flaking the hairs off the skin, helping the foam to penetrate deeply for a pleasant grooming session.
Moreover, the hooks on boar bristles make them much better at picking up leftover strands.
An additional characteristic of boar hair is that it splits (similar to human hairs), causing the brush to be gentler over time. When someone talks of “breaking in” a boar hair brush, they imply utilizing it until the bristles separate and the brush gets softer via repeated use.
Boar hair, another natural hair commonly used in shaving brushes, can endure up to 3 decades or even more when properly cared for.
A younger breed of shaving brushes featuring custom-made synthetic hairs has emerged in the last few years.
Since badgers are now endangered animals in Northern America and much of Europe, the widespread popularity of high-quality synthetic hair shaving brushes has created its market as a handy substitution.
Synthetic bristles are incredibly gentle and provide a specific level of friction to help lift the hair and get it ready for grooming. However, it’s still advisable to maintain your cleansing and scrubbing regimen to properly prepare your face for grooming, even if you’re using a product like a badger’s.
Also, synthetic hairs hold another outstanding characteristic – they are non-absorbent. As a result, they tend to call for less shaving foam or soap to produce the thick, creamy lather we usually see on badger or boar brushes.
If used properly, these plastic-based products might endure an eternity (and beyond). Because of their low maintenance requirements, they are the perfect choice regarding family heirlooms if adequately cared for and without faults from the maker.
Your brush might also get affected by the water’s mineral composition, including whether you have hard or soft water.
Hard ones containing a high mineral concentration may cause the brush to degrade faster over time.
Hot water will also likely damage the bristles throughout time and melt any glues utilized in the brush’s manufacturing.
You should also be cautious about the lotions and creams you work with, since leaving them on the brush after usage might degrade it and damage the bristles.
Frequency of use
Another aspect to consider is how regularly you utilize the brush. If you use your shaving brush every day, a shorter lifespan is inevitable.
However, your frequency of use is not as much, and if you maintain it properly, its longevity tends to be much longer.
To your surprise, how you apply your brush impacts how long it will endure.
If you lather vigorously, you run the risk of weakening the adhesive bump, splitting the bristles, or introducing foam residue and germs deep into the knot during the lathering process.
In other words, you’ll unintentionally degrade your brush.
On the other hand, if you use your shaving brush with care, you’ll get more use out of it.
Using a squeeze container to transfer shaving cream onto the bristle is likely the most “gentle” option for longevity. In this case, the brush bristles should be somewhat off-centered when you squeeze the product from the tube to the brush surface. Also, don’t overload your cream.
Maintenance & Storage
Finally, how you take care of your shaving brush will determine how long it lasts (potentially lifetimes).
Believe it or not, people are likely to break their shaving brush before the brush wears out. This might come from various reasons, but the most 2 common ones are accidental damages or poor upkeep of the brush.
Below are a few tips for the best brush upkeep and storage:
As mentioned above, the build-up of unwanted suds and additional chemical residue may weaken the glue or distort the bristles in many ways.
Indeed, your brushes will deteriorate and turn caustic, or they might serve as breeding grounds for germs or even fungi!
Thus, after each application, be sure to thoroughly clean and dry the item.
Many people mistake keeping their wet shaving brushes in their bathroom cabinets and, in the worst case, when they haven’t thoroughly cleaned them. Give it a thorough rinse to remove any remaining lather.
Notably, avoid using hot water on your shaving brush to minimize warping the bristles. Also, don’t pull or squeeze the bristles too hard or you might severely damage them.
To keep it in good shape, offer it a good cleaning using a mild cleanser once each month or every few months, even if you don’t use them.
For badger hair brushes, they closely resemble human hair. Thus a gentle shampoo and conditioner are typically adequate.
It’s also advisable to perform a deep cleaning but not too often. Sediment accumulation at the bottom of the hairs or the tip of the grip is a definite indicator that a brush requires a deep cleansing.
Another sign is when the hairs begin to lack their resilience and softness. Most professional wet shavers recommend a “deep cleaning” session lasting between 3 to 12 months.
After cleaning, store or put it in areas with sufficient ventilation to allow the brush to dry off – preferably not in a locked drawer.
Moreover, it’s advisable to hang the brush upside down (just like how to dry makeup brushes) so that the water doesn’t accumulate and ruin the glues.
Drying it this way also helps to fasten the water evaporation, making it quicker to dry. That’s also why so many manufacturers come up with the shaving brushes holder stand.
At the same time, make sure to let your shaving brush air dry. Avoid utilizing any sources of high heat (such as a dryer) as higher temperatures can easily melt the adhesives, break the fiber’s structure, and shorten the lifespan of your brush.
Finally, dip the brush in vinegar to dissolve calcium/magnesium if hard water causes a crusty accumulation around the knot’s root.
Signs You Need To Change Your Shaving Brush
Now, you might ask yourself how to know when a shaving brush needs to be replaced. There are a lot of signs – both visual and quality-related ones.
Indeed, the more worn out a shaving brush becomes, the slower it takes to establish a lather.
In addition, you’ll notice a difference in how it feels on your skin, with the hairs feeling less rigid. At this stage, you’ll probably experience a lot of bristle loss or that the bristles protrude or shrink.
Focus on the performance of your grooming and the external appearance of the brush before making your decision.
Indeed, the best way to tell whether it’s time to throw the brush away or not is to use it. In addition, the quality of the brush should be evident when you utilize it, whether it is harsh and terrible or still good to serve.
In the end, brushes will wear and tear over time. Yet, everybody possesses a varying tolerance for it.
For example, some people may want to change their brush immediately when it shows signs of deterioration. In contrast, others will be fine with a slight degradation or not even realize it for an extended period.
That’s it for today. Hopefully, now you have learned “how long do shaving brushes last” along with several tips and tricks to extend your special brush’s lifespan.
With enough care and proper upkeep, it will accompany you for years!