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Do I need different shaving brushes for soaps and creams?

Edinburgh, UK


It is common to hear an experienced wet shaver refer to a particular brush as a “good soap [or cream] brush.” Although any shaving brush can be used to create lather, some work better and create lather more quickly than others.  Shaving brushes that are filled with a dense concentration of badger hair do a much better job with soaps because they have the extra “backbone” required to quickly agitate the surface of the soap and combine the product with water to create a rich lather. This is especially true for triple-milled soaps, such as D.R. Harris Arlington, which has a harder surface texture than other shaving soaps. On the other hand, shaving brushes that are softer, often referred to as “floppy,” are better suited for creams because they hold more water and the softer bristles are efficient at mixing cream into a thick lather. Floppy brushes can work for soap as well, but they take more work and a longer time to generate lather. If you frequently use both soaps and creams and only want to use a single shaving brush, then I recommend purchasing a dense brush, such as a Simpsons Chubby. The Chubby has a firm backbone helpful for hard soaps, but also has softer grades of badger hair suited for shaving creams, so it works well with both types of products.  Learn more in Pick Your Poison: Soap or Cream?


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How much should I tighten the head of my Merkur long handle razor after replacing the blade? If I tighten it all the way that leaves no room between the blade and the head. Am I doing this right?

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