The Proper Way to Use a Shave Brush

Trust us: you want one of these in your shave gear lineup. Here's why, plus how to use it.

Want to get the most out of your shave? Reach for a brush the next time you lather up. Here’s why:

  • They generate more lather, and use less shave cream.
  • The bristles lift your whiskers up and thoroughly coat them, making it easier to shave them off.
  • They’ll naturally exfoliate your pores, which more thoroughly preps your skin for shaving.


There are plenty of brush types, including some harder to find options like synthetic or boar bristle ones. The brushes you’ll most likely run into, though, are made from badger hair, which outperform the competition thanks to the bristle density, softness, and absorbency. They come in a few different grades:

Pure: These are most common, since this hair makes up most of a badger’s coat. They’re the most affordable, and tend to be slightly scratchy — but that’s actually a good thing if you want to exfoliate before your shave.

Fine: A step up in softness and quality, but the tips of the hairs are still a bit stiff.

Silver Tip: The rarest and highest grade of hair, which comes from a badger’s neck area. It’s got the softest, most luxurious feel, but they're a bit tricky to care for — if you invest, make sure to store it on a stand and be gentle with the bristles so that they don't break.

Keep in mind, though, that there’s no strict industry standard that manufacturers have to follow when they’re making brushes, so you may run into differently named grades of varying quality. Your best bet is to feel the brushes yourself before you drop some cash on one.

How To Use One

Ready to shave? Here’s how to lather:

  1. Run the brush under hot water, then flick the excess water out.
  2. Scoop a dime-sized amount of shave cream onto the tip of the brush.
  3. Tap it under hot water.
  4. Rub onto your skin in a circular motion.

When you’re all done, rinse the brush out thoroughly and flick out the excess water. Always store it on a stand with the hairs facing down to keep it in good shape and prevent water from settling in the hairs.

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