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#1

iLather.com
I find that generating a lather with synthetic brushes to be significantly easier than boar. I don't have to load as heavy and I don't have to work nearly as hard to create a lather. I actually tested this side by side last week to see if it was just in my head or there was something to it, and synthetic lathering was noticeably easier. (Please note, I did not say better, I said easier)

Question: Why is this the case? What about synthetics brushes make them easier to generate lather with?

Also, just for perspective, keep in mind I used natural hair prior to moving to synthetics. I have't always been a synthetic latherer.

Finally, I want to reiterate that I'm talking ease of lathering and not necessarily quality of lather. Some would argue that natural hair brushes generate a better lather but this isn't in the scope of my question.

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#2
(This post was last modified: 03-10-2016, 03:38 PM by steeleshaves.)
Chris,

I think this comes down to nature. Natural hair by it's composition, is made to repel and shed a certain amount of "debris", oil, etc. Think of a dogs coat or a horses coat when you wash them. It takes a lot of water and rubbing in of shampoo or oil to get that material in the hair because the hair itself has properties designed to resist foreign material. Synthetic brushes however, are designed to soak up material with ease, think of makeup brushes here. They are specifically engineered to accept a material for application. Shaving brushes out of necessity back in the day were made of the materials they had at hand (animal hair: boar, badger, horse, etc).... but, there is a reason you don't see boar and badger make up brushes in your wife's medicine cabinet because synthetics do a better job of accepting the material for which they are applying.

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#3

That Bald Guy with the Big Beard
Bishop, CA
Im no biologist nor esthetician, but the above post makes total sense to me.

Ive also noticed the same thing. I love my boars and I love the lather theybprovide, but they do seem to require more effort...everything from soaking to application seems to take just a little bit more effort.

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-Chris~Head Shaver~
#4

Member
Austin, TX
Good points by steeleshaves. Also, from my experience the synthetic knots I have and use have a finer gauge fiber than boar hair in particular. They are also typically a denser knot than the boar brushes I have.

Both of which also seem to contribute to ease of loading and generating lather.

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Kevin
#5

iLather.com
(03-10-2016, 03:07 PM)steeleshaves Wrote: Chris,

I think this comes down to nature. Natural hair by it's composition, is made to repel and shed a certain amount of "debris", oil, etc. Think of a dogs coat or a horses coat and when you wash them. It takes a lot of water and rubbing in of shampoo or oil to get that material in the hair because the hair itself has properties designed to resist foreign material. Synthetic brushes however, are designed to soak up material with ease, think of makeup brushes here. They are specifically engineered to accept a material for application. Shaving brushes out of necessity back in the day were made of the materials they had at hand (animal hair boar badger horse etc).... but there is a reason you don't see boar and badger make up brushes in your wife's medicine cabinet because synthetics do a better job of accepting the material for which they are applying.

Makes senseSmile


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#6

iLather.com
Some people say the consistency of their lather is creamier when they use boar or badger. I haven't been able to verify this but it's entirely possible.


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BadDad likes this post
iLather.com
#7
(03-10-2016, 03:13 PM)TSEvangelist Wrote: Some people say the consistency of their lather is creamier when they use boar or badger.  I haven't been able to verify this but it's entirely possible.

This holds true, for me, as well.

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Celestino
Love, Laughter & Shaving  Heart
#8

Super Moderator
San Diego, Cal., USA
This is something I have never paid attention to but maybe I should. I have always attributed a poor lather to either the soap or my technique and never thought of boars (or badger or horsehair, for that matter) as more difficult or easier to generate a lather. As I said, I shall have to pay more attention to this.
#9

iLather.com
(03-10-2016, 08:36 PM)Freddy Wrote: This is something I have never paid attention to but maybe I should. I have always attributed a poor lather to either the soap or my technique and never thought of boars (or badger or horsehair, for that matter) as more difficult or easier to generate a lather. As I said, I shall have to pay more attention to this.

Do a light load on both and try it. I find there's a significant difference. That said, styles matter too I suppose so that could come into play as well.


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iLather.com
#10
No idea behind the WHY. I will confirm your findings though. It was like night and day when I got my first synthetic. It's one of the primary reasons I got rid of all of my boars. My soap started lasting about twice as long too.

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