Horse Hair Shaving Brush Buying Guide
Thanks for taking your time to read out information and reviews on the best horse hair shaving brushes, that are currently available on the UK marketplace.
When it comes to buying a shaving brush there are basically four choices to make when it comes to picking the type of hair that you like to have on your brush. These are:
Badger hair is still the most popular as that hair holds a lot of water and is soft on the face. Men with tougher beards will prefer to use boar hair in their brush as it is slightly rougher on the face.
Some guys opt for a synthetic or man made hair as they don't like the idea of the hairs being taken from the badger or boar. That leaves us with the horse hair option.
With the badger and boar the animal does have to be killed, however, with horse hair some hair is taken from either the mane or the tail of the horse. That used to be quite popular at one time but men seemed to prefer the water retention features of the boar or badger hair.
Horse hair then dropped out of popularity, but some men still prefer to use it. Horse hair shaving brushes are more expensive than other shaving brushes and that does put some people off using them or buying them.
Generally speaking a good shaving brush helps soften the bristles on the face, helps raise the hairs up for the blade, and most importantly protects the skin from the blade that will be used on the razor.
Creams, gels and foams are typically applied by hand. If you want to use a proper shaving soap or a cream, then you will need something to whip that soap up into a rich creamy lather.
The shaving brush is designed to do just that.
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Horse Hair Brushes vs Other Types of Shaving Brushes
As we explained in the introduction, there are a few different types of shaving brush on the market. The key difference in each type is the kind of hair that is used in the brush. Shaving brushes are pretty simple to understand in terms of construction.
They are made from a handle, which can be wooden, plastic or from a range of other materials. Into those handles the hairs are glued to form what is called the "knot."
The hairs used in shaving brushes come in a few different types which include:
- Boar hair - stiffer hair for tougher skin and bristles. Very good at holding a lot of water which helps create a very good lather.
- Badger hair - the best and the most popular. Excellent at holding a lot of water which helps create a very good lather.
- Horse hair - Returning in popularity but more expensive to buy
- Synthetic hair - for those who prefer not to have animal hair at all and yet want to use a shaving brush for wet shaving
Is Horse Hair the Best Type for a Shaving Brush?
Wet shavers seldom agree which is the best hair to use on a shaving brush. In terms of volume of sales in the UK, the badger hair brush still leads the way, and the synthetic brush is now a very popular choice.
The important thing to understand is that the hair on the brush needs to be able to:
- Retain a lot of water as this helps quickly create a lather
- Be strong enough to last for a few years
- Be good at getting into the bristles on the face and neck
It is also fair to say that any type of hair can achieve that. With horse hair you will get a better colour choice for the hair, and it does hold water pretty well. It is however the price point that will put many people off as they can be 3-4 times as expensive as a badger hair shaving brush.
Top 3 Horse Hair Shaving Brushes
Here you will find our summary reviews of the best horse hair shaving brushes. We have ranked these by the highest buyer rated first. There are not a lot of choices on the UK market so we have only included the top 3.
- Vie Long 13066 Horse Hair Shaving Brush (98%)
- Epsilon White Horse Hair Horn Imitation Shaving Brush (98%)
- Vielong Brush (Horse Hair) – 42 Gr (75%)
1. Vie Long 13066 Horse Hair Shaving Brush
- 100% pure horse hair
- The horse hair is shades of brown
- This hair is soft and flexible
- It has an acrylic handle, with a rosewood style coloured barrel
- The handle carries the Vie-Long brand name
- Comes packaged in a box complete with hanger
- Hand Made in Spain.
2. Epsilon White Horse Hair Horn Imitation Shaving Brush 26mm Knot
- This is a white horse hair shaving brush handmade in Spain
- White horse hair is a combination of firm hair and soft tips
- This brush has a hair mix of 50% mane hair; 50% tail hair
- Overall Length - 95mm
- Handle Length - 45mm
- Loft - 50mm
- Knot - 26mm
- The handle is made from imitation horn
3. Vielong Brush (Horse Hair) – 42 Gr
- Made of Horse hair
- A good quality and more affordable option
- Lathers easily and holds the lather well
- Soft on the face
Horse Hair Shaving Brush Buyer's Guide
We always like to write a full buyer's guide, which we believe is especially helpful for any new buyer. Shaving brushes on first appearance, seem to be little more than a wooden handle, and attached to that is some form of hair or bristles.
There is a great deal more to a shaving brush than first meets the eye. Some guys who use a shaving brush get very picky about which is the best, and there are often strong disagreements.
Here at the Shaving Emporium we do take a more pragmatic view and not the purist view of those who stress about the quality of their brush.
As you may have noticed most horse hair shaving brushes are made in Spain. They are then imported into the UK, and this partly explains why they are more expensive than other brushes.
What also adds to the expense is that many of this type of horse hair brush are hand made, and that will always push the price up.
Shaving brushes generally have two different types of lofts, short and long. Longer lofts are best for those who enjoy bowl lathering their shaving cream or soap.
On the other hand shorter lofts are for those that prefer face lathering or for those that use hard shaving soaps.