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Article: How to use a shaving brush ~ Barber at home #2

シェービングブラシの使い方~おうちでバーバー#2

How to use a shaving brush ~ Barber at home #2

A shaving brush (beard brush) is a brush used to lather soap when shaving, and is also called a beard brush or lathering brush. If you have ever had a beard shaving experience at a barber's, you will immediately remember it. After slowly warming up your beard with a steamed towel, it's time for the shaving brush.

Dry beard is like copper wire. Hydration is important.

Each hair in a dry state is said to be as hard as copper. Therefore, using a razor in a dry state puts a lot of strain on the blade and skin, which can lead to what is commonly known as "razor burn." Beard hair expands by about 40% when moisturized. Hydrating before shaving is also important in terms of skin care.

Human body hair is mainly divided into three layers: the epidermis (cuticle), the cortex, and the medulla. The medulla contains countless air holes (vacuoles). When moisture penetrates these vacuoles, they expand and become softer, making them easier to shave. When you use a shaving brush, the tips of the hairs reach deep into the pores, allowing moisture to reach the inside of the hair. Hot water is ideal for quickly penetrating moisture. These effects allow for a closer shave.

First, let the new item acclimate. Soak it in hot water.

For first-time users, we will explain in advance that a brand new brush will not lather well. This is because the bristles of a new brush are packed with oils that do not go well with soap, and the strength of the oils in each makes it difficult to create a lather. For this reason, it is honestly difficult to immediately make a new shaving brush into a type of bristles that will lather well, but by immersing it in hot water, the lathering will change little by little.

Pour boiling water into a cup or a container of similar size. You need hot water, so it doesn't have to be boiling, but about 90°C. (About the same as hot water in a pot. Be careful not to get burned.)
Brass cups have high thermal conductivity, so the part you touch will get hot. A ceramic mug (※) would be better.

*Please also see our article on shaving mugs you see in barber shops.

Soak the shaving brush until it is about 80% full. If you soak the entire brush, the adhesive between the brush and the handle may come off, so try not to soak it all the way to the base.

After leaving it for about 3 minutes, rinse it with lukewarm water and use it with soap. You will notice that it lathers better. However, you should only do this method 3 times at most. Repeating it every time you use it will remove more oil from the bristles than necessary, shortening the brush's lifespan. After that, just keep using it patiently until it naturally lathers better. You will surely grow to love it and enjoy the changes in the lather and how it blends in.

Tips on how to use it: Create foam on your face.

When it comes to using a shaving brush, many people may imagine putting hot water and powdered soap in a cup and shaking it to create a lather. For hygienic reasons and ease of use, Japanese barbers often use powdered soap, but the method we recommend is to "lather up as much of your own soap as you like on your face!"

For personal use, always keep the round bar soap in the cup. This is actually the traditional style. When using, instead of thinking about "making a lather in the cup," think about "applying soap to the tips of the brush's bristles." Of course, bubbles will form in the cup, but try to be conscious of applying the soap to the tips of the bristles as much as possible. Then, "make a lather on your face." Make as much lather as you like.

Wet your face with warm water (no need to wash your face), and start moving the brush around your cheeks in a circular motion, gradually making larger circles. Eventually, bubbles will begin to form on the tip of the brush and on your skin. This action is also called "lathering."

The important thing here is the amount of moisture on the brush and skin, and the amount of soap.
If you use too much water, unpleasant drops of water will drip from your cheeks onto your neck. On the other hand, if you use too much soap, it won't lather well, and hard foam will form on your face, which is also unpleasant. The rest is a matter of practice and instinct. With repeated use, you will get the hang of it. When the fine bubbles grow like clouds on your face, you will feel a sense of satisfaction and superiority, as if you have completed a little work of art.

You can also wash your face with this product for skin care.

Some people may be concerned that it takes time, but using a brush allows you to wash your face at the same time, so it saves time and the massaging effect of brushing improves blood circulation, increases skin metabolism and keeps skin clean.

In addition, by brushing the areas behind the ears, you can also clean areas that are difficult to reach with your hands. Thorough washing is also expected to reduce odors.

When washing your face, first lather the brush with soap and move it around your T-zone in a circular motion, massaging with the tips of the bristles without crushing them.

For small areas such as the nose and around the nose, it is easier to use if you crush the tip of the brush with your index finger as shown in the picture. I actually learned this method from a member of the Beard Club. Then, massage with the brush from under the ears to around the neck. If the foam becomes weak, apply soap to the brush and add water to restore the foam.

For the back part, massage from behind the ears down and down, using the brush to massage the back of the neck.
This is also done in a circular motion. As with the area around the nose, for the finer areas, crush the brush with your thumb or index finger to wash.

The difference between badger hair and boar hair and how to choose

The most distinctive feature of Anaguma hair is its quality. Each and every hair, even the tips, contain oil, so even when it gets wet, it does not clump together like a paint brush, but repels the water and separates into individual strands. Another characteristic is that each hair has a thin tip. These hairs also scrape out dirt deep inside the pores.

Since they are constantly digging holes, their fur naturally rubs against the soil and becomes thinner at the tips, and because they live in a relatively cold climate, the tips of their fur are well-absorbed with oil. If their fur gets wet in a cold place, it can take away their body heat and be fatal, so they "flick" the water away to keep their fur dry at all times.

Shaving brushes made with this characteristic scrape out dirt from pores without clumping. They have just the right amount of stiffness and elasticity, and contain plenty of air, so they create an amazing amount of fine lather. Badger hair shaving brushes are loved all over the world.

However, the number of Anaguma fish has been decreasing in recent years, and the cost of raw materials has been rising.

So, pig hair is attracting attention. Unlike badger hair, pig hair has the characteristic that it hardens. Pigs live in subtropical rainforests and cannot live in cold regions with normal temperatures. In regions that are always warm, pigs can withstand sudden rain such as squalls, so when the hair gets wet, it sticks together in clumps to cover the skin and retain body heat. When the rain stops and the skin starts to dry, the hair naturally separates.

Although it does function as a brush, in my personal opinion, brushing is closer to the word "applying" than "scraping out." The idea is to first lather up the soap with the brush, then apply the lather to your face, more like painting it. The rest is up to your preference, but I recommend the badger hair.

To clean, rinse thoroughly and dry

Once you have your favorite brush, you'll want to keep it in good condition. Here are some tips on how to care for it so you can keep it in good condition.

Rinse to remove soap

First, rinse the brush thoroughly, either with hot or cold water. Removing soap from the brush thoroughly will help the brush last longer.

Hang to dry

Shaving sets, brush sets, etc. should always have a place to hang the brushes on a stand, etc. If not, hang the brushes with the bristles facing down to dry.
When you look at a brush by itself, it is not uncommon to see it standing with the bristles facing up. Some people ask whether it is better to store the brush upside down or upside down, but either is fine. The important thing is to store it in a place with good ventilation.

What you want to avoid in any case is leaving soapy residue on the brush without rinsing it, or leaving it soaking in hot or cold water. The higher the quality of the bristles, the more likely they are to deteriorate and break off. Some people buy rinses and treatments for animals, but this has no effect on the lifespan or shine of the brush. A good shaving brush can last a long time if you take good care of it on a daily basis. Even if it's a bit of a hassle, we hope you'll take good care of it so that you can use it for a long time.


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