A decent volume of foam could be whipped up with just the help of a professionally made shaving brush. However the making of foam isn’t the sole function of the brush. The massage of the face is just as crucial. By acting upon the skin mechanically, the hair of the brush does an increased softening of the keratin. In this way the skin is getting ready to get in contact with the foreign material, the metal, which is, by the way, very sharp.
The shaving brush is made up of the handle and the furry wisp, the shape of which permits water drops to remain on it. The handles used in cheap brushes are typically made of plastic or wood. The handles of more high class brushes may be made of metal, buffalo horn or bone, precious types of wood, different polymers, rubber, or ivory.
For the production of certain cheap brushes, some special kinds of pig bristle is used. It is chemically cleansed, bleached and dyed at times, for a better appearance. In addition, the wisps of cheap shaving brushes may be stuffed with synthetic fiber that look like pig bristle both in appearance and mechanical traits. These kinds of brushes are quite hard and are not suitable for all skin types, since the skin on the face, in general, is quite delicate.
For sensitive skin a brush made of badger fur would be more suitable. Badger fur is softer and more elastic as compared to pig bristle or synthetic fiber. A wet badger fur is even more flexible, and if you were to use a quality soap along with it, it would permit you to make a splendid foam.
It ought to be mentioned that the rigidity of the badger’s hair is not the same on any part of the it’s body.
With good care, you could be sure of having a badger brush with a minimum 10-year lifespan, and an acrylate or wooden handle could last virtually without any term. For this reason, certain shaving brush makers provide their customers with the service of stuffing their old and lovely brush with new hair.
Making the Foam
The foam is whipped up in a specialized cup (shaving bowl) with a shaving brush. First of all, the brush ought to be dipped into a glass of boiling water for sterilizing, softening and absorbing water. It is not advisable to leave the brush inside the hot water for too long, since the glue that keeps the hair of the brush together could become deteriorated and subsequently the brush may begin losing hair.
Then the cup ought to be rinsed with boiling water, and a particular amount of shaving cream is squeezed, or a piece of soap is put into it. Taking the brush out of the water, you should shake off the superfluous water with care or do so by pressing the brush hair against the cup’s edge. Then you’ll want to put it into the cup with cream or soap. It is best to put the cup upon the glass with boiling water, in order for the cup’s bottom to be able to receive additional heat and so that the foam wouldn’t cool down too fast.
The foam ought to be hot, but bearable enough to put on the skin. The high temperature permits you to steam out your skin and hair, which eases cutting the bristle without causing irritation. Besides, with good soaping of the face, the razor easily strokes over the skin and does not become dull so fast. This permits the hair to be cut closer to the skin. So it is best to take measures to ensure that the temperature of the soap solution remains high enough during the whole shaving process.
The foam is formed by rapid rotation of the brush in a clockwise manner. At the same time, it is pressed towards the bottom of the cup (the soap) with frequent application of pressure. This kind of motion should be repeated until there is enough foam produced. The face is then foamed with the same brush.
The soap solution ought to be loose, plentiful and of medium thickness. Too thick or too liquid solutions are not ideal for soaping. Too liquid solutions run off the face and too thick ones obstruct the gliding of the safety razor over the skin. The latter causes in the necessity to apply additional efforts, which could lead to skin irritation and cuts.
Foaming the Facial Hair
It is best to foam the face in a clockwise motion, beginning with the middle of the chin, and then continuing on the right cheek. After soaping it, we draw the brush back to the middle of the face and end on the left cheek. Should certain areas not be intended for shaving, which happens to be foamed, we wipe them out with the end of a cloth.
The moustache (if we are going to shave it too) we foam with the tip of the brush. If certain areas got dry during the shave, we foam them again. The hair on the chin can be of different thickness, and if your bristle is quite stiff it is advisable to steam it off with hot compress without washing off the soap.
After that, foam the chin once again. This makes shaving easier. It must not be forgotten that alkaline solutions affect skin adversely giving it red spots of irritation. That is why it is best not to leave the shaving foam on the skin for too long. If you have skin prone to easy irritation, then utilize a shaving cream, which consists of special softening and soothing ingredients.