Do you ever use boar or synthetic shaving brushes?
Although badger hair is used for most of the shaving brushes on the market today, boar and synthetic brushes have many followers as well. I have found the boar brush to be very useful with hard triple-milled soaps. The stiff and scratchier tips of the boar hair do a great job at agitating the surface of the soap and quickly loading the brush with lather. Boar brushes also have a great scrubbing effect that is desired by men that like to build their lather directly on their faces and enjoy the exfoliating feel that a firmer brush provides. Boar hair is also much less expensive than badger hair grades so these brushes are an option for those seeking a cost-effective entry into traditional wet shaving.
Synthetic brushes offer an alternative for men who prefer not to use animal products. They are available in a wide range of variations from basic nylon to specialized synthetic hairs that are tapered and colorized to mimic the look and feel of a traditional badger brush. Although the synthetic bristles do not have the natural water absorbing capabilities that animal hair provides, many of the quality ones on the market do a fine job at creating a usable lather. I have one inexpensive nylon bristle brush by Omega that has a firm feel to it and does well with both soaps and creams. I find it especially useful because I can use it on morning that I am in a hurry without having to worry as much about shaving brush care as I would for the more delicate badger hairs. It is also useful in my travel kit because I don’t have to worry about it properly drying before putting it in my wet pack, and if it gets lost I’m only out $15.