How long do you soak your brush before your shave?
Badger hair is soft and absorbs water quickly, but I always soak a badger brush in warm water for at least one full minute. Boar hair is a bit more coarse and brittle in texture, so I always allow a boar brush to soak for two to three minutes to fully soften. Simply fill your sink (or bowl/scuttle) with a little bit of warm water and insert your brush for a couple minutes while you do other tasks.
It is critical to thoroughly soak your shaving brush prior to your shave for two reasons: (1) Avoid damage to your brush, and (2) create a richer more protective lather. Most shaving brushes are made of natural animal hair that is susceptible to damage if the hair is not properly softened prior to being used for lathering. During the lathering process, the hair is placed under stress that can easily cause damage to the tips or even breakage if the hair is dry and brittle. An improperly soaked brush will also be more difficult to use when lathering your favorite creams or soaps because the hair absorbs the water needed to infuse with the cream or soap to build into a lather suitable for shaving. If the brush does not have enough water, your lather will be thin and not as lubricating or moisturizing as it should be, resulting in a poor shave and a greater risk of nicks and cuts.