The boar shaving brush seems to be a bit ignored in the wet shaving community, having to take a back seat to the much talked about badger brush (here is a guide to understanding the badger brush). They tend to be less costly than badger hair brushes, partially due to availability of the boar hair, and partially due to demand, which perhaps gives the impression that it is the inferior brush. But one can still achieve a great lather with boar hair, and some may even prefer the feel and characteristics of the the boar hair over a badger hair brush depending on what type of soap or cream you are trying to lather.
Unlike badger brushes, boar hair brushes don’t have grades differentiating what part of the animal the hair came from. What boar hair brushes do have is different presentations, they generally come in:
Natural un-dyed hair
Sketched (Dyed stripe to look like a badger)
Boar hair tends to be a firmer than a badger hair making it a great choice for lathering hard soaps. Over time, and use, the tips of the hair tend to soften somewhat, but still remains a much firmer brush compared to badger hair.
Although the badger hair brush holds more water, the boar hair holds more than enough to create a wonderful lather. Making the boar hair a great choice for those starting out because often the problem with lather creation is too much water. The boar brush helps eliminate that issue.
Lathering often requires a bit more time than with a badger brush, which once again for someone starting out with a shaving brush makes the Boar hair brush a great choice. The extra time needed allows you to become accustomed to the process allowing you to make adjustments while lathering.
The Boar hair brush also provides a nice face lather. The bristles work the beard, allowing the shave soap to really soften the hair. The slightly firmer bristles also provides a nice bit of exfoliation as well.
Deciding on a Boar Brush
There are a few things to consider when purchasing a boar brush. The most obvious is the look of the brush, from the handle to the style of hair. Next would be cost. Spending too much would be difficult because they don’t tend to get too expensive – unless you are purchasing a custom handle that is. But assuming you are purchasing a store bought brush the only mistake you can make with price is spending too little. Cheaper brushes usually mean cheaper production and as a result brushes that shed. You may want to also consider the size of the knot – larger knot holds more water.