Saturday, February 18, 2012
The first of several new luxury wet shaving lines will be arriving at the ASW store next week, that being the Isle of Man's Simpsons badger hair shaving brushes. Shave experts consider Simpsons as either the best shaving brush maker in the world or one of them depending on who you talk to. Its brushes are entirely and slightly eccentrically made by hand, using techniques that have not changed since the firm was founded in 1919.
For more than a century, badger hair has been considered the best applicator for shaving cream and soap because of its water retention capacity, smooth sensation on the face, and unmatched durability. Simpsons brushes are filled with sustainably selected Chinese badger hair, which is imported under strict controls and then sorted, dressed and sterilised by a London firm whose origins date back to the 16th Century. Super badger is a long hair with a soft creamy white tip for the ultimate shaving sensation. The less expensive Best badger hair varies from long to medium length with a soft darker creamy tip.
Initially the store will be stocking three models:
Simpsons' Wee Scot is the smallest and if not the least expensive badger hair brush being made today then certainly one of the least expensive. Paired with a shaving soap stick it is a good way way to begin wet shaving without the discomfort of nylon or boar bristles. Only 2 3/4" (67 mm) tall with an ivory colored resin base, the hand tied knot is filled with Best quality badger hair.
Simpsons' The Major (pictured) is an "ingenious but simple" shaving brush designed for the intrepid Himalayan explorer, Major Victor Beeching. Filled with either best or super badger hair, The Major's shaving brush screws into an open ended tube, which protects the brush while allowing it to breathe in a wet pack. Only 3 1/4" (85 mm) high when packed for travel but 4 1/2" (115 mm) when assembled for use.
Finally, I will be stocking the Chubby, which has earned a legendary reputation in gourmet shaving circles. The squat 3 3/4" (95 mm) high Chubby CH2 is densely filled with hand tied super or best badger hair.
Men considering wet shaving for the first time cannot do better than a Simpsons brush and some D. R. Harris pre-shave lotion, after shave milk and a shaving soap stick.