Shaving Brush Review: Escali Badger Brush

Posted: July 17, 2016 in Shaving Articles
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Escali Badger Brush

Does it grab up the soap?
Yes, it does. Not as well as the synthetic brushes as I’ve used. Not as well as the old Rex brush that I found kicking around from yesteryear. It smashes down and doesn’t dig into the surface of the soap as well as it could. This is not unusual with a badger brush, so shouldn’t be held too much against the Escali.

How’s it lather?
Hmm. Yeah…it does okay. In my experience, it takes more soap, and doesn’t produce quite the quality of lather that my synthetics do. It’s certainly capable of doing the job, but I have to go back to the soap more often, and find it takes longer to get the lather where I want it with the Escali than it does with the synthetics. It’s a bit “floppy”, or lacking in backbone, so that it’s harder to dig into the soap and to work the lather.

How’s it feel on the face?
The Escali Badger is a little pokey on the face. It feels more aggressive as you swirl it around than the synthetics. Seeing a trend here? If you like a bit more scrubbing action from the brush, this is fine, and possibly desired. That scrubby feeling is indicative of some exfoliation happening. I trust the vast part of that job to the razor itself, however.

Does it shed hairs?
Yes. Not in a really pernicious way, but like most natural fiber brushes, it does lose some hair here and there. I don’t find it to be that bad. You’ll find one in the soap or on your face, but I don’t find it destructive to the general experience. Guess what brushes don’t shed hairs? Synthetics. I’m harping on it now, I suppose.

What’s the break-in period?
I didn’t find that the break-in was too bad. It softened, it picked up the nice soap smells, and all was well. After a few weeks, things were about as good as they were going to get. This one never had much of an animal smell, as you sometimes encounter with shaving brushes. In that, your results may vary. Typically, after several shaves with a strong-scented soap, any lingering wet animal scent will pass.

Value for money?
This is a wicked cheap brush, for a badger. It looks nice enough, has a nice handle, but I think that its value-based approach probably made it to where you weren’t getting the best badger hair out there. I’m certain that the vastly more expensive brushes will perform better. That said, it’ll certainly get you going in the wet shaving game.

Further details:
This was my first brush, and played a part in a lot of my formative shaves. Would I recommend it to someone as their first brush? I would say, probably not. I think that the synthetic brushes are so good now, and so easy to work with, that going for a budget badger brush like this is probably a mistake. Not a big mistake, but a mistake. I don’t foresee myself going to this brush a lot in the future. It just doesn’t perform as well. In the future, will I try a natural bristle brush again? Yeah, probably, but I’ll likely do so when I want to go “upmarket”.

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