Proraso Shave Brush

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Proraso Professionale Pennelo da Barba Boar Bristle Shaving Cream Brush
Aiuta Chi Si Rade!

Let’s be clear from the start, just so we’re on the same page about this. Modern shaving technology, from six-bladed razors to shaving gels, make it super easy for Joe Dufus to shave himself safely close enough for any occasion without requiring any skill at all, and that is some kind of progress. How dare anybody say that’s bad!

On the other hand, there is a modern underground of shaving snobs who romanticize the wild west days of straight razors, hot foam, and the luxury of having Boris do it all for them, getting even closer than Gillete can do now. The manly art of having another man, or maybe even a lovely woman, do the shaving for you. Even more exclusive than that is the club of modern straight-razor advocates, who have their own forums online and argue and chat incessantly about bristle quality (they don’t even consider boar) and nuances of razor design and shaving technique that exist under everybody’s radar but their own.

This brush will appeal to none of those types. The handle is Haws-handle shiny plastic, not ivory before we found out killing elephants was bad. The bristle is boar, not silvertip badget or even normal badger. It’s stiff at first, not mink-like. Rather than a beautiful, blosson-like flare, it’s shaped more like a new broom, and requires about twenty shaves-worth of working in before developing its final and more acceptable shape, at which point it looks flared and haggard.

Now the good stuff
It’s cheap, it’s made in Italy, and it works. You can dip your toe into the weird but slightly manly world of brush-and-lather shaving without becoming a spend thrifty dandy. The low price keeps you from becoming a brush-snob. You get the same experience as your father or grandfather had, and that cannot every be a bad thing. A case can be made that simple tasks performed with ancient tools that require a modicum of skill make life slightly more interesting than slamming them home with the latest and greatest. If you’ve never lathered up, why not give it a try. You don’t want to die never having had a face full of foamy cream that you made yourself.

If you’re still not won over but are a cheapskate, there’s this: A dollop of Musco Real shaving cream on the end of this brush creates enough lather for four shaves. It makes the Musco Real last five times longer than it will if you just put it on your fingers and rub it on. It’s the difference between whipping cream and whipped. Don’t get your foam out of a can, man. Greenhouse gases just to shave? Sacrebleu!

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