There is a Turkish vendor with a website where he sells all sorts of traditional shaving goodies at very good prices. On there he sells “Wooden Handled Shaving Brushes Made of horse hair” for just $2.45. He also sells them on eBay as “Shaving brush (There is no bristle. Is for Muslims.)” for $3.75.
I have eulogised on here before about horse hair brushes, they are said to have 85% of the good attributes of badger brushes and 85% of the good attributes of boar brushes. Certainly the ones made in Spain by Vie Long have a very enthusiastic following. And they have the advantage that the hair is the result of natural grooming, so no animals are harmed in their production. So all in all I had no hesitation in buying one of these brushes from Turkey.
Wow, this brush is a bundle of fun. A whole world better than the Chinese boar brushes at this price point. It looks very similar in size to a Semogue Owners Club when sat next to one. Around a 24mm knot, 54 mm loft, 56mm handle height. The handle is varnished light wood and the horse hair is very light brown. Build quality is good but the detail finish is not there, varnish thickness etc. Still excellent for the price but nowhere near the presentation of, say, a Frank Shaving brush.
Brand new you can tell it is horse hair by the smell. I lathered it up twice with Williams and washed it with dishwashing liquid and the smell was gone. During this process it shed half a dozen or so hairs. Then it was time to shave, it loaded up very nicely indeed with MWF and held enough for three passes. It was quite soft to the face but obviously not Silver Tip soft, though I have used badger brushes that are far more scritchy. And it certainly had enough backbone to handle MWF easily.
All in all this is an excellent brush and at the price it is just silly value for money. Easily the best value shaving brush on the market just now.
As always, wonderful article, Bruce. How do you compare the two Turkish and Spanish horse hair brushes? Which do you prefer?
They are both excellent and very different to one another. They are so cheap that it is worth having both!
My local turkish supermarket has these brushes in at £3.00
will buy one tomorrow. I like the cheap is not so bad attitude towards shaving rather than the “look what i have just bought ££” attitude some people have !!
I’ve had the wooden handled version for a few months now. I like the natural appearance of the handle, but the brush is a lower quality sample, with the tips of most hairs curving in one direction, and uneven trimming of the hairs. There is also a gap between the ferrule at the base of the knot, and the opening of the handle, with potential for water seeping in to bare wood. That was sealed off with 2-part urethane mix.
I just received a plastic handled version, $0.10 more than the wooden handled. The ferrule fits the plastic handle with more precision, and the hairs are evenly trimmed, looking like the pictures on this site. In the process of cleaning before using, a couple of latherings with Williams show much better lathering capabilities, likely the kind which have people waxing on about this brush.
This turkish brush is a boar brush I guess,… Maybe the vendor prefer the word “horse” because the horse is a holy animal as is written in the Quran and the pig or boar,… well they’re not holy at all.
Anyway a boar brush usually is a good brush for soaps. Concerning the horsehair, I prefer the mix with badger hair, Vie Long offers brushes with badger&horse knots that are excellents, furthermore for facelathering. Regards Jose
I received mine recently direct from BestShave and with all due respect to Bruce the one I received was clearly not horse. It was definitely worth the $2.45 I paid for it, but even this new guy knows boar when he sees it.
It is of some concern, especially when Jewish and Muslim men need to avoid unclean animals. My advice for those with those needs is to stay away and go for a reputable name brand. For a guy looking for a starter brush and/or a travel brush that can be forgotten in a Hotel, this is fine.
To be fair the one you show above looks a lot more like horse than the one I have, I’m not trying to impugn your character. The one I received however was definitely bristle.
I will be posting this on both your “Turkish horse hair shaving brush” and your “Custom horse shaving brush” entry because honestly I never saw this page before I ordered one.
Hi Bruce, I am looking to get the Turkish Website address you mentioned, can u mail me it, at , I am an owner of a small barber shop, but want to expand into the hot towel shaves, as many clients ask for it, makle grooming is big business, ans the more services we offer the better, cheers Bruce
hi i want sell brush to yours.please send catalog and price and adress to mail .good luck …tankhahi
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