The classic Military brush has been in use for years. Originally the brush was made just like a standard hair brush with a handle but to save space, a handle-less version was designed so army personnel could transport it more easily.
That form factor has been in use for years and is great.
For some time now we have been looking at how we could make a brush that has both stiff and soft parts to it. We had tested some ideas and the use case was good. We noticed that brushes could exfoliate and straighten the hair in a smoother way.
How Brushes Exfoliate
To better understand the difficulties in designing such a brush one needs to understand some fundamentals of hair and beard brushes. What is often overlooked in brush making is that the bristles need to penetrate the hair.
The bristles are purposely not trimmed after they have been tufted (inserted) into the brush so they can penetrate the hair and either exfoliate the scalp or skin or just simply reach deeper into the hair and help straighten more hair.
One can notice this in good brushes for women that have nylon “spikes” which further help penetrate the hair. This is great for thick hair or long hair.
For men who often have shorter hair the nylon spikes don’t really help. The irregular bristles however do. They exfoliate and massage the skin, both to clean it and to stimulate it and promote growth.
Our initial idea with the “dual stiffness” was to try with trimmed bristles. The idea is quite easy to execute and gives a nice clean “slant” on the bristles.
In theory this works great and the shorter bristles will be stiffer whereas the longer bristles will be softer.
The problem with this method was that to get the bristles at a neat angle meant they needed to be trimmed after having been tufted into the brush. This resulted in a perfectly cut slant and thus the bristles no longer penetrated the hair properly and the whole purpose of the boar bristle brush.
We tried several other designs such as just dual level brush with the outer side being shorter than the inside bristles. This didn’t work well as the outer bristles were not quite long enough to do their job so only the longer bristles would work.
The Solution is Angles
Working with brush designers and going through dozens of brush designs, we finally found a solution that worked. At first it seemed too simple, we had been trying with cuts, and so many various shapes and styles that it couldn’t be the solution.
After testing it we finally found that it ticked all the boxes, it kept the integrity of a proper boar bristle brush with irregular bristles and solved the issue of a brush that could be both stiff and soft.
Why Dual Stiffness
As we mentioned at the start, there are two reasons to brush one’s hair and beard. The first and most commonly understood reason is to straighten one’s hair or beard. The second and less known reason is to clean and thoroughly exfoliate and massage the scalp or skin.
The effect this has on the skin is to get rid of unwanted debris that settles and hinders the proper growth of hair. The massaging action also stimulated the sebum glands of the skin which produce the best oil for the body. A fun fact is that all beard and skin oils actually try to simulate the sebum oil - yet if the body produced enough it would be great hydration.
Exfoliating the skin also helps reduce the risk of ingrown hairs which then infect and become painful.
With a dual stiffness brush one can more thoroughly exfoliate the skin and scalp with the stiff side, and then turn the brush around to straighten the hair or beard with the softer side.
The ZilberHaar Slanted Brush
We’re extremely pleased with the result of our Military Slanted brush. Like most of our brushes, it is carved from pearwood and oiled. It isn’t lacquered to help reduce static, but also because feeling the texture and grain of the wood is something we consider with a natural noble product like wood.
From quality first cut or second cut pure boar bristles to sanded and oiled pearwood with beautiful curves. We invite you to pick up yours and let us know what you think.