Ah, Simpson. Every serious wet-shaver knows Simpson brushes. Still constructed in England on the Isle of Man, Simpson is the brush to beat. And what causes even more interest than Simpsons? Why, the elusive and obscenely expensive Manchurian hair offered by Simpson.
- 24mm diameter knot at the base
- 51mm loft
- 102mm total height
- CNC Lathe turned acrylic resin handle 51mm tall
I haven’t hidden the fact that Simpson is a luxury brand and represents very poor value for your dollar. However, they offer something you cannot find elsewhere. So far no other brush maker has replicated their Manchurian hair. While this particular brush and I have had a rocky start, we have come to terms. See this thread for my multi part review and break in experience.
Long story short: the brush required some extensive break in. Much like a good quality boar brush. However, it did soften up and conform to most other people’s descriptions of this hair.
In the beginning, the brush was very scratchy. Not very pleasant on the face at all. It took the equivalent of about 20 latherings to soften the hairs. There is no evidence of curling or splitting, but whatever happened, the brush is much softer on the face now. It can surely be used every day without issue. In short, the hair is quite scrubby, but most of it is very soft on the face. It has a lot of backbone too.
Trying to describe the nuances of the hair, the knot definitely has quite a bit of backbone. The hairs are quite thick. Perhaps even wiry. This backbone gives the brush that scrub it is famous for. The backbone of this brush is very similar to black badger or the lowest grade of finest (2 band) hair. Except it is not the same hair because the tips are longer and whiter. A truly unique hair only Simpsons seems able to source so far.
The tips are exceptionally soft when using paint brush (back & forth) strokes. Just like all good quality hair. The difference becomes truly noticeable when using circular strokes to build the lather. At that point the backbone really kicks in and you can feel the scrub. There is a bunch of scritch throughout the knot. You can really feel it. It feels just like a light scrubbing face wash. 90% of the hairs feel very soft, like good quality 2 band hair. Not gel-like by any means, but soft, like good quality best badger hair.
I wouldn’t say the feel is luxurious by any stretch. However, it is truly unique and provides a good scrubbing sensation many people like. This author likes the sensation, but prefers the luxury of High Mountain White badger hair.
This brush is well packed with Manchurian grade hair. It is about medium or medium high in density. The thicker hairs mean the density of the brush isn’t going to be super packed like a Chubby in Super. However, this also means good flow through. No lather hog here. In addition, this brush is a real hard soap killer. It will load up really well with hard soaps.
The handle is extremely well made. Just like all Simpson handles. The tulip shape is also one of my favorites from that company. The knot is also of good quality. The tips are quite white, even though the middle black band is on the short side for 2 band hair.
There is, however, a noticeable glue bump in this brush. Most likely because the hairs used are short and Simpson cannot make the knot long enough to sink the glue bump all the way into the handle.
Another stunning example from Simpson. Visually, this brush hits all the high notes. Construction is top notch. It’s a joy to use. This is the perfect brush for those who like their brush to feel scrubby without the scratch of black badger.
As of the date of this writing, Simpson is the only source of the fabled and ultra rare Manchurian hair. Wherever it comes from and whatever it is, it is very rare indeed.