Our Rating: 3/5 (See: How Leaf Score is calculated)
- Different knot diameters make this brush a great choice for shaving small and large areas of skin
- Handle designs are ergonomic
- Black synthetic fiber knot has a great backbone and soft tips, so you can whip up a lather and raise hairs for a closer shave
|Country of Origin:||Made in BC using wood from Central America|
|Materials:||Mahogany and cedar, synthetic fiber|
Paragon Shaving make wooden handled shaving brushes with both animal hair and synthetic fibers (View Price on Amazon). Their synthetic fiber shaving brushes come in three handle designs (Paragon, Chess Piece, and Sianico) and two colors (black synthetic and Plissoft Type). There are also different diameters of knot, with a 28 mm and a 25 mm in various options, making these a great choice for shaving small and large areas of skin.
These shaving brushes are beautifully made and look fantastic. That’s likely because Paragon Shaving are serious about their love for wood, which isn’t surprising to me, considering they assemble their shaving brushes in BC, Canada (where I live, in a rainforest!). What is a bit surprising is that they go to significant efforts to source mahogany and cedar from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico. Er, guys, there’s a lot of cedar in BC! Maybe not the right cedar though, and certainly not mahogany, so I guess I’ll let this slide.
The reason they use these carefully sourced woods is because they are naturally strong and hold up well to water exposure, which is rather essential for a shaving brush handle. Rod at Paragon let me know that they dry the wood after creating the handles and then apply a coat of matte varnish. I’ve reached out to ask them for greater detail of the varnish and am awaiting a response.
The options offered by Paragon Shaving include:
- Plisson Type Synthetic 28mm Sianico Handle
- Plisson Type Synthetic 28mm Chess Handle
- Plisson Type Synthetic 28mm Paragon Handle
- Black synthetic 25 mm Sianico handle
- Black Synthetic 25mm Chess Handle
- Black Synthetic 25mm Paragon Handle
All of the handle designs are ergonomic, meaning they’re unlikely to slip out of your hand and cause a giant mess while shaving. The black synthetic fiber knot has a great backbone and soft tips, so you can whip up a lather and raise hairs for a closer shave. If you have slightly coarser hair, however, you might want to go for the Plisson Type synthetic knot, which is a little less buttery soft.
Paragon Shaving are also a family company that gives back, with an undisclosed portion of revenue donated to HOPAC, a non-profit organization based in El Salvador that supports impoverished kids and adults with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.
Paragon vs. The Body Shop, Mühle, and RazoRock
I would have loved to give Paragon Shaving a much higher Leaf Score, if not for that darned varnish on the handle. As such, they get the same score as The Body Shop’s brush (View Price on Amazon) at 2.5 because The Body Shop at least use FSC certified wood for their handle and Paragon are at least somewhat transparent about their wood sourcing.
Mutiny, EcoTools, and Wild Sage & Co., all have a slightly lower score than Paragon and The Body Shop because their brushes also likely contain toxic chemicals in their handles, and they all use knots made with synthetic plastic fibers of unknown quality and provenance. As such, there’s no telling how long these brushes will last and if it is a once in a lifetime type of purchase or destined for landfill in a few years. With Paragon, you know you’re getting a better quality synthetic fiber, especially if you buy the Plissoft knots.
For those with a thicker beard, coarser hair, and a rougher approach to shaving, the softer Plissoft and Black Fiber brushes likely won’t cut it. The softness of the bristles means the brush won’t exfoliate or lift thicker, coarser hair, which makes it harder to shave. For that, you’d probably want a Synth-Firm type of synthetic fiber brush, such as the Mimik Badger ‘Turnback’ Shaving Brush. Or, go for a Mühle synthetic brush that has a much higher quality knot.
If the wooden handle is calling to you and a softer brush tip with some decent backbone is in order, the Mühle Black Fibre Thermo Wood might be just the thing. This wood is heat treated to make it durable and able to resist water even without a chemical coating. Your better option, though, is to get any of the metal handle brushes with a quality knot, such as those from RazoRock or Mühle (View Price on Amazon).