You all know that I have had my run in with more than my share of grooming products so I can be a pretty discerning judge when it comes to all things shaving. First, let me give you the positives. At around $13 for the set, the Van Der Hagen system is a pretty good value considering you get the shave soap, a ceramic holder and boar brush with plastic stand (the stand can also hold your favorite razor). So, the value is definitely there. And I can’t say enough, how important it is for guys to make the switch from cheap $2 shave foams to at least a good utility type soap. While the soap does come with some unfortunate ingredients, it also packs shea, cocoa and mango butters which help deliver a bit of added moisture.
Now, let’s move on to the not so great parts. I love a good boar brush but I have to say this one just doesn’t hold up like some of the others I’ve used. At probably my second or third trial with the product, I began to lose a lot of bristles in every shave. Maybe even as much as 10 bristles on some occasions. Unfortunately, I just don’t think the brush is built to last. With regards to the soap itself, I felt like I could have gotten a lot more moisture to help limit irritation. The moisture level isn’t bad, per se, I just wanted more smoothness.
Overall, I think the Van Der Hagen set could be a good fit for a lot of guys out there. I think it’s a particularly good fit if you’re looking to gift yourself or a guy in your life with a step up from cheap, inexpensive shaving products. However, shaving vets will most certainly expect more, so my biggest feedback for this is that you should really know your audience. It’s not a bad value for what you get, but don’t expect to fall in love either.