I've been using traditional shaving methods with a brush and shaving soap for a couple of years. I had a cheap boar hair brush (Van der Hagen brand) that was starting to really lose lots of bristles. I decided to upgrade to a real badger brush. Badger hair was purported to have better softness and water retention capabilities as compared to boar hair. I did a considerable amount of research and reading on websites such as Badger and Blade. Coming to Amazon I did a search for pure badger hair brushes. There are a variety available. I chose the Parker brush with ebony handle because of the price and reviews of other Parker brushes. Even though there was no review for this particular brush, I was confident that the build-quality would be similar to Parker's other brushes as reviewed on Amazon. I was not disappointed. The quality of the badger hair is excellent, very soft. The quantity of hair is excellent as well. I found the brush to hold lots of water, and was able to form excellent lathers using a very basic (some say substandard) soap, Williams brand. I've had the brush for two or three months now and it's lost perhaps 5 individual hairs. On my old brush, that many were lost each day. The handle has an excellent finish. I don't know if it's painted or if it's actually ebony with a clear finish, but it's beautiful. Seems very durable, but then I've not be too rough with it. The brush also came with a clear acrylic stand to suspend the brush, bristles down, to dry. The stand isn't fancy, but serves its purpose just fine. It was a bonus really, since lots of brushes don't come with stands. One ought to let his brush hang bristles down for proper drying, in my opinion. Overall, this is an excellent brush, and a great value, considering the much higher prices one can find for badger brushes. I recommend this brush without reservation. I honestly have nothing negative to say about it.