The Truth About Animal Hair Brushes

When it comes to makeup brushes, there are a lot of different options on the market. But if you’re looking for a brush that will give you the best possible results, you may be considering an animal hair brush.

After all, natural fibers are often considered to be superior to synthetic ones. But before you make your purchase, you need to know the truth about animal hair brushes. Namely, that they can be cruel.

How brushes are made

Animal hair brushes are made from the fur of animals like squirrels, sables, and badgers. The process of obtaining fur is often cruel, as animals are killed in order to get their fur. In some cases, the animals are caught in the wild and killed for their fur. In other cases, they’re raised on farms specifically for their fur.

Either way, it’s not a humane process.

The vast majority of animal hair brushes on the market are made with hog bristle, which comes from wild boars. The process of collecting hog bristle is known as ‘swishing.’ Swishing involves running a metal comb through the bristles of the boar to loosen them from the skin. This process can be quite painful for the animal, and often results in cuts and scrapes.

After the bristles have been collected, they are then sorted by quality and color. The best-quality bristles are used for high-end brushes, while lower-quality bristles are used for cheaper products. The sorting process is also done by hand, which can be quite tedious and time-consuming.

Finally, the bristles are set into handles and glued in place. Once the glue has dried, the brushes are then ready to be sold. Animal hair brushes can range in price from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on the quality of the bristles and the type of brush.

What’s wrong with synthetic brushes?

Some people may argue that synthetic brushes are just as cruel as animal hair brushes because they’re made from petroleum-based plastics. However, this argument doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

First of all, synthetic brushes don’t require any animals to be killed in order to be made. Also, most synthetic brushes are made from recycled plastics, which helps to reduce waste in the environment.

Lastly, petroleum-based plastics can be recycled and reused indefinitely, whereas animal fur is a finite resource that eventually needs to be replaced with new fur.

Once an animal is killed for its fur, that’s it – the fur can’t be recycled or reused.


If you’re considering purchasing an animal hair brush, you need to know the truth about how they’re made. Namely, that the process of obtaining the fur is often cruel and inhumane. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to ditch your natural fiber brush in favor of a synthetic one.

There are plenty of brands that make Cruelty-Free Animal Hair Brushes that use only sustainable and ethically sourced materials. So do your research and make sure you’re buying a brush that aligns with your values.