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Crimping or Pressing Your Brushes

Alyssa Tapper

Posted on September 10 2020

Brushes are a large part of a nail technician’s investment into their business, and as such, taking proper care of them is important. Modifying brushes by crimping or pressing the ferrule is not recommended due to the damage it can cause to the brush and because it can ruin the shape. The ferrule is the metal band or ring between the handle of the brush and the bristles that hold the two together. The ferrule keeps the handle from splitting and holds the bristles in place and in shape. (Below is a photo of a brush that was altered after it was received)

Some nail technicians prefer to press the ferrules of their brushes upon receiving them, to give the bristles that extra rounded tip to achieve the perfect bead when doing acrylic nails. We here at Alpha Brush understand the advantage this shape can have, but we advise against pressing your brush as it can ruin the integrity of the tool.

When brushes are being made, the goal is to get the glue as close to the tip of the ferrule to avoid loose or shedding hair. The glue holds the brush hair and shape into place within the ferrule. Pressing on the top area can crack the glue and shift the placement of the hair, leaving you with an unusable brush. Below we have provided an example of this.

We often hear a couple of questions from nail technicians about pressing or crimping brushes:

“But I was able to press the last brush I purchased from you.”  Since our brushes are handmade, there will never be the same amount of hair in each brush, nor will the glue end up in the exact same spot each time. There are times when the glue does not travel all the way to the tip of the ferrule. There is no way to get the glue to perform the same way for each brush. Climate, the thickness of the root of the hair, and the amount of hair put into each ferrule will dictate where the glue will end up.

“Alpha Brushes are already pressed. How can you do it without ruining the brush?” The Kolinsky hair is hand-shaped by professional brush makers. After the desired shape is achieved, the brush maker then slips the hair into the ferrule. The ferrule is then pressed to the desired thickness and then the glue is put into the ferrule. This glue will dry overnight before it is put onto the handle and turned into a completed brush. 

Although it can be tempting or just a habit to make modifications to your brushes, the chances of damaging your tools are high when you DIY. So don’t crimp or press your brushes, or buy them already pressed to avoid causing damage and to make sure they already have the desired shape.

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