I've never felt the need to do any 'breaking in'. I've been happy with my boar brushes from day one. The only way you're going to know is try one unbroken and then either wait til it's 'broken in' to compare (if you can remember what it was like unbroken) or purchase another and try the 'breaking in' process to see if that is your preference. Will be interested to see what you think of the 48.
Yep - hand lather will do the trip. Try a run with shampoo and another with dishwashing liquid, then one with a highly perfumed shaving soap to deodorise. The 48s come with some of the natural oils still on the bristle, hence the "funk" smell when you first get it wet. I've found using a variety of surfactants cut through these oils quickly, which are otherwise quite "lathercidal" and eat your lather early on.
Or you could just shave with it for a week or two, after which it will stop smelling so much and hold lather as long as you like!
Yes have used that one but takes a while or more effort that these,
Use the brush but don't rinse it. Leave the lather in it and let it dry out. Do that for a couple or few times you use it and tips start breaking up quicker.
Another method, very hot water on the tips for a few minutes only and rub it on a towel (not your face) while holding the bristles. This breaks the tips up.
Cold water method softens the fibres and rubbing on the towel breaks the internal connecting fibres while not damaging the hair shaft too much, like hot water does. Hence tips only in the hot water. If you want to shag pile the brush quicker then do the hot water method to the whole brush but it may over stress the fibres and knot and you'll lose hair and eventually the brush will fall apart. Hence the cold method.
Btw wooden handle brushes do not like being soaked especially in hot water. They'll crack in time and just break one day.
Hey. I got PIF a synthetic brush which is going to be my first synthetic. It has a glass see through handle and a large knot. I'm very excited to try it out, I'm tracking it anxiously. I got this PIF from another shaving forum that I'm a part of.
You should have asked me, anyway Ill hit you up via the usual means (I disabled PM's here) and fill you in on making an incense accord or Ill send you some to dose your soap, its really simple. I need to have a word anyway about something else and send you a couple of vials.