When I (Charles of QED) first tried a Vie-Long Horse Hair Shaving Brush I loved it. But I wasn't certain how customers would react to horse hair so I sent a Vie-Long to a customer whose opinion I trust, knowing this person would provide me with an honest evaluation. I did not send it to him expecting he would feel obligated to praise it; in fact I sent it to him for the opposite reason, knowing the customer is a very experienced wet shaver and very demanding. And by "experienced wet shaver", I mean he is a person who has been shaving with a brush for over 25 years and has a rotation of brushes which include almost every brand, and every hair grade, from boar bristle to silvertip badger. Here are his comments verbatim ...
First brush I’ve ever used without shampooing. Just a teeny bit of the sanitizing fragrance which went with the hot water warmup and was not even noticeable during or after lathering.
I think I nailed down a place for the Vie-Long Horse Hair Shaving Brush in the elusive definition of the Badger Hair hierarchy. It has better water retaining characteristics than any Pure and far less scratchy. As good or better than most Bests (and as the Vie-Long Horse Hair seems to be “breaking in” with use, it feels softer than Best). Note, if not wet enough when using, the Vie-Long Horse Hair shaving brush is neither pleasant feeling nor lather delivering, but then again what brush is? It holds water as well or better than most Best brushes I have encountered. Super is such a broadly defined category that I will say the Vie-Long Horse Hair is at the lower end of the Super scale for softness of touch (not unpleasant, but not the virgin’s kiss of Silvertip). It is also at the lower end of Super water retention, but the mass of hair, as imparted by the grand loft, takes on additional water. So it is a well engineered brush, very nicely presented. Definitely the product of pros, this is an enjoyable, capable tool. Definitely for the discerning individual who knows what badger is about but has decided not to shell out that much and wants a good daily experience that is superior to boar and most lower cost badgers. I like the hilt (handle), nice butterscotch color for the nostalgic set. For $39.00 the quality is appropriate. Far superior to boar, but then again though I have used the Omega boars I can’t say they are useless, but they certainly don’t have luxury of touch or grand water retention that this brush shares with Badger.