03-30-2012, 08:42 AM
#1
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
User Info
I've had a few different "a-ha" moments since starting this journey in December. The first few were about blade angle, and were largely a matter of self preservation. Biggrin

My first soap related epiphany was that I wasn't using enough. The second was that I needed to keep mixing - I wasn't fully integrating the water.

This week it's also been about water. I don't know how I missed it before, but I was watching one of Mr. Guy's vids and he mentioned something about looking for a shine on the surface of the lather as an indication that it's getting fully saturated. Holy mackerel! What a great idea!

I had been making lathers that looked alright, and that worked passably well. And I'd certainly been bitten by starting out with too much water in the brush and making a structureless soup that just didn't work. This week I've been concentrating on adding water a little at a time, even if I'd have stopped a week ago, and watching for that shininess.

I've been half-certain that my lather was going to collapse and I was going to have to start over. Quite the opposite was true. It just kept getting bigger.

I test lather between my fingers as I'm making it to see if it feels wet enough/protective enough/slick enough. I used to think I'd over-hydrated my lather when I could feel my fingerprints rub together. It must be too thin, I thought. Turns out it was actually caused by not enough water to form a big enough matrix of bubbles.

The last few days I've had the biggest, densest, slickest and most comfortable lathers I've made yet.

So, if you're still learning your craft like I am - look for that shininess, and keep working in that water. Your face will thank you.

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 03-30-2012, 08:45 AM
#2
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Very good post and great advice Eric!

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 03-30-2012, 08:48 AM
#3
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
As they use to say back in my trucking days, 10-4 good buddie.

Water is your friend.

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 03-30-2012, 08:49 AM
#4
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
User Info
Im agree with Phil : excellent post and advice here.
We should create a newbie section,for people to read tutorials or advises like this.


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 03-30-2012, 08:56 AM
#5
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
(03-30-2012, 08:49 AM)Teiste Wrote: Im agree with Phil : excellent post and advice here.
We should create a newbie section,for people to read tutorials or advises like this.

Yes, we should. That would also be a great place to house our upcoming New Member contest. Biggrin


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 03-30-2012, 09:27 AM
#6
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
User Info
Thanks, everyone. Smile

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 03-30-2012, 10:40 AM
#7
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Thanks for the info.

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 03-30-2012, 12:17 PM
#8
  • Brent
  • Active Member
  • Columbus, OH
User Info
Good advice, I'm also guilty of not adding enough water sometimes.

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 03-30-2012, 12:20 PM
#9
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(03-30-2012, 08:42 AM)Songwind Wrote: I've had a few different "a-ha" moments since starting this journey in December. The first few were about blade angle, and were largely a matter of self preservation. Biggrin

My first soap related epiphany was that I wasn't using enough. The second was that I needed to keep mixing - I wasn't fully integrating the water.

This week it's also been about water. I don't know how I missed it before, but I was watching one of Mr. Guy's vids and he mentioned something about looking for a shine on the surface of the lather as an indication that it's getting fully saturated. Holy mackerel! What a great idea!

I had been making lathers that looked alright, and that worked passably well. And I'd certainly been bitten by starting out with too much water in the brush and making a structureless soup that just didn't work. This week I've been concentrating on adding water a little at a time, even if I'd have stopped a week ago, and watching for that shininess.

I've been half-certain that my lather was going to collapse and I was going to have to start over. Quite the opposite was true. It just kept getting bigger.

I test lather between my fingers as I'm making it to see if it feels wet enough/protective enough/slick enough. I used to think I'd over-hydrated my lather when I could feel my fingerprints rub together. It must be too thin, I thought. Turns out it was actually caused by not enough water to form a big enough matrix of bubbles.

The last few days I've had the biggest, densest, slickest and most comfortable lathers I've made yet.

So, if you're still learning your craft like I am - look for that shininess, and keep working in that water. Your face will thank you.

what video are you referring to?

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 03-30-2012, 12:22 PM
#10
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I used to think it was a waste of product, but I've resorted to trying a test lather with every new soap and cream. I like to see just how much water each product can take before it collapses. There really does seem to be a pretty sharp cliff. Once I know what I'm looking for, I get much better shaves from the rest of the puck/pot. Plus it's lots of fun!

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 03-30-2012, 01:47 PM
#11
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Eric, helpful information for newbies and a good reminder for those that have been at it a bit longer. A good posting.


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 03-30-2012, 02:24 PM
#12
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(03-30-2012, 12:22 PM)TYdeFan05 Wrote: I used to think it was a waste of product, but I've resorted to trying a test lather with every new soap and cream. I like to see just how much water each product can take before it collapses. There really does seem to be a pretty sharp cliff. Once I know what I'm looking for, I get much better shaves from the rest of the puck/pot. Plus it's lots of fun!

The OP and this gent both have it right IMO! Thumbsup Good post.

You need to make the lather "satiny or silky" looking, almost irridescent, and it's not a waste of soap to fully test a product before committing skin to it.

OK, so what is more precious? A gram of soap or your skin and your blood?

Test those products!

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 03-30-2012, 04:01 PM
#13
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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(03-30-2012, 12:20 PM)andrewjs18 Wrote: what video are you referring to?

This one :


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 03-30-2012, 08:10 PM
#14
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(03-30-2012, 04:01 PM)Songwind Wrote:
(03-30-2012, 12:20 PM)andrewjs18 Wrote: what video are you referring to?

This one : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd_QykXB...ata_player

ah. I started watching that one last night, but it was like 4am and I was falling asleep so I shut it off and went to bed.

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 03-30-2012, 08:40 PM
#15
  • MrGuy
  • Member
  • Black Hills of SD
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(03-30-2012, 08:10 PM)andrewjs18 Wrote: ah. I started watching that one last night, but it was like 4am and I was falling asleep so I shut it off and went to bed.

Too boring for you?Wink

Eric, glad I could help a little! One of the best things about this hobby is that there's always something to learn.

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 03-30-2012, 08:49 PM
#16
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(03-30-2012, 08:40 PM)MrGuy Wrote:
(03-30-2012, 08:10 PM)andrewjs18 Wrote: ah. I started watching that one last night, but it was like 4am and I was falling asleep so I shut it off and went to bed.

Too boring for you?Wink

Eric, glad I could help a little! One of the best things about this hobby is that there's always something to learn.

LOL!!!

nah, I enjoy watching shaving videos very much to get different techniques to help in my own shaving adventures.


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 03-31-2012, 03:19 PM
#17
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
User Info
Truly helpful advice and very timely for me. I've been missing on a lot of my lathers, thinking that they were passable or even excellent but I pay for it in the end.
I'm thinking that if the blade is OK and unless one's technique is wacky, the lather is the true key to a decent shave without irritation, weepers or worse.

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 07-08-2012, 07:23 PM
#18
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In my early days of making lather I would mix my lather in a bowl, untill I thought it was ready.
Then after my shave I would add more water to the left over lather to see how much farther I could take it from what I thought was a good lather.
What it taught me was I should be using more water, and for some products considerably more then I thought.

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 07-08-2012, 07:38 PM
#19
  • uncledave
  • Returned to DE Shaving After 40 years
  • Kentucky, USA
User Info
Great post! Thanks for the video link. I have had problems getting shaving soap to give a dense lather. This video and some advice from nice guys in this forum have corrected that problem! Thanks again!

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