07-14-2013, 07:40 AM
#1
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I am new to the hobby and enjoy the process of a good wet shave. I have been using a DE razor for about two months now and have been bowl latherng exclusively with proraso shave cream. I will probably try face lathering today as I have seen from the forums that many people are strong supporters. My question is what are the advantages and disadvantages of each and what are your preferences?

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 07-14-2013, 08:04 AM
#2
  • u2u
  • Senior Member
  • GTA
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(07-14-2013, 07:40 AM)Charlie B Wrote: I am new to the hobby and enjoy the process of a good wet shave. I have been using a DE razor for about two months now and have been bowl latherng exclusively with proraso shave cream. I will probably try face lathering today as I have seen from the forums that many people are strong supporters. My question is what are the advantages and disadvantages of each and what are your preferences?
I do both depending on time available, product, and brush choice. If in a rush I face lather with a small or mid size brush. Proraso cream is perfect for that purpose. Always a good shave and it is very easy and consistent in use. The bowl takes more time, equipment, and cleanup. Also, most any brush can face lather, a longer handle is nicer in the bowl.
A good question for which I am sure you will get many responses.

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 07-14-2013, 08:28 AM
#3
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I'm a face latherer exclusively, so I can tell you why I FL. I can't tell you much about bowl lathering.

But first, the very little I know about the bowl. As already stated it requires extra equipment. BUT a bowl can be made out of the off hand if one is traveling and lather can be stored on the brush, same as a face latherer would do. I tried the bowl twice and didn't care for the experience.

Ok, face lathering... Less cleanup. To me the experience is simply part of a great sensuous shave. I shave to remove the whiskers (Duhhh! Right?) but now also because it's enjoyable (as compared to carts). I want the enjoyment, I don't want my enjoyment wasted on the bowl. There are practical reasons also. The first is that it washes the area to be shaved, and at the same time with no more products required, preps the beard for removal. Be sure you take 2-3 minutes for face lathering and then you've gotten the whiskers fully prepped. Another reason is that you have immediate feedback about the lather. You know how the lather is as you're building it.

I tried bowl lathering twice, I mentioned that. The first time was my very first blade shave this time around with blade shaving. The 2nd was a month or so later and I REALLY missed the FL all day. I was like a junkie w/o his fix. Never again.

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 07-14-2013, 09:31 AM
#4
  • Niro884
  • Italian Shaving Enthusiast
  • Stoney Creek, Ontario CANADA
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I think face lathering accomplishes more of what your actually trying to do. Prep the face and lift the whisker. It totally continues the face prep (using an oil helps IMHO) and face prep in my opinion is half the battle. Bowl lathering is a bit more tedious and requires as mentioned clean up. Face lathering is faster and kills two birds with one stone, face prep and lathering all in one.

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 07-14-2013, 09:58 AM
#5
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i would have to reiterate what Brian and Carmine have already stated. Face-lathering just feels so good and you have much more control of the lather while you are massaging your face and softening the whiskers. Try it out for a week or two and decide for yourself. Biggrin

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 07-14-2013, 10:46 AM
#6
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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I use both systems equally. I have specific brushes and soaps that I use for either face or bowl lathering. The major 2 advantages of bowl lathering are:
1. Use of a scuttle. A good scuttle will allow for a warm lather shave.
2. Bowel lathering is easier on your brushes. I can use a painting motion rather than a swirling motion for both working up the lather and applying the lather to my face.

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 07-14-2013, 10:52 AM
#7
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(07-14-2013, 10:46 AM)Barrylu Wrote: I use both systems equally. I have specific brushes and soaps that I use for either face or bowl lathering. The major 2 advantages of bowl lathering are:
1. Use of a scuttle. A good scuttle will allow for a warm lather shave.
2. Bowel lathering is easier on your brushes. I can use a painting motion rather than a swirling motion for both working up the lather and applying the lather to my face.

I have never before heard of the "bowel" lathering technique mentioned above, it sounds like (pardon my language) a crappy idea. Typos are everywhere.

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 07-14-2013, 11:05 AM
#8
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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(07-14-2013, 10:52 AM)slackskin Wrote:
(07-14-2013, 10:46 AM)Barrylu Wrote: I use both systems equally. I have specific brushes and soaps that I use for either face or bowl lathering. The major 2 advantages of bowl lathering are:
1. Use of a scuttle. A good scuttle will allow for a warm lather shave.
2. Bowel lathering is easier on your brushes. I can use a painting motion rather than a swirling motion for both working up the lather and applying the lather to my face.

I have never before heard of the "bowel" lathering technique mentioned above, it sounds like (pardon my language) a crappy idea. Typos are everywhere.
Don't I get partial credit for spelling the word correctly twice before in my message?

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 07-14-2013, 01:37 PM
#9
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I haven't tried bowl lathering but it seems easier to face lather and as others have said you know how the lather is as you apply it so you can add more water if needed, or of course more soap. I prefer the slightly stiffer feel of a boar brush and can highly recommend the Semogue 1305, which is not too expensive here in the UK at about £15, not sure what it would cost elsewhere. I also face lather as I'm too lazy to clean up any more than I need to afterwards! Try it and you'll know in a day or so if it's for you.

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 07-14-2013, 02:03 PM
#10
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When you are building lather on your face, you get immediate feedback. Plus it just feels so good.Cool

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 07-14-2013, 03:47 PM
#11
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Thanks for all the responses. A good brush will be my next endeavor, but I feel like I need to decide whether I am going to be face lathering or bowl lathering. Right now I a $25 Colonel Conk Pure Badger brush off of amazon. It serves the purpose, but is by no means enjoyable. To small to really get a good lather on in the bowl and way to scratchy. I want a good quality brush with a budget of $150 at this point. I have been looking at Simpson brushes and I like the the brushes from WSP who has all types. Any thoughts?

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 07-14-2013, 04:02 PM
#12
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I use both depending on the soap or cream. But face lather if im in a rush. I get better (more accurate) results bowl lathering plus I can keep the bowl and lather warm which can be very pleasing.

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 07-14-2013, 04:35 PM
#13
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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I lather in a bowl because I have sensitive skin. I have always gotten "brush burn" long before I got lather from face-lathering.

As far as clean-up is concerned, the major part of that is the brush. Rinsing out the bowl is nothing.

At least in theory, any decent brush will work for lathering in a bowl. For face-lathering you need a stiffer brush if you lather in circular motions. That said, I have definite preferences in a brush, from which I don't deviate, for bowl-lathering.

I'm not convinced that a brush lifts the whiskers. I get my best shaves when my whiskers are longer, floppier, and seemingly more easily softened by soaking.

- Murray

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 07-14-2013, 06:04 PM
#14
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I agree Murry. "Whisker lifting" is something someone from Madison Ave dreamed up to sell crap in a can. Whiskers are incredibly stiff.

Charlie B there was (is? I hope) a brush in the b/s/t built with a 22mm TGN finest fan knot that would make a decent, though just a hair toward large, face lathering brush. You can spend $150 if you wish, but for $35 it's a fantastic knot. Price is meaningless when it comes to what you'll like for face lathering. As far as FL satisfaction goes, I like my $10 boars every bit as much as my expensive badgers. Inexpensive commercially manufactured badgers simply terrible IMO. Check out that TGN knotted custom job. If it's still there.

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 07-15-2013, 07:15 PM
#15
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I face lather exclusively. Have not bowl lathered since mid 2012.
Reason being that I get a better face feel from face lathering and just love to create the lather directly on my face and not in a bowl or scuttle.

If you have sensitive skin, you might want to prep your face first with a Pre shave cream/oil and use a soft brush, Thäter or Rooney or Simpson 3-Band/2-Band or Shavemac 3-Band Silvertip or Davinchi or........Tongue

I own 50-60 brushes, all aimed at face lathering. They have different hair types, lofts, knots and knot shapes, all unique for a different face lather feel.

I preferably use softer brushes during winter, stiffer brushes during summer and also depending on the product I use. I super lather all the time now with Martin de Candre Unscented soap and one of my 50-60 creams. Works great !

I made the TOFLAC-U community on B&B and now here on the Nook - a community for face latherers Smile

Feel free to join, when you see the light Wink

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 07-16-2013, 04:08 AM
#16
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I started with bowl lathering and did that for about 3 months. 2 weeks ago I tried face lathering after I saw a tutorial on youtube and have been doing it ever since mainly because the soap I'm using, MdC, is so easy to use for face lathering. I've also tried MWF, proraso tub and Cade and was able to generate good lather using face lathering.

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 07-16-2013, 05:10 AM
#17
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I use both methods and my boars will handle the task of either.

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 07-16-2013, 06:33 PM
#18
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I'm usually a bowl latherer. I have one of those giant bistro coffee mugs. I like it compared to other bowls such, mostly because its big, gives me the freedom to lather quicker without knowing the sides and I think the slope of the inside is perfect for creating a lather. I left my mug in the car this morning and didn't feel like going the 20 feet or so to get it. so I thought i'd just rub in some cream (aos sandal wood, co bigelow and godrej is what I have when I'm in omaha and I believe all of them are described as brushless on the package). so I get out some menthol mist godrej and just start toothpasting it onto my finger and rubbing it into my beard. I think, this is going to not be smooth, and then I remembered that I had a brush in the cupboard. so I get it out, quickly dampen it i the sink and go to town. Provided a slicker lather, and wasn't as wet initially as i'm used to with a bowl lather. Provided great cushion and hydration and will be using it more frequently.

Benefits
- quicker start up
- just as good as bowl lather
- less to clean up

Drawbacks
- more cream used
- didn't get a necessarily warm lather like normal.
- cream was a bit thicker and it took a little more effort cleaning off the razor between strokes/passes and at the end.

the more cream issue is probably just the result of my inexperience with developing my process for it, but other than that it just seems like a time thing. If I'm running short on time I'm probably going to face lather. If I have the time, I'm going to bowl lather and let it sit in hot water like I normally do.

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 07-16-2013, 07:00 PM
#19
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A valian effort Hudson! There's no reason to have a thicker lather with a face lather. The solution is to add more water and build it some more. Nor should it take more cream since you're only building what you need. It can take more cream, but that's up to the shaver.

When I use a cream I don't rub it in, I just take my 1/4 - 1/2 snurdle of cream and wipe it onto my cheeks. One half of what I have on my finger on each cheek. Nothing anal, just approximately. A smaller brush helps also.

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 07-16-2013, 10:23 PM
#20
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(07-16-2013, 07:00 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: A valian effort Hudson! There's no reason to have a thicker lather with a face lather. The solution is to add more water and build it some more. Nor should it take more cream since you're only building what you need. It can take more cream, but that's up to the shaver.

When I use a cream I don't rub it in, I just take my 1/4 - 1/2 snurdle of cream and wipe it onto my cheeks. One half of what I have on my finger on each cheek. Nothing anal, just approximately. A smaller brush helps also.
I actually liked that it was thicker and honestly I didn't decided to actually lather until I had all the cream on my face. So some slight adjustments will be made.

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