Poll: Best lathering method?
 10-25-2013, 11:01 PM
#1
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
User Info
Does a bowl make better lather?

Let me preface this thread with acknowledging that I predominately face lather and have often emphatically stated that lather, including building it, belongs on your face and not in a bowl.

Well, I recently purchased a stainless steel bowl from Aesop. It wasn't cheap at $25 AUD, but it was less of an investment compared to the ceramic vessels I already own and generally neglect.

The bowl is smoothly finished, with no contours to assist with building lather. The mouth is wide and the sides are not overly high. It accommodates a large brush and building lather has none of the brush clanking (that I so unreasonably dislike) associated with my other mugs, bowls and scuttles.

I undertook a test lather using the bowl and was astonished at how promising the lather was.

The lather was significantly better hydrated.

No real surprise there as the bowl is much more conducive to adding water and controlling the ratio. Occasionally, if I shave too slowly or more regularly when I am interrupted the lather has a tendency to dry out a little, requiring more frequent razor rinsing towards the end of my shave.

The lather was far better aerated.

Rather than the thicker and slicker lathers that I achieve whilst employing a face lathering method, this approach rewarded me with a much fluffier and lighter lather. It was, dare I say, "foam-like" in consistency, but still dense, protective and cushioning.

The lather was enduring.

I expected it to break down quicker than my usual lather, but it was very long lasting, ensuring a better slickness throughout the shave.

It did take longer to make, but I'm convinced the lather was of a better quality.

So, I ask myself, does a bowl make better lather?

Weigh in with your thoughts and comments please...

91 17,851
Reply
 10-25-2013, 11:27 PM
#2
  • tgutc
  • Senior Member
  • Michigan
User Info
Very interesting thread. I didn't vote because your post has me doubting my routine somewhat. I've always face lathered. I do use a scuttle but it's mainly just a brush holder between passes. I do initially put cream in the scuttle and swirl my brush in the scuttle a few time to load but I then face lather. Nobody has spelled out the benefits of bowl lathering like you did in this thread. I'm going to have to give it a try.

45 3,955
Reply
 10-26-2013, 12:01 AM
#3
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
User Info
(10-25-2013, 11:27 PM)tgutc Wrote: Very interesting thread. I didn't vote because your post has me doubting my routine somewhat...

Thank-you for sharing my interest. The very recent change in my own routine has me doubting my previous preconceptions too.

Face lathering is certainly more convenient and a faster process for me and the results are more than satisfactory, but my re-introduction to the bowl has me re-thinking my take on the subject...

91 17,851
Reply
 10-26-2013, 12:19 AM
#4
User Info
I started by bowl lathering and then switched to face lathering. *I* find that face lathering leaves a nice "slick and thick" lather while bowl lathering would end up with a thinner, more airy lather.

11 829
Reply
 10-26-2013, 02:29 AM
#5
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
User Info
Although I do both, I usually prefer to bowl lather, and so I had to vote for that option.

That said, in the beginning I sometimes got a slicker shave with face lathering, probably because creating it from scratch on the face helps to spread the lather better, but IMHO the lather itself almost always comes out better when done in the bowl, because you have much more control over what you're doing.

Nowadays, with more experience, I can create an equally slick lather on the bowl, and so I no longer see a particular advantage in face lathering, except when I'm pressed for time or using a stick (which I generally don't like to grind into a bowl).

Regards.

25 4,640
Reply
 10-26-2013, 02:40 AM
#6
User Info
I too have had the experience when I slapped on some soap directly to my face & it dries unevenly....If I've showered I leave my face wet then get the soap. More recently I use a ceramic bowl & like the lather I get. Though I think I could get a better brush. I think it might depend on razor folks use too. Did the stainless bowl clank or clink?

0 80
Reply
 10-26-2013, 03:28 AM
#7
User Info
This is funny timing... I just had these same thoughts yesterday.
I normally face lather, but Friday I lathered using a bowl. Partly for a little variety, and partly because I have this beautiful LadySea bowl and it's a shame having it go to waste.

Using the same RazoRock XX soap I've been using for the past month, the lather was definitely fuller and longer lasting than before. With the same loading, I'm normally squeezing the last bits of lather out of the brush by the end of the third pass. This time I had a full coating for every pass and tons to spare.

I'm not sure if it's more protective though. I did feel the blade a bit more on the first pass, but the last pass was nicer due to the extra lather volume. So in the end I feel each way has it's pros and cons, so I voted both.

10 2,062
Reply
 10-26-2013, 05:19 AM
#8
User Info
I voted both, although I am strictly a bowl latherer, because I got good results either way. However, I strictly bowl lather because face lathering would irritate my face (too sensitive I guess).

15 222
Reply
 10-26-2013, 05:29 AM
#9
  • u2u
  • Senior Member
  • GTA
User Info
I use all available lathering methods and find I can get similar results regardless of approach. The key is a good technique for the specific product in use. Each soap or cream has unique characteristics that have to be taken into account.

If I have spare time to invest in my shave routine I am more likely to use a bowl along with more prep time, perhaps a pre shave product, and more finishing time on the strop. The bowl adds to the shave as part of, in my case, the straight shave ritual.

I don't use a traditional shave bowl preferring a 4 inch wide, fairly shallow, smooth bottomed quaich.

[Image: cu2OrTC.jpg]

0 535
Reply
 10-26-2013, 06:37 AM
#10
User Info
(10-25-2013, 11:01 PM)ben74 Wrote: The lather was far better aerated.

Rather than the thicker and slicker lathers that I achieve whilst employing a face lathering method, this approach rewarded me with a much fluffier and lighter lather. It was, dare I say, "foam-like" in consistency, but still dense, protective and cushioning.

This is precisely why I prefer to face lather and would not get a good shave from this lather. Airy and foam-like doesn't work well for me at all. YMMV will definitely apply here and many will prefer the type of lather you are describing. It just isn't for me. EVER. Biggrin

31 7,914
Reply
 10-26-2013, 06:44 AM
#11
User Info
(10-25-2013, 11:01 PM)ben74 Wrote:
Does a bowl make better lather?

So, I ask myself, does a bowl make better lather?...

Weigh in with your thoughts and comments please...

I use both, only because the face lather seems a tad quicker for mornings on the go but I am not sure about that since I never timed each method.

But for me face lather has its down side. For sensitive skin, there is a little more wear and tear on your skin. Tend to use a stiffer brush. More rubbing, heavy density of thick undiluted lather sitting on your skin for longer period of time and then it can be unpleasantly cold. With all of that I still get great shaves with face lathering. But when I have time, bowl lather is my preferred since I have better mixing control and most of all it stays warm. Also, doesn't seem to drip off my face onto my undershirt. Dodgy I will have to measure the time factor it may not be an issue but a perception.

0 113
Reply
 10-26-2013, 08:12 AM
#12
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
It all depends on the product I'm using. Creams always get bowl/scuttle lathered. Most soaps get face lathered, but I rest my brush in the warm scuttle and if a little water needs to be added to the brush, I do it here.

173 23,546
Reply
 10-26-2013, 10:04 AM
#13
User Info
I voted for both also even though I 100% face lather for the same reasons Ben stated.

I firmly believe that great lather is in the eye of the beholder and what is desired. That means that it's technique to me.

32 6,309
Reply
 10-26-2013, 11:10 AM
#14
  • vuk
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
User Info
I started off face lathering exclusivly then I swiched to a bowl and got better lather so I haven't looked back. I still face lather with shave sticks but that's about it.

2 505
Reply
 10-26-2013, 11:29 AM
#15
User Info
Both makes great lather and makes for good shaves. Some soaps is better face lathered, some with better in a bowl. Same goes for brushes as well.

Personally I like to bowl-lather - not only is it fun to watch, but it's easier to add water as needed too.

3 3,580
Reply
 10-26-2013, 12:27 PM
#16
User Info
(10-26-2013, 06:37 AM)SharpSpine Wrote:
(10-25-2013, 11:01 PM)ben74 Wrote: The lather was far better aerated.

Rather than the thicker and slicker lathers that I achieve whilst employing a face lathering method, this approach rewarded me with a much fluffier and lighter lather. It was, dare I say, "foam-like" in consistency, but still dense, protective and cushioning.

This is precisely why I prefer to face lather and would not get a good shave from this lather. Airy and foam-like doesn't work well for me at all. YMMV will definitely apply here and many will prefer the type of lather you are describing. It just isn't for me. EVER. Biggrin

+1 I much prefer face-lathering as I can get creamier and slicker lather in less time than in a bowl and I also find face-lathering much less work and I get a great face-massage at the same time! However, this is just my opinion and if bowl lathering works better for others, then continue with it! Biggrin

75 20,883
Reply
 10-26-2013, 03:37 PM
#17
User Info
Something about the bowl that I just love. I definitely get better lathers in the bowl, but it's not just that. It's a big part of my ritual I think.

0 29
Reply
 10-26-2013, 03:43 PM
#18
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
User Info
I prefer a scuttle as I can make warm to hot later.

100 12,445
Reply
 10-26-2013, 03:45 PM
#19
User Info
As a Cold Water Shaver there is more reason to face lather. No need for extra things to make/keep lather warm.

31 7,914
Reply
 10-26-2013, 04:05 PM
#20
  • ischiapp
  • Senior Member
  • Ischia, Naples, Italy
User Info
I'm in the middle.
With creams or italian soaps I prefer face lathering.
So do I in summer, only with cold water.
With hard soaps, bowl lathering.
Specially in winter, with warm water.
Wink

0 1,096
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)