04-25-2012, 11:20 PM
#1
  • leo
  • Member
  • Two Rivers WI
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Now I'm still learning how to make a good lather but how much difference does the brush make. I just have a cheap boar brush and I'm having a hard time getting a good lather. I know my inexperience is a part of it but I'm wondering how much difference does the brush make?

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 04-26-2012, 12:25 AM
#2
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The brush or the knot anyhow does make a difference to what lather you'll get.
Keeping it very simple, a taller loft means more spread, means looser hair at the tips, means more aeration, means more lather, more quickly.
Shorter lofts need to work harder and densely packed knots likewise, as do thicker hair knots like the Two bands but good lather will still be created if the soap is right.

Soap choice also is a key factorSmile
regards, beejay

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 04-26-2012, 03:44 AM
#3
  • TexBilly
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Austin, TX
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beejay is spot on. You can get great lather with either type of knot but technique is a big factor. Taller, airy lofts can produce quickly but too much air may lead to thin lather. Conversely, short or dense lofts can produce lather that is too dense to be practical.

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 04-26-2012, 05:11 AM
#4
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Also the kind of hair or fibres affects the lather too.Im experiencing this with the new Muhle vegan fibres (both silvertip and black fibre) and how they could make the difference with the Palmolive shaving stick : New Palmolive shaving stick vs old Palmolive shaving stick
For some reason,when I use the silvertip fibres,I got a much slicker,denser lather with less product than when I have used it with both badger or boar hair.

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 04-26-2012, 05:27 AM
#5
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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How much soap/cream you are loading on the brush and the amount of water you have also play an important part.

What soap/cream are you using? Are you building your lather in a bowl/mug/scuttle, or are you face lathering?

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 04-26-2012, 08:36 AM
#6
  • leo
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  • Two Rivers WI
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(04-26-2012, 05:27 AM)Johnny Wrote: How much soap/cream you are loading on the brush and the amount of water you have also play an important part.

What soap/cream are you using? Are you building your lather in a bowl/mug/scuttle, or are you face lathering?
I have been using VDH and I use a bowl. I plan on getting a better brush.

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 04-26-2012, 08:43 AM
#7
  • Johnny
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  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I've never used VDH and I don't know what brush you have, but try this.

In the morning, soak your brush about 1/2 way up the bristles with warm/hot water for about 15-20 minutes. Pick the brush up and let it drip naturally for just a few seconds (do not shake), load the brush making swirling motions back and forth for about 30-45 seconds, then start to make your lather in your bowl. Add very small amounts of warm water as needed until you have the lather you want.

Happy shaving.

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 04-26-2012, 09:41 AM
#8
  • leo
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  • Two Rivers WI
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(04-26-2012, 08:43 AM)Johnny Wrote: I've never used VDH and I don't know what brush you have, but try this.

In the morning, soak your brush about 1/2 way up the bristles with warm/hot water for about 15-20 minutes. Pick the brush up and let it drip naturally for just a few seconds (do not shake), load the brush making swirling motions back and forth for about 30-45 seconds, then start to make your lather in your bowl. Add very small amounts of warm water as needed until you have the lather you want.

Happy shaving.
I will give that a try.
I was soaking it in more water and shaking it off after.

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 04-26-2012, 07:20 PM
#9
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Leo, Is your boar broken in? One that isn't can make for more difficult lather making.

VDH is pretty easy to lather and is a pretty good soap even though it's inexpensive. Load your brush plenty, and then load it some more, there are few lather/soap problems that can't be cured by using more product. More product will even cure hard water (that's coming next).

How hard is your water? That has an effect also. If it's extremely hard try using distilled water for lathering only. A gallon will last a very long time this way and will be cost effective.

Those are just some more things to try.

You can also practice lather making without using it for a shave. You may think it's a waste of soap, but what's more wasteful, learning how to make lather, or suffering through poor lather? Putting time, your skin, blades and soap into poor lather to my way of thinking is far more expensive. Making practice lather will also speed up your brush break in if that's needed. The more wet/dry cycles you can put the brush through the faster the tips split, and you want that to happen. Make the lather in your hand and you can even take it too far to see what happens when you add too much water, or too much too quickly.

I go very slow with water additions because too much too soon makes it difficult to make lather. Try different things to see what works for you.

I have very soft water and that helps a lot, but I find most products that folks discuss on these forums lather pretty easily no matter what brush I use, from a $.50 chinese boar to my Rooney 3/1 SS. BTW, no matter what the water is like out of your faucet, you can have soft water too if you try the distilled water trick.

Good luck! Let us know how you make out.

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 04-26-2012, 08:33 PM
#10
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(04-26-2012, 12:25 AM)beejay Wrote: The brush or the knot anyhow does make a difference to what lather you'll get.
Keeping it very simple, a taller loft means more spread, means looser hair at the tips, means more aeration, means more lather, more quickly.
Shorter lofts need to work harder and densely packed knots likewise, as do thicker hair knots like the Two bands but good lather will still be created if the soap is right.

Soap choice also is a key factorSmile
regards, beejay


+1 Good advice!

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 04-26-2012, 08:50 PM
#11
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The brush makes the world of a difference in how the lather and how good your shave will be. You have to break in boar brushes in order for them to be good. With badger brushes, you don't have to as much, well maybe the really dense ones, but the soft ones you also have to break in as well to get them to stiffen up a little.

A good badger will make very good and creamy lather and it will take a lot less time to lather up your cream than say a boar will. But you don't have to worry about ruing the hairs on a boar as you do with a badger if you dip in it very hot water. lol

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 04-26-2012, 09:53 PM
#12
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Most water in Wisconsin is considered soft water. So I would not think water is Leo's problem.

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 04-26-2012, 11:51 PM
#13
  • leo
  • Member
  • Two Rivers WI
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Thanks everybody.
Lots of things to try out.
My brush is new so it probably is not broken in yet.
I did try whipping up some lather just to give it a shot and I did a little better but still need some improvement.

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