02-01-2014, 05:40 PM
#1
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I have been wet shaving for a few years now and when I started, I purchased a scuttle and always lathered that way. I did not know there was another option and thought that was just how it was done.

I was gifted a shave stick and discovered face lathering way back when. After my first face lather, I sold my scuttle and have not bowl lathered in years. For me, face lathering is efficient, relaxing and once I started, felt like I was getting much better shaves.

I've been considering my options lately and I just don't think I can get myself to bowl lather ever again. I'm just curious, for those who bowl lather and face lather......why lather a bowl instead of your face? Biggrin

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 02-01-2014, 05:49 PM
#2
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(02-01-2014, 05:40 PM)fbones24 Wrote: .....why lather a bowl instead of your face? Biggrin

I face lathered for 25 years when I used a cartridge and only made one pass.
Now I use DE razors and make multiple passes. I lather in a bowl and put the bowl into the sink filled with hot water. This keeps my lather warm for the entire shave. Each application is as good as the first. I can "paint" subsequent applications onto my face. I do not have to rebuild the lather at each pass.

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 02-01-2014, 06:13 PM
#3
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I bowl lather for two reasons:

1. I like to really "dial it in" by being able to see the lather, and add some water if it needs it. I switch up soaps for variety, and each one is a bit different. And one of the pleasures for me is achieving a "perfect" lather. I'm pretty good at it by now.

2. Like Phil above, I do three passes and enjoy being able to go back to the bowl for a generous dollop.

But I do enjoy face lathering with sticks as well. But only with sticks for some reason. That seems to be such an efficient way to load -- stick on stubble, lather it up. But if I'm having to swirl the brush on a puck to load it anyway, it seems natural to me to swirl it (in a bowl) until that lather is nice and rich.

Clean up of the bowl is a piece of cake, because I basically use it to clean my brush. Swirling the brush against a surface while water runs on it is the quickest way to get it fully rinsed and cleaned out. So almost no extra time bowl rinsing.

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 02-01-2014, 08:37 PM
#4
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For me, I don't think I would ever go back to bowl lathering since finding face-lathering over 2 years ago. I have the same opinion as you as I just prefer spending more time on my face with the brush and soap to build the lather. However, I think many folks enjoy bowl-lathering as it might be gentler on the face. As long as you are enjoying the lathering, it doesn't matter how you do it, really! Biggrin

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 02-01-2014, 09:23 PM
#5
  • Hanzo
  • Senior Member
  • Oakland, California
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Why limit ourselves to just one way of doing something. I face lather sometimes and bowl lather other times.

I can use a shave stick as it was meant to be used. I can lather the stick on the brush by rubbing it on the brush. I can heat the stick by running under hot water. I can cut the stick up into quarter sized pieces in a mug and its ready for a boar workout. I can grate it and make it softer for badger luxury.

The point I am making is doing something one way all the time needlessly binds us because we think one way is the right way.

My view is don't face lather or bowl , do both and simply enjoy the differences and possibilities of each. One may be more efficient than the other but an entire life of efficiency gets boring and we get restless.

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 02-01-2014, 09:31 PM
#6
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i don't wet shave to be efficient. i wet shave to go slow.

i shave. therefor i am.

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 02-02-2014, 01:00 AM
#7
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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I only actually shave my neck, as I have worn a beard for over 40 years, and the skin on my neck is very delicate.

I've bought different brushes, hoping with each purchase that it would be the key to successful face-lathering. But I always got brush burn long before I got lather, so I lather in a bowl. I have developed over time a very intricate technique for getting just the lather I want (maximal glide with minimal cushion, to complement the shaving characteristics of mild razors).

- Murray

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 02-02-2014, 04:43 AM
#8
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I like warm lather in the winter. I can fine tune my lather in a bowl. Less wear and tear on your skin with less concentrated soap and less brush strokes. Always some left in the bowl to dip into if needed. I just make sure to prep the beard first. But I like face lathering as well.

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 02-02-2014, 05:24 AM
#9
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Thanks guys, I actually did not even consider "brush burn." I get irritation sometimes and I wonder if repeated face layering is contributing to that.

I do miss hot lather...ugh, now I'm going to be scuttle shopping.

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

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 02-02-2014, 09:35 AM
#10
  • vuk
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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I do both. I find that I like to face lather soaps and bowl lather creams.
Actually I started off with shave sticks and face lathering before trying bowl lathering. I've never used a scuttle just a cereal bowl.

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 02-02-2014, 10:45 AM
#11
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I would like to think, once I have generated the right constituency of lather. And not only keeping this warm.

I feel it also helps to maintain the lather constituency throughout the shave, so far this has never let me down.

Charles U.K

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 02-02-2014, 02:20 PM
#12
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The subject line told me I need not open, but after reading the post I realized the thread can actually include folks who did bowl lather. Hence...

When I first began wet shaving without canned goop I started bowl lathering. I did that exactly one day and then moved to face lathering. I did my research on another forum and realized that another "world" existed... that of face lathering.

FL just makes more sense to me, plus it's a more sensual experience on the face. Rather than wasting that sensuous feeling on the bowl I allow my face to experience it. Plus I get immediate feedback on the lather, and since it takes me time to enjoy the lathering, that time also translates into softening of the whiskers. I get to lather my face and enjoy the sensuous experience for about 3 minutes or more. I simply won't rush it. My excuse is that I'm doing face prep, and I am actually. If I don't have the time to experience a fantastic shave I just put it off until I can. I'd rather have a fantastic shave than a shave that's rushed. I did that rushed shave routine for more years than I care to remember and I simply won't go back to that with the gear that I now know works better and feels great. I'd rather grow a beard than revert to the other.

After that first 30 (or so) days of FL'ing I questioned my FL'ing rather than bowl lathering (so many folks simply couldn't be wrong I thought), tried the bowl one more time for the last time. I've never looked back. The bowl has never seduced me again and never will. The folks who bowl lather aren't wrong; it's just another case of YMMV. It's simply wrong for me. I have no doubt that the proponents of bowl lathering are every bit as sincere in their love of bowl lathering as I am of face lathering.

Warm lather... One doesn't need to bowl lather to have warm lather. There are brush scuttles. One can even be made quite easily with a small drink shaker base (SS) and a container that it fits into for the hot/warm water. It needn't be expensive, but it can be.

Enough lather for multiple passes? I make 2 1/3 passes and even with a WeeScot I have lather to waste with most soaps I care to keep in my den. Due to the way my rotation works and the relative inflexibility of it, the WeeScot is used with all sorts of products; creams, hard soaps, whatever. When it comes up in the rotation, it's the WeeScots turn. Larger brushes waste considerably more lather than I need for my 2 1/3 passes. My point being that one doesn't need to bowl lather to have plenty of lather for subsequent passes. It's not the thickness of the lather on the face, it's the quality of the lather on the face.

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 02-02-2014, 02:44 PM
#13
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(02-02-2014, 05:24 AM)fbones24 Wrote: Thanks guys, I actually did not even consider "brush burn." I get irritation sometimes and I wonder if repeated face layering is contributing to that.

I do miss hot lather...ugh, now I'm going to be scuttle shopping.

Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2
You don't need to invest a lot for a good bowl. My shaving bowl that I've used for the last 3 years is a thick ceramic soup bowl. 4 in diameter two and a half inches high with a thumb ring. Keeps the lather warm through 3 passes. Cost me one dollar. I soak it in the sink full with hot water while I shower. When I get out its nice and warm. Then I start my lather. I wonder if a scuttle can be too hot and break down some soaps if your not careful. Thereby limiting the soaps that can be used. Just a thought.

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 02-02-2014, 05:50 PM
#14
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It made no sence to me to swirl soap in a bowl and then swirl on my face. So I switched to face lathering. Unless your new there is no reason to bowl lather.

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 02-02-2014, 06:28 PM
#15
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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(02-02-2014, 05:50 PM)sunflake Wrote: It made no sence to me to swirl soap in a bowl and then swirl on my face. So I switched to face lathering. Unless your new there is no reason to bowl lather.

Sorry, Patrick, but I disagree; it isn't just for those who are new to wet shaving. I have tried face lathering and it just isn't for me. I get a better lather bowl lathering and I prefer painting motions when applying the lather to my face, which I believe is easier to do using a bowl.

There is nothing wrong with either method; it just comes down to preference, in my opinion. Smile

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 02-02-2014, 06:54 PM
#16
  • XP100
  • Veteran Shaver!
  • Florida, USA
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You don't have to be new here, or to wet shaving, to enjoy a good bowl lather. I'm new to B&B, yet I also have over 40 years wet shaving under my belt. I still learn something new here, often, despite years of shaving experience. I just finished a great DE shave only moments ago, I both face and bowl lathered with that shave and it varies with my moods or hair growth but most times nowadays I'll use a hot bowl lather too. The bowl sits in a sink floating on hot water, keeps both the loaded brush and /or lather nice and warm. That not only feels great but I also get better shaves that way. It also takes me back to a time when a REAL *barber (*something I wish everyone could experience at least once!) placed warm towels on the area needing a shave. When I was a little kid that was just the back of my neck, followed up ALWAYS with a brush loaded with warm, creamy lather, and then a straight razor shave. Now that was relaxing, calming, almost put me to sleep at times it felt so soothing. So there you have it, I bowl lather because it works for me, always has, feels great too, it's really that simple.

Sent from my SlimBean Shoe-Phone!

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 02-02-2014, 09:06 PM
#17
  • CMur12
  • Semogueiro de Coração
  • Moses Lake, Washington State, USA
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Patrick, I don't think you read through this thread. The determining factor isn't skill.

1. Some of us don't face-lather because we have sensitive skin and we get brush burn.

2. Some of us like the aesthetic of the lathering bowl.

3. Some face-lather soaps and bowl-lather creams.

- Murray

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 02-02-2014, 09:32 PM
#18
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For me shaving is a meditative ritual more than it is a task. And an integral part of that enjoyable ritual is gradually building beautiful lather in the bowl of one of my scuttles.

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 02-06-2014, 11:32 AM
#19
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I use both. I wouldn't want to limit myself to doing one or the other. A lot depends on time constraints and whatever brush that I decide to use at the time. Some of my brushes are better suited to face lathering. Also when I travel I strictly face lather because I try to stick with a carry on. I like using a scuttle in the winter too.

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 02-06-2014, 09:28 PM
#20
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I started the Facelather Club here and on B&B, so you knwo what I prefer Wink

I started out using a bowl and spent almost $200 on a number of scuttles, only to find out that when i bowl lathered, what I really did was kind of the same thing as what I did when I used a shaving foam, a good quality shaving foam (yes, they actually do exist).

I swirled the brush in my bowl or scuttle until I got the proper lather, then painted it on with the brush.
More often that not, I did not feel I actually used the brush for what it was created for - exfoliating and carressing my face, but I only used my expensive brushes to paint the foam I created in the bowl onto my face. To me this was not proper usage of a fantastic brush. I felt like I was putting shainvg foam on my face and it never gave me the same satisfying feel facelathering now does give me.

I also have hard water, and I had to swirl like crazy sometimes to create a proper lather in the bowl.

Once I started face lathering, the satisfaction was so much greater and I felt I really was using my brush for what it was created for - exfoliating and building the lather directly on your face.
Then a problem arised.
I started getting skin irritation from face lathering and brush burn.
I searched for solutions and found Pre shave cream and pre shave oils. I also found out that you could get badger brushes in many different hair types, and lofts, and knot shapes.
I found that a rough 2-band pointy bulb brush with low loft probably would cause skin irritation from face lathering if I only used that brush day in and day out.
So I got an excuse for building a brush collection of great variety in badger hair types, lofts, knot shapes and started to rotate them for each shave.

Soft brush one day, rougher brush for the next shave, then a soft one again.....
I also found that if i mixed a soap from Martin de Candre unscented and the applied one of my many shaving creams, I got the skin protection I needed.
Face lathering now turned into a real pleasure.
I stopped getting skin irritation, also my technique took 50-100 face latherings to perfect, and now I feel I can really enjoy the benefits from proper face lathering Cool

I also had trouble with the lather getting cold after first pass.
Solution: Dirty Bird pottery made me a custom made 1-piece brush scuttle, that I now use for all my shaves - cold water during the summer, hot water during the winter.

I sold all my bowl and scuttles and now only own the Dirty Bird custom made 1-piece brush scuttle.
I will never bowl lather again.
Face lathering for me is the proper and right way to build lather.

Your mileage may vary.
Mine doesn't Wink

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