05-02-2014, 06:25 AM
#1
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I have recently jumped into the synthetic ring again purchasing a Muhle Black Fiber and a TGN Synthetic from Vladimir over in the Artisan corner.

I face lather exclusively and for the life of me, I can't figure out how to use a synthetic brush. I try, but I fail.

I don't soak my brush. Before loading, I dip the synth in water, shake it out so it is almost dry and start loading off the soap. Loading is just plain weird for me. The brush doesn't splay and sort of bends back and forth? Common sense tells me that all the soap buildup is going on the outside of the bristles since the brush doesn't splay.....right? How do you guys load synthetics?

On to lathering. I put the brush to my face and the same thing. In order to get the brush to splay, I have to push extremely hard. This is even with the Muhle Black Fiber which is supposedly "floppy." I try to do circular motions but again, brush bends instead of splaying for the most part. The only way I could comfortably lather is with painting strokes which I don't like.

So, just looking for any advice and suggestions. I clearly want to enjoy my synthetic brushes. I'm set on conquering them. I just need some help! Huh

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 05-02-2014, 06:42 AM
#2
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In my limited experience with the new synthetic brushes, I also never got a handle on using the two knots you mention for regular face lathering. They have too much spring and they have that point at which the backbone becomes unyielding that I don't care for.

The Plisson Synthetic is another story - it works really well for face lathering. It does not fling lather all over the place and it feels right on the face too. It is the only synthetic brush I've used that even comes close to being acceptable in my den.

I recently took it on a two week trip, and for the first time I didn't miss my badger brushes.

Will it work for you? I can't answer that. I do think that it takes care of the issues you mention so it may just fit you as well.

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 05-02-2014, 06:59 AM
#3
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I agree with Yohann, the Plisson synthetic splays easily with soft face feel and makes incredible lather. I have yet to find a synthetic as easy to face lather with Shy

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 05-02-2014, 07:07 AM
#4
  • W.S.O.
  • Banned
  • Philadelphia, Pa
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I too have had difficulty face lathering with synthetics. It seems to me the biggest issue I have with the majority of the synthetics I have tried with are the 2 things I apparently need to successfully face lather. That is water and lather retention within the bristles of the brush. The synthetic brush I have had the most success face lathering with is the Kent Infinity Silvertex. I just wish it had a larger knot.
The Plisson was not for me personally as I found it did not have the backbone I prefer.
I not so long ago picked up an Omega Synthetic that I have yet to try face lathering with but I have been meaning to do so.
Wish I had more answers than simply acknowledging the same issues have been experienced by me. If you figure it out please share it with us.

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 05-02-2014, 07:38 AM
#5
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(05-02-2014, 06:59 AM)Jmartz Wrote: I agree with Yohann, the Plisson synthetic splays easily with soft face feel and makes incredible lather. I have yet to find a synthetic as easy to face lather with Shy

+2

However, with most synthetic brushes, as long as they have the proper loft, they should splay once you find the proper amount of pressure to apply. The Plisson just works the best for this in my opinion. Best of luck! Smile

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 05-02-2014, 08:03 AM
#6
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
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(05-02-2014, 07:38 AM)celestino Wrote:
(05-02-2014, 06:59 AM)Jmartz Wrote: I agree with Yohann, the Plisson synthetic splays easily with soft face feel and makes incredible lather. I have yet to find a synthetic as easy to face lather with Shy

+2

However, with most synthetic brushes, as long as they have the proper loft, they should splay once you find the proper amount of pressure to apply. The Plisson just works the best for this in my opinion. Best of luck! Smile

+2 also! Celestino is right. I am not a face latherer at all and yet when I borrowed Celestino's Plisson synth I was able to face lather successfully with it! I liked it so much I just had to order one for myself even though I already own 2 Muhle V2 synth brushes that are also excellent brushes.

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 05-02-2014, 08:13 AM
#7
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I face lather successfully with the two synthetics I have. One is a Chubby 2, and the other is a Rudy Vey custom with a 25mm Muhle knot set at a 55mm loft. I've always used a painting back and forth motion, instead of a circular one, when face lathering. That type of motion certainly works better with the Chubby 2, and may well also work better with other synthetics. Play around with your lathering technique and you'll come up with what works for your brushes.

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 05-02-2014, 08:43 AM
#8
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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Dunno, the Muhle travel synthetic, Muhle XL synthetic and Simpsons Chubby 2 synthetic all work well for me face lathering. Just dip the tips in water, quick shake and load soap. Another quick dip of the tips and load some more soap to get it lathering a bit. Go to wet face and build lather adding water a bit at a time by dipping till you get the lather you want. You have to play a little with your technique till it works but it does work.

I build lather on my face with circular strokes and spread it with painting strokes. Again you have to play a little with the pressure you need to get a brush to splay a bit. Odd man out here as my favorite synthetic to face lather with is the Simpson, short loft and all. Generates lots of lather using circular strokes.

Bob

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 05-02-2014, 09:09 AM
#9
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Synthetics like you to be a bit aggressive with them. If you find one to be a bit stiff then do some aggressive latherings on your palm. Don't be afraid to use some pressure, these aren't natural fibres and they won't break. The use of pressure may help to soften the knot up a bit and allow it to splay easier for you. I have the V2 Muhle Black Fibre and I don't find it to be difficult to splay at all. Yes, I prefer my Plisson synthetic, but the Black Fibre also works really well. I have sensitive skin and I'm prone to brush burn, but I've never gotten any irritation from using a synthetic brush and I exclusively face lather using plenty of circular motions.

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 05-02-2014, 09:47 AM
#10
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Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. As for the Plisson, I have one, but never use it. I have no problem getting it to splay. The Plisson presents the opposite problem in that it has absolutely no backbone. I thought I had a defective one, but my wife bought me another one (which is the one I now have) and it is the same. When I look down from the top, it looks like the knot is 1/2 stuffed. not sure if that makes sense.

I will go with Brian's suggestion to not be so delicate with my new synthetics. I'm going to mash them up next time and see how they do. Painting strokes for face lathering is out of the question for me.

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 05-02-2014, 10:48 AM
#11
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My travels this week, I brought along my Mühle Black Fibre brush and I have to say I love it! Very easy to face lather with and has wonderful splay. I do have to use more pressure than natural bristles.

I wet the brush then ring it out. Next swirl on the puck for about 60 seconds. I've had more than enough soap for three passes. Nice lather on my face and super soft too. It's a keeper!

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 05-02-2014, 11:32 AM
#12
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You don't need to mash the brush, just don't baby it.

Your post got me to thinking what I do with my synthetics, and I'll be darned if I don't use more pressure with them. I just never realized it on a conscious level. Of course the larger the knot the more pressure is required, and the more the backbone is felt to be like a "wall".

I use circular strokes for face lathering and paint brush strokes for spreading the lather.

The only other thing I can suggest is to not dip the entire knot. Just the tips is enough. I go back a number of times for water.

Just be sure not to use the same force with your natural fiber brushes as you do with the synthetics.

Let us know how you make out.

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 05-03-2014, 07:52 AM
#13
  • v4257
  • Always chasing the perfect shave
  • Boston, USA
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I face lather with an HIS synthetic 50% of the time (the other 50% goes to my Omega 48). The only difference I have remain cognizant of is the difference in how synths hold, or rather don't hold, water.

With a synth I start with a drier brush & modify my technique to:
- add more water as I go, and
- in much smaller increments.

With a badger/boar I can get away with either:
- adding very little water because the brush retains some as a result of the soak, and/or
- adding it in bigger doses when I need to because the brush will hold the water Vs a synth that will shed it immdtly

Just my 2c.

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 05-03-2014, 09:11 AM
#14
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For me Synthetics are not for bowl lathering as for face.
My Muhle black fibre isn't something special and some cheap synthetics previous generations won't do the job good.
My Omega carbon look synthetic is just "adequate" for lathering,i have it only for my saturday shaving.
My FS pur-tech is the best and i am waiting an WD to make a comparison.

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 05-03-2014, 12:04 PM
#15
  • Attila
  • The Hungarian Blade
  • Vancouver, Canada
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(05-03-2014, 09:11 AM)Doryferon Wrote: For me Synthetics are not for bowl lathering as for face.

My Muhle V2 25mm is a superb bowl lathering brush! Smile

Sent from my phone using Tapatalk.

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 05-03-2014, 12:31 PM
#16
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(05-02-2014, 06:25 AM)fbones24 Wrote: I have recently jumped into the synthetic ring again purchasing a Muhle Black Fiber and a TGN Synthetic from Vladimir over in the Artisan corner.

I face lather exclusively and for the life of me, I can't figure out how to use a synthetic brush. I try, but I fail.

I don't soak my brush. Before loading, I dip the synth in water, shake it out so it is almost dry and start loading off the soap. Loading is just plain weird for me. The brush doesn't splay and sort of bends back and forth? Common sense tells me that all the soap buildup is going on the outside of the bristles since the brush doesn't splay.....right? How do you guys load synthetics?

On to lathering. I put the brush to my face and the same thing. In order to get the brush to splay, I have to push extremely hard. This is even with the Muhle Black Fiber which is supposedly "floppy." I try to do circular motions but again, brush bends instead of splaying for the most part. The only way I could comfortably lather is with painting strokes which I don't like.

So, just looking for any advice and suggestions. I clearly want to enjoy my synthetic brushes. I'm set on conquering them. I just need some help! Huh

I was in your shoes about a week ago, then someone recommended not going in circular motion but rather scrubbing action (back and forth) and if worked. My muhle seemed to create rich lather this way and while doing back and forth I out little pressure (doesn't splay in the sense) but opens up a bit to serve the purpose.

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 05-04-2014, 08:41 AM
#17
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(05-03-2014, 12:04 PM)Attila Wrote:
(05-03-2014, 09:11 AM)Doryferon Wrote: For me Synthetics are not for bowl lathering as for face.

My Muhle V2 25mm is a superb bowl lathering brush! Smile

My Omega and FS

[Image: 18180972xv.jpg]

[Image: x11.JPG]

Yours is 25mm,unfortunately i bought my Muhle in 21mm
Not happy in bowl lathering.

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 05-04-2014, 08:50 AM
#18
  • Johnny
  • MODERATOR EMERITUS
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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I never had much luck face lathering the HJM Synthetic. But I have all four sizes of the Muhle STF V2 Synthetic 19mm, 21mm, 23mm, and 25mm and all of them are excellent at face lathering. I can get all of them to splay with little to no effort at all. And once I load the brush, I do not have to go back to add soap. I always have more than enough soap inside the brush to do a three pass shave.

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 05-04-2014, 08:59 AM
#19
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Wow, the black fibre for me is much easier to face lather with than the STF options. It never makes sense to me how different our experiences can be in this hobby.

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 05-04-2014, 09:10 AM
#20
  • dcc
  • Polsilver Vendor
  • EU
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(05-03-2014, 09:11 AM)Doryferon Wrote: My FS pur-tech is the best and i am waiting an WD to make a comparison.

Pur Tech is like badger soft,WD like boar brush,too stiff for my taste.

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