05-14-2014, 05:21 AM
#1
  • v4257
  • Always chasing the perfect shave
  • Boston, USA
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I'm sorry if this has been answered before (couldn't find in archives) - but if you Superlather - then why?

To me, this quote from Al Raz (of AlsShaving.com) seems to make sense:
"...mixing products will [NOT] produce better lather or increase latherability, if there is a faster latherer in the mix, it will still lather better when used by itself, the same is true about lather quality."

What am I missing?

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 05-14-2014, 05:26 AM
#2
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Good question, V.

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 05-14-2014, 05:28 AM
#3
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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Why do we do anything besides load a blade and shave? Because we are crazy. Crazy about shaving and curious about all the countless products out there and what we can do with them. I personally do not super-lather, but not because I think it's pointless. I just like many single soaps a lot and don't feel the need to combine more than one soap. I did try combining Arko with Valobra stick and it made excellent soap, but each individual component (Arko and Valobras sticks) were excellent, so no surprise there. So I guess I do not have an good answer for you. I assume most people create super-lathers because they can and because they have way more soaps than is reasonable. There is no need to super-lather, but then again, there is no need to pay $200 for a shaving brush either. Yet people do it all the time because we enjoy our shaving obsession.

Hope that helps you out.

--
Vladimir

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 05-14-2014, 05:38 AM
#4
  • Lutebro
  • Senior Member
  • Olympia, WA
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(05-14-2014, 05:28 AM)vferdman Wrote: Why do we do anything besides load a blade and shave? Because we are crazy. Crazy about shaving and curious about all the countless products out there and what we can do with them. I personally do not super-lather, but not because I think it's pointless. I just like many single soaps a lot and don't feel the need to combine more than one soap. I did try combining Arko with Valobra stick and it made excellent soap, but each individual component (Arko and Valobras sticks) were excellent, so no surprise there. So I guess I do not have an good answer for you. I assume most people create super-lathers because they can and because they have way more soaps than is reasonable. There is no need to super-lather, but then again, there is no need to pay $200 for a shaving brush either. Yet people do it all the time because we enjoy our shaving obsession.

Hope that helps you out.

--
Vladimir

Well said!

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 05-14-2014, 06:14 AM
#5
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(05-14-2014, 05:28 AM)vferdman Wrote: Why do we do anything besides load a blade and shave? Because we are crazy.

Laughing1 I have nothing to add.

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 05-14-2014, 06:47 AM
#6
  • v4257
  • Always chasing the perfect shave
  • Boston, USA
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lol. Biggrin I appreciate the input guys!

Personally - I wetshave & use DEs because I have extreme skin sensitivity and was never able to get a trouble free shave with foams/carts. So I primarily chase performance (in particular the ability to shave with minimal irritation to skin). Hope that gives some context for my Q.

If the only reason anyone Superlathers if because they are "crazy" - then I think I am all-set.Smile If there is more - I'd love to hear....

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 05-14-2014, 07:09 AM
#7
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Superlather is one of those things that is useful if you don't have a firm grasp on your products. Let's say you like the skin softening power of lanolin, but you can't get your MWF to work for love nor money. (A common rookie problem.) You can load your brush, add some Palmolive cream that lathers easily, and get some of the benefits of both.

It can also be fun to mix scents.

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 05-14-2014, 09:13 AM
#8
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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Here are some good reasons to superlather:

You bought a soap/cream that is lacking in one performance area (slickness, cushion, lather stability, etc) which could be improved with another product that has that weekness as its strength. For example, DR Harris soaps are great for cushion and lather stability, but leave a bit to be desired in the slickness department. A pea sized drop of AoS cream added to the mix makes for a very complete lather.

You buy a soap that just doesn't lather worth a lick (modern Trumper perhaps) but really like the scent. Add a drop of KMF unscented cream and bam, you have rescued an otherwise expensive bath soap.

You own several different soaps and creams and can't justify buying anymore until you use some up, what better way to get through them quicker than using more than one at a time?

You enjoy this as a hobby and want to experiment.

I personally don't superlather very often, but when I do I tend to enjoy it.

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 05-14-2014, 10:43 AM
#9
  • v4257
  • Always chasing the perfect shave
  • Boston, USA
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Thank you Eric & Dave! That makes sense.

Dave - your response made me realize that I don't have a firm grasp of the different attributes used to describe a soap or cream's performance. For e.g. what exactly is cushion and how does one assess it? I also hear the term 'feedback' used to describe performance. Can anyone point me to a glossary of these terms?

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 05-14-2014, 11:29 AM
#10
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Not sure if there is a glossary around - we should perhaps make one - but to me "cushion" refers to the amount of damping the lather gives between the razor and my skin... shaving with just water would give zero cushion, just to make one end of the scale.

To get back on the topic, you'll often hear that superlather makes for a creamier, thicker lather... I've even seen it described as yogurt-like in consistency. To me that sounds like you've overloaded on soap/cream... which make sense if you've first made a soap-lather and then added cream to the mix.

I experimented a year ago with mixing shave cream and shave sticks... the results was interesting, but not so impressive that I kept doing it.

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 05-14-2014, 12:37 PM
#11
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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Cushion, in my usage, is indeed referring to the protective properties of the lather. This isn't a measurable property, but rather one that is felt during the shave and also evident in the results. A lather with little cushion will often leave me with irritation or red areas/spots after the shave, whereas good cushion leaves me with zero irritation or redness. For myself, this is most evident on my neck going against the grain. Of course a good razor and blade combination is paramount, but even then I need the right protection to go ATG without issues.

Another indication of cushion tends to be a residual, micro-coating of lather remaining after the razor has passed over. In other words, after taking a shaving stroke the freshly shaved skin is still slick from the lather. This in itself is not an indication of good cushion, however, all of the products I consider to have good cushion also share this trait.

Finally, one thing that needs to be determined before judging the lather of any product is the soap to water ratio. I generally load any soap/cream very heavily for the first use and add just enough water that I feel will be sufficiently slick. After working the lather for a good minute or so (usually on the face, but could be done in a bowl) to ensure an even mixture I will get a good feel for how the lather performs. Adding more water at this point will usually increase the slickness and generally has an inverse effect on the cushion. Observing how the first pass goes I may leave my face wet after rinsing if I find the razor dragging or skipping or pat dry my face if I find the slickness to be adequate or better.

I'm sorry I derailed your discussion on super-lather, but I thought it might enhance my original post if you understood what I was trying to convey.

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 05-14-2014, 01:12 PM
#12
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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to have fun. like filling your mouth with pop-rocks then filling it up even more with pop. or swirling caramel into your vanilla ice cream.

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 05-14-2014, 03:13 PM
#13
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(05-14-2014, 09:13 AM)blzrfn Wrote: Here are some good reasons to superlather:

You bought a soap/cream that is lacking in one performance area (slickness, cushion, lather stability, etc) which could be improved with another product that has that weekness as its strength. For example, DR Harris soaps are great for cushion and lather stability, but leave a bit to be desired in the slickness department. A pea sized drop of AoS cream added to the mix makes for a very complete lather.

You buy a soap that just doesn't lather worth a lick (modern Trumper perhaps) but really like the scent. Add a drop of KMF unscented cream and bam, you have rescued an otherwise expensive bath soap.

You own several different soaps and creams and can't justify buying anymore until you use some up, what better way to get through them quicker than using more than one at a time?

You enjoy this as a hobby and want to experiment.

I personally don't superlather very often, but when I do I tend to enjoy it.

What this wise gentleman said Signs011

I've have very hard water and really had problems with MWF soap, rookie problems at first - then real problems later on.

I sold my MWF 2 weeks ago, but because I'm a nut case I rebought it in the ceramic dish 2 days after and now found a superlather will give me the benefits from the post shave from using MWF, and the lather creation from the shaving cream I mix it with.

I super lather 4 out of 5 of my shaves, and I think I get better shaves out of it 90% of the times, so it's worth it to me.

As also staed in the quote above, I own 50-60-70 creams and maybe now 30 or soaps and I like to mix scents and products just to be able to use more from my stash so they don't collect dust.

I also sometimes use 2 brushes in one shave - one brush, a rougher 2-band badger for first pass where I have a lot of stubbles and a softer 3-band badger silvertip for second pass, where most of the whiskers are gone.

Why ?

Because I'm a nut case, a wet shaving nerd.
And because it's good fun, when you have 50-60 or more brushes to actually get to use them all in a matter of 2-3 months.
I still own $300 brushes bought in 2013, that I have yet to use.

Why ? Because I'm nuts, I'm sick and disturbed Tongue
But a lot of the folks in here are like me......Wink

I also collect fragrances and at one point owned 400 full bottles (50 ml, 75 ml, 100 ml or even larger) of fragrance. I started to trim my collection down, and now it's down to 250 full bottles or so.

Why all this ? Because It's a hobby of mine.

Superlather makes you use more product at the same time - and you get the benefits from the soaps and the benefits from the creams in one product. I feel I get very little negativs from Superlather mixes. Almost can only think of positives when I think of Superlathering.

Okay, it's more time consuming.
But so is using a brush, pre shave cream, 3 passes with a DE.
I can shave in 5-6 minutes and get a decent shave with a can of Sanex shaving gel and a Fusion razor. But it's not charming, and I like to spend the extra time. My skin feel better after wards and my mind too.

It's like fishing. Why not just buy the fish in a supermarket.
Why spend 5 hours on a boat ?
It's like golf. Why spend half a day, 3-4-5 hours, on the golf course hitting a white little ball into a hole in the grass in shortest possible strokes ?

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 05-14-2014, 05:20 PM
#14
  • Stubbl E
  • Senior Member
  • Lake Tahoe, California
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[Image: VSliGzM.jpg?1]


Born to Tinker. Dodgy

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 05-14-2014, 07:13 PM
#15
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Too have fun and use up product! Biggrin

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 05-14-2014, 08:11 PM
#16
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(05-14-2014, 05:21 AM)v4257 Wrote: I'm sorry if this has been answered before (couldn't find in archives) - but if you Superlather - then why?

To me, this quote from Al Raz (of AlsShaving.com) seems to make sense:
"...mixing products will [NOT] produce better lather or increase latherability, if there is a faster latherer in the mix, it will still lather better when used by itself, the same is true about lather quality."

What am I missing?

Who said Al was right anyway?

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 05-15-2014, 10:32 AM
#17
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I tend to think Al is correct in this. I haven't really found that superlathering adds anything, once I found the soaps I like and my lathering techniques are better.

I haven't used a superlather in well over a year and I have no plans to use one anytime soon.

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 05-15-2014, 08:21 PM
#18
  • Nero
  • Ban Groupthink from Earth
  • le montagne
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(05-14-2014, 06:47 AM)v4257 Wrote: So I primarily chase performance (in particular the ability to shave with minimal irritation to skin).

What Vinny said Biggrin

(05-14-2014, 09:13 AM)blzrfn Wrote: A pea sized drop of AoS cream added to the mix makes for a very complete lather.


To try to address the OP's Q…

For me: if I used only AoS cream, I'd have both cushion and slickness… and honestly a perfect shave every time I use it. And I feel that adding DRH to the mix only dilutes what I love about all that AoS does for my skin.

That said, I'm a huge AoS cream fan, plus I think DRH is decent but not mind-blowing (and, to me, definitely not on par with AoS creams). So take it for what it's worth. YMMV

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 05-16-2014, 07:43 AM
#19
  • v4257
  • Always chasing the perfect shave
  • Boston, USA
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While I may not have figured out how to bring together 2+ creams/soaps to form a perfect superlather yet - Brother Nero, your post has me trolling the bay for an AoS shaving cream sample now! :-) I also read you other posts on your best creams/soaps and looks like our prefs align.

I'll give superlathering a go - I'll find out if MMMV :-)

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 05-16-2014, 04:00 PM
#20
  • Nero
  • Ban Groupthink from Earth
  • le montagne
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Vinny, I'm 99% sure they have free samples at all the stores.
I'm 100% sure they used to :-)

EDIT:
I should clarify to make sure
I think you WILL have a nice shave with the superlather using AoS and DRH.
But I think you'd have a better shave using only AoS, instead of the superlather.
Furthermore, I think you'll have a better shave with the superlather than using DRH alone... because you've boosted the DRH with AoS.

(IMO, all of this)

Also, I haven't superlathered in a long time... and I do not intend to, but ya never know.
...And I never did this combo.

I'm just saying from previous experience....
Superlathering does exactly what you think it should do: have performance equal to the performance you'd expect given the proportion of products used and the inherent individual performance of the products.

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