05-22-2012, 11:23 AM
#1
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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I feel like I must be doing something wrong.

When I lather on my face with a badger brush that has sufficient flow, I easily get volume to my lather and have lather left over for all the passes I want to do.

When I do the same with my boar brush, I seem to always get a decent lather on the first path, then only enough left over for it to be pretty thin for the final two passes. My first thought was that I wasn't using enough water in my lather, but adding water seems to just thin it out and make the brush leave nearly-clean streaks.

My face-lathering boar (a 1305) is just a few weeks old. Is it just too new for this?

What think you, Nooksters? Advice for a face lathering newbie?

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 05-22-2012, 11:28 AM
#2
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I would say load the brush more and also when your not using it give it some more wet/dry cycles just incase it isn't fully broken in.

I get this with new boars and have to reload mid way through but is ok after a while of use.

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 05-22-2012, 11:59 AM
#3
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Sounds to me like the brush isn't fully broken in. This to me is what indicates the break in best. I can do fine with the tips to start with, especially from Semogue, as they are plenty soft out of the box. The biggest difference I notice is the ability of the brush to hold on to more lather.

I agree with Dipesh above that you need to load it more as well as give it more cycles. Also, how long are you soaking the brush before you go to load it? If the bristle isn't sufficiently hydrated then it's just going to "eat" your lather.

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 05-22-2012, 12:00 PM
#4
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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Usually 10-15 minutes is a standard soak.

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 05-22-2012, 12:04 PM
#5
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(05-22-2012, 12:00 PM)Songwind Wrote: Usually 10-15 minutes is a standard soak.

While 10-15 isn't short per se, for a new brush I'd consider doubling that time to 20-30 minutes. I know this is inconvenient so try it once to see if you notice a difference. If not, then just keep breaking it in. If this is what's needed then you should notice an immediate difference which will then still continue to improve as the brush fully breaks in. How new is the brush?

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 05-22-2012, 12:12 PM
#6
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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It's a few weeks old (3+), but one week was spent testing the Muhle Silvertip Fiber brush, and I've used my other brushes in there a few times.

I need to be more consistent about doing test lathers on it when I am not going to be using it, I know.

If lack of break-in causes these issues, I can deal with that. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing something stupid.

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 05-22-2012, 12:39 PM
#7
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Use more soap or cream and you will notice the difference.Wink

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 05-22-2012, 01:11 PM
#8
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Gee, I never soak any brush. Just a dip in the basin of water, make sure the base has gotten what it wants, turn it onto it's base while I get stuff ready. Maybe a minute at most, shake it off in good shape, then I'm lathering.

Eric, have the tips split yet? You'll see it if they have.

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 05-22-2012, 01:35 PM
#9
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(05-22-2012, 11:59 AM)SharpSpine Wrote: Also, how long are you soaking the brush before you go to load it? If the bristle isn't sufficiently hydrated then it's just going to "eat" your lather.

This might be the reason for what I'm experiencing.

I have the same brush model that Eric has, and it's the same age. It came in the same order in fact.

I'm getting enough lather for 3 passes, but what I'm seeing is that after two passes, the lather has thickened up and I need to dip the tips in water to work up some more lather. Even then, it may not come easy. Sometimes I need to nearly slap myself silly to get the lather going again, but it does come. I thought it was pretty odd for that to happen, but what you say makes it all make sense. The brush soaks up the moisture (and lather?) during passes 1 and 2 and therefore requires water and physical forces to beat it back out again.

Another interesting characteristic with this brush is that when I first load it up and start face lathering, I'll start by getting a thick, dry lather, but yet I have drops of water dripping out of the brush, as though the water is trapped deep in the knot and rather than incorporate in the lather, it escapes out the side.

I'll pay better attention to my soak times and see if there's difference. I had been soaking it longer, but it was cold by the time I used it so I shortened the soak time. Instead of doing that, I'll just rinse it in hot water after soaking to warm it back up.

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 05-22-2012, 01:46 PM
#10
  • Brent
  • Active Member
  • Columbus, OH
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I typically lather in the bowl and then spend a good bit of time on my face so take my thought as a grain of salt - but I would think it would be the brush hasn't broken in enough.

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 05-22-2012, 01:51 PM
#11
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(05-22-2012, 01:35 PM)5Savages Wrote:
(05-22-2012, 11:59 AM)SharpSpine Wrote: Also, how long are you soaking the brush before you go to load it? If the bristle isn't sufficiently hydrated then it's just going to "eat" your lather.

This might be the reason for what I'm experiencing.

I have the same brush model that Eric has, and it's the same age. It came in the same order in fact.

I'm getting enough lather for 3 passes, but what I'm seeing is that after two passes, the lather has thickened up and I need to dip the tips in water to work up some more lather. Even then, it may not come easy. Sometimes I need to nearly slap myself silly to get the lather going again, but it does come. I thought it was pretty odd for that to happen, but what you say makes it all make sense. The brush soaks up the moisture (and lather?) during passes 1 and 2 and therefore requires water and physical forces to beat it back out again.

Another interesting characteristic with this brush is that when I first load it up and start face lathering, I'll start by getting a thick, dry lather, but yet I have drops of water dripping out of the brush, as though the water is trapped deep in the knot and rather than incorporate in the lather, it escapes out the side.

I'll pay better attention to my soak times and see if there's difference. I had been soaking it longer, but it was cold by the time I used it so I shortened the soak time. Instead of doing that, I'll just rinse it in hot water after soaking to warm it back up.

That sounds like the perfect solution. I'm primarily a cold water shaver, especially as the temps heat up, so this isn't an issue for me but I can see how it would be important for others. I believe that as the brush breaks in that less time will be needed for the soaking regimen.

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 05-22-2012, 04:48 PM
#12
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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(05-22-2012, 01:11 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Gee, I never soak any brush. Just a dip in the basin of water, make sure the base has gotten what it wants, turn it onto it's base while I get stuff ready. Maybe a minute at most, shake it off in good shape, then I'm lathering.

Eric, have the tips split yet? You'll see it if they have.

They've started, but it's not a majority yet, I don't think.

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 05-22-2012, 06:57 PM
#13
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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Well, my La Famiglia soaps came in today. There was really no option but to test lather, so I soaked my Omega boar for about 30 minutes. Hand lathering created great results quickly, with lots of lather in the brush instead of coating it.

Nice call.

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 05-22-2012, 07:01 PM
#14
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I'm glad the soak helped but keep in mind the La Famiglia soaps load easily. On a different subject, which scent did you like best?

(05-22-2012, 06:57 PM)Songwind Wrote: Well, my La Famiglia soaps came in today. There was really no option but to test lather, so I soaked my Omega boar for about 30 minutes. Hand lathering created great results quickly, with lots of lather in the brush instead of coating it.

Nice call.

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 05-22-2012, 07:45 PM
#15
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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(05-22-2012, 07:01 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: I'm glad the soak helped but keep in mind the La Famiglia soaps load easily. On a different subject, which scent did you like best?

Yes, they load as easily as the black tub soaps, maybe even more so. I got scads of lather with my horse brush after 20 seconds. I actually tried my new tub of Fresco with the boar.

I got Don Marco and Cumba Cheech. I like both, with a slight edge to Cheech. The descriptions make me regret not getting Zi'peppino.

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 05-22-2012, 08:13 PM
#16
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As Brian pointed out, the bristles may not have broken yet and try to load it more.

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 05-23-2012, 05:01 AM
#17
  • Songwind
  • Soap Slinger & Scuttle Pusher
  • Burnsville, MN
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In an effort to change one variable at a time, I did not load more than usual this morning. However, it was using an Italian croap. I think I'll be extending my load time on harder soaps.

30 minute soak, wet brush, 30 second load on Cumba Cheech. It lathered up really well, and the brush felt even better on my face. Again, the soap left in the brush was *lather* and not thin soap residue. Plenty for 4 passes.

Thanks, everyone, for weighing in. It was very helpful.

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 05-23-2012, 05:11 AM
#18
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(05-23-2012, 05:01 AM)Songwind Wrote: In an effort to change one variable at a time, I did not load more than usual this morning. However, it was using an Italian croap. I think I'll be extending my load time on harder soaps.

30 minute soak, wet brush, 30 second load on Cumba Cheech. It lathered up really well, and the brush felt even better on my face. Again, the soap left in the brush was *lather* and not thin soap residue. Plenty for 4 passes.

Thanks, everyone, for weighing in. It was very helpful.

That's awesome & I'm glad it's improved so much & so quickly for you. It will only continue to improve. Enjoy it!

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 05-26-2012, 06:39 PM
#19
  • Crag
  • Senior Member
  • Menifee, Ca 92586
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(05-22-2012, 08:13 PM)celestino Wrote: As Brian pointed out, the bristles may not have broken yet and try to load it more.

Yes, my Omega took around 2 months to fully break-in so keep lathering it and you should start to get better results. I usually load it cold for around 30 seconds then put it in my steamer cup for a few seconds to get the soap hot and then straight to my face. Good luck!

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 05-28-2012, 07:10 PM
#20
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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Eric, I received my 1305 (and also a 1470) about a week or so ago. This was my first Semogue, but not the first boar. My first boar was an Omega 10275 and that took a long time to break in, almost a month before I could get enough lather for a full shave. Now the Omega is simply amazing at face lathering. It feels great and has all the right stuff: backbone, soft tips, great lather, great flow-through. The Semogue 1305 was almost pre-broken in when it arrived. Some tips were already split and it loaded great the first time I used it. I've been rotating the two Semogues since they arrived and I noticed that the 1305 was pretty much ready to go (but it's still improving with every use) and the 1470 was more like the Omega. A bit slow to start, but has been making amazing improvements every day. I think now the 1470 is pretty much catching up to the 1305. I've been lathering both brushes every day and then using a hair dryer on them to facilitate full drying. I will stop the hair dryer treatment once I am satisfied with the 1470's progress. Maybe a few more days. They are both very good brushes and very well made. Very different in feel, but both excellent and very enjoyable. I still love my Omega 10275. It is very inexpensive and has a very good knot in it. The plastic handle is not as nice as Semogues' solid wood, but it is very comfortable to hold. The biggest symptom of a boar brush that's not broken in it developing and holding lather. Your 1305 may just need a few more cycles. Try the hair dryer on it and lather it every day. Also, soaking a boar brush before use is more important than the badger as boar bristles absorb moisture. So, if use an unsoaked boar brush it may eat up the lather and water leaving you with dry lather. I find 3-4 minutes is enough, though. Again as they break in this will take less time.

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