12-10-2014, 03:35 AM
#1
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I am using a Proraso green soap with a Whipped Dog Silvertip. I face lather. I rinse the brush for about 20 second in warm water(I don't soak it), and then I load the soap for about 30 seconds. The later starts to form on the brush and also on the side of the brush and on the side of the soap compartment(it becomes very messy). I have lather for the first pass(WTG), but when I lather for the second pass(XTG) it is very poor.

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 12-10-2014, 03:41 AM
#2
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Are you having the same issues with other brushes / soaps? Is your water hard or soft? Making the lather in a bowl or on your face?

Nine times out of ten any lather problems I've had been solved by adding more product... the last time I need to add more water - some soaps are more thirsty than others.

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 12-10-2014, 03:46 AM
#3
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(12-10-2014, 03:41 AM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Are you having the same issues with other brushes / soaps? Is your water hard or soft? Making the lather in a bowl or on your face?

Nine times out of ten any lather problems I've had been solved by adding more product... the last time I need to add more water - some soaps are more thirsty than others.

I face lather. I don't use a bowl. This is my first brush and my first soap. I have to lather the soap before each pass. It's frustrating cause on YouTube I see these guys lathering once and being enough for 3 passes.

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 12-10-2014, 04:06 AM
#4
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Might be starting with too much water and getting to much air in the mix too quickly.

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 12-10-2014, 04:23 AM
#5
  • dajmacd
  • Member
  • Tennessee River Valley
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When I started shaving with a brush and soap, there were two things I was doing that kept me from the "load once, shave many passes" benchmark. 1st, I was under hydrating my soap. I was getting what I thought was a great dense lather, and it was dense. It was so dense, in fact, that even hot running water would not get the soap residue off the back of the blade. If you are seeing this, your lather may be a bit dry. Dry lather doesn't flow well, especially out of a dense badger brush. 2nd, I was using too much lather for the first pass. Use too much on the first pass, not much left for passes 2 and 3. If you look like the guy on the brick of Cella on your first pass, your probably using too much lather.

There is no shame in reloading your brush and the guys on youtube and the forum posters who say things like "a couple of swirls on the puck, straight to the face and I've got enough lather for 3+ passes" aren't trying to show anyone up. Well, most of them aren't. Also, being fickle with soaps and creams can hinder your ability to get anything really dialed in with respect to loading time, hydration, swirl vs paint, etc. As always YMMV.

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 12-10-2014, 07:20 AM
#6
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Depending on if you have 'hard' water, you just might have to load your brush for longer than 1 minute or longer. Also, spend more time working the brush on your face; longer than you would normally do and, most importantly, make sure you have enough water while doing this and do more paint-brush strokes while this really generates and helps the lather come out from the centre of the brush.

Good luck.

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 12-10-2014, 07:23 AM
#7
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(12-10-2014, 07:20 AM)celestino Wrote: Depending on if you have 'hard' water, you just might have to load your brush for longer than 1 minute or longer. Also, spend more time working the brush on your face; longer than you would normally do and, most importantly, make sure you have enough water while doing this and do more paint-brush strokes while this really generates and helps the lather come out from the centre of the brush.

Good luck.

It seems more easy for me to do paint-brush strokes.

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 12-10-2014, 07:49 AM
#8
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My first recommendation is to begin with a drier brush. It's always easier to add water than subtract. I soak my brush during my shower and when preparing to lather, I squeeze out the extra water from the brush. I know that some gents just shake the brush out, but I give the bristles a squeeze. When loading, I look for a pasty consistency on the bristles. You should feel a drag as the soap is being loaded. If bubbles immediately appear and the soap begins to overflow, you have too much water.
Good luck.

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 12-10-2014, 08:46 AM
#9
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(12-10-2014, 07:23 AM)Alex7 Wrote: It seems more easy for me to do paint-brush strokes.

The paint-brush strokes really help release the lather from the centre of the brush. Keep at it and best of luck.

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 12-10-2014, 10:48 AM
#10
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(12-10-2014, 07:49 AM)primotenore Wrote: My first recommendation is to begin with a drier brush. It's always easier to add water than subtract. I soak my brush during my shower and when preparing to lather, I squeeze out the extra water from the brush. I know that some gents just shake the brush out, but I give the bristles a squeeze. When loading, I look for a pasty consistency on the bristles. You should feel a drag as the soap is being loaded. If bubbles immediately appear and the soap begins to overflow, you have too much water.
Good luck.

+1 Upon reading your first post, this was my initial thought as well, with the second being the possibility of hard water as celestino has mentioned. That said, my preliminary suggestions is the same as theirs...
  1. Try giving your brush a little squeeze so that it's wet but not able to drip. (Like Primotenore said, as you're loading, a thick pasty layer should form on top of the puck -- almost like thick yogurt. If you're getting bubbly suds - like bubble bath - you've got too much water in the brush.)
  2. Load more
  3. As you work it on your face, add water just a little at a time so that you're forced to work the lather a little longer
BTW - do your faucets and drains tend to get a little bit white, grey, or light-brownish build around their edges over time? If so, you'll know your fighting against hard water -- and the steps above usually help to compensate for it.

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 12-11-2014, 07:21 AM
#11
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Unfortunately I'm still having problems with the lather. Interestingly, when I face lather with cream(just squeeze cram on my brush and face lather) I have enough lather for 3 passes.

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 12-11-2014, 08:56 AM
#12
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How long are you loading your brush for? If you load it for over one minute and your work the brush on your face while adding water little by little, you should see an improvement.
I would even load for one minute and thirty seconds.
Good luck and I would like to see pics of the lather during your process.

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 12-11-2014, 09:13 AM
#13
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If creams work for you but soaps don't it might depend on the water. Do you get much mineral build ups from your water? If you've got hard water you've got a couple of alternatives; you could soften it with sodium carbonite. Or you could get distilled water. Or you could just load the brush longer and work the lather longer. Or you could stick to creams...

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 12-11-2014, 01:46 PM
#14
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load heavily for 30-40 seconds you should build up a good paste on your brush, add few more drops of water if you feel its too pasty. then start lathering on your face. add water onto your brush as needed. keep going until you have mounds of lather on your face and brush.

it just takes a little practice and experimentation. try doing it in you spare time few times just to get a feel for how it behaves with different amounts of water.

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 12-11-2014, 05:00 PM
#15
  • Mouser
  • Senior Member
  • Forest City, Florida U.S.A.
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(12-10-2014, 07:49 AM)primotenore Wrote: My first recommendation is to begin with a drier brush. It's always easier to add water than subtract. I soak my brush during my shower and when preparing to lather, I squeeze out the extra water from the brush. I know that some gents just shake the brush out, but I give the bristles a squeeze. When loading, I look for a pasty consistency on the bristles. You should feel a drag as the soap is being loaded. If bubbles immediately appear and the soap begins to overflow, you have too much water.
Good luck.
Ditto. When you load the brush, it should look more like a soap "paste" rather than a lather. Spread that on your face first then start the lathering process by barely dipping the brush in water, work it into your face, and repeat until you have a proper lather. At least, that was my solution to my initial problem when I started. Practice, practice. A lesson from my sporting days,practice until you get it right then repetition, repetition.

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 12-15-2014, 09:27 PM
#16
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A lot of great advice to you from all the experienced Gentlemen here will guide you to a solution.

With that said, you just may have too hard water to ever be able to get 3 passes from your brush.

You may have to buy another brush, to see if it will hold the lather and release it, when necessary. And you may have to invest in a soap that builds the lather faster, easier and with more efficiency. Like a Martin de Candre, Klar Soap or one if the new great artisane soaps (Barrister & Man, Soap Commander, Catie's Bubbles, Tiki, Dapper Dragon, Le Pierre Lucienne etc.)

I actually first preferred creams because they lather so easily, so perhaps look into a nice cream. Soaps dried my face out more. But now I super lather most if my shaves, first putting in the cream, then swirl my brush in the soap, and let me tell you: I have FLINTSTONE ROCK HARD WATER in Copenhagen, Denmark, where I live; and super lather has helped me immensely in creating a better more solid, huge luxurious lather.

If I'm staying at hotel, like this weekend, I use my Tabac soap stick first on my face, then add 2 almond sizes of Lavanda shaving cream directly to the tips of my brush, add 4-6 drops of water to the brush, and start to face lather. Then add 3-5 drops ipf water when I feel it's necessary during the face lather. I get tons of luxurious thick moisty lather.

If I ever feel I need more lather, I reload the brush in the soap or add more cream.

VOILA !!

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 12-16-2014, 10:02 AM
#17
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Lots of good advice here. +1 on the thought to start with less water. It's far easier to add more water if you need it than to subtract it. You might try starting with bowl lathering to help you dial in the proper ratio of soap to water. Just grab a (preferably colored) cereal bowl and give it a shot.

Good Luck!

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 12-16-2014, 11:00 AM
#18
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(12-15-2014, 09:27 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: I have FLINTSTONE ROCK HARD WATER in Copenhagen, Denmark, where I live; and super lather has helped me immensely in creating a better more solid, huge luxurious lather.

Boy, I would love to try some of your Flinstone water, Claus! That would be a great experiment! Biggrin

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 12-16-2014, 11:17 AM
#19
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I really want to see a video from all the greats on this site, on how to properly, I mean REALLY properly make a great lather!

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 12-16-2014, 12:24 PM
#20
  • Stubbl E
  • Senior Member
  • Lake Tahoe, California
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+1 for the drier brush - you can certainly go too far in that direction, and a too dry brush will not pick up as much product; so there is definitely a goldilocks zone in between too wet and too dry, but it's really not all that tricky or precise. It's just one of those things you develop a feel for with time and practice, a bit like driving with a clutch. Eventually you'll be able to feel when it's right, and it really doesn't take long to learn either.

30 seconds should load plenty of product with a properly hydrated brush, especially with a soft soap like Proraso. You can always go ahead and just load more product of course, and that does seem to help some folks, but remember - a great lather is all about getting the balance of water & product right, so more soap/cream will also require more water.

As for the videos, watching is no substitute for doing, and it really is just a simple matter of developing your own sense of feeling when it's right - and you won't get that from any video (or forum post, come to that Dodgy). Try experimenting with both a wetter and drier brush than you've been using, and make mental notes of how they affect the lather; then you'll begin to hone in on the sweet spot in short order. The real trick is in paying attention every day so you can reproduce the same results, hehehe.

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