04-08-2015, 04:57 AM
#1
  • tsimmns
  • Senior Member
  • Mississippi
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Still have so much trouble doing it. Using MWF this morning the soap just disappears. It looks amazing and creamy and then bam it's gone. I use a TGN finest, a synthetic, doesn't matter. This happens with Cella and all my other soaps as well. Does disappearing lather mean not enough water or to much. Sometimes I'm scared to add to much water as I don't want it falling off the brush.


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 04-08-2015, 05:19 AM
#2
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For me disappearing lather is a sign that the lather is to thin from being aerated too quickly. Even if you thicken it up it still is built upon an unstable base which is why it can look good one second & be gone the next second. 

Might I suggest soaking the soap to soften the top layer, then drain the water off and proceed to load with your synthetic brush completely dry. Load for awhile, then rinse the top of the soap. Drain off the excess water & then continue loading. Keep adding water incrementally instead of all at once. This is how I must lather in my rock hard water. Is your water hard? If so you can try some distilled water to see if that makes lather creation easier. 

Edit: I also have a video on dry loading on my YouTube channel. 

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 04-08-2015, 05:23 AM
#3
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Welcome to the world of MWF. Some gents have zero issues and others, like yourself and for awhile myself, do. There are many excellent "how to" videos and you're going to receive some excellent lathering suggestions here on the nook.  Hard water seems to negatively affect the lathering process. This is my method:
Soak the ENTIRE puck in warm water while you shower, or whatever you do to prep your beard. If you're using your synthetic, it's not necessary to soak it, but get it wet. When you're ready to lather, shake out the brush and dump the water from the puck and proceed. I swirl the brush (Clockwise  Wink  , April fools' thread, doesn't matter...) for at least 60 sec. Ignore what appears to be lather forming,"proto-lather" (precursor to true lather) and continue to load. You should feel the bristles tips "dragging" through the soap, with a feeling of resistance as the soap collects on the bristles. Next step, to the face.

Using elliptical swirls, alternating with back and forth painting strokes, (I "slap" the brush firmly back and forth, which is a bit messy) work the soap. It'll seem sticky and gooey. That's good. Now it's time to begin to add the H2O. One-two drops at a time, add water to either the breech of the brush or simply touch the tips to the water, continue the swirling/painting/slapping process. This could take up to 4 minutes, more or less. Be patient. Wait for the lather to take on a sheen, then you know you're there. I have better luck face lathering MWF than bowl lathering, but YMMV. 
This is the way I do it, but there are likely multiple methods to successfully lather MWF. I was frustrated at first also, but you''ll get it and it'll seem so easy afterwards. Good Luck, keep practicing.  Exclamation

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 04-08-2015, 05:23 AM
#4
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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I don't know if this will help but it is my approach to lathering hard soaps like MWF with a synthetic brush. Run just the tips of the knot across the water, give a quick shake over the soap puck and begin loading the brush with soap. You should get a nice paste of soap on the knot. Run just the tips of the knot across the water and load some more. I then wet my face and proceed to build a lather adding more water as needed by skimming the tips in water til i have the lather I want. I guess the same procedure would work if you make lather in a bowl. 

Personally, from what you describe I do not think you are loading enough product in the first place and/or you may have hard water to boot. If hard water is your problem try some bottled water for lather making.

Bob

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 04-08-2015, 06:45 AM
#5
  • tsimmns
  • Senior Member
  • Mississippi
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It's usually like this with every soap, not just MWF. I personally love the smell of this stuff. Can you load with a dry brush dry soap to load lather?. Sometimes I wish someone lived close here in MS. to show me personally what a great lather looks like. I see the pictures but something learning in person


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 04-08-2015, 06:58 AM
#6
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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I think I can't put a link to a vid on this forum so just go to youtube and  look up Michael Freedburg  who has a good tutorial on lathering soaps. I hope that helps.

For me a lather is good to go when it is creamy, not thick and pasty, with no air bubbles and gets a sheen to it. The gentleman mentioned above has other good vids that may also be worth sorting through. Good luck.

Bob

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 04-08-2015, 09:32 AM
#7
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I like to err on the dry side personally, as it's easy to add more water, but very difficult to remove it once it's there.  I'd say try a damp brush, and load for at least 30 seconds (probably closer to 60).  If you're getting a dry, stringy paste, add a bit more water and keep loading.

I can't recall reading above if you bowl lather, but I think it's easier to experiment in a bowl.  You might try it if you're not doing it already.  After loading, start whipping in the bowl.  If you're too dry, it's easy to fix.  Add more water, a little at a time.  Don't get too crazy with the water though, since a lather that's too wet won't last.

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 04-08-2015, 10:44 AM
#8
  • Balj86
  • Senior Member
  • Maryland USA
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if you have trouble, try taking the puck and use it like a shave stick while coating your stubble. Just face lather with any preferable SB and you should see results.

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 04-08-2015, 06:48 PM
#9
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(04-08-2015, 10:44 AM)Balj86 Wrote: if you have trouble, try taking the puck and use it like a shave stick while coating your stubble. Just face lather with any preferable SB and you should see results.

This is the best way to resolve any issues with soap and lather, in general. Make sure you rub enough on your face for your first few attempts! Thumbup
Good luck and there are quite a few videos on YouTube that can help. 

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 04-08-2015, 07:49 PM
#10
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There are very few lather problems that can't be solved by using more product.

I'm going to suggest something to you. It might seem like a waste of soap, but if your lather has been disappearing you've already been doing that, so you have nothing to lose.

Whoa Brian! First, what are you using for a brush and how have you been loading your soap. Tell us small details like how wet your brush is, etc.

It certainly sounds like too much water in relation to product, but I want to make sure first.

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 04-09-2015, 07:34 PM
#11
  • tsimmns
  • Senior Member
  • Mississippi
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Brian, I use either a badger or synthetic. I've got a kilo of Vitos. Red that I'm going to open up come Tuesday and work my way through it. I've have gotten some good advice and goimg to see what I can do. Three years and I still feel like my lather sucks. Like I said, maybe one day I can land at a meet up and finally be able to feel and see what great lather is. I do the squeeze out of brush thing all the time and try to pull apart, but there is always foam with air bubbles even though the lather looks fine. This is why I truly say my lather is terrible.


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 04-10-2015, 07:33 AM
#12
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The earlier post by Primo is spot on, IMO. I know that MWF has given many people problems lathering, but the method described (ably and amusingly) even works on William's mug shaving soap - the poster child for soaps that are just too difficult to waste time and money on.

I haven't had troubles with lathering personally, but I think that following Primo's regimen will solve 90% of lathering problems, and the remaining difficulties would probably benefit from using distilled water.      ~ Just my dos centavos ~
Euro

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 04-10-2015, 07:55 AM
#13
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I'd do as already suggested and load more. As Primo suggested is one way. But even if you have extremely hard water you can make great lather.

I was hoping you'd tell us how you add water to save me from typing.

You need to control the water, so using a badger I went the brush by dipping, then get rid of most of the water. Then I go to the soap to load. Load the brush. You will reach a point quite rapidly where things will be dry and pasty. Add a bit more water. Continue to load adding water as required to form a soap paste. You aren't looking for lather at this point; just a paste. When you think you have enough go ahead and lather. If it works just repeat it every time, if not you need more of the soap paste next time. When lathering add small quantities of water and repeat as required.

I'm going to suggest, if you haven't done so yet, deliberately studying lather without shaving. Practice it and deliberately take it too far by small additions of water. After achieving good lather more water at some point will begin to break the lather down until it finally fails completely.

Whoops! I forgot the synthetic brush. DO NOT pre-wet the fibers of any synthetic. What happens if you do is that the knot will pick up water and the first thing that it touches will get all of that water unceremoniously dumped on to it. That would put you out of control on the water; so no dipping of a synthetic brush. Instead, I put what I want to start with for water on top of the soap, then load as per badger.

One variation of the above paragraph re: synthetics would be to add water to the top of the soap before going to sleep (assuming a morning shave); basically what Primo suggested. By the time you shave, the soap will be all softened and more than ready to load onto the brush. I've only done that with soap samples, never with a tub of soap. If I ever did that on a tub I'd have far too much soap loaded and way too much lather.

Come on out to Maine and I'll show you how to do it. That's the only other thing I can suggest. We have no shave meets either. That would make it too easy!

You should find Vitos easy to load and lather.

Please keep us informed.

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 04-10-2015, 08:27 AM
#14
  • tsimmns
  • Senior Member
  • Mississippi
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Brian thanks for the post. I used my Cells this morning and has better success. I soak the brush in a mug while showering. When I get out, I squeeze twice, then give it a few more shakes. This gets most all of the water out. I don't cover the soap with water as this would add more to the equation.

This morningmy with my TGN I did this and added water slowly from my mug which was filled with distilled water. The first pass was good lather I thought, the second pass was very thin and see through. I reloaded for a third pass and has better lather than the second pass. It was a decent lather I guess, but I've still yet to know what a good lather is. I finished with the Kramperts Frostbite I received yesterday and my skin felt great. Here's to better things to come.

And Brian, I might take you up on this offer one day.


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 04-10-2015, 08:34 AM
#15
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Well said, Brian and Primo. Brian, I might take you up on your offer as well presuming of course that lobster's on the menu. :-)

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 04-10-2015, 01:56 PM
#16
  • tsimmns
  • Senior Member
  • Mississippi
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Did a test run with am almond size amount of chroma pressed into a bowl with a drop of water added. Then swirled with the dry Plison. Synthetic. Then went to face to lather, shown are the results. The first group is from right after lather was applied and a face swipe test. As you can see the lather looks good on the face but appears dry from test. Second group of pictures are from two minutes later. Lather still looks good but feels dry. This would be typically lather I would shave with but I know it's not properly dialed in. This has been my problem from the beginning no matter what soap.


[Image: 2b48effaf1cc434ca6a8f6a38cb60386.jpg]
[Image: 39c0c35bff720352e1a9ee0e2565cf91.jpg]
[Image: 152a9f3bc7adf26b2f8942866eb80289.jpg]


Second group
[Image: 2bec7a6587d7cd263f3581c928460b24.jpg]
[Image: 24d37284950506e7dd492cb6015e34ad.jpg]


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 04-10-2015, 02:31 PM
#17
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How much water and in what increments did you add after the first picture? I'd like to see some pictures after trying my suggested technique.  Sherlock

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 04-10-2015, 03:04 PM
#18
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(04-10-2015, 02:31 PM)primotenore Wrote: How much water and in what increments did you add after the first picture? I'd like to see some pictures after trying my suggested technique.  Sherlock

+1  Actually, it would be great to see a video of the process.  Smile

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 04-10-2015, 03:06 PM
#19
  • tsimmns
  • Senior Member
  • Mississippi
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I'll try that method, this was a method suggested by another member.


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 04-10-2015, 03:08 PM
#20
  • tsimmns
  • Senior Member
  • Mississippi
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As for water added, I put an almond size cella in the bowl with a drop and then began to swirl. It got a little creamy then I went to face and dipped tips maybe twice or three times, maybe four.


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