03-08-2016, 12:57 PM
#1
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I'm pretty new to soaps and creams of any kind, and still don't use them that often (water+razor/blade suffice), but I do enjoy the slickness, cushioning, skin benefits, and scents of a good soap. 

And, I'd thought to post here to get some experienced technique advice on lathering. To preface, I 100% bowl lather for now (not yet interested in face lathering), with a Plisson synthetic. I have no problems whipping up a large amount of lather with any soap I've tried, but I do run into a general problem I'd like to correct.

I seem to get much more tiny air bubbles in my lather than I like. I try to gently swirl them away in the bowl, and this seems to help a little, but not nearly enough compared to the ultra smooth cream like consistency of most lather shots I see. I'd really like my lather creamier, but I don't see how. More or less water doesn't seem to help. I do splay the brush pretty heavily in the bowl while lathering, but this is what also seems to build lather most efficiently.

So, what can I do to improve my lather, technique wise? Or, are there certain soaps that resist air better?

Soaps I currently have:

AdP (new formula)
MdC
SV 70th
WSP
PC Nuavia Rossa 
Castle Forbes
Mystic Water

SdM (on order)
Sweet Comb Chicago (on order)

Best soaps for reducing air? Best technique for reducing air? Any and all advice appreciated.

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 03-08-2016, 01:24 PM
#2
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How long do you load your brush? Your soaps are top notch, wondering if you are using enough though.

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 03-08-2016, 01:27 PM
#3
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My general advice is this:  swirl gently and calmly.  

I see a lot of guys that whip the brush like they're trying to whip cream or make eggs frothy for a light omelet.  That's not a good way to make lather.  

Start on the puck with a drier brush.  Add water very little at a time while still building on the puck.  Keep doing this until you have a good protolather going, the go to the bowl.  Swirl gently for awhile.  if the lather is too thick, add a couple of drops of water and continue swirling calmly.  Keep doing this until perfect lather develops.  

A lot of times small bubbles will go away if you just keep working the lather for a bit longer.  Total time for lather building could be 2, 3, or even 4 minutes, depending on your water quality.  Take your time.  Once you get it down, it can be done in less time.

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 03-08-2016, 01:29 PM
#4
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(03-08-2016, 01:24 PM)buickrob Wrote: How long do you load your brush?  Your soaps are top notch, wondering if you are using enough though.

Load it like I hate it... 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then I build enough soap in the bowl to last the whole shave. More loading then?

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 03-08-2016, 01:30 PM
#5
  • nikos.a
  • Senior Member
  • Athens, Greece
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Each soap and cream lathers in a different way, some are easier and some others harder to lather. You need to find the correct product- water ratio for each one of them. My advice is to use more product and less water. I think this will help you a lot with many of your products.

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 03-08-2016, 01:41 PM
#6
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Don't start with too much water ie add incrementally as you swirl to load soap/cream.

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 03-08-2016, 01:46 PM
#7
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(03-08-2016, 01:27 PM)kingfisher Wrote: Keep doing this [loading the brush] until you have a good protolather going, then go to the bowl.

Great advice here. I use this method regardless of brush or soap, and it yields very consistent results for bowl and face lathering.

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 03-08-2016, 01:47 PM
#8
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I thought it was not possible to make airy lather with Mystic Waters.
Sorry but I cannot help as I do not bowl lather, in part, because the results are a little airy to my taste. Have you considered palm lathering as an alternative? I find it makes a difference compared to bowl lathering.

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 03-08-2016, 01:55 PM
#9
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Switch to face lathering. 

For bowl lathering, or even face lathering, I would load the bush drier, especially with a synthetic. I did a video a while ago regarding dry loading. Basically, wet the top of the soap for a minute or so. Then drain the excess water off leaving just a thin layer of water. Take the completely dry brush to the soap. Add water little by little until your brush is basically ready to go to your face.

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 03-08-2016, 01:58 PM
#10
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(03-08-2016, 01:47 PM)lloydrm Wrote: I thought it was not possible to make airy lather with Mystic Waters.
Sorry but I cannot help as I do not bowl lather, in part, because the results are a little airy to my taste. Have you considered palm lathering as an alternative? I find it makes a difference compared to bowl lathering.

Mystic Water is probably the creamiest lather to start with, but ends up becoming the airiest lather of them all over the course of the shave, dissipating over time in the bowl and becoming very foamy. May try palm or face lathering, but I'd like to get it right in the bowl first.

Maybe I need more gentleness while loading and lathering, and adding water more gradually whilst beginning more dry.

Thanks to all who've replied, and thanks in advance for any further advice!

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 03-08-2016, 02:01 PM
#11
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Exactly, Len.
I experienced the same challenges at first.

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 03-08-2016, 02:54 PM
#12
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Len Wrote:Load it like I hate it... 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then I build enough soap in the bowl to last the whole shave. More loading then?

nope, that should be more than enough.

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 03-08-2016, 03:00 PM
#13
  • Chaddy
  • Senior Member
  • North Carolina
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I started out bowl lathing. Tried all kinds of ways spooning soap straight to the bowl and everytime there's to much air. So now I'm trying to learn how to face lather.

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 03-08-2016, 03:49 PM
#14
  • Nero
  • ACV is my new BFF
  • le montagne
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(03-08-2016, 01:47 PM)lloydrm Wrote: Have you considered palm lathering as an alternative? I find it makes a difference compared to bowl lathering.
x 10
Not mentioned nearly enough.
I personally hate lather from a bowl. Always wetter and much thinner than I wanted it to be. Zero cushion.
Palm lathering (and face lathering) does what I want it to do.

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 03-08-2016, 03:55 PM
#15
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I like to play with soaps, creams and lathering. I like to think it improves my technique and would recommend to do that so you can find the water to soap ratio for each product and other details. Good luck and have fun.

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 03-08-2016, 03:56 PM
#16
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Lots of good advice here.  More product, slow addition of water, gentle at first.

I would add this:  in my experience, the most important part of lathering is the first few seconds. Use only the tips.  Gently and in a small space, back and forth.  You want to get a good concentrated, low air lather started.  Slowly add water and you can get more aggressive with the brush as you go on.

If you start down the right road in the first 20 seconds, it is much easier to get the right result.

Start down a fluffy, airy road and, in my experience, it only gets worse and worse.

I add hot water with an eye dropper right onto the bristles.

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 03-08-2016, 04:07 PM
#17
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
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Nathan's shiny lather method will give you a great basis to start from.

http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=35342

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 03-08-2016, 04:50 PM
#18
  • Shanman
  • Reserve Collection Squirrel Hair
  • NE Florida
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To add to all the above thoughts, circular facelathering can then be ended by "laying" down the lather with a painting motion. It can help as well.

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 03-08-2016, 05:10 PM
#19
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If you're using the Plisson SharpSpine has a great tutorial on YouTube.  I had given up on synthetics thinking I could only get inferior lather with them until I saw these and emulated his method.  Don't think I'm supposed to link but search the titles of them but search the titles in YouTube 'Tiki Vegan + Plisson Synthetic' and 'Face Lather Catie's Bubbles'.  I got great lather after practicing this a few times.

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 03-08-2016, 05:39 PM
#20
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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(03-08-2016, 04:50 PM)Shanman Wrote: To add to all the above thoughts, circular facelathering can then be ended by "laying" down the lather with a painting motion. It can help as well.

100% agree.

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