05-15-2016, 01:34 PM
#1
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I'm new in wet shaving (less than 2 months), and I'd like to hear your opinions of lather that I make. Is it to watered, or to dry, or something else is missing...?
Arko soap stick.
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poslato sa LG L65

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 05-15-2016, 03:22 PM
#2
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Kinda hard to tell, but it looks to airy to me.  Maybe try loading longer.

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 05-15-2016, 03:23 PM
#3
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(05-15-2016, 03:22 PM)Shannon Wrote: Kinda hard to tell, but it looks to airy to me.  Maybe try loading longer.


+1, looks very airy, looks dry on the face as well but nice and moist on the brush. More product, more time mixing up the , which in turn will most likely need more water

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 05-15-2016, 03:33 PM
#4
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I see bubbles in the lather and no bubbles are what you want.

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 05-15-2016, 03:48 PM
#5
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You seem to a have enough in the bowk. I think you need more time (I agree the bubbles are bit big)  and a bit more water as it's painting on a bit clumpy. 

Try palm lathering.

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 05-15-2016, 04:06 PM
#6
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I agree with the above statements, but I would add that I think, in addition to more hydration, you need more product. Load longer (like you hate it) and slowly add water until you achieve a shiny, glistening lather. Good Luck!

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 05-15-2016, 05:31 PM
#7
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Hard to type what I'm thinking but I'll try.

The guys above I agree with. Looks like a combination of small issues that add up to a larger one.

Too airy and a little dry.

I would also load more product on the brush before whipping up.

I face lather mostly, but it's the same deal - finished product in the end is your goal.

Load lots and lots of soap or cream in the brush. You can always step this down later on when you get the knack of the next bits.

As you're in a bowl I'll describe how I would proceed. Barely enough water in the bottom of the bowl to cover 1/2 to 3/4 of the bottom.
Loaded brush to bowl and go with some slower back and forth until you've incorporated the water into the loaded brush. Like a uniform consistency that will wick up into your brush mostly. At first it won't look much different than when you just got the brush loaded. You're after uniform blending of small amounts of water. 

Dribble a little bit more water into the bowl. You can use the brush to do this by running the tap really slow and letting water roll onto the brush where the hair exits the handle and taking it right back over the bowl to dribble in the bottom. No more than enough to barely cover 1/2 or less of the bottom of the bowl. 

Incorporate the water slowly into the lather. Try and pick it all up into and onto your brush. Take your time. We're not whipping yet.

Once you've done this 3 maybe 5 times and you can no longer wick it all back up into the brush or hold it on the outside of the knot, but all your product is an even consistency, you're ready to develop and you can start "whipping" a little more vigorously.

You're looking for slightly runny pancake batter consistency or thicker with no more than a couple large bubbles that quickly break.

I go in a straight back and forth painting stroke and turn the brush a quarter or half turn when the lather begins climbing the sides of the bowl or creeping up the brush towards the handle.

You need to change up your angle to clear the lather down the sides of the bowl. Use the edge of the bowl if you need to and scrape the knot to keep the mix towards the tips of the brush. A few circular swirls here and there are fine.

Every time you start getting more volume approach each new pile of lather on your down stroke and try to collapse it back into the bowl.

this is the part that sounds counter-intuitive. Keep destroying the piles of lather. Mash them back into the bow with a deliberate stroke using the tip and side of the knot. I know you're trying to build lather. The thing is you want dense creamy lather instead of airy fluffy lather.

So along the way you're going to notice you're getting a little bit of a plateau. All this building and destroying stops yielding more volume. No problem. Add water. A dribble here a dribble there.

Until you hit a point where you start getting bubbles that don't collapse on themselves.

You want to incorporate water more than air. Concentrate on adding water and the air will take care of itself.

Thing is, how do you know when you've gone too far? Well you have to practice. You won't know where the line is where your lather can't take any more water and breaks until you do it a few times to see. That's fine. You don't have to make practice lather and rinse it away. Just reload more product onto your brush and incorporate into your runny lather.

You may end up with more than you need, but it's just paying your dues to the promised land. 

Everyone's water is different. So you'll need to find the breaking point of yours and then try to take it just up to this point without crossing it.


Incorporate water, not air. Focus on uniform consistency and destroy volume and crush your progress. 

Soon this will become less of a conscious endeavor and it will take considerably less time to reach your peak lather.

You can always add more water. You can always add more soap. It's no big deal. Better off runny than on the dry side I say. Soap is cheap, but experience has to be won.

You're making good volume, but it's not about how much you can fill up the bowl. It's quality over quantity.

Hope this makes sense.

Post some more photos when you get where you want to be. You're close!

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 05-15-2016, 06:17 PM
#8
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Too airy and too thin for my taste.


Load more product. 90% of all rookies load too little product.

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 05-15-2016, 07:06 PM
#9
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The fortunate thing to remember is we were all rookies at this game at one point.. Keep practicing, you'll get it.

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 05-15-2016, 08:45 PM
#10
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I would have to concur with the other statements indicating that you may want to load more product and add a bit more water.
Nonetheless, if your lather is working well for you, then just keep doing what you are doing. Your lather doesn't have to look a particular way as long as it is providing you with great shaves.  Shy

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 05-16-2016, 03:52 AM
#11
  • ARGH
  • Senior Member
  • Boston, MA
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Different soaps behave differently, so trying another soap might also be useful!

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 05-16-2016, 04:43 AM
#12
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Think bowl lathering for me at first was a bit harder to achieve the lather I was looking for. Face lathering gave me a way to look at exactly what I had and what a touch of water actually did to the lather in real time. I recommend puck lathering for beginners , I start out with a damp brush and load the brush wetting just the tips of the brush as I continue to lather slowly with little pressure until I have what looks like creamy usable lather on the brush. At this point you are ready to go to the face and finish hydrating and applying your lather. If you were interested in your arko it can be grated and pressed into a bowl (larger surface area for the brush could make things easier to load) I myself prefer this method over shave sticks. Hope this helps and enjoy your day.

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 05-16-2016, 10:24 AM
#13
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(05-16-2016, 04:43 AM)ultra~nova Wrote: Think bowl lathering for me at first was a bit harder to achieve the lather I was looking for. Face lathering gave me a way to look at exactly what I had and what a touch of water actually did to the lather in real time. I recommend puck lathering for beginners , I start out with a damp brush and load the brush wetting just the tips of the brush as I continue to lather slowly with little pressure until I have what looks like creamy usable lather on the brush. At this point you are ready to go to the face and finish hydrating and applying your lather. If you were interested in your arko it can be grated and pressed into a bowl (larger surface area for the brush could make things easier to load) I myself prefer this method over shave sticks. Hope this helps and enjoy your day.

yr obdnt srvnt offers a very strongly contrarian opinion.

Apparently disagreeing with all of the opinions previously offered in this thread, I happen to judge shaving lather as a functional product, above all.  To paraphrase the late Vince Lombardi, when it comes to judging lather, performance is not the most important thing, it is the only thing.

Moreover, and excluding extremes, I have seen very little, indeed close to zero, consistent correlation between lather appearance and lather performance.  If you showed me photos of slices of two raw fresh sweet potatoes and asked which one tastes better, I would have no idea; the same would be true if you showed me two photos of lathered brushes, even if you stipulated that both were generated using the very same puck of soap, asking which would provide the better shave.  

When I lather up shaving soap or shaving cream, I do so for one specific purpose:  to shave.  Alone in front of the sink, and nearly naked, while I am shaving, nobody but me sees the lather, and I am not burdened by performance anxiety as to how pretty or not-pretty my lather is.  The walls of our home are not festooned with close-up photographs of perfect lather-filled brushes.  Never have I had a one-man show at an art gallery of my lather creations.

But I do care whether my shave preparation moistens my stubble to make the whiskers easy to cut.  I do care whether the lather creates glide, so that the blade does not dig into my skin.  I do care that the passage of the razor over my face does or does not cause irritation.   I do care whether my face and skin do or do not feel dry or chapped at the end of the shave.  The appearance of the lather does not contribute one whit to any of those qualities.  

I am a recreational cook.  Many recipes call for the whites and yolks of eggs to be separated, and the whites to be beaten separately from the yolks.  Such recipes usually specify to what degree the whites should be beaten.  I can tell you that where the recipe calls for stiff peaks, the end result will not be satisfactory if the eggs remain runny when the beating is done.  But the reverse is also true:  some recipes, which call for the egg whites to be beaten but do not call for stiff peaks, will be ruined if you beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.

So my answer to OP mezzano is a question:  “Does the lather give you a good shave?”

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in the stars/But in ourselves, that we are underlings.  
    — Cassius, in JULIUS CAESAR


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 05-16-2016, 11:13 AM
#14
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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Interesting post, MSM. 

Re: lather production, this is my thought. I used to bowl lather exclusively, now i face lather exclusively. The difference between the 2 methods is remarkable. The bowl provided me with gobs of whipped-cream-like lather that sat on my whiskers. My shaves were good, not great. Face lathering with a well-loaded brush and plenty of water for ~ five minutes generates a rich, pentrating and hydrating lather that provides sufficient cushion and glide for 3+ passes.

Yes, try another variety of lather fuel. Use more of it. Mix in plenty of water slowly over time. Try lathering directly on your face for a truly effective lather, not just a picture pretty lather that sits on your face. You want the lather to penetrate your whiskers.

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 05-16-2016, 12:09 PM
#15
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Point taken , just offering help if op were to desire a different approach. Many gents chimed in with "ratings" I decided to jump into the after party regarding is there something else missing the op asked.  Cool

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 05-16-2016, 05:53 PM
#16
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(05-16-2016, 10:24 AM)Mel S Meles Wrote:
(05-16-2016, 04:43 AM)ultra~nova Wrote: Think bowl lathering for me at first was a bit harder to achieve the lather I was looking for. Face lathering gave me a way to look at exactly what I had and what a touch of water actually did to the lather in real time. I recommend puck lathering for beginners , I start out with a damp brush and load the brush wetting just the tips of the brush as I continue to lather slowly with little pressure until I have what looks like creamy usable lather on the brush. At this point you are ready to go to the face and finish hydrating and applying your lather. If you were interested in your arko it can be grated and pressed into a bowl (larger surface area for the brush could make things easier to load) I myself prefer this method over shave sticks. Hope this helps and enjoy your day.

yr obdnt srvnt offers a very strongly contrarian opinion.

Apparently disagreeing with all of the opinions previously offered in this thread, I happen to judge shaving lather as a functional product, above all.  To paraphrase the late Vince Lombardi, when it comes to judging lather, performance is not the most important thing, it is the only thing.

Moreover, and excluding extremes, I have seen very little, indeed close to zero, consistent correlation between lather appearance and lather performance.  If you showed me photos of slices of two raw fresh sweet potatoes and asked which one tastes better, I would have no idea; the same would be true if you showed me two photos of lathered brushes, even if you stipulated that both were generated using the very same puck of soap, asking which would provide the better shave.  

When I lather up shaving soap or shaving cream, I do so for one specific purpose:  to shave.  Alone in front of the sink, and nearly naked, while I am shaving, nobody but me sees the lather, and I am not burdened by performance anxiety as to how pretty or not-pretty my lather is.  The walls of our home are not festooned with close-up photographs of perfect lather-filled brushes.  Never have I had a one-man show at an art gallery of my lather creations.

But I do care whether my shave preparation moistens my stubble to make the whiskers easy to cut.  I do care whether the lather creates glide, so that the blade does not dig into my skin.  I do care that the passage of the razor over my face does or does not cause irritation.   I do care whether my face and skin do or do not feel dry or chapped at the end of the shave.  The appearance of the lather does not contribute one whit to any of those qualities.  

I am a recreational cook.  Many recipes call for the whites and yolks of eggs to be separated, and the whites to be beaten separately from the yolks.  Such recipes usually specify to what degree the whites should be beaten.  I can tell you that where the recipe calls for stiff peaks, the end result will not be satisfactory if the eggs remain runny when the beating is done.  But the reverse is also true:  some recipes, which call for the egg whites to be beaten but do not call for stiff peaks, will be ruined if you beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.

So my answer to OP mezzano is a question:  “Does the lather give you a good shave?”

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in the stars/But in ourselves, that we are underlings.  
    — Cassius, in JULIUS CAESAR


Point taken Mel S Meles. I agree with you, in the end performance is all that matters, and you can't tell everything from a simple photo.  However, personally I think you can tell an awful lot about how a lather will perform for you based on what it looks like.  The truth of the matter is simply this, people prefer different characteristics in their lather.  Some people like it thin and bubbly and others like it thick.  Who is right in this? No one.  As long as you can consistently produce a lather that works well for you that is all you need.  But in my opinion it is important to be able to learn to recognize what the type of lather you shoot for looks like in the building stages.  I can spot my kind of lather from a photo very easily, and I would be a bit surprised if you couldn't do the same by simply looking at a photo.  This doesn't mean any one method is the superior way to lather, it just means that you know what you like and are able to recognize it and therefore easily reproduce it every day.  Just my two cents. 
To the OP, I do think Mel S Meles asks the right question in the end.  How does your lather shave?  Because in the end that is all that matters.  However, if you notice any particular attribute of your lather that isn't where you'd like it to be we may be able to help you further.

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 05-16-2016, 08:20 PM
#17
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(05-16-2016, 05:53 PM)merkur man Wrote: I can spot my kind of lather from a photo very easily, and I would be a bit surprised if you couldn't do the same by simply looking at a photo. 

True that.  Personally, I would not choose to shave with any of the concoctions shown in this thread.   Seriously.   Obviously, given their shelf life, I never have shaved with any of them; but I have been shaving for nearly six decades, 20,000 shaves plus or minus, and I am pretty sure that I could get a better shave with this (which I have used) than with what was whipped up by any of the lathered brushes displayed in that thread.  While a brush that is used obsessively to make a lather for optimum performance may look good when it is slathered in lather, when that same brush instead is employed obsessively toward the goal of making a show horse lather. it ends up making a horse that loses the race on performance.  

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 05-17-2016, 01:38 AM
#18
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That is the entire point of my previous post my friend... you have your ideal and other also have theirs. Who is right? Could it possibly be both?!? You make it abundantly clear you detest thick, rich lather, that's great, how could I possibly have any qualms with that? You know what you like. But, what good does it do to spew forth regarding how much you dislike what someone else does, when in reality it just a matter of preference. I'm happy for you that you know what you like, and no one is telling you that your "concoctions" are poorly done and that they couldn't possibly perform admirably, why then all the venom toward what others perceive as their ideal?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 05-17-2016, 02:44 AM
#19
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(05-17-2016, 01:38 AM)merkur man Wrote: That is the entire point of my previous post my friend... you have your ideal and other also have theirs. Who is right? Could it possibly be both?!? You make it abundantly clear you detest thick, rich lather, that's great, how could I possibly have any qualms with that? You know what you like. But, what good does it do to spew forth regarding how much you dislike what someone else does, when in reality it just a matter of preference. I'm happy for you that you know what you like, and no one is telling you that your "concoctions" are poorly done and that they couldn't possibly perform admirably, why then all the venom toward what others perceive as their ideal?

I fear that I have been misinterpreted.  I do not detest thick, rich lather, not at all.  In fact, some Mystic Water soaps are in my regular rotation, and when I have lathered with Mystic Water soaps, my brush generally has generated very thick, very rich, lather.  I never have attempted to whip Mystic Water shaving soap beyond that stage until it might reach an “egg meringue schaum torte” stiff peak that incorporates so much air that it would sit on top of my beard without moisturizing it, and without reaching the skin to lubricate it.  I do not know whether that kind of lather can be generated with the  Mystic Water product; but I also cannot dismiss out of hand that it could be done.  My opinions on lather are entirely free of venom, spewed or otherwise, and are informed solely by experience.

What I have written is that I cannot discern from a photograph of a brush whether the lather on it has the ability to moisturize a beard and to lubricate the surface of the skin beneath the beard in the manner that the Mystic Water soaps that I have used always have done.  On the other hand, I have used products like the Aubrey Organics Mens Stock line that produce zero lather, none at all, and yet moisturize my beard and lubricate my facial skin very well.  In other words, as I stated a few posts up in this thread, I see no necessary correlation between the appearance of lather and the performance of a shaving cream or soap.  

I think that an observation of non-correlation between lather appearance and shaving performance does not constitute venom or even a criticism of those who enjoy creating sculptures in the lather medium.

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 05-17-2016, 04:44 AM
#20
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I apologize for taking your comments personally.  Context and tone are not strong suits of this form of social media.  I took the statements: "I would not choose to shave with any of these concoctions...", and "...obsessively toward the goal of making a show horse lather... that loses the race on performance."  as very thinly veiled criticisms and barbs toward myself and others who post in the Lather Shots threads. 

One area that I agree with you wholeheartedly is that air is the enemy of highly functional lather, because it inhibits the ability of the lather to moisturize and soften the stubble.

Sorry to have derailed this thread.

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