06-11-2016, 05:58 PM
#1
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I'm new to wet shaving (less than 10 shaves) but I'm still having the concern that my foam is not of the consistency of yogurt.  It's foamy, and lathers, but it's more foamy than having a thick consistently and is light in spots when applied (I can still see my skin through the foam).  So, I think I'm going about this improperly, especially since my foam rises up and clings to the lip of my cup.


My question is how much soap do you use? How long should you swirl the brush in the cup? Is a yogurt consistency a must? How much is a dollop of shave cream (or the right amount) to put in the bowl from a tin? How do use an arko stick?  Also if the shave is a cream, do you need a brush and should it be of yogurt consistency after being whipped?

Really can someone walk me through how to literally take the product out of the tin, place it in the cup (how much and how) and how log should you swish the brush and what should the consistency be. I'm truly concerned, so if anybody can help with a creating shaving foam properly tutorial (its ok to talk to me like a five year old because I need to learn proper techniques before I get further along and ingrain so bad habits).

Thanks in advance.

Helpless in Houston

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 06-11-2016, 06:07 PM
#2
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My recommendation would be to spend some time reading through forum threads and watching YouTube videos on this subject.  You're asking for advice on something that has numerous variables - e.g. water type (hard or soft), soap vs. cream, brand of soap/cream, brush you are using, face vs. bowl lather, hot vs. cold water, skin type, etc.  No one will be able to answer this question for you definitively because there is no definitive answer.  But don't be dismayed because this is the beauty of wet shaving.  Trial and error - experimentation - variable testing - and all of the sensory interest that comes along with it (olfactory, visual, and even audio).  The only real answer you'll get on this topic is to try various techniques, products, and equipment until you find a system that works for you.  And even then, you'll likely discover that you enjoyed the road you traveled to get to your shaving "nirvana" so much that the journey ends up being more gratifying than the destination. . .

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 06-11-2016, 06:52 PM
#3
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Practice lathers. I suggest MerkurMan's creamy lather method videos. I'm sure you can find them with a quick search. 

To me though it sounds as if you are incorporating too much air. In my experience, air is the biggest enemy to a good lather. Keep making lathers to see what works best for you. 

Godspeed!

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 06-11-2016, 07:30 PM
#4
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If you use about a dollop or almond size cream (ST. James of London, GFT, TOBS, etc) that should give you a decent amount of lather once you whip it and give it water. But for soaps, you should load a good amount. Probably more than you think is enough and keep going a while longer. What software brands are you planning to use soon to shave with?

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 06-11-2016, 09:01 PM
#5
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(06-11-2016, 07:30 PM)zaclikestoshave Wrote: If you use about a dollop or almond size cream (ST. James of London, GFT, TOBS, etc) that should give you a decent amount of lather once you whip it and give it water. But for soaps, you should load a good amount. Probably more than you think is enough and keep going a while longer. What software brands are you planning to use soon to shave with?


Thanks, the "almond size cream" remark was helpful me visualize what is better amount.  I've been using way less.

Arko, Proraso, Williams etc (probably basic inexpensive easy to find brands like those).

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 06-11-2016, 09:04 PM
#6
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(06-11-2016, 06:52 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: Practice lathers. I suggest MerkurMan's creamy lather method videos. I'm sure you can find them with a quick search. 

To me though it sounds as if you are incorporating too much air. In my experience, air is the biggest enemy to a good lather. Keep making lathers to see what works best for you. 

Godspeed!

Thanks!

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 06-11-2016, 09:06 PM
#7
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(06-11-2016, 06:07 PM)shaveser Wrote: My recommendation would be to spend some time reading through forum threads and watching YouTube videos on this subject.  You're asking for advice on something that has numerous variables - e.g. water type (hard or soft), soap vs. cream, brand of soap/cream, brush you are using, face vs. bowl lather, hot vs. cold water, skin type, etc.  No one will be able to answer this question for you definitively because there is no definitive answer.  But don't be dismayed because this is the beauty of wet shaving.  Trial and error - experimentation - variable testing - and all of the sensory interest that comes along with it (olfactory, visual, and even audio).  The only real answer you'll get on this topic is to try various techniques, products, and equipment until you find a system that works for you.  And even then, you'll likely discover that you enjoyed the road you traveled to get to your shaving "nirvana" so much that the journey ends up being more gratifying than the destination. . .


Appreciate the response.

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 06-12-2016, 12:16 AM
#8
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Arko and Proraso (both soaps and creams they offer) should work dandy for you. I found creams to be great for me to start with. I was using cheap low grade badgers when I first started. I am not sure what you are using but the one issue I had was the badger I used was rather large and I never loaded it with enough product so that is something to learn now. The smaller brushes can help you gain some consistency in your lathers. But if you start going bigger in brushes, the lather will take longer to develop and it requires more product per use as well.

Synthetics are great to have as well. I got a lot of friends started with synthetics and they didn't have much trouble learning with those. Feel free to ask away on anything you are wondering and just keep us updated on your progress. We all hope it gets dialed in for you and works out to making your shaves smoother, closer and more comfortable.

Cheers!

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 06-12-2016, 05:12 AM
#9
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(06-12-2016, 12:16 AM)zaclikestoshave Wrote: Arko and Proraso (both soaps and creams they offer) should work dandy for you. I found creams to be great for me to start with. I was using cheap low grade badgers when I first started. I am not sure what you are using but the one issue I had was the badger I used was rather large and I never loaded it with enough product so that is something to learn now. The smaller brushes can help you gain some consistency in your lathers. But if you start going bigger in brushes, the lather will take longer to develop and it requires more product per use as well.

Synthetics are great to have as well. I got a lot of friends started with synthetics and they didn't have much trouble learning with those. Feel free to ask away on anything you are wondering and just keep us updated on your progress. We all hope it gets dialed in for you and works out to making your shaves smoother, closer and more comfortable.

Cheers!
Many thanks, I think I headed in the right direction after the many helpful responses.

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 06-12-2016, 09:10 AM
#10
  • Nero
  • ACV is my new BFF
  • le montagne
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Definitely agree: the larger the brush, the more product should be used.

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 06-12-2016, 09:29 AM
#11
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Try practice palm lathering. Typically new users do not use enough soap/cream, so try loading the brush more.

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 06-12-2016, 10:59 AM
#12
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Do you face lather or bowl lather ?

It's impossible to go by 'a dollop' or swirling the brush for 30 seconds.

Depends on the density and size of the brush, how hard you swirl and the consistency of the soap/cream.

Instead go by this rule: Load the living life out of the product, so the top part of your brush bristles (20% or more) is totally covered in soap or cream.
Don't count seconds, minutes or go by almond dollop size what ever.......go by the rule: Load the brush until the 20% top part of the brush is totally covered in soap/cream.

You also have to be patient, when you add water. Don't add too much water or you'll end up with a gooey runny mess. Rather add too little water, and add water 5-6-7 drops at a time, not more than that.

Remember to be patient. It may take you 5-10 minutes to get a decent lather the first couple of times. Patience is key. If you need to shave in a hurry, use canned goo or a cream that lathers very easily like Truefitt & Hill No.10 or TOBS creams.

If you want to know how to build a decent lather, be calm and take your time. Don't rush it. Especially not the first 25-50 lathers you make.

But in general, don't rush the lather building process. Be calm and lather on.

Some prefer yoghurt like thick lather, others prefer the more fluffy light lather.
I get a more thick yoghurt like lather from tallow based soaps, and I get a more light fluffy lather from most of my lighter creams. The harder creams AKA croaps, usually give me a more thick lather.

I prefer a lather just in between thick and fluffy - but I can accept any good lather, as long as it provides me with a good protective lather.
You should not be able to see your skin through the lather, but you don't need to look like a dog with rabies or like Santa Claus with the big white beard  Sbathroom_grooming_shaving_100-100

Watch some youtube videos of guys shaving, Nick Shaves and Mauro di Lernia (Mauro is italian and speaks very little English, but his shaving technique and videos are very good IMHO)

Good luck !

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 06-12-2016, 02:53 PM
#13
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Great advice Claus.

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 06-12-2016, 05:51 PM
#14
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As other have said, there are a lot of variables, including water hardness that make giving specific advice difficult. Foamy instead of creamy usually means that you've got too much water relative to the amount of soap you've loaded.

I'd add that is was easiest for me to learn using a bowl. I found it easier to control. I started with a 30-second load and a damp (not wet) brush. If your lather is too dry, add a few drops of water. If you get the consistency where you like it, but you don't have enough for the number of passes you do, load more next time, and keep the water proportional.

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 06-13-2016, 05:40 PM
#15
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Thank you guys. My 8th shave was great due to the prep work. As they say the proof is in the pudding or better yet, foam...getting better.



So thankful for all of your positive supportive feedback.

[Image: mU5F9VI.jpg][Image: EDKxCO5.jpg]

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 06-14-2016, 01:04 PM
#16
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It looks too dry. But if it works for you and give you a great shave, it's great lather.

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 06-15-2016, 05:32 AM
#17
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I like to face lather it on so it is initially pretty thick but not that slick.  Then I add water to the brush in small amounts and continue to lather to the paoint it is still thick but now has a slickness to it.  You should be able to find that sweet spot no problem.  I never lather like you see in those air filled lather porn pictures.

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 06-15-2016, 07:22 AM
#18
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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You've received some good advice above. My caveat with creams is to use more than an almond size dollop; I prefer a Brazil nut size dollop. To quote a former member's sig line, "Use more product." If you're using soaps, let a spoonful or two of water sit on the surface of the puck for a few minutes while you're getting things together. And as Claus advised, add small amounts of water slowly but more frequently.

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 06-15-2016, 08:57 AM
#19
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then there's super lather...soap und crème...voila!

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 06-15-2016, 11:50 AM
#20
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(06-15-2016, 08:57 AM)jackgoldman123 Wrote: then there's super lather...soap und crème...voila!


Agreed

I have been an advocater of Superlather for the last 2-3 years as I find it can lift even a mediocre soap to a great lather, if the cream supports it well and vice versa.

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