08-22-2016, 10:22 AM
#1
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Hello. I can't create any decent lather. I have a whipped dog badger silvertip 22 mm knot. I tried soaking the brush for 5 minutes before shaving. I also tried to wet it really well. I have acceptable amount of lather for the first pass but not for my second. I used Proraso green soap but I found it difficult to create lather. Now I use Palmolice cream. It's a little better but nowhere near as it should be.

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 08-22-2016, 10:44 AM
#2
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Try using less water and more product at first. Also try face lathering. You can add water as needed. Remember just to wet the tips of the brush. I think this should help your problem. Good luck!

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 08-22-2016, 10:48 AM
#3
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Hopefully this helps,

My previous problems were adding too much water and not using enough product. 

I have found great results by starting with a damp brush (slowly adding water) while loading and lathering. This tip has helped me control the thickness/slickness of lather. Additionally, making sure to load a good amount of soap is key. Generally, the more product you use, the more water can be added without negatively affecting the lather. I would suggest overloading the brush with soap a few times in order to get a feel for your preferred soap/lather result. Best of luck! Let us know your progress!

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 08-22-2016, 11:09 AM
#4
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Few soaps and creams are truly bad latherers and your issue is just the learning curve we all rode. You may later consider sampling a few other soaps.
My comment no doubt will be followed by a chorus of favorites; but Pre de Provence is an inexpensive hard soap that lathers like popcorn in a microwave.

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 08-22-2016, 03:11 PM
#5
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There are some great videos that will help guide you in making a nice lather from a soap or a cream. Give YouTube a few searches (can't link here due to forum restrictions)

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 08-23-2016, 04:50 AM
#6
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(08-22-2016, 10:22 AM)Alex7 Wrote: Hello. I can't create any decent lather. I have a whipped dog badger silvertip 22 mm knot. I tried soaking the brush for 5 minutes before shaving. I also tried to wet it really well. I have acceptable amount of lather for the first pass but not for my second. I used Proraso green soap but I found it difficult to create lather. Now I use Palmolice cream. It's a little better but nowhere near as it should be.

Hypothesis:  the issue may not be in the quality of your lather, but instead in your standards of “decent” and “should be.”  

Although I am an outlier, a member of a small minority, on this board, I judge the quality of lather by the quality of the shave that I achieve when I use the lather for its dedicated function.  All but totally lacking in artistic chops, I have not attempted to create lather sculpture, even though I really do admire the efforts of those more artistically accomplished than I am. 

However, over the past few years, I have continued to improve my technique in producing slick, moisturizing, and protective lather that provides me with a terrific shave; and — mirabile dictuI developed my own unique lathering protocol as a result.  I now use that method almost exclusively (I have found that my technique works better with some brands of soap than with some other brands of soap), and, although my lather would make a lousy modeling clay, I suffer from no lather envy of those others who produce stiff malleable lather for perfect sculptures. 
I am at peace with my own limitations and my own modest accomplishments; perhaps you could achieve the same serenity.  
  Cheers

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 08-23-2016, 05:23 AM
#7
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When asking questions about technique it's always better to add too much information than  not enough. What happens to it? Without the information we can only give generic suggestions.

There are very few problems with lather that using more soap doesn't cure. Dry lather is the only one that I'm aware of. Since you're using a cream it's super easy to add more product. (How much are you using?) If your lather disappears into a nothingness of dry wisps then the lather is too dry.  If it just immediately turns to foam and then into a puddle it's too wet. Anything between those 2 extremes is usable, and in between those 2 extremes is where you'll find something that you'll like and will work best.

I'd also suggest that you undertake a self education program to learn how to make lather. Making lather need not result in a shave. It's perfectly OK to make lather and put it down the drain. Soap is too inexpensive to tolerate bad lather and a resulting bad shave; it's a critical component to a great shave. While practicing making lather continue to add water until the lather fails. You need to learn how the lather feels as it approaches that point and what happens right before it fails (its' characteristics). Also make lather that's too dry and see what happens to it. But at this point all lather should be spread on the arm and timed. It should last for at least a few minutes and longer is better than shorter.

Too, water being hard or soft will affect things. The harder the water the more product you'll need, but soft water doesn't mean that one can be miserly with the soap.

IMO, great lather is extremely tightly structured, almost like a thin yogurt. It's also wet and loaded with soap solids, but the amount of soap isn't fully turned into as much aerated lather as could otherwise be made with it. It's called an ultralather and a google search will find it for you. But first you need to teach yourself to make any usable lather; fine tuning it can come later. It's just soap and water, you'll get it as billions before you have.

Good luck.

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 08-23-2016, 07:32 AM
#8
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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Good post, Brian.

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 08-25-2016, 10:59 AM
#9
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I've found that continuing to learn about this, or any other, hobby is a really good idea. I call it a hobby because there are a lot of ways to shave without spending as much time, money, and effort as some of us here.  I don't know if making a reference to a YouTube channel is permissible. If not, would a mod please take this post down. There's a guy on YouTube who has put up quite a few really good instructional/educational videos. He does this without shilling for products or sellers, and from what I've seen provides great information. I refer to mantic59, look his channel up and enjoy what he has to offer.

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 08-26-2016, 12:17 AM
#10
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#USE MUCH MORE PRODUCT
#ADD WATER 6-8 DROPS AT A TIME
#PATIENCE IS KEY

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 08-26-2016, 03:16 AM
#11
  • beamon
  • Active Member
  • Greenville, SC USA
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Did you ever notice some of the videos that are posted by razor makers illustrating someone shaving with their razor. More often than not, the shaver is sporting a lather that looks nothing like the yogurt look alikes that we're told are the holy grail of lathers. They're thin, watery and don't even cover the stubble. Either they don't know what constitutes a good lather or they know something that we don't.

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 08-26-2016, 04:32 AM
#12
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(08-26-2016, 03:16 AM)beamon Wrote: Did you ever notice some of the videos that are posted by razor makers illustrating someone shaving with their razor. More often than not, the shaver is sporting a lather that looks nothing like the yogurt look alikes that we're told are the holy grail of lathers. They're thin, watery and don't even cover the stubble. Either they don't know what constitutes a good lather or they know something that we don't.

If you use Aubrey Organics Mens Stock Northwoods Shave Cream (as I somtimes do when traveling), the “lather” on your fully prepped beard will be all but invisible — just a reflective sheen — but that product can give you slickness, protection against nicks:  in sum, a terrific shave.   No matter what prep is used, the only part of the lather or cream that is at work is a layer a few molecules thick that is closest to the skin and actually touching the shafts of the stubble.   The stiff peaks of stands-proud lather are for show, not go.

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 08-26-2016, 06:19 AM
#13
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First of all do you have hard water?  If so, use distilled water.  I have over 50 soaps and creams and have no problems with any of them.

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 08-30-2016, 09:39 AM
#14
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(08-26-2016, 06:19 AM)Tidepool Wrote: First of all do you have hard water?  If so, use distilled water.  I have over 50 soaps and creams and have no problems with any of them.

How do I know if I have hard water?

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 08-30-2016, 10:22 AM
#15
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 08-30-2016, 12:10 PM
#16
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(08-30-2016, 09:39 AM)Alex7 Wrote:
(08-26-2016, 06:19 AM)Tidepool Wrote: First of all do you have hard water?  If so, use distilled water.  I have over 50 soaps and creams and have no problems with any of them.

How do I know if I have hard water?

I you have city water you can request a water analysis from the supplier. If you have a well you can have it tested. If you use soap you can feel it. If you live in a known hard water area you probably have hard water. Calcium (limestone) causes it and another mineral (element) that I don't remember. If your water comes from granite or some such aquifer you probably have soft water.

You can probably google a hard water/soft water map. I'd have helped further, but I don't see where you're from, so it's on your shoulders to figure it out.

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 08-30-2016, 12:36 PM
#17
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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I was just re educating myself at Mantic's Sharpologists website. His youtube videos are a classic resource too. The archives hold some helpfull articles on lathering problems. You can do everything 'right' and still fail. It will come to you, like that magic moment in balance for the first time on a bicycle, pedaling
with confidence. Then the next door nieghbor starts backing out of her driveway in a 70s Buick Stationwagon and ....................................................

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 08-30-2016, 02:06 PM
#18
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Don't be afraid to use more product. It was one of my many lather problems when I first started wetshaving.

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 09-10-2016, 01:06 AM
#19
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I don't soak my badgers, I just get them wet. Could it be that your brush may have absorbed too much water in the knot?

Try getting a soap stick like Arko or La Toja, it's pretty easy to do a face lather with those soaps; just until you get the hang on things.

Bowl lathering is not my thing, I find face lathering easier. Bowl is doable but face lathering is more convenient for me.

Don't worry about your lather being pasty, just add drips of water accordingly until you see a yoghurt like consistency.

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 09-10-2016, 01:49 AM
#20
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The more water I add the more thin my lather becomes.

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