10-08-2017, 07:07 PM
#1
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Hi everyone!

Hope you all are doing well! I'm Sunny & I live in Hong Kong

I am new to wet shaving and have a question about how to properly load Soaps using a synthetic brush.

Therea are so many variations to loading a hard soap and a croap that honestly its making me confused. Some say bloom the soap, whilst others say dont, some say wet the brush whilst others say not too.

So far my experiences are as follows:

Using DR Harris Windsor Shaving Soap & Plisson Synthetic brush
1. Add some water on top of the soap surface
2. After 5 mins drain the water out
3. Run Plisson under warm tap water for 10secs and give it a gentle squeeze.
4. Start loading
5. After 30 secs of clock and counter clockwise it seems I have a good load, when I put the brush on my face the lather seems kind of wet, not runny but not paste like. 
6. The shave turns out fine but then I get burning around some areas of my face? 

Using Stirling Gin & Tonic soap & Plisson Synthetic brush
1. Bloom the soap for 5 mins
2. Wet the brush under tap water for 10 secs. Give it a gentle squeeze 
3. Start loading.
4. Once again after 30 - 40 secs the load seems good...the bristles seem to stick together so I go to my face...but again its not pasty but seems kind of weak...i keep adding water until I feel the consistency is fine...shave comes out fine but again burning.

The thing is when I use creams its all good...whether I bowl lather or face lather...but I have never been able to generate an amazing lather using any kind of soap, whether it be Proraso / WSP / Mama Bears etc.

I would just like some suggestions on a general rule of thumb...and mainly for synthetic brushes. I have tried not blooming soaps and going at the soap with a wet brush...or damp brush etc but it seems like the soap never enters the knot..it just stays on top...then I have seen people mashing the soap...whilst others just lightly brisk over the soap. Hence my total confusion. 

I really want the soaps to generate awesome lather and some of the companies mentioned have been known to generate tons of lather. 

Any advice - Simple would be best!

Thanks and waiting your comments!

Sunny

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 10-08-2017, 08:30 PM
#2
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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Welcome to the forum. How long do you spend working up a lather? Perhaps more time in this endeavor would be beneficial.

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 10-08-2017, 08:41 PM
#3
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(10-08-2017, 08:30 PM)chazt Wrote: Welcome to the forum. How long do you spend working up a lather? Perhaps more time in this endeavor would be beneficial.

Hi Chazt,

Thanks for the reply!

I spend about a minute working up a lather on my face

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 10-09-2017, 02:56 AM
#4
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
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(10-08-2017, 07:07 PM)snandwani Wrote: Therea are so many variations to loading a hard soap and a croap that honestly its making me confused. Some say bloom the soap, whilst others say dont, some say wet the brush whilst others say not too.

So far my experiences are as follows:

Using DR Harris Windsor Shaving Soap & Plisson Synthetic brush
1. Add some water on top of the soap surface
2. After 5 mins drain the water out
3. Run Plisson under warm tap water for 10secs and give it a gentle squeeze.
4. Start loading
5. After 30 secs of clock and counter clockwise it seems I have a good load, when I put the brush on my face the lather seems kind of wet, not runny but not paste like. 
6. The shave turns out fine but then I get burning around some areas of my face? 

Using Stirling Gin & Tonic soap & Plisson Synthetic brush
1. Bloom the soap for 5 mins
2. Wet the brush under tap water for 10 secs. Give it a gentle squeeze 
3. Start loading.
4. Once again after 30 - 40 secs the load seems good...the bristles seem to stick together so I go to my face...but again its not pasty but seems kind of weak...i keep adding water until I feel the

Try this:  
  •  After DR Harris step 1 or Stirling step 2, do not drain (that is do not throw out) the water from the top of the soap.  Instead, pour that soapy water into a pre-warmed mug that has no water in it.
  •  Do not pre-wet the Plisson brush; use the until-then dry brush to whip up a lather in the mug from the water that you poured off the surface of the soap.

The amount of time it will take to whip up a lather will depend on the quantity of soapy water in the mug when you start whipping.  In any event, it will result in relatively thin (not sculptable) lather that, however, will leave a slick and protective coating on your beard, which will get well moisturized.  This is a method for maximum performance in shaving, not for showing off to the audience.

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 10-09-2017, 03:38 AM
#5
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Welcome to TSN.  When you have a chance, please introduce yourself in the Introductions section,  so our members can give you a proper welcome. 

Regarding your issue, try loading the brush longer.

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 10-09-2017, 05:27 AM
#6
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Welcome home.  Pull up a stump and set a spell.

I have similar problems with all the Stirling soaps I've tried regardless of brush type or how long I allow it to bloom.

BUT I have never had a problem with DR Harris soaps.

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 10-09-2017, 05:57 AM
#7
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
User Info
(10-08-2017, 08:41 PM)snandwani Wrote:
(10-08-2017, 08:30 PM)chazt Wrote: Welcome to the forum. How long do you spend working up a lather? Perhaps more time in this endeavor would be beneficial.

Hi Chazt,

Thanks for the reply!

I spend about a minute working up a lather on my face

Try 3-5 minutes...

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 10-09-2017, 06:02 AM
#8
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Every soap is different.  Figuring out the quirks of each one you try is part of the fun of the hobby. All lather troubles eventually boil down to the soap to water ratio being off.  If your lather is too frothy, you need to load longer and pick up more soap.  If your lather is too pasty you need to gradually add some water in small increments to develop a properly hydrated lather. Don't worry too much about any particular method, as you can make wonderful lather with all of the methods people mention.  Just figure one out for yourself.  Grab a tub and a brush and just build some lather.  If you know what you're looking for in a lather just keep  working the lather until you get what you desire.   Welcome by the way!

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 10-09-2017, 04:09 PM
#9
  • DayMan
  • Senior Member
  • Tennessee
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You might want to try building your lather in a bowl. I find that it's easier to get a good lather using a bowl. Once you learn how to get it the way you like it with a bowl, you can try face lathering again.

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 10-10-2017, 03:42 PM
#10
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Bear in mind, I don't use synthetic brushes, but I think these comments generally apply.

On step 3 of the DR Harris sequence, I'd shake the brush out so it is pretty dry.  Start with that and add a little bit of water to the brush at a time (pass quickly under the tap and shake a bit).  Keep loading and then load more, adding water as needed to build the consistency to thick cream like texture before moving to face or bowl.  Don't be afraid to overload, at least when starting out and getting the hang of it.

Nathan is being modest above...his method documented below was a game changer for me on creating awesome lather.  I'd start there.

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

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 10-11-2017, 03:19 PM
#11
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30 seconds load time seems high for a synthetic, 10 seconds will give me more than enough on a Stirling soap.

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 10-11-2017, 04:56 PM
#12
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(10-09-2017, 04:09 PM)DayMan Wrote: You might want to try building your lather in a bowl. I find that it's easier to get a good lather using a bowl. Once you learn how to get it the way you like it with a bowl, you can try face lathering again.

+1

Much easier to see and control what you're doing. It's a good way to get the hang of things when you're just learning.

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 10-11-2017, 05:27 PM
#13
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+1 as well.  It seems that hot processed soaps use varying amounts of water in their recipes making me use more or less water with the brush.  It takes a while to  get into a soap and learn how best to use it

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 10-11-2017, 08:16 PM
#14
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Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for your inputs....I do feel when I load for 30 secs or more...I have too much on the brush...Maybe that is a problem as well? I will try the method of starting dry and loading and hydrating the soap as I go along!

I tried the load and hydrate method with WSP Gaelic Tweed and loaded for 30 secs. Even tho it was a good lather, it wasnt very slick, hence I think the loading time on the soap should be less and more on the face. 

Will def try bowl lathering as well =) 

Any other tips or advices would be appreciated 

Thanks 
Sunny

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