09-23-2012, 10:36 AM
#1
  • oscar11
  • Senior Member
  • North Dakota
User Info
Where did this come from? That a shaving brush should hold enough lather for 3 passes. The reason I ask is that I've never heard that before I came to internet shaving forums. Of course, I'm entirely self taught when it comes to wet shaving, as I sure many are. Nope, no lessons from Dad. I watched him shave and learned that way. I guess what I'm getting at is the way I've always did it is slightly different. I flood the soap, soak my brush, wash my face. Pour the water off the soap, shake my brush fairly dry and start loading soap. After around 20 seconds if the brush looks loaded to my satisfaction, I start face lathering on a wet face and work up a good lather and shave. After the first pass I rinse my face, leaving it wet and load for another 15-20 seconds, face lather and do pass 2 and touch ups as needed afterwards. I don't do 3 passes but usually have soap left over but I'm not really sure if it would be enough for a 3rd pass without going for more soap. I do know from browsing antique stores a lot of the brushes you see are small diameter brushes. Can you get a 3 pass shave from a 18/20mm brush face lathering? Or is the 3 pass brush a new concept?

12 743
Reply
 09-23-2012, 10:39 AM
#2
User Info
I do not think it is possible/optimal to get two passes from an 18mm brush if you face lather.

If you make enough in a bowl, of course you can.

9 2,988
Reply
 09-23-2012, 10:45 AM
#3
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
User Info
I think the three passes thing started from bragging rights, kind of like my car is faster than yours.

Now I do not face lather but I can understand where you are coming from. I load my soap on the brush as you do but I build my lather in a bowl/scuttle. Doing this I can pack enough creamy lather into the brush that I do not need to reload it during passes. I generally to two passes as that is all I need, but if I needed to do a third there is more than enough lather still inside the brush to do so.

173 23,480
Reply
 09-23-2012, 12:44 PM
#4
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
User Info
I can get lather for 3 razor passes with a Wee Scot.However, the third pass , the lather is much thinner than the one used on the 1st past.
Depends also how you like your lather : if you like it thin , then you can get that kind of lather with any brush for over 5, 6 or 7 razor passes.If you like it denser and thicker , then its not gonna be that easy.
If you make lather on a bowl , no problem then (even with a Wee Scot as I have tried it).
The 3 pass lather brush is a new concept to me , to be honest , since what I consider suitable or perfect lather to shave could not be the kind of lather you like to use.

86 7,123
Reply
 09-23-2012, 01:54 PM
#5
User Info
I too must have missed the class on the "3 Pass Shaving Brush". It has never been a goal, though it is easy to do with some soap/brush combinations (MdC, or MWF, with a good boar brush, for example). I am just fine with going back to the soap bowl to make a bit more lather, if needed.

6 230
Reply
 09-23-2012, 02:19 PM
#6
  • matloffm
  • Senior Member
  • Culver City, CA
User Info
I agree with Bowlturner. Most of the time, Southern CA is a very dry climate. Once I get the lather ready for the first pass, I cannot count on it being moist for the second. I often add a little water between passes. The original lather would be pretty dry by the third pass.

16 542
Reply
 09-23-2012, 02:42 PM
#7
  • texquill
  • Olver Warbucks
  • Richardson - DFW area of Texas
User Info
There are too many variables involved to unequivocally say, "Yes, three passes are always achievable with a small brush."

Yes, I can get three passes - even using a Wee Scot - when I use Martin de Candre or Mitchell's Wool Fat or one of several other higher end soaps - AND when I use a brush with a little body to its bristles (i.e: Simpson's best or two band) - AND when I take care of business in a relatively prompt manner. However, if I dawdle through a long, narcissistic Saturday morning experience, I might have to go back to the soap bowl after each pass.

30 237
Reply
 09-23-2012, 03:03 PM
#8
User Info
I always shave three passes, and yes, a small brush can hold three passes worth. It's definitely a bit harder to get three passes with a Wee Scot than a larger brush, but I don't normally have much of an issue. You just have to be sure to use enough product (and, in the case of the Wee Scot, count the handle as part of the brush). I find it interesting that people are saying that they can get more passes when using a bowl. I'm not sure why this would make a difference. All the bowl is doing is allowing you to whip more air into the lather. So maybe that makes more volume, but the quality of the lather is lower.

30 275
Reply
 09-23-2012, 03:11 PM
#9
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
User Info
(09-23-2012, 10:36 AM)oscar11 Wrote: Can you get a 3 pass shave from a 18/20mm brush face lathering? Or is the 3 pass brush a new concept?

Hi Steve

Like yourself I'm totally self taught when it comes traditional wetshaving...

I purely face lather and the majority of my shaving brushes are in the 20 to 22mm range.

When it come to shaving creams I have no problem loading the brush adequately for 3 passes. I like my lather dense and slick.

Shaving soaps on the other hand are a different story, unless I really take my time to fully load the brush with soap (not very often) I tend to have to reload the brush a little bit for the third pass, I mainly do this so I'm able to achieve the dense, slick lather I'm after.

Take care, Mike

23 1,872
Reply
 09-23-2012, 03:27 PM
#10
User Info
What about 3 passes and a head pass?

That makes it a little harder doesn't it.

1 2,827
Reply
 09-23-2012, 03:37 PM
#11
User Info
I didn't know that 3 passes was some sort of goal. First that I've heard of that. Amazing how some folks latch onto what they read and attach things never intended onto them (IMO).

Well, Maine is bone dry in the winter, and I have no problem with 2 1/2 passes and enough left over for another pass if I use the right soap w/o having to build lather again. I don't know that any of my brushes are larger than 20mm knot/45mm loft. Yes, I face lather, yes, self taught.

The lather doesn't need to be applied thick to do it's job. It's there as a lubricant, cushion, and to carry away cut-offs. Forget "Lifting" the cable stiff whiskers. That's marketing hype only.

32 6,308
Reply
 09-23-2012, 08:28 PM
#12
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
User Info
I don't know about 3-pass brushes but I load a brush until it can go no more, face or bowl I "overload" it. Why? Because IMHO it is better to have more than not enough, I have enough soap that will last me 3 lifetimes and I am still buying more Blush
So, whether it's enough for 3 passes or not, doesn't matter, all I know is that I have loaded it full, sometimes I may go back to reload and sometimes I dump half down the drain Biggrin

88 4,233
Reply
 09-23-2012, 08:40 PM
#13
User Info
(09-23-2012, 08:28 PM)beartrap Wrote: I have enough soap that will last me 3 lifetimes and I am still buying more Blush

So true. So annoyingly true.

And yet, I still want more!!! Must have MOOAAARRR SOAP! Facepalm

9 2,988
Reply
 09-23-2012, 09:41 PM
#14
User Info
(09-23-2012, 10:36 AM)oscar11 Wrote: Where did this come from? That a shaving brush should hold enough lather for 3 passes. The reason I ask is that I've never heard that before I came to internet shaving forums. Of course, I'm entirely self taught when it comes to wet shaving, as I sure many are. Nope, no lessons from Dad. I watched him shave and learned that way. I guess what I'm getting at is the way I've always did it is slightly different. I flood the soap, soak my brush, wash my face. Pour the water off the soap, shake my brush fairly dry and start loading soap. After around 20 seconds if the brush looks loaded to my satisfaction, I start face lathering on a wet face and work up a good lather and shave. After the first pass I rinse my face, leaving it wet and load for another 15-20 seconds, face lather and do pass 2 and touch ups as needed afterwards. I don't do 3 passes but usually have soap left over but I'm not really sure if it would be enough for a 3rd pass without going for more soap. I do know from browsing antique stores a lot of the brushes you see are small diameter brushes. Can you get a 3 pass shave from a 18/20mm brush face lathering? Or is the 3 pass brush a new concept?

I don't think the "three pass" idea comes as a new parameter when describing the performance of a brush. It could be more of a personal observation related to ones technique.
My take on this "three pass" term is that I normally do not reload between passes and the "three pass" capability of a brush is particularly important when I face lather creams or sticks.

If I apply the cream directly on my face I use the brush to create lather and when it has optimal consistency, I take the brush off face and rest it (loaded) in the warm bowl (no lather inside the bowl) or just put it upright. After the first pass, I rinse the face leaving it dripping wet and take the already loaded brush and start applying lather on face. The second pass lather is usually better than the first, marginally, and it has to be enough of it because I do not reapply cream on face. Most of the time I shave with two passes and call it a day. Sometimes, depending on the razor and blade (mild razor with an older blade) I might go for touch-ups. In that case I must have enough lather (thick and creamy with a nice shine) since again, I do not reload or re-apply cream on face.
Hence the idea of "three pass" brush performance.

The same technique applies, in my case, to shaving sticks. I rub the wet stick on wet face making sure I have enough soap covering stubble, then I start creating lather. Once I am happy with the lather I put the brush aside and start first pass. Then it is the same as with creams.
I think in the case of face lathering, using shaving stick or cream, the "three pass" capability of a brush could only help. In my case this would mean touch-ups (third pass) with similar lather as first pass.

If you reload from a puck between passes or create lather in a bowl, size doesn't matter since you can always go for more. When face lathering, reloading feels a bit like cheating.

That's my story anyway, and I am open to suggestions.

7 358
Reply
 09-24-2012, 06:07 PM
#15
User Info
I own 60+ shaving creams and I enjoy using them as often as possible Biggrin

So when I face lather, no matter if I use a small 21 mm brush or a big 29-30 mm brush, I dap on some of my cream du jour directly to my face then build the lather.
When 1.st pass done, I wash residue off, apply new layer of shaving cream - preferably from a new kind of shaving cream and proceed with my 2.nd pass.

This way I never run out of lather.

The 3.rd pass I do with the build up/residue from the 2.nd and 1.st pass cream left over on my skin.
It takes extra time to build the lather twice on my face, but I save time by not having to clean my bowl because I face lather - and I spend that time on building the second lather on my face (2-3 minutes)

Cheers Cool

22 5,038
Reply
 09-24-2012, 06:34 PM
#16
User Info
Interesting technique, using two different creams during the same shave and loading after the first pass.
I assume you keep using the same brush and mix the creams in the process. Am I right?

I know from experience that, in my case, the less I mess with the skin on my face the better. Therefore, I only create lather at the beginning of the shave, using circular motion and painting towards the end of the lathering. After the first pass I almost never do circular moves with the brush but only painting strokes as to avoid irritation.

If the brush density and hair quality is right it will release lather easily during the second application. If the brush holds enough lather and it releases lather easily, the second (and sometimes third) application is very smooth and the lather has the same consistency as before the first pass.

If I would re-load again after the first pass and start from scratch making lather on face, I know I would end up with irritation from the brush.

I also believe in the need to work the stubble a bit at the beginning, to release the trapped hair and get a closer shave on the neck especially. So I like scrubby brushes, but dislike prickly ones.

7 358
Reply
 09-24-2012, 06:41 PM
#17
User Info
(09-24-2012, 06:34 PM)VerbaVolant Wrote: Interesting technique, using two different creams during the same shave and loading after the first pass.
I assume you keep using the same brush and mix the creams in the process. Am I right?

I know from experience that, in my case, the less I mess with the skin on my face the better. Therefore, I only create lather at the beginning of the shave, using circular motion and painting towards the end of the lathering. After the first pass I almost never do circular moves with the brush but only painting strokes as to avoid irritation.

If the brush density and hair quality is right it will release lather easily during the second application. If the brush holds enough lather and it releases lather easily, the second (and sometimes third) application is very smooth and the lather has the same consistency as before the first pass.

If I would re-load again after the first pass and start from scratch making lather on face, I know I would end up with irritation from the brush.

I also believe in the need to work the stubble a bit at the beginning, to release the trapped hair and get a closer shave on the neck especially. So I like scrubby brushes, but dislike prickly ones.

I like to mix certain creams - so yes, I mix the creams for the 2.nd pass - or I use 2 different shaving brushes, if I have the extra minutes to do so for my shave.......
I sometimes use one of my 2-banders for my first pass, where I have the stubbles, then use one of my softer 3-banders for the second pass where most of the stubbles are gone - but only if I shave before bed time and have the extra 5-10 minutes this procedure takes.

I'm in this game to enjoy my time while shaving Biggrin

If in a hurry in the morning - I can sometimes find myself using the good old Shaving gel in a can and my Fusion cart and be done with my shave in 6 minutes time - there is a time for everything after all Wink

22 5,038
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)