noob q: How much lather?

Discussion in 'Shave School' started by pitrow, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. pitrow

    pitrow New Member

    I've been watching a lot of videos on here and it seems like all of them show using an awful lot of lather. I've been shaving with a badger brush and soap puck for about a year now and I'm not making nearly as much lather as the videos show. When I started I was told that any lather not actually touching your beard is a waste, so I've been going with that.

    My basic technique is to thoroughly wet the brush under running water, until it's saturated, then give it a quick shake. Then I swirl the brush on the puck for about a minute, maybe less, until it's loaded with a fair amount of soap and starts to foam. Then I 'face lather' starting on my cheeks and swirling to create a few more bubbles and then spreading it out. It's still fairly soapy looking at this point. Seems like the videos I've seen show whipping up the lather until it it looks like whip cream then slathering it on. Have I been doing it wrong this whole time?
  2. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    There is no wrong, as long as you are happy with your shave.

    I like lots of lather. Rather too much than not enough.
    178-bplatoon and alpla444 like this.
  3. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I would say yes, but different people have different tastes. Some like a meringue-like shave lather, while others like it thin and runny. The thicker lather provides more cushion, but the thinner lather provides more slickness and glide. If you want thicker lather, shake your brush out two or three times, then proceed with your regular lather process. If it's too dry, you can add water by dipping the tips of the brush in water. Spend some time building the lather on the face, (3-5 minutes).
    This might also help you:
  4. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    My first question to you would be, "Do you like what you're doing?" If so, don't worry about what other people think. It's your shave. Enjoy it your way.

    I never fail to whip up enough lather for five or six passes. I only make three, mind you, but I always put any left-over on my face and let it sit while I clean up. Some folks say some of the soaps help moisturize. I don't know. I figure can't hurt, might help. And, no, it's never left my face feeling dried out.
    otacon likes this.
  5. Slipperyjoe

    Slipperyjoe Rusty Metal Tetanus

    What's really important is whether the amount of lather is really doing what you want it to do and that your beard is adequately softened. As Steve says, it's your shave so don't worry about what anybody else thinks...
    otacon likes this.
  6. pitrow

    pitrow New Member

    So far I've been happy with my amount of lather, it gets the job done. I'm just curious because it seems like everything I see shows a lot more lather, so I'm wondering if it would get the job done better or not.
  7. swarden43

    swarden43 "It's your shave. Enjoy it your way."©

    Only you can answer what "better" is. How are your shaves now? Too close and getting razor burn? Not close enough and leaving stubble? Experiment! That's part of the fun. If it doesn't work this shave, try something else next shave.
  8. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Since in your original post you were referring to shaving videos, my thought is they need lots of lather so people can see it. Whether they normally make that much lather when the camera is off, you'd have to ask them.
  9. DLP

    DLP Well-Known Member

  10. drewcandraw

    drewcandraw Member

    hmm in my own quest on figuring out how much lather, i have gone from runny and not that foamy to whip cream on my face...i think my best shave was the more runny as like stated above, the razor blade just glided against my skin...but when i do whip cream on my face it just protects me i guess and makes me feel like a kid again
  11. 178-bplatoon

    178-bplatoon Well-Known Member

    Experiment it's fun. However as has been said above it's your shave and so it should please you most of all.
    Anything you do that gets the job done to "Your" satisfaction is correct.
    For instance I bowl lather, use soap and tend to like a thicker lather, my friend who actually got me started in "wet shaving" face lathers, uses creams, and likes to see his wiskers through the lather. We both feel we get excellent shaves. :shaver
  12. ChrisC1977

    ChrisC1977 Well-Known Member

    Could not have said it better myself Steve! I am happy with what I do. My lathers typically fall in the middle somewhere between thin and nice and rich. I also face lather after I spin it in the bowl and squeeze the remainder out and apply with hands. 2 passes is all I try to whip up because that's about all I do. Sometimes I prep, sometimes I don't. If I have enough remainder, well I wash my hair with it. The scents are nice and it is cleansing and moisturizing so why not? :)
  13. pitrow

    pitrow New Member

    I don't think it's a matter of "what other people think", 'cause quite frankly I couldn't care less what y'all think about my shave routine :cool:, the whole thing was more about, "here's a different way of doing it, I've never done it that way, is there something about it that makes it better?"

    I will give the thicker lather a try next time I shave (I shaved on monday, probably be tomorrow before I shave again) and see if I like it any better or not. :)
  14. johnus

    johnus Well-Known Member

    Tried thick and find it usually doesn't work well, for me, with a straight razor. The thinner the slicker.
  15. pitrow

    pitrow New Member

    Well last night I tried a little more lather. Whipped it up pretty good, but not nearly as much as some of the videos I've seen. First thing I noticed was if I was going to do that again I need a deeper bowl. The lather ran out over the sides way too easy. On lathering it on my face, I did like the way it spread out better. But actually shaving with it, I'm not so sure about. At the same time it felt both slicker, and more tacky, if that's possible. I don't know how to describe it. I guess the best I could do is that the edge of the blade seemed to slide along better, but the rest of it seemed to tug more. Like the head of the razor was sticking to my cheek, while at the same time the edge was gliding through my stubble easier. Anyway, I'll probably give it a try again, just to see if that was a fluke or not.
  16. jacksam

    jacksam New Member

    Dry the brush with hand before swirling.
  17. kosby

    kosby New Member

    The amount of lather could have to do with the hardness of your water. I soak my brush in hot water for about a minute, lightly shake to remove excess, then swirl the puck until the brush is loaded with what looks like paste on it. Starting with about a tablespoon of hot water in the bowl, swirl your brush in it and you should see it turn from runny suds to thicker lather in about 30 seconds and it will grow and get thicker with more swirling. I find that a balance is where the lather doesn't run down your face but yet has enough moisture remaining so the razor will glide across it.

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