Noob needs tips on pre-shave prep

Discussion in 'Shave Clinic & Newbie Check-In' started by jackfrost, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. I've been studiously poring over the forums for 3-4 weeks now, as I am a history major and am well accustomed to doing my research. I've read numerous times about the importance of prep work, but get lost in the mumbo-jumbo about exactly what a good prep routine involves. Speaking for myself, I shave after I shower. While I'm in the shower, I let my bowl and brush soak in hot water. Upon completion of the shower, I do not dry my face off, but rather leave it soaking wet. Upon stepping in front of the sink and mirror, I empty out the now-lukewarm water out of the sink and proceed to refill it with a fresh batch of the hot stuff, as this is what I use to rinse between each pass. And that's basically my routine - I make sure the bowl and brush are hot, I shower first, I rinse with hot water between each pass, and I apply the lather on top of the layer of hot water attached to my face. I have never used pre-shave, and my readings on this subject tell me it's a matter of opinion.

    On another subject here - specifically, creams and soaps and getting good lather - I started with Proraso and have been happy with it, as well as using it as a benchmark to gauge the other brands I've bought. As for the other brands, I bought Col Conk soap first and had some bad luck b/c I wasn't making the lather correctly. Getting rather PO'ed with the whole soap mess, and quickly getting caught up in the product trap, I went out yesterday a.m. and bought a couple creams - Kiss My Face and Tom's of Maine. Last night, I read a post for newbies about learning how to make proper lather - a post which talked about practicing first by adding a 1/2 tspn of water at a time, so you can learn the difference between too little, just right, and too much, as well as how different brands and different scents of brands require their own unique ratio. Perhaps you've read it. I've also watched Mantic's videos on the subject, but try as I might, I have yet to make lather that looks anywhere near as good as his (and I know that the cheap boar hair brush isn't the only problem). I then spent a goodly amount of my evening standing at the sink and making bowl after bowl after bowl of lather with all of my products, including the soap which I dug out of the trash. So here is where I iterate my dilemma. I tell myself that I figured it out but am really not sure. I know what it looks like when there's not enough water - i.e. the cream is just being pushed around and not really lathering at all. I also know when there's too much water - the stuff is runny. Therefore, somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot. So this a.m. I formed up some lather with the Kiss My Face stuff, just like I did last night. It looked good in the bowl and had no holes in the brush, but went on my face kinda thin and dried out pretty quickly. Being a logical person, a thin lather sounds like I used to much water, but if it dried out too quickly, that sounds like there's not enough water. Any suggestions? BTW, during my experiments last night, I reached the conclusion that the KMF brand required more water than Proraso or Tom's, even though it's not nearly as thick coming out of the tube as the Proraso or Tom's - and that makes no sense. So I'm calling on my more experienced comrades to bail me out, because I'm feeling kinda lost on this one.
  2. I'm afraid I can't be much help, but I can commisserate with you. I have the same experience with KMF. Others claim it's the easiest cream with which to generate lather, but it just doesn't work with me. Proraso, Honeybee, Truefitt & problem. But for me, KMF = mysteriously vanishing lather.
  3. I'm going to concur with you on the KMF. After a while it just disappears in the bowl. I guess that this might be because it's a brushless cream, right?
  4. No problems with KMF here - wonderful, latherous, slippery stuff. It seems these problems are pretty common - I can't get Honeybee soap to lather for crap, but others love it. A total YMMV kind of thing. I think alot of it has to do with differing water. As a benchmark, perhaps try to make some lather from bottled water and see if it makes any difference?


  5. That's what surprised me about KMF. When I whipped it up in the bowl, it was the most wondrous looking lather - much more so than any of the other brands. Yet on my face - poof - it's gone. BTW, what exactly does YMMV mean? And the Lions WILL win the Super Bowl before I die! My faith is strong!
  6. Just a guess, but maybe it's got to do with your water hardness. I've visited friends before with really hard water and didn't get nearly the quality lather I'm used to at my house.

    Also, do yourself a favor and get a badger hair brush. I tried the boar hair for a week, and it was horrible compared with even just a $25 badger brush from my local cutlery store.

  7. if it dried out as in you could see your face, then there is too much water. it's kinda hard to do with the KMF soaps because they use propylene glycol which adheres to more water than glycerin does, so it makes a great humectant. anyway, sounds like there was too much water. if KMF is too little on water it's kinda thick and hard to stir, add water till the consistency is easier to stir but doesn't run if you tilt the bowl to the side.
  8. For myself, I use a bit less water with KMF compared to my other creams.

    I also *just* uploaded a video on pre-shave prep that might be helpful.

  9. YMMV - Your Mileage May Vary. The common bailout answer for all shaving product questions. :biggrin:

    Your faith must be strong to be a Lions fan. We are a tough breed...

  10. My lather gets dry by the third pass especially on the last bit of the face. I've taken to topping up the cream/soap and water before each lathering. I know it is a rather un-conservative approach, but the lather stays wet this way.
  11. mantic, great video as always. any deleted shower scenes?
  12. :thumbup:
  13. Just this one:
    :eek6: :yikes:
  14. See? That's what happens when you don't feed the cat, mantic.

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