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Best shave of my life ... using Williams!

You know maybe Williams didn't work for you because you don't have the patience and haven't actually broke in a puck of it, which takes roughly a week or so. I mean you have only been on at this since what the beginning of June? And you've tried boatloads of creams and soaps? Slow down and take some time to get to really know some of this stuff before complete dismissing it. You might actually surprise yourself some.
Boatloads was probably a bit of a exaggeration. :lol:

I have tried 4 soaps (VDH deluxe, P160, Tabac, Williams), and 10 creams. I have 2 creams I use frequently (Real Shaving, C.O. Bigelow). I have another 2 creams in stock that I use less frequently (TOBS Rose, TOBS Lavender); and 3 creams I have yet to try (AOS Lemon, T and H Rose, Tabac). I have another 6 shaving creams that I had sample sizes of, that are now used up (Speick, TOBS St. James, Salter (Sandalwood, Mint, and Sublime), and KMF Unscented).

The only product I fully dismissed as not usable is Williams. It dries out my face, and I hate the Citronella like scent.

Just about everything else has been great. :w00t::w00t:
 
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I've been superlathering with Williams almost every shave for the past three weeks and the results have been very good. I have used it in conjunction with Proraso soap, Musgo cream and Clubman Shave and each time I've gotten amazing lather and great shaves. Of note is the fact that the Williams scent seems to disappear when used with any of the aforementioned products, so if you don't like the Williams scent (I do) you might want to give this a try if you have some and don't know what else to do with it. Good luck to all who try it.
 
Boatloads was probably a bit of a exaggeration. :lol:

I have tried 4 soaps (VDH deluxe, P160, Tabac, Williams), and 10 creams. I have 2 creams I use frequently (Real Shaving, C.O. Bigelow). I have another 2 creams in stock that I use less frequently (TOBS Rose, TOBS Lavender); and 3 creams I have yet to try (AOS Lemon, T and H Rose, Tabac). I have another 6 shaving creams that I had sample sizes of, that are now used up (Speick, TOBS St. James, Salter (Sandalwood, Mint, and Sublime), and KMF Unscented).

The only product I fully dismissed as not usable is Williams. It dries out my face, and I hate the Citronella like scent.

Just about everything else has been great. :w00t::w00t:
Well the scent is definitely one of the more unique ones I've run across. It does mellow out some with use, but I can definitely see how it may not be someone's cup of tea. :001_smile
 
I suppose I should've included the fact that Williams is only the fourth wet-shave product I've tried that wasn't home-made and my observations were meant in relation to the store-bought items I've used. I also kind of meant it more in celebration of tallow soaps in general (which I'll be trying more of), not just williams.
Got some people wound up didn't it?
 
I've been getting good shaves with Williams using my new Semogue 2000 brush, really getting in there and digging on the puck Zach-style.

But, I hate that sharp chemical smell. Not Arko bad, but not pleasant to me.

The Arko lather beats the snot out of Williams as far as cheap tallow soaps go.
 
This morning I had the best shave I've ever had. What surprised me about it was that it was also my first time using Williams Mug Soap. I'd read a couple posts about tallow soaps, so I decided to pick up a puck of Williams, which I had stayed away from previously due to mixed reviews on it and the fact that the scent is a bit strong out of the box. However, I found that the Williams gave me a superior shave with less irritation than anything I've used to date, and the fragrance is actually quite pleasant after the shave and goes well with Old Spice. I might be hooked.
Its a fantastic shave, miles above the best canned goo.

It dries fast, yes, but i found it forced me to make quicker passes, and think more beard reduction than only a couple of thorough passes. with wiliams, 3 and a touch up. I find it helps to really soak my face between lathers, and i totally face lather it, i find the bowl useless. Some one posted a good video on these forums (not mantics) about the initial soapy foam as useless, and making the top of the puck almost cream like in the mug which i think is a really important step most williams hatters miss out on, as it takes a bit of work to break a puck in and do this every shave. This method uses up the soap probably 2x as fast, bust still soapwise i'm looking at 1 puck of willams every 3-4 months.


Its a classic, and its something that really helps keep the cost of shaving down, along with the other drugstore supplies. Right now, unless i'm going on a date/out, Williams is my sole lather product. If i'm going out, i've got some proraso, speik, and i'm waiting on my tabac , valbora and dr harris to come in from wcs. I'll pamper myself every now and then, but at the end of the day, i can't really justify lavish, luxurious shaves with exotic fragrances from all corners of the earth. I find you begin to appreciate them less if you make it routine. This way, every time i bust out one of the more expensive creams/soaps, the smell and feel are just like the first time.
You know maybe Williams didn't work for you because you don't have the patience and haven't actually broke in a puck of it, which takes roughly a week or so. I mean you have only been on at this since what the beginning of June? And you've tried boatloads of creams and soaps? Slow down and take some time to get to really know some of this stuff before complete dismissing it. You might actually surprise yourself some.
Amen. I did this to myself with proraso 'soap'

Is williams the best soap available, no. BUT, i feel if you can't get a comfortable shave with it, you're pissing away your money the more expensive/better performing stuff down the drain and not experiencing them to their fullest potential. People are able to get comfortable shaves out of a bar of bath soap and a cheap boar brush(i've had one of them lather it for me, i was astonished, but i can't for the life of me reproduce the results), theres no reason you can't get one out of a puck of williams. If you can't stand the smell, or if it dries out your skin and you get an allergic reaction, by all means don't buy it. I just hate people blaming the soap for their own lack of technique or inability/unwillingness to develop it. If you don't have the patience, fine, but don't blame the soap for your decisions/shortcomings.
 
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You know maybe Williams didn't work for you because you don't have the patience and haven't actually broke in a puck of it, which takes roughly a week or so.
Williams does not need "breaking in." What it needs is very hot water to create the lather, and enough effort to load up the brush with soap. Do that and you should have a nice lather that is slick and not thin or drying out on you.
 
heres the video i was talking about

[youtube]OIsj58fqVjY[/youtube]
http://www.williamsmugsoap.com/shavingtips.asp

i found, YMMV, it took me getting the puck soaked and lathered a couple times to 'break it in'. Sort of like a chamois, i guess it needs to soak up the water once or twice to condition it. Not necessary, but i found a difference.

credit to kzoo1 for the vid and billyz for the williams link
 
This is interesting. The extra labor to lather so many times is it for the love of Williams or is it that its so cheap ?
I have been amazed at the amount of effort some people will put into making a $1 product work for them.

Maybe I would rather not work so hard, enjoy my shaves more, and buy a slightly more expensive, but more luxurious product.

There was a thread on a different board about "fixing Williams", with much the same style of chat. I have the same take on that, why go to so much effort to make a $1.00 product usable??

When I used Williams, I had no trouble lathering it; I simply prefer other products to a much greater extent. This hobby for me is about finding the best, most enjoyable shave; I am certainly budged minded, but I don't want to sacrifice the best shave possible to save a few dollars here, and there.
 
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Williams does not need "breaking in." What it needs is very hot water to create the lather, and enough effort to load up the brush with soap. Do that and you should have a nice lather that is slick and not thin or drying out on you.
True, it's just that after about a week of straight use I find it becomes easier to lather with. I'm not sure why though. Must absorb the optimum amount of moisture by then or so.
 
Just a quick word on how to "cheat" the break in period with Williams:

1) As mentioned before, soak it overnight. It softens the rock hard puck and makes brush loading waaaayyy easier.

2) Use a cheese grater and grate the soap, and then tightly press it into a bowl with some hot water.

Williams is made for face lathering. Zach's method builds an outstanding meringue like lather that does tend to break down_but_ leaves a slick film in it's wake.

Definitely not a soap for everyone-but I get a kick out of the fact that I'm using a economical soap that is 159 years old.
 
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Its a fantastic shave, miles above the best canned goo.

...snip...

Its a classic, and its something that really helps keep the cost of shaving down, along with the other drugstore supplies. Right now, unless i'm going on a date/out, Williams is my sole lather product. If i'm going out, i've got some proraso, speik, and i'm waiting on my tabac , valbora and dr harris to come in from wcs. I'll pamper myself every now and then, but at the end of the day, i can't really justify lavish, luxurious shaves with exotic fragrances from all corners of the earth. I find you begin to appreciate them less if you make it routine. This way, every time i bust out one of the more expensive creams/soaps, the smell and feel are just like the first time.

Amen. I did this to myself with proraso 'soap'

Is williams the best soap available, no. BUT, i feel if you can't get a comfortable shave with it, you're pissing away your money the more expensive/better performing stuff down the drain and not experiencing them to their fullest potential. People are able to get comfortable shaves out of a bar of bath soap and a cheap boar brush(i've had one of them lather it for me, i was astonished, but i can't for the life of me reproduce the results), theres no reason you can't get one out of a puck of williams. If you can't stand the smell, or if it dries out your skin and you get an allergic reaction, by all means don't buy it. I just hate people blaming the soap for their own lack of technique or inability/unwillingness to develop it. If you don't have the patience, fine, but don't blame the soap for your decisions/shortcomings.
Well said, sir!
 
I've yet to use it, but did a test lather right after I bought it. I put some hot water on the puck for a few minutes and then dumped it into my lather bowl. I held the puck in my hand as I started to load the brush. Before I new it I had lather everywhere. I built the lather in the bowl and it had tons of it. Maybe I'll try shaving w/ it tonight.
 
I have been amazed at the amount of effort some people will put into making a $1 product work for them.
Is it somehow nobler to put that level of effort into making a $25 product work? There are guys that do that too...

Williams is cheap and readily available; if the airlines lose your bag with the Trumpers and Feathers, it would be nice if you could just go to the corner pharmacy and pick up a pack of ASRs and a puck of Williams for the duration.
 
Is it somehow nobler to put that level of effort into making a $25 product work? There are guys that do that too...QUOTE]

At the $1.00 rate, if I have less than perfect results, I may experiment a bit, and then call it quits, and bin the product. It's only a dollar, so I won't care too much.

At the $25.00 rate, there is more at stake, which means making it work becomes more of a pride issue. Thus I would probably put forth quite a bit more effort.

The $25.00 product is not likely to end up in the bin anyway, as someone else here would likely be interested in buying it. :tongue_sm
 
I just had my first shave with Williams.

I've had this puck sitting in an Old Spice mug for six months or so, entirely disregarded until today. Well, maybe not entirely disregarded; I've given it a few test lathers, but I've never shaved with it.

Looking for a change in my routine, I decided that this morning would be the time to attempt to use Williams. I soaked it for about 10 minutes, loaded up my brush for 30 seconds or so, and went straight to the face.

Result: Rich and protective lather. Maybe one notch below my Tabac, but that could have been inattention on my part. It was better than Cade (my other favorite soap.) I didn't need to reload my brush during a three pass shave.

So, what's the deal here? Why are we all getting such disparate results from Williams? Is it just that the citronelle scent is preventing people from even trying it? Are other members not soaking their puck before hand? Is it something in the water?

I'm going to bet that a lot who have tried Williams have given up after the first try. Why? Every soap needs a break-in period-- this is well documented on the boards. The citronelle fades fast (leaving a really pleasant, subtle scent) and the foaminess that others have experience (which I also experienced on my first test lathers) is gone after a few soakings.

My question: Are B&B members willing to put up with break-in periods for $20 soaps but at the same time tossing $1 soaps because they don't perform well on the first go?
 
I used to hate it. Then I read that pouring some hot water on the puck (in the mug) and let it sit for 24 hours, then start to use it. I tried that and it works great. It really does soak up lots of water and gets way softer and easier to get a good lasting lather.
Very good tip--worth reading the thread just for this.

Thanx!
 
I just had my first shave with Williams.

I've had this puck sitting in an Old Spice mug for six months or so, entirely disregarded until today. Well, maybe not entirely disregarded; I've given it a few test lathers, but I've never shaved with it.

Looking for a change in my routine, I decided that this morning would be the time to attempt to use Williams. I soaked it for about 10 minutes, loaded up my brush for 30 seconds or so, and went straight to the face.

Result: Rich and protective lather. Maybe one notch below my Tabac, but that could have been inattention on my part. It was better than Cade (my other favorite soap.) I didn't need to reload my brush during a three pass shave.

So, what's the deal here? Why are we all getting such disparate results from Williams? Is it just that the citronelle scent is preventing people from even trying it? Are other members not soaking their puck before hand? Is it something in the water?

I'm going to bet that a lot who have tried Williams have given up after the first try. Why? Every soap needs a break-in period-- this is well documented on the boards. The citronelle fades fast (leaving a really pleasant, subtle scent) and the foaminess that others have experience (which I also experienced on my first test lathers) is gone after a few soakings.

My question: Are B&B members willing to put up with break-in periods for $20 soaps but at the same time tossing $1 soaps because they don't perform well on the first go?
For me, my problem was not enough water. Soaking/submerging the puck is a must for Williams, in my experience. It's not a bad soap at all--just not one I feel the need to use. Maybe I'll come around on that issue.
 
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