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Brush overloading vs. Re-lathering

In my never ending quest to find the best lather possible with every soap, cream and croap that I use - something that came up for me recently is whether brush "overloading" or "re-lathering" is a better strategy for obtaining the best lather. While I used to be fine with overloading the brush, over time, the wasting of so much product bothered me to the point where I began experimenting with "re-lathering" my brush. While it takes a little more time - what I have found is that it not only conserves product but also allows for better lather during the later stages of the shave whereas the lather from "overloading" generally leaves something to be desired. Has anyone else experienced this, and if so, what are your thoughts?
 

Ice-Man

Moderator Emeritus
I try to face lather now days, and i find if I do 15 seconds on the soap then to face i get a good 2 pass out of it. Then I just do a couple of spins on soap for the last pass, and I find the brush clean up is quicker.
 
If I do three passes, I tend to load the brush with enough MWF for the first pass. I usually need to reload the brush for the second pass, but then there's enough for the third/touch up pass.

Sometimes there'll be enough on the brush for the second pass, and I just need to reload for the third, so either way i'll generally load the brush twice for three passes. Reloading only takes a couple of seconds anyway, and saves wasting good soap down the drain.
 
I've never intentionally reloaded. That is, once or twice I just didn't load enough by accident and had to go back to the well. I didn't notice better lather as a result, but I wasn't really paying attention.

I am conscious of the fact that I waste quite a bit of lather -- there's nearly always enough for a few more passes that goes down the drain. But I don't sweat it, because it's not really that expensive.
 

Ice-Man

Moderator Emeritus
No don't get me wrong, to me what you put on the brush has to come back off. So to me I don't want soap in the knot as it rots the hair or burns it so you end up with a brush that sheds, that's why I reload hell yeah soap is cheap but the brush aint lol if you see what I'm on about....


But that's just my view I could be wrong.
 
Im a chronic overloader. I rather overload than to have to reload.
Same here. Going back to puck mid shave just kills my momentum and groove. I've been using mostly shave sticks lately and that switch alone has struck the perfect balance for me.

Another thing that took me a few years to learn is not needing the extra lather. What I mean by that is when my lather starts to thin out, that will be my last pass. I used to get so much lather going that I felt the need to push extra passes and cause irritation trying to chase BBS. "Running out" of lather after pass 3 causes me to stop there and call it good. What I learned from that is the tiny residual stubble you may feel actually isn't felt 10-15 mins after your shave is done.
 
I try to face lather now days, and i find if I do 15 seconds on the soap then to face i get a good 2 pass out of it. Then I just do a couple of spins on soap for the last pass, and I find the brush clean up is quicker.
I pretty much face lather everything as well, except the occasional cream with I bowl lather. What I'm talking about is how some folks recommend 45-60 seconds on the puck. I find this to be too much for me because it creates too much lather and the quality of that lather drops off on reapplication with the second and third passes.
I try to face lather now days, and i find if I do 15 seconds on the soap then to face i get a good 2 pass out of it. Then I just do a couple of spins on soap for the last pass, and I find the brush clean up is quicker.
This is pretty similar to what I do except that I will often re-lather for my second and third pass to maintain better lather quality.
 
Admittedly, certain soaps can only be used with abundant application. I find Musgo to be one of these. If I look at the condition of my puck as compared with the number of shaves I've gotten out of it - it's a terribly inefficient soap as compared with say MWF or even Williams.
 
If I don’t load enough, I sometimes don’t have the discipline to go back to the tub and will just try to make due... this usually doesn’t work out great, so I often overload as a precaution.
 
If I don’t load enough, I sometimes don’t have the discipline to go back to the tub and will just try to make due... this usually doesn’t work out great, so I often overload as a precaution.
How do you find the lather quality to be on subsequent passes when you overload? My issue (and what got me started on all of this in the first place) was that when I did this, the lather for the second and third pass lather applications was never as good as the first application.
 

Ice-Man

Moderator Emeritus
I found if you overload the brush then yes it drops off, but the lather goes to thick and being a straight shaver I need a wet lather.
 
When I still did multiple passes, I HAD to go back to the puck for each pass. With my hard water, I just couldn't seem to load enough product to make it through multiple passes (head shaving).
 
How do you find the lather quality to be on subsequent passes when you overload? My issue (and what got me started on all of this in the first place) was that when I did this, the lather for the second and third pass lather applications was never as good as the first application.
It may drop off a bit, but I find it’s still usable. However, if it dries too much a quick dip in water works to fix that for me. If that doesn’t work for you, then going back to reload might be your best option.
 
It may drop off a bit, but I find it’s still usable. However, if it dries too much a quick dip in water works to fix that for me. If that doesn’t work for you, then going back to reload might be your best option.
I find the reload actually works best given my hard water. I've tried much of the excellent advice offered up by folks in this forum (starting with Marco's croap tutorial) and while many give me good results, the best results seem to come from re-lathering - which is not without it's own problems. On re-lathering, you have to pay particular attention to activating the newly added product.
 
If i have issues it's usually with a stick, really have no idea how much i've managed to smear on my face before lathering with the brush, often reapply more with the stick and lather up again for the subsequent passes. No issues with creams or tubs of soap, those are consistently 'right'.
dave
 
I find the reload actually works best given my hard water. I've tried much of the excellent advice offered up by folks in this forum (starting with Marco's croap tutorial) and while many give me good results, the best results seem to come from re-lathering - which is not without it's own problems. On re-lathering, you have to pay particular attention to activating the newly added product.
Hey, whatever works. There’s definitely nothing wrong with going back to the tub for more, I just usually don’t feel like doing it.
 
I assume you're face lathering. I load long enough to get 3 passes (plus a bit of waste - nobody's perfect) worth of lather in my scuttle.
 
Overload for me. I face lather and load double what I need. I hate to reload as the water to soap ratio I prefer is never the same. Having enough soaps to outlive me is also a consideration.
 
Im a chronic overloader. I rather overload than to have to reload.
If you gotta load or unload, go to the white zone. It's a way of life.

Ok, sorry. I'm a little out of control lately. I don't like to reload so I make up tons of lather for a 3 pass plus touchup shave. But I also try to make sure that there is little left in the bowl when I am done. The brush probably still has enough for another full pass at least when I'm done. So a little wasteful. But I doubt it equates to much from a dollars and cents standpoint.
 
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