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Can Great Lather be Generated from Any Reasonable Quality Shaving Soap or Cream?

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
Cella is still a top favorite, but I've replaced Proraso green with TOBS Peppermint shaving cream, followed by Aqua Velva. I don't know why I like the peppermint better, but Cella red is really superb stuff. And unless they've fiddled with it lately, I think it is still the classic 100+ year old recipe. I hope they never change it.

Although I will say the Proraso green reformulations have been pretty positive. But I'd hate to see them mess with Cella.
 

Luc

"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
Staff member
Just 2 things come to mind.

Water quality. Hard water versus soft water. It’s been covered in this thread already. I’ve experienced it and LaToja comes to mind. In soft water, it’s easy to use. Hard water, not impossible but requires a lot more work. I got shot with bows and arrows(I received a few spears too) for that comment. Sure, I can use a kettle with distilled water. But… why would I do that when there’s another soap, in the same price range, that’s easier to work with? So, for me, if it’s not easy to use (I did not say impossible), why bother?

Olive oil. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen an olive oil based “shaving soap”. Some say it works and that I’m just not good enough to use it. But… If I’m able to have a different soap that works better without olive oil, buying the non-olive soap is easier for me.

Bottom line, I believe that most shaving soaps (or shaving creams) work. The degree of difficulty to lather them is more complicated than my two points. Some soaps are easy to work with and some aren’t. I try to aim for soaps that have good reviews (generally speaking).
 
You can shave with any soap. Some depend on how long you want to mess with them. Williams is one that is worth experimenting with as it produces a killer lather. Some soaps just arnt worth the effort when there are so many good soap available. Heck, VDH is a good soap especially for pennies a shave.
Curious, is this the classic glycerin based Conk shaving soap or the newer formulation?

Also, is this a great example of not wanting to change technique (in this case having to put in a lot of extra effort) to get a soap to work or are you unable to generate good lather no matter what you do?
 
Must
Curious, is this the classic glycerin based Conk shaving soap or the newer formulation?

Also, is this a great example of not wanting to change technique (in this case having to put in a lot of extra effort) to get a soap to work or are you unable to generate good lather no matter what you do?
must be the reformulated. I can lather some soap others can't and can't lather some others can. If the lather produced isn't worth the time/work involved I move on to one I feel is worthwhile.
 
The use of these two phrases is correct and consistent as "great lather" refers to our desired result and "work well" to the process of achieving that result. Used together it would be perfectly correct to state that the shaving soap worked well to produce great lather. Also "great work" is often uses as a synonym for "well done". You are incorrectly splitting hairs over semantics. To recap:

The first use of the phrase "work well", in the opening paragraph, is part of a discussion of ingredients "These products use ingredients that work well for shaving including fatty acids such as tallow or stearic acid....."

In the third paragraph I stated "I've found that the right technique can generate great lather from any of these soaps and creams." followed by details on how to achieve this.

After the details I concluded "The bottom line is that I've yet to acquire a quality commercial shaving soap or cream that I could not get to work well with the right technique."

Nothing inconsistent about these phrases. What is your view on the overall premise in the OP?
If you say so, pal
 
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I can certainly appreciate the ritual of using traditional products with a brush, but I stopped because I finally accepted the fact that non-lathering products from a tube were better, in fact much better. But again, I understand the fun you guys have.
 
I’ve experienced it and LaToja comes to mind. In soft water, it’s easy to use. Hard water, not impossible but requires a lot more work.
I think you also have to take into consideration how the water is treated (if it’s treated at all). I currently live in an area with hard water. The place I live has what some people call “city” water meaning it’s been sent to a water company for treatment but a lot of people in the area still have wells. I would imagine that affects how easily some people would be able to lather soaps
 
The only soap I ever had trouble lathering was my second puck of MWF. The first one was fine. Good lather and great aftershave feel for over 100 shaves. The second puck (also tallow) was unusable. Used the same water, technique, etc. Nothing worked. After about 15 shaves with a thin lather which dissipated almost immediately I gave up. I couldn't even use it as a pre shave because it kept falling apart. Nice ceramic dish though. I still use it. It is currently filled with Boellis Panama. I also still use the bath soap.
 
No, not all. I've got a couple true duds. One is a Trumper I can't toss as the scent is fantastic.
I can lather any soap.
Well, I thought I could. Not this reformulation, maybe a 2013.
This one will lather, sure, but by the time you put down the brush and pick up the razor ... poof, it's gone.
I occasionally break it out whenever I get the latest and greatest new brush. No dice, as always.

Then there was that cowboy garbage from Whole Foods, a black box if I remember. It was binned.

My experience with Trumper Rose was the same. It's the only soap that I've ever given away. It smelled fantastic, and Icould shave with it, but I found it difficult to lather. Bought a jar of MdC Rose and never looked back.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
The new Czech and Speake soap is not good, you can make a lather of sorts with a synthetic brush, but not much else and the lather is not very stable
 
Most soap, if it is actually soap, can produce a lather. It's literally add water and stir, no rocket science here.
Whether or not I enjoy the lather is another story.
I can lather Irish Spring. I can shave with it, but I choose not to.
Someone might love the lather from pucks x, y, and z; and while I might find them 'useable' in the basic definition of the term, I might also not find any of them to be suitable so they're not in the 'works well' category, according to my POV.

What works well for person A does not have to be what 'works well' for person B. If person A says soap Z works well, that doesn't mean Person B find that it 'works well'. Several, maybe many, popular shave soaps don't suit me. I just don't find them to 'work well' for me, regardless of which brush or technique I use.
Lotta meh out there amongst the hype.

Over the years several shaving soap pucks i've bought were DOA, it was not a 'technique' issue, they were pointless. Long before I found B&B, I was buying myriad shave soaps from 'artisans' on auction sites, and elsewhere. Many duds, many evaporating and hyper-drying lathers that were unusable.

If there are two people and one of them loves a particular soap and the other hates it, so be it. Doesn't really matter why either of them think or feel the way they do. It's just shaving.
 
I can certainly appreciate the ritual of using traditional products with a brush, but I stopped because I finally accepted the fact that non-lathering products from a tube were better, in fact much better. But again, I understand the fun you guys have.
What did you try and what are you using now please?
 
What did you try and what are you using now please?
I use two products from Jack Black, the Beard Lube and the Supreme Cream. I use them individually or together, with the Beard Lube under the cream. The cream can be used with a brush but I hand lather it.
 
I use two products from Jack Black, the Beard Lube and the Supreme Cream. I use them individually or together, with the Beard Lube under the cream. The cream can be used with a brush but I hand lather it.
I was interested to know what lathering products you compared your non-lathering option with.
 
I was interested to know what lathering products you compared your non-lathering option with.
You name it. Mass market, artisan basically everything. The beard lube is non lathering but the cream is big latherer.

I have have good experiences with other products like Proraso, Ariana & Evans, Ethos, Stirling, Cella and others, but this combination is unbeatable. I normally buy them at Nordstrom Rack in NYC where I live.
 
You name it. Mass market, artisan basically everything. The beard lube is non lathering but the cream is big latherer.

I have have good experiences with other products like Proraso, Ariana & Evans, Ethos, Stirling, Cella and others, but this combination is unbeatable. I normally buy them at Nordstrom Rack in NYC where I li

On the basis that you say you have tried "everything" (in 33 years wet shaving I have not) and find non-lathering beard lube superior I can't really engage with that.

Thanks for answering. It's clearly a YMMV scenario.
 
Haha :D ok well then you must be right.

It's fine, you really don't have to justify or explain the decisions that work for you although you sure do spend a lot of time doing that.
 
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