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Face lathering: never say never

I'm a bowl latherer. I have a handful of brushes: 2 vintage boars, a cheap badger, a horse, and a synthetic and I know exactly how they behave and can make the perfect bowl lather (for me) every time. Plus, my face doesn't appreciate a lot of brush contact. That said, one of the boars, the horse, and the synthetic are plenty comfortable, I just couldn't get an acceptable lather on my face with them.

Enter this 24mm Yaqi two-band, recently purchased off the BST.
20211123_104836.jpg


I've used it twice. Both times I've struggled to get a good lather in the bowl. It holds a lot of water, even after a bunch of shakes, and I just couldn't dial it in. However it's got really soft tips and lots of backbone so I thought, what the heck. Maybe I'll try face lathering again.

Mind. Blown. I shook out the brush after rinsing, loaded like normal, and hit my wet face with it, and had the perfect lather IN SECONDS. I mean, it looked right, it felt right, but I was still skeptical. Guess what? It was right. Shaved great. Second pass, I thought maybe I should add a little water. Nope... that was a mistake. Although the pass was fine, just very wet. Loaded a bit more soap for the third pass and it was perfect.

Today I just shook out the brush, loaded moderately, and again got perfect lather, in seconds, and just enough for three passes. And my face is just fine. This was with Stirling, one mutton and one beef. I'll give it a shot with Arko tomorrow.
 
I started wet shaving in 2003/4 and never knew bowl lathering was a thing. I tried it for the first time last week, after seeing all the SOTD posts here. It was fine, but no better than face lathering and so I see no reason to continue.

I have ordered some soap samples, though, and I may need to bowl lather to try them.
 
I mean, I could face lather with the other badger and one of the boars, but they have just enough scritch that my face gets a little irritated. I do work the lather into the whiskers though, even when I bowl lather, not just pure painting strokes.
 
I have been a face latherer all of my life. Years ago tried the whole bowl lathering routine. Doesn't work for me. The lather I get with face lathering is better, and that is crucial for my heavy beard. Plus it takes more time to bowl lather.
 
All I am going to say is for me, I want to be able to put the lather where I need it and only where I need it. If I have a face full of lather, I can't see what I am doing, I can't stretch easily and I risk having it go dry.

That said, I have two brushes that I can, and have, face lathered with. But after lathering, I had to grab a bowl to put all the mess in so I didn't waist soap. 🤷‍♂️
 
I face lather while on the road (like right now) and always notice the benefits of it, but for some reason at home I still prefer whipping up a nice lather in a bowl. I tend to use up more soap when loading straight from a puck versus using the scoop method.
 
I believe our preferences change. In the past, I only liked small to medium brushes, and 24 was the max for me, now I seem to like bigger ones, and I think for me the sweet spot is now 26 mm (have brushes from 20-31 mm). Used to only facelather, but now I am mainly a bowl lather guy, face lather only when on the road. So, what ever floats your boat do what you like to do, its your face and beard....maybe in a few years I may go back to smaller brushes and face lather; found I had some shave sticks hiding in my "Shaving" cabinet, but had not used them for many years. Maybe time for a pif or making clown barf soap...
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
I'm a bowl latherer. I have a handful of brushes: 2 vintage boars, a cheap badger, a horse, and a synthetic and I know exactly how they behave and can make the perfect bowl lather (for me) every time. Plus, my face doesn't appreciate a lot of brush contact. That said, one of the boars, the horse, and the synthetic are plenty comfortable, I just couldn't get an acceptable lather on my face with them.

Enter this 24mm Yaqi two-band, recently purchased off the BST.
View attachment 1367249

I've used it twice. Both times I've struggled to get a good lather in the bowl. It holds a lot of water, even after a bunch of shakes, and I just couldn't dial it in. However it's got really soft tips and lots of backbone so I thought, what the heck. Maybe I'll try face lathering again.

Mind. Blown. I shook out the brush after rinsing, loaded like normal, and hit my wet face with it, and had the perfect lather IN SECONDS. I mean, it looked right, it felt right, but I was still skeptical. Guess what? It was right. Shaved great. Second pass, I thought maybe I should add a little water. Nope... that was a mistake. Although the pass was fine, just very wet. Loaded a bit more soap for the third pass and it was perfect.

Today I just shook out the brush, loaded moderately, and again got perfect lather, in seconds, and just enough for three passes. And my face is just fine. This was with Stirling, one mutton and one beef. I'll give it a shot with Arko tomorrow.
I too had a similar experience when a Badger gifted me a short Badger brush. I had been face lathering for a while but not a complete convert but this badger exploded the lather and I now face lather all the time and with that badger brush only. Arko is the soap I use 95% of the time because of the great lather. I find face lathering to be very efficient by eliminating the whole bowl process.
 
All I am going to say is for me, I want to be able to put the lather where I need it and only where I need it. If I have a face full of lather, I can't see what I am doing, I can't stretch easily and I risk having it go dry.

That said, I have two brushes that I can, and have, face lathered with. But after lathering, I had to grab a bowl to put all the mess in so I didn't waist soap. 🤷‍♂️

This is why I don't use brushes with a knot over 20mm, hehe. I only face lather, and the small brushes keep the soap from going all over hill and dale.
 
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