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Face lathering: never say never

For me, bowl lathering takes extra time without improving the results or the experience. In fact, face lathering produces slicker and more protective lather than bowl lathering with every soap and cream I’ve used.

Am I over-whipping the lather in my bowl? Or adding too much or too little water? If so, I can’t tell by looking at the lather or by the feel on my face when I apply it. The difference shows up only with actual shaving, and it’s unmistakable.
 
How does bowl lathering take more time? It seems like lathering on the face means you'd have to build a lather three separate times for three passes.
 
How does bowl lathering take more time? It seems like lathering on the face means you'd have to build a lather three separate times for three passes.
I don't know, but it does for me. With the Yaqi I can get a great lather on my face in a matter of seconds. It holds plenty of soap but I can always load more if I need, again in seconds. With the rest of my brushes it takes maybe a minute or a minute and a half to get a good lather built in the bowl. I haven't bothered to figure out how long they take to face lather because it's longer than I want to spend with them on my face.

I still haven't gotten a decent lather in the bowl with the Yaqi, ironically, but I don't see the need to.
 
I’m a face latherer only. I think that having to create a lather on the stubble prepares the beard for a shave better than bowl lathering. The soap really gets worked into the whiskers. Plus your face gets exfoliated, a good thing. Using a bowl seems to be such an unnecessary step IMO.
 
I face lathered with a Maggard synthetic today. It took a bit to really develop the lather to where I wanted it. Probably not as long as a bowl lather but still longer than I care to do. Personally I get plenty of exfoliation from a 3 pass shave, so I don't feel the need to spend much time scrubbing my face. YMMV is the name of the game.
 
Many good points on this thread, like a lot of things in life I feel that both face lathering and bowl lathering have their advantages and disadvantages. I mostly face lather out of habit and because it is faster and easier for me, the slight disadvantage is that the lather for subsequent passes is not usually quite as rich as the first pass. I bowl lather when I feel like taking more time and I want the exact same lather consistency for each pass.

Bottom line, both methods work well for me and allow me to get great shaves.
 
How does bowl lathering take more time? It seems like lathering on the face means you'd have to build a lather three separate times for three passes.

Once the soap or cream is loaded on the brush, it’s just one step to face lather. Not a big deal, but it saves a minute or two. The big deal for me, as I said, is that I get slicker and more protective lather by face lathering. Bowl lather looks pretty but doesn’t perform as well for me. I must be doing something wrong, but I’m out of ideas except to skip the bowl.
 
I've never seen the point in bowl lathering, one of the benefits of a brush is the exfoliating and agitating effect it has on facial hair, especially if one has gone for a time without shaving and you have a bit of growth down, the brush really does help lift the hair from the skin and get some soap in there. I see so many videos where people just paint the lather on the face all dainty and delicately. Might as well just spread it on with a spatula.
 
I've never seen the point in bowl lathering, one of the benefits of a brush is the exfoliating and agitating effect it has on facial hair, especially if one has gone for a time without shaving and you have a bit of growth down, the brush really does help lift the hair from the skin and get some soap in there. I see so many videos where people just paint the lather on the face all dainty and delicately. Might as well just spread it on with a spatula.
Bowl lathering is a joy and it has some offerings to add to the zen-like experience of meditative wet shaving ritual. A total control over the consistency of the lather means you can have the perfect lather (just the way you like it) every time. Also, face lathering is not an option for everyone. Even the softest of brushes will have some scritch and not every skin will tolerate it. Plus, you will use much less product for the same amount of lather produced in a bowl than on your face (especially if you lather up with a new generation synthetic brush).
 
If you spend $$$ on a brush, it better be able to have lots of face contact.

Once you convert to face lathering, you won't go back. The lather is easier to dial in too.
This was my experience. I used to bowl lather exclusively. One day after watching a vid on YouTube about face lathering, I decided to try it and have been hooked ever since. I seem to build better lather when I face lather vs when I bowl lather.
 
PAA sells a good looking brush scuttle. I have great results microwaving water in a ceramic bowl to soak my brush. My 26mm fan shaped silvertip badger holds heat quite well for face lathering in winter.
 
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