What's new

Foolproof Lather Method (TM) - any soap - any brush

M

mtcn77

I think face lathering and bowl lathering results differently.
When bowl lathering, I can see the soap go through more definitive transitions and they are in reverse order, funnily enough.
It starts as a bubbly wet batter, then frothy milk, then a dry lather surface like settled snow and lastly it fully incorporates into a fully congealed lather that is translucent on the face and resists drying sufficiently throughout the shave.
 
M

mtcn77

I forgot the ice cream stage which is defined by the melting at the bottom that occurs between packed snow and final lather stages.
 
Wow. So used your second method on Vander Hagen. So so so much lather I could never use it. Great results and fun. I usually ran the brush under a faucet rather than dip also didn't wet the soap prior. Also, went slower with whipping. Slower works better? How does that work? It works though.
 

Attachments

  • 20211118_140321.jpg
    20211118_140321.jpg
    799.5 KB · Views: 10
So tried PAA with method 3. Omg it truly made a difference! More lather and better texture. I think I finally see the difference! I can't believe techniques make such a difference!
Also with the PAA I used to not load from the tin and used a super wet brush. This time I did the opposite like was suggested. Big difference imho
 

Attachments

  • 20211119_110141.jpg
    20211119_110141.jpg
    665.4 KB · Views: 2
I've found this method especially helpful when trying new soaps or different brushes (every brush seems to hold a different amount of water). I can use the @Marco Italian barber method with both of my usual boars on any of my Stirling soaps but @JCinPA 's method is perfect for my horse and synth (which don't hold much water) and my badgers (which hold a LOT of water) and it really does work on any soap. Once you get it down you can dial in just how much soap you need to load with whatever brush is up to bat that say.
 
I use the Cris Maden (Another Cut Above on Youtube) method which I think is a good face lathering analogue to @JCinPA 's excellently written Foolproof Lather Method.
1) Take a damp brush and load it with enough soap. If you're familiar with your brush and soap, you know the sweet spot of enough soap for your desired passes without wasting additional product. If you're learning your soap and brush, better to overload than risk underloading. If you feel the brush is too dry, add some water to the brush and go back to loading from the puck.
2) Paint the heavy pasty gummy load in the brush onto your face. Do not splay at all yet, just keep painting until you have a heavy and uniform pasty covering on your entire shaving area.
3) For this step I am just painting water. I'm not building the lather or splaying the brush. Dip the tips of the brush into water and paint (no splaying yet) the water into the pasty soap on your face until there is enough water to make the soap translucent enough to see your skin. Keep dipping the tips as much as necessary for the paste to turn translucent. This part usually takes me a couple of minutes. When all is said and done, the soap should look translucent and even a little runny on a good amount of my face.
4) Now it's time to splay. There should be enough water in the soap on my face and in the brush for me to get a very well hydrated lather. The goal is to work every last bit of water from the brush and in the soap into all of my face. This part usually takes me three to five minutes depending on how heavy of a load I had. Within the first twenty or so seconds the lather is exploding. After that it's just making sure I'm mixing the slick and wet lather with the dry and pasty lather to get that nice uniform hydration across my face.
5) Do any touch ups to dry areas by dipping the tips and apply directly to the dry lather.
6) Start shaving.

The one downside to this is that there is a lot of brush on face action going on and it can leave the skin feeling a little tender for daily shavers, but as an every 2-3 days shaver it works great for me.

@JCinPA , you're a legend for making this guide that has definitely resulted in hundreds if not thousands of more enjoyable lathers/shaves for so many people.
 

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
I've found this method especially helpful when trying new soaps or different brushes (every brush seems to hold a different amount of water). I can use the @Marco Italian barber method with both of my usual boars on any of my Stirling soaps but @JCinPA 's method is perfect for my horse and synth (which don't hold much water) and my badgers (which hold a LOT of water) and it really does work on any soap. Once you get it down you can dial in just how much soap you need to load with whatever brush is up to bat that say.

Exactly! This really wasn’t supposed to be a “method”, as in use it all the time. I wish I had titled it differently, now. It’s a remedial process to be used when one is having trouble dialing in a new product, or for newer shavers having issues. I originally wrote this for @ylekot to get him over a problem he had lathering a soap. It worked.

I used it when I started using B&M Reserve Lavender, which behaved very differently for me than other soaps. And as you mention, different brushes are wildly different in the water they can hold. But once dialed in, you move away from this. I almost never lather this way, actually. Only when I’m learning a new product. Today, I used B&M and started with a teaspoon of water on the soap and a damp brush. I get to my lather right away.

But when one is having trouble lathering something successfully, this is the remedial process to fall back on. It was never intended to be the way one normally lathers with familiar products. Just a process to make a product familiar. Then you move away from it.

Anyway, glad you like it! :)
 

JCinPA

The Lather Maestro
@rally Thank you! I’m almost getting embarrassed by this. :blushing: The whole “lather maestro” was just some humorous schtick to get the points across (which @Marco made stick :lol: ). But I am glad so many found it helpful. I was really trying to build confidence for newer latherers, but it’s taken on quite a life of its own!
 
Last edited:
"The key to all this should make perfect logical sense. If you start with more product and less water than needed, you will be able to creep up on the proper hydration level slowly. If you start with either not enough product or too much water, or both, you cannot salvage things."

THIS! It's amazing how more product and less water can improve your lather making. Nice write up.

It was #1 and #4 on my tips from a previous thread found here.
 
Top Bottom