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Help, how do I get slick lather?

I am realizing that my lather is not very slick. My face feels more slippery when I wash it with Ivory soap than it does with the lather I've been making using shaving soap. I can build a large volume of lather, but it often feels too airy. It is more foamy and not slick. I don't have any bubbles, they are microscopic and the lather is smooth. I can't think of a better way to describe it other than airy.

I have been bowl lathering using a boar brush. I have tried three soaps - Prorasso Green, Razorock Gold Label, and a glycerine soap from Wet Shaving Club. The results are the same, so I think it is due to my method. I tried Prorasso cream in a tube and the lather was much more slick and thick.

My first thought was the soap wasn't good, but I have tried 3 with the same results. Next I thought I needed to work the lather more in the bowl. I added a couple minutes of agitation, but that didn't change the result. Third, I thought I might have too much water too early, so I cut way back and that didn't change much either.

Fourth, I thought maybe I needed more soap, so I loaded the brush for about 2 minutes on the Razorock Gold soap puck. I also put in a fairly minimal amount of water. That might have improved things, I am not totally sure.

Could that be it? What else should I be trying? How can I get my lather from soap to be as slick as my lather from cream?

Please do not suggest different soaps, I am using 3 soaps that should work. This must be with my technique, so I want to fix that. I do have a Stirling and Captain's Choice soap coming for xmas, so I can try those later. But this must be with my technique.
 
You said it yourself in your second sentence: your face is slicker w Ivory soap than your shaving lather. Two lessons here:

1) thinner lather is slicker than thicker lather. Ideally it should be wet and a little thin and just barely viscous enough to stay on your face.

2) try making your lather from your Ivory soap. I lather exclusively from hand soap scraps. Put a small Ivory scrap in your bowl, add hot water, wait 30 seconds, pour out the water and swirl your moist brush in the bowl for 20 seconds or so. A lather will form. Apply it to your wet face and build a lather. Shave.

Many B&Bers will dismiss lathering with hand soap, but I doubt they’ve ever tried it. I’ve been wetshaving for 50 years and I can say unequivocally that it works, and works well.
 
Third, I thought I might have too much water too early, so I cut way back and that didn't change much either.

More water, but added gradually, not in a splash.

I face lather and find it relatively easy to get slickness by adding drops of water to the brush between smuishing it around on my face. The first round is just to get soap between the whiskers, then I add some water and re-work, this builds volume. More drops and rework and at this point I generally have enough water to start painting. Rarely, I'll add more water at this stage but mostly it is good to go.
 

thombrogan

Lounging On The Isle Of Tugsley.
Please look at the photo in post 4 of the guide by @AimlessWanderer :
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While green, it also demonstrates the advantage of a wet lather over an aerated lather when it comes to covering skin around whiskers you’ll be attacking.

The thin film protects* your skin while hydrating the whiskers and allowing a better awareness of where your edge may be facing. It might be turning your lather into easier-to-clean shave oil, but potentially to your benefit.

If that thin is too thin, please refer to this post @Ron R and it’s follow up reply from @Doc Dan

* = Let’s the edge slide away from the skin instead of deeper into it.
 
Thanks @silverlifter, I did watch a bunch of lathering tips videos and have been trying to add water just a few drops at a time. That didn't do much initially, but I was also doing that along with more soap, so perhaps that is part of what I am doing wrong. I still need help, thank you.
 
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I am realizing that my lather is not very slick. My face feels more slippery when I wash it with Ivory soap than it does with the lather I've been making using shaving soap. I can build a large volume of lather, but it often feels too airy. It is more foamy and not slick. I don't have any bubbles, they are microscopic and the lather is smooth. I can't think of a better way to describe it other than airy.

I have been bowl lathering using a boar brush. I have tried three soaps - Prorasso Green, Razorock Gold Label, and a glycerine soap from Wet Shaving Club. The results are the same, so I think it is due to my method. I tried Prorasso cream in a tube and the lather was much more slick and thick.

My first thought was the soap wasn't good, but I have tried 3 with the same results. Next I thought I needed to work the lather more in the bowl. I added a couple minutes of agitation, but that didn't change the result. Third, I thought I might have too much water too early, so I cut way back and that didn't change much either.

Fourth, I thought maybe I needed more soap, so I loaded the brush for about 2 minutes on the Razorock Gold soap puck. I also put in a fairly minimal amount of water. That might have improved things, I am not totally sure.

Could that be it? What else should I be trying? How can I get my lather from soap to be as slick as my lather from cream?

Please do not suggest different soaps, I am using 3 soaps that should work. This must be with my technique, so I want to fix that. I do have a Stirling and Captain's Choice soap coming for xmas, so I can try those later. But this must be with my technique.
First the recommendation, as also noted by those above, is to use more water. I learned this myself over the past three years where making wetter lather made it much slicker resulting in better shaves and also enhanced blade longevity. Instagram worthy thick lather may not always provide the best shave vs. something wetter.

Regarding the soaps that you use I've used the Proraso Red and the What the Puck (black label in my case, same base as the gold except for the activated charcoal). The Proraso is good but it does not provide my slickest lather. Note that your equipment may be part of the issue here as for this croap a boar brush may be too stiff picking up too much lather. I always use a plissoft synthetic with my Proraso red. Note that for me I only use my boar for my hardest pucks of Mitchell's Wool Fat and Williams. Use my plissoft synthetics for everything else.

The What the Puck is excellent and if you add the right amount of water should provide a nice slick and long lasting lather. I typically use a synthetic plissoft and build proto lather on the puck in an apothecary mug and then complete via face lathering.

When face lathering experiment with multiple additions of small amounts of water until you see what works best for you.

Regarding the use of Ivory suggested by @Quaznoid above, he is right that Ivory is very slick - I've experimented with it myself and in fact add a bit of it to my custom blends (10-15% by weight) to enhance slickness. However by itself the lather dissipates too quickly for my preferences on an ideal lather. You can blend it with Dove Men + Care (have to grate both soaps) for a decent bath soap based shaving soap (posted on my experiments with this) though I've found that shave soaps, either off the shelf or in blends, work better for me. Again YMMV here.
 
You said it yourself in your second sentence: your face is slicker w Ivory soap than your shaving lather. Two lessons here:

1) thinner lather is slicker than thicker lather. Ideally it should be wet and a little thin and just barely viscous enough to stay on your face.

2) try making your lather from your Ivory soap. I lather exclusively from hand soap scraps. Put a small Ivory scrap in your bowl, add hot water, wait 30 seconds, pour out the water and swirl your moist brush in the bowl for 20 seconds or so. A lather will form. Apply it to your wet face and build a lather. Shave.

Many B&Bers will dismiss lathering with hand soap, but I doubt they’ve ever tried it. I’ve been wetshaving for 50 years and I can say unequivocally that it works, and works well.
Hi Quaznoid, Why did you switch to the exclusive use of bath soaps for shaving? Recall as recently as June you were frequently shaving with Proraso and before that Williams with good results per your posts (link to a couple below). See now that you typically shave with Dial and Irish Spring. Did you change because Williams was discontinued?

SE SOTD- What was your tool of choice today? - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/se-sotd-what-was-your-tool-of-choice-today.292393/page-1421#post-11796932

 
OK, thank you for the advice all, so am I hearing you straight? I should get plenty of soap on the load, then also lots of water, but I need to add it slowly? Any advice on that or particularly good videos to help me?

Thank you, I really appreciate the help, I want to get a slicker lather, I think that will help reduce any nicks/weepers.
 
I know you don't want to hear this, but it can make a tremendous difference. Try a tallow based soap. The Stirling soaps I've used are very good examples.

And, in my opinion, a foamy and airy lather that lacks slickness is a symptom of too much water incorporated into the lather. So, use more soap and less water for a richer lather.
 

brucered

System Generated
Thanks @tube_guy.

This is where I am getting confused, I get advice that I both have too little and too much water. That's why I'm so confused and really need the help!
Everyone likes their lather different.

Stop rotating soaps. Pick one and stick with it. Use the same brush too.

Use double the amount of soap you think you need....then double that. Once you got it mastered, slowly dial back the amount of product you use.

Add water slowly. You can always add more.but you can't take it away.

Face lather. Get rid of the bowl. Bowl lathering results in a more "airy" pic worthy later but it isn't as good for shaving with.

Don't sorry what it looks like. If it shave well, who cares
 
I had been just using one soap, but added two more to make sure it wasn't the soap that was messing me up.

Any good tutorials on face lathering? I am not as familiar with that and would love to learn.
 
Ditto its all what we like and works
have hard water that changes things

for me I squeeze my brush out get the soap off the puck then in a bowl beat that around a bit to get a nice consistency and do not use to much pressure doing so
then add water and still using light pressure get that around for me the less pressure and not trying to whip high speed as in I just move it around means less air introduced and do not get that foamy whip cream stuff not really a fan of that as much as slick shiny stuff think yogurt or custard over whip cream for a visual
also time wise its pretty quick overall

as far as adding water I find it varies a bit by soap and have tried both some I can just kinda add what I think I need and others I go a touch slower
never measure anything just visual

I tried many ways and just found what works for me so like others prefer the more wet shiny slick over the stuff that looks like it came out of a can and should be on a desert :) that foamy is not for me

also I do some face lathering with that as I like that feel and again its not a lot of time just some swirls etc... and smooth out and shave
 
If your lather has volume, but isn't slick enough, that does suggest you may be whipping air into it. That is not what you want. You need both enough soap plus plenty of water, without a lot of air bubbles.

I usually face lather. Stage 1 is loading enough soap into a damp brush. Stage 2 is painting the resulting soap paste onto the face. Stage 3 is adding water gradually to build the lather, two or three times. At the end, the goal is to have a lather that is almost, but not quite runny. The brush usually can hold enough lather for one or two follow-up passes.
 

brucered

System Generated
I had been just using one soap, but added two more to make sure it wasn't the soap that was messing me up.

Any good tutorials on face lathering? I am not as familiar with that and would love to learn.
No tutorial needed.

Here are my tips for any lathering issues. This was posted in 2013:
Thread 'My top 10 General Lathering Tips' My top 10 General Lathering Tips - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/my-top-10-general-lathering-tips.347454/

Get the soap on your brush.
Circle motion on wet face.
Slap the brush on your face to thicken it
Add water slowly if you want it wetter or it looks dry.
 
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