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Lather just kind of....goes away

Greetings all.

I don't get good shaves. I don't think I'll ever get really good shaves but I'm hoping to someday be able to get something other than bloody awful shaves. I'm hoping that improving the quality of my lather will make shaving less awful. I've noticed that in a lot of how-to videos the person doing it will apply lather to their face and it stays in place, looking rich, white and creamy even after several minutes.

I don't get that. I mix up lather and if I don't move quickly it's gone within a couple of minutes. For instance today I mixed up some lather using my Razor Rock synthetic brush in a cup and Tailor of Old Bond Street cream. I applied it to my whole face but by the time I was done with my cheeks (about a minute or so) my neck only had a very light coating of it in place and I had to re-lather. This tells me that my lather-fu is weak, anyone have any suggestions?
 

ajkel64

Moderator
Maybe use more product and less water. It might help to show a photo of your lather and we can see what you are dealing with.
 
I consider TOBS a soap that is difficult to lather. I suggest you try something else to check your results. May I suggest Mitchell's Wool Fat or Tabac, which have reputations of being great latherers?
 
Your using too much water.

Dip the brush into the water, shake it out a bit, then i load the cream onto the tips of the brush while its in the container. Lather on your face.

If it seems a bit dry just dip the tips of the brush in a bit of water.
 

Bhugo

Contributor
If you buy way too many flavors of shave cream, you will automatically use way too much cream so you can clear out space in the bathroom! Shaves will improve immensely.

Best Wishes
 
Maybe shavers are being too frugal, that's one way of looking at it. But there's still an optimum balance of soap and water in the lather. Too much soap and you're just plastering your face with product that you're about to remove entirely.
 
Agree with the recommendation to use more product. Definitely sounds like a lack of thereof. I've often used much more than the commonly suggested "almond" size. Try using twice as much - if it's too much, then dial it down in your next shave.

Try more product and perhaps even give face lathering a go....It provides an additional clue to where you're at with your lather, which is - "how it feels" sitting on your face.
 
Never had a problem with TfOBS cream so I would concur that you need more cream. I have hard water so a large almond sized snurdle of the cream does it.
 
I've been dabbling with creams recently, and found that it's very easy to add too much water to them, and wreck the performance.

While many say "more product", I would say "less water". It is the ratio of the two that is key, and I only need enough lather to shave one face, not the whole street.
 
Get a can of Barbasol.
x2, That new Pacific rush menthol is the jam.

To OP, try dabbing the cream around your wet face then face lather with a wet brush. When I first started and had lather issues I found it helpful to start with a dryer brush and add more water.
 
I've been upping the ratio as suggested and do seem to be getting better results but on the whole I think I like soaps more. Oh, and I do have a can of Barbasol handy in the house that I can steal from my wife.
 
+1 to all the comments about improving the ratio of product to water.
Using more water can make a great foam but can become, paradoxically, dryer.

Additionally, I think the place you live might also impact how quickly it dries out. I now live on the coast but used to live in the High Sierra's and grew up in Utah (both very dry climates). I notice that everything dries out more quickly, clothing, soaps, my sinuses... It could be climate and/or maybe hard water. You might just have to reapply more frequently than some of the videos your watching.
 
I don't get good shaves. I don't think I'll ever get really good shaves but I'm hoping to someday be able to get something other than bloody awful shaves.
What is it about them that is so awful?
I'm hoping that improving the quality of my lather will make shaving less awful. I've noticed that in a lot of how-to videos the person doing it will apply lather to their face and it stays in place, looking rich, white and creamy even after several minutes.

I don't get that. I mix up lather and if I don't move quickly it's gone within a couple of minutes. For instance today I mixed up some lather using my Razor Rock synthetic brush in a cup and Tailor of Old Bond Street cream. I applied it to my whole face but by the time I was done with my cheeks (about a minute or so) my neck only had a very light coating of it in place and I had to re-lather. This tells me that my lather-fu is weak, anyone have any suggestions?
There's good lather, and then there's lather porn.
You could be using Williams Mug for instance, and it might collapse to a mere film, yet it is still slick enough for a great shave. I go more by how it feels than by how it looks. I've used bath bar soap (Caprina Fresh Goat's Milk soap with Shea Butter) to shave with, just to see if I could. Yeah, it made really thin lather that collapse quickly, but it still worked.

As far as TOBS creams go, I have three kinds of them at the moment, and they all work well for me.
+1 to all the comments about improving the ratio of product to water.
Using more water can make a great foam but can become, paradoxically, dryer.
There is that. With too much water you can whip up a great pile of sudsy foam (with visible bubbles) but it makes a poor lather. With lots of product and not enough water it might dry to a paste on your face.
 
Your using too much water.

Dip the brush into the water, shake it out a bit, then i load the cream onto the tips of the brush while its in the container. Lather on your face.

If it seems a bit dry just dip the tips of the brush in a bit of water.
That's the best summary of how I do things. Face lathering tends to get me better results whether I'm using soap or cream. I bowl lather for a change every so often but 90% of the time I face lather.

I leave my brush to soak in the sink first, take it out and then shake it out a bit before applying cream to the tips or loading the brush by applying it to a puck.
 
TOBS just kind of lathers itself for me. For cream in a tub i scoop out a bit with a finger smear it on my chin, squeeze the water out of my soaking brush the use it to build the lather on my face. If you do run out of lather from your brush for subsequent passes just add a bit more cream to your face and lather up again.

Cream in a tube i squeeze a bit on my chin and face lather.
dave
 
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