Loading the brush - why so much?

Discussion in 'General Shaving Discussion' started by Grim_Tactics, Sep 11, 2018.

    I’m not asking this as some condescending know it all, I’m actually the opposite. I’m trying to soak up all the tips and tricks I can for a better shave.


    One thing I’ve have not been able to wrap my head around is the amount of soap I see people loading on the brush in some of the tutorial videos.

    I’ve always read that too much soap actually works against your razor because you’re only wanting a nice even later, not too thick, that allows the blade to glide without clogging it.

    Pretty much every video I see has people swirling their brushes in their soaps for what seems like a ridiculous time, and then caking it on, or - painting on a lot less than they loaded.

    It seems some of these extended loading methods are really wasting soap.

    I’m sure some of y’all have seen what I’m talking about where someone is loading the brush to where the soap is caked all over the brush before they go to their bowl or face lather.

    Am I missing something? I can literally take any of the soaps I have, take my wet brush (after slinging off excess water), swirl it around for 10-20 seconds, and have plenty of soap for nice lather and still have some left over after the 2nd and even 3rd passes.

    Some of the these YouTube videos show people loading their brush for almost a minute or more.

    Again, I know it’s personal preference but I just figure it to be a waste of good soap.

  1. I trully never put attention, but now that you mention it, its true, they do end up with exceptional lathers, but take it with a grain of salt, maybe they do it that way for the video’s sake, when I first started making lather with soap and brush I was adamant to make a lather as thick as possible to almost mimic what I would get out of a can, now I know better, and I know water is my friend, so my lathers are slick and on the thin side, and I think it takes me about 30 seconds to load up my most reluctant soap to make a good practical and slick lather, so I know exactly what you mean.
  2. You're still thinking like a normal logical human person that probably has a normal human amount of soap. The guys who have taken their shaving obsession to such a high level where they're making videos about it.....they have enough soap to last them decades and they'll keep buying more and more and more than they'll ever need.

    "Nick Shaves" has more shaving products in his bathroom right now than most of us will ever buy in our whole lives. So from their perspective it's the total opposite thinking- they're not wasting soap by overloading the brush....they're trying to lather up as much as possible so that their hoard doesn't go to waste by not using enough of it. :out: If you have 10 lifetimes more soap than everyone else, you can load up 10 times more into your brush and not feel bad about it.
  3. This may be more truth than you know. I think a lot of it is they just want it to look good for the video.
  4. A brush not loaded with what looks like a pint of whipped cream just isn't lather porn, is it?
  5. Yep - that's me minus the videos. I love the scents of my soaps - don't use a bowl, and I face lather as long as I possibly can, breathing in the scent through my nose as I lather. I'm sure I end up with too much lather, but who cares when it smells so nice.
  6. I watched a video of an Italian barber form and work the later and use it constantly throughout the shave. Before I just put on shaving cream and shaved it off. I didn't get the benefit of the lather or use the later for touch ups. I have read that we shave the lather and not the face. I use a much lighter touch in preparation to using a straight razor. Having a thick later helps me have a lighter touch rather than a thin layer. As always, YMMV.
  7. BTW, you might try this. Instead of overwetting your brush and then trying to rid it of excess water, just wet the tips a bit. Swirl. Add a drop or two of water, if needed.

    And yeah, the guys making videos use too much soap.
  8. +1! I agree!
  9. I learn both what to do and what not to do
    from videos, but when I see a barber who makes a living doing something, I personally pay attention. :a21:
  10. Yes, I have never understood the piling up of more lather than you can ever use. Except for the fun of it. I load enough to raise enough good lather in my bowl for 3 full passes, and I never run out.
  11. Brother Grim,

    Thanks for reminding us of this nonsensical and wasteful practice!
  12. Apart from people's preference for lather density, water quality and the brush affects how much soap is loaded. I have hard water in my region but still only load Mitchells Wool Fat for 30 seconds using a badger brush. However triple milled soaps are dense so may need a longer load time. I tend to use creams mostly and need a very fat almond sized snurdle to make my lather which gives me 4 passes and touch ups.
    There is a lot on grand standing going on so I take most of Youtube videos with a pinch of salt. On shaving, I tend to avoid Youtube like the plague.
  13. Lather porn is a long tradition here and in videos (although I don't see as much here as a few years ago).

    You've got the idea: make enough lather for a 7 pass shave. While it may be incredibly stupid and wasteful, it does make for a more impressive visual presentation.
  14. My soaps cost less than $3 each. Being concerned about waste is much to do about nothing. That said, I have just the right amount for two passes and a clean up.
  15. Why? Because one time, I ran out of lather.
  16. No, you're not missing anything. The only soap that does anything is that which actually touches your skin. You can put it on thin and it works just as well. I've never understood "cushion". The blade contacts your skin - there is no cushion, only moisture and slickness. The thing thicker lather does is to keep the soap next to your skin hydrated. If you shave slowly, then a thicker lather may be warranted. Bottom line is to do whatever floats your boat and glides the blade. However, many of us like to play in it for a bit and won't be denied the pleasure.
  17. To use up the soap, so I can buy more. :)
  18. The way I understand "cushion" is to think of the difference between water and lather where the lather would be thicker and so cushion. While we cannot see the thin layer of soap, we can feel the blade glide rather than hop across our epidermis.
  19. I think there's probably a lot of truth in this.

    But I completely agree with you Grim. I never load any soap for more than 10-15 seconds, and I don't think there's ever a need to. If you need to pick up more product on your brush, then you can always bloom your puck and start with a wetter brush.

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