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My top 10 General Lathering Tips

I do not post in here much, but realize that I was in here often when I first started looking for advise and tips too so am trying to put this together for anyone having issues making lather.

Here are some of my "General" lathering tips that I have picked up over the last couple of years from other members, videos, pictures, posts, PM's and practice.

My Top 10 Lather Tips

1) USE MORE PRODUCT - I can't stress this enough. Don't get caught up in the "I can make lather with 5 swirls or in 10 sec" hype. Load you brush until it looks like there is enough product in it, then load it up even more. If you are scooping a cream, scoop more then you think you need. If you are lathering on a puck, load more then you think. You can always buy more soap/cream, you can't take back a bad shave. Remember, it's not a race. You choose DE shaving to enjoy it and relax, it's not speed shaving. You will know the lather is ready when you see it, not by counting or timing yourself.

2) FACE LATHER - It is much easier to tell the consistency of a product if you face lather it. I find it also helps the "too much water" issue. If you face lather with a too wet brush, the water will run off your face instead of staying in the bowl and making lather soup which ultimately results in weak, runny lather or scrapping it all together.

3) DON'T BRUSH MASH - Don't mash your brush during the soap application phase or when applying to your face. Gentle pressure is all that is needed for both processes, you don't need to touch the puck or your face to the base of the knot. It picks up product better this way and will not give you brush burn when you are applying to your face with gently pressure. I find when applying to my face, circular strokes to start off and get the lather all over my face, then paint/slapping strokes to thicken it up to how I like it.

4) USE LESS WATER - Whether bowl lathering of face lathering, start with a drier brush in general. This is not to say that I use a drier brush for all my product, but until you have a soap/cream dialled in, it is easier to add water then take away. I always soak my brush in hot water when in the shower, then give it a gentle squeeze at the base of the knot to get the majority of the water out, but still leaves the bristles and ends damp. Dipping the brush during the lather process is a simple process to add water to your lather or dropping a bit in with your finger tips. You can always add water but it's impossible to take it away.

5) GO BACK TO THE PUCK - If you are using a soap, or cream for that matter, there is absolutely no harm in reapplying soap for pass 2 or 3 or both if your lather is getting a bit thin. Until you get the lather process down, you may need to swirl a few times for subsequent passes so don't feel bad if you are going back to your soap/cream for each pass.

6) TRY A SHAVE STICK - Shave sticks are lather making machines and great for distributing the lather all over your face. If you don't have a stick but use a puck, pick up the puck and rub it all over your face and neck then face lather it. This aids in getting raw product all over your shaving area and the damp brush will distribute it when you lather it. If you find the soap is clogging up your razor or you are seeing bits and pieces of unlathered soap on your face, it usually means you did not use enough water or lather long enough.

7) LOAD OVER SOMETHING - If you are using a soap and swirling on the puck, load over a mug or bowl to catch all the drippings. All those drippings will aid in pass 2 and 3 and 4 (if you do that many) so you don't have to go back to the puck for more product. I find if I am using a soap and lathering it, I start by lathering it horizontal then switch to a 45* over my mug/bowl to catch the drippings. I then make sure to get soap into the base of my brush by lathering it almost on the sides of the bristles. Others find lathering the puck upside down with the brush under the soap, aids to get product into the base of the brush bristles. Both ways will work just fine if you decide to try either.

8) USE ROOM TEMP WATER - When in doubt, use warm/room temp water. Often soaps will break down in heat and is the cause of "evaporating lather" on your face or in your bowl/brush. Experiment and see if the product is "heat friendly", as some are and some aren't. I prefer warm lathe from my bowl or brush scuttle, but some of my favourite product are not "heat friendly", so I just use them with room temp water and they lather up perfectly and do not break down.

9) TEST LATHER - There is no harm in doing some dry runs with a soap/cream to get it right before a shave. I often do a few test lathers with a new product to make sure I don't hack myself up on the first shave and/or have a lather I'm not happy with.

10) DON'T GO FOR A LATHER LOOK - This is #10, but could easily be the #1 piece of advise along with using more product. If it shaves well, that's all that matters. It does not have to look like yogurt, mayo, whipped cream or cool whip. If it works for you, who cares what it looks like or what others say about it.


I did not post any pics or videos, as I don't want my lather to be what anyone strives for. My lather is my lather and you may not like it that way. If it shaves well, that's the main thing.

There are no right or wrong ways to make lather. Lather does not have to look a certain way. Everyone likes lather a difference consistency.

Again, these are just personal things I have picked up and not hard and fast rules and it goes without saying YMMV.
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I think there is an optimum, with maybe a wide latitude, but it is true that there can be different ways to get there, and a person needs to find their lather. Good post.
Number 10 is the key. Lots of times lather can look great but completely lack substance. Besides, the lather from various soaps and creams looks different from each other when they have reached their peak consistency. No two soaps are the same in this regard.
Absolutely great and essential post, Bruce! #10 is something that needs to be paid attention to, especially for newbies. We can all get caught up in the look of the lather, but like you said, it matters how it shaves! :thumbup:
Thank you very much.

+100 on number 10; my favorite lather type is white, wet, and soapy, but not thin and certainly not like whipped cream.
Thank you for adding some confidence to my attempts. It seems as though the soaps I like best so far (Mystic, MFW) are "difficult" soaps for many people. I've never gotten that "yogurt or whipped cream on the face" look but I have been getting smooth and irritation-free shaves.

I've definitely got to try face lathering now...
Thank you for adding some confidence to my attempts. It seems as though the soaps I like best so far (Mystic, MFW) are "difficult" soaps for many people. I've never gotten that "yogurt or whipped cream on the face" look but I have been getting smooth and irritation-free shaves.

I've definitely got to try face lathering now...

Thanks guys. It's all stuff I've found on B&B and through questions and reading, just summarized into what I felt were important points.

As for MW and MWF, they both really shine when face lathered. Give it a try and see how it goes, you may be pleasantly surprised how thick and creamy they face lather up.

Lather it up!
As a noobie, I really liked this post. I have been trying to dial in lathering and there are a bunch of important things in here I need to remember.

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