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Opinion: A proper lather is at least half the secret of a good shave

Do you think that a proper lather is at least half the secret of a good shave?

  • I don't need no stinking lather!

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    87
I'd say a good blade/edge and technique are still more important. A good lather won't make a shave without a good edge and technique/skill, but I could get a passable shave with a poor lather.

Having said that, lathering up a good soap/cream and enjoying the scrubbing and scents are what makes shaving an enjoyable daily activity.
 
The tools are important... always..... it all goes together... tools without technique sit idle... For me, my razor was a revelation, seriously. I feel lucky to have it find me. But the lathering was something I had to learn from the start. It took me a few tries to get lather to the right consistency but I got there.

Then I had to learn about the brushes to get the lather on my face. I read a lot of the Shave of the Day with the ratings, picking up tips along the way. And so many of you have been helpful to me to reduce my ignorance.

All that to say, I don't really know what percentage the lather has on the shave. Both the lather and the razor are on my face 3 or 4 times and they have to work together.... but the technique has to accompany them.

A sincere thank you to all of those who have assisted me on my journey. I'm finding this hobby immensely pleasurable.

Edit: I do agree that the blade selection has a bearing on the success of the shave. That almost goes without saying. I'm just about finished with my blade survey.
 

FarmerTan

"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
The tools are important... always..... it all goes together... tools without technique sit idle... For me, my razor was a revelation, seriously. I feel lucky to have it find me. But the lathering was something I had to learn from the start. It took me a few tries to get lather to the right consistency but I got there.

Then I had to learn about the brushes to get the lather on my face. I read a lot of the Shave of the Day with the ratings, picking up tips along the way. And so many of you have been helpful to me to reduce my ignorance.

All that to say, I don't really know what percentage the lather has on the shave. Both the lather and the razor are on my face 3 or 4 times and they have to work together.... but the technique has to accompany them.

A sincere thank you to all of those who have assisted me on my journey. I'm finding this hobby immensely pleasurable.
What a nice post! I doubt sincerely that I have given you any assistance, but I too am always thankful for even the little tidbits of info on here that helps me in shaving, and in life!
 
What a nice post! I doubt sincerely that I have given you any assistance, but I too am always thankful for even the little tidbits of info on here that helps me in shaving, and in life!
I read all your posts. You'd be surprised what people pick up as you're joking around. You ask good questions and intersperse helpful tints among your jests. I love the banter. It's fun.
 
For this discussion, I will assume that technique and prep are a given. All you’re left with after that is lather and an edge. Both are equally important and everything else is peripheral.
 
I think lather is very important, but so are all the other things — and you won't get a good result if any of the other ones are terrible.

Nobody gets an easy formulaic win in this game.

I'm getting good results now, but how many things did I have to get right first? Prep, post, lather, razor, blade, brush, bowl, technique.

Finally getting it right is a thing that is greater than the sum of its parts, though, and you can't buy that.
 
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I think blade and technique are at the top. I shave in the shower. Often times, I just put some hair conditioner on my face and shave. No lather or brush involved. I still get a good shave. The biggest difference I see with conditioner over lather is the conditioner is thicker and doesn't rinse as easily from the razor. Sometimes, I have to twist the head open to rinse.
 

AimlessWanderer

Remember to forget me!
I think lather is an important part, but less than half the battle. In the last two months I have used regular bar soap, and even water only. No cuts, no irritation. The whole of last month, I used a shave stick, but no brush. Just wet fingertips. The better matched everything else is, the less important a lather becomes.
 
I feel that the quality of my shaves increased a huge amount once I figured out the proper lather for my skin and technique. I'm now loving razor and blade combos that in the past were only so-so.

Also, 50% does not necessarily mean the top 50%. The razor/blade/technique can be the top 50%.

I also consider the lather to be part of the prep. To me, everything before "shaving" is the prep.
To me, shaving = (holding the razor, loaded with a blade, in your hand, and placing it against your skin and using strokes to remove whiskers.)
But then again, "shaving" could also be considered the entire process.


To put it in context, I've been DE shaving for 8 years, and it was in the last year with lather improvements that I noticed the discernible difference.

Whatever is proper lather for a person is their choice -- whether it be from a can, an inexpensive product, an expensive product, or a combinations of products. If you need to stand on your head and sing the theme song from GILLIGAN'S ISLAND while lathering to get a proper lather, that's ok.

Also, figuring out that the lather does not have to look like it came out of a can for it to be good was an enlightening moment for me. Sometimes I feel that both the best thing and worst thing that has happened for wet shaving are youtube videos...:bayrum2:
 
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Assuming my technique at this moment in time is what it is, for me the blade is the most important, followed by the razor, then the lather. I can't get a good shave with a poor blade, but I can with a poor lather.
 
I think correlation of the variables is the answer. I shaved poorly with awful technique, an acceptable razor and blade and below mediocre lather for more than a decade. After having found this corner (B&B) 2 months ago, I have significantly upped my technique, found an amazing razor and blade combo and my lather is much improved. My shaves now are phenomenally enjoyable, efficient and very smooth. I find when I try out a new soap that I don’t lather well, my session enjoyment is more than %50 dampened. So the lather might not be valued at half the enjoyment of a shave, however a bad lather certainly diminishes the experience by more than %50 if any of this makes sense?

Remember, there are 3 types of people. Those that are good at math and those that are not.
 
I was going to tell a long story about bows and arrows from about 60 years ago. My friend had an expensive fiberglass bow and expensive arrows. I had a green branch from a cherry tree, some waxed cord, and homemade arrows. I practiced. He didn't. Guess who shot better?

In shaving, generally "it's the Indian, not the arrow" that determines the outcome.
 
I don’t know from percent, just know a good lather is a constant for my SR shaves. I certainly put effort in and pay attention to get things right, so it must be important.
 
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I was going to tell a long story about bows and arrows from about 60 years ago. My friend had an expensive fiberglass bow and expensive arrows. I had a green branch from a cherry tree, some waxed cord, and homemade arrows. I practiced. He didn't. Guess who shot better?

In shaving, generally "it's the Indian, not the arrow" that determines the outcome.
In the words of the great Barry Switzer, “I like that”.
 
When I made my initial response to the question, I made some assumptions. I know, I know.... assumptions etc etc.... but I didn't think it was too much of an assumption to think we all started with a sharp blade..... I know, I've started my shave... first stroke noticed some pulling... that was it.. changed the blade, freshened up my lather and started again.

So given a sharp blade... then it comes down to lather (again assuming the face was prepped in whatever way a person finds necessary) the razor and our technique. As has been said many times... shaving isn't rocket science.
 
When I made my initial response to the question, I made some assumptions. I know, I know.... assumptions etc etc.... but I didn't think it was too much of an assumption to think we all started with a sharp blade..... I know, I've started my shave... first stroke noticed some pulling... that was it.. changed the blade, freshened up my lather and started again.

So given a sharp blade... then it comes down to lather (again assuming the face was prepped in whatever way a person finds necessary) the razor and our technique. As has been said many times... shaving isn't rocket science.
Well, if you are going to assume a sharp blade, I'm going to say "Assuming you use ARKO."

My current Astra SP blade has 73 shaves on it.

Now that we've eliminated the blade and the soap, all that's left is technique.

Q.E.D.
 
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