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Residual Slickness

Why does this matter? Isn't the idea that we put the soap on our face and then shave? If you want to do some more shaving after removing the soap, why not just put some soap where you want to shave? After my last pass, I run my fingers along the neck areas that are sometimes problematic. If I find a spot I want to touch up, I touch the fingers of my left hand on the brush, rub some soap on the spot and shave with my right hand. I could pick up the brush and apply some soap, but this just seems quicker. I don't see why anyone would want to touch up without lathering the spot at all, counting on residual slickness. Even if it's pretty good, I've never found the residual slickness to be close to original slickness.
 
Isn't the idea that we put the soap on our face and then shave? If you want to do some more shaving after removing the soap, why not just put some soap where you want to shave?

I'm not sure how you are shaving, but my razor goes over the same area more than once throughout each pass. If you shave with a sequence of short strokes, then there is bound to be overlap between the strokes where the razor contacts the skin a second or third time. That's why residual slickness is very important.
 
I'm not sure how you are shaving, but my razor goes over the same area more than once throughout each pass. If you shave with a sequence of short strokes, then there is bound to be overlap between the strokes where the razor contacts the skin a second or third time. That's why residual slickness is very important.
To be honest, I’m not really sure how I’m shaving either. I’ve been doing it the same way for so long that it’s more habit than technique. But I have never had the sense that I shaved the same area twice nor have I noticed one soap to be different than another at the beginning of a stroke.
 

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The Instigator
Some have, some don't.

But there you are, done; and run your hand over ... Shoot. Missed a spot!

That's when that last bit of slick helps.


AA
 
It's very important for me since I have a coarse beard and have to do lots of buffing. Shaving will take forever if I had to apply more soap before every stroke. For me, it's THE most important quality of a soap.
Now what I don't understand is "cushion". What the hell does that even mean? I've read people's attempt to explain it, but I still don't know what the heck that is.
 
It's very important for me since I have a coarse beard and have to do lots of buffing. Shaving will take forever if I had to apply more soap before every stroke. For me, it's THE most important quality of a soap.
Now what I don't understand is "cushion". What the hell does that even mean? I've read people's attempt to explain it, but I still don't know what the heck that is.
Fair enough. My buffing or touch up is limited to a couple of spots on my neck. After locating them I just put a little lather there with my fingers and re-shave it. I suppose if I had lots of that to do, doing without the extra step might save some time, but I worry that I would irriaite the skin if I didn’t put some lather in it. Tell me a few soaps that are on the top of your residual slickness list, and I’ll try it out.
 
Fair enough. My buffing or touch up is limited to a couple of spots on my neck. After locating them I just put a little lather there with my fingers and re-shave it. I suppose if I had lots of that to do, doing without the extra step might save some time, but I worry that I would irriaite the skin if I didn’t put some lather in it. Tell me a few soaps that are on the top of your residual slickness list, and I’ll try it out.
Wholly Kaw and Saponificio Varesino have worked best for me. I do splash some water on my face before buffing, make my skin super slick. I make sure to apply no pressure to avoid the irritation that you're talking about.
 

Ad Astra

The Instigator
It's very important for me since I have a coarse beard and have to do lots of buffing. Shaving will take forever if I had to apply more soap before every stroke. For me, it's THE most important quality of a soap.
Now what I don't understand is "cushion". What the hell does that even mean? I've read people's attempt to explain it, but I still don't know what the heck that is.

Cushion is just superdense, thick lather - I think! Like a car tire hydroplaning.

The kind you have to use pressure, practically, to get through.


AA
 
It's very important for me since I have a coarse beard and have to do lots of buffing. Shaving will take forever if I had to apply more soap before every stroke. For me, it's THE most important quality of a soap.
Now what I don't understand is "cushion". What the hell does that even mean? I've read people's attempt to explain it, but I still don't know what the heck that is.
ditto
 
Cushion is just superdense, thick lather - I think! Like a car tire hydroplaning.

The kind you have to use pressure, practically, to get through.


AA
You see, it doesn't make sense to me since the blade has to make physical contact with the skin. Hydroplaning to me means you'll have a lot of stubble since the blade has to make contact with the skin in order to get a close shave. And superdense lather has nothing to do with the actual shave quality. I'm still at a loss to understand what people mean by cushion.
 
Buffing is the reason I need residual slickness. I have spots on my lower neck and across the jaw line where the hair grows parallel to the skin. It's hard to get a close shave without buffing. However, all the soaps I have tried have left residual slickness, so it's not an issue. Even Proraso (which some don't find slick) leaves me with enough residual slickness to buff.
 
Cushion makes no sense to me. Slick is what I want. I've tried a good portion of what's out there and CRSW Glide and Dr. Selby bowl(if you can find it) are my top for residual slickness.
 
Residual slickness is the most important aspect of a soap for me. I only use straights and go over every area more than once on every pass.
 
Residual slickness is the most important aspect of a soap for me. I only use straights and go over every area more than once on every pass.
Yeah, residual slickness becomes extremely important when I'm using my feather DX. It is with my DX that I can truly test how a soap performs. DE's don't demand too much from my soaps so basically any soaps works for me when using a DE. Buy with my DX it's a different story.
 
Residual slickness is pretty important to me but certainly no deal breaker. A few of my favorite soaps fo not have what i would consider to be excellent residual slickness, but the other attributes make up for this.


Residual slickness goes a long way in buffing or touch ups. Some soaps can even be slick after rinsing. Its all a matter of personal preference.
 
Why does this matter? Isn't the idea that we put the soap on our face and then shave? If you want to do some more shaving after removing the soap, why not just put some soap where you want to shave? After my last pass, I run my fingers along the neck areas that are sometimes problematic. If I find a spot I want to touch up, I touch the fingers of my left hand on the brush, rub some soap on the spot and shave with my right hand. I could pick up the brush and apply some soap, but this just seems quicker. I don't see why anyone would want to touch up without lathering the spot at all, counting on residual slickness. Even if it's pretty good, I've never found the residual slickness to be close to original slickness.


For me, residual slickness means after I have finished my last pass I can simply add water to my face and it becomes instantly slippery for touch ups.
Having the slickness with no lather means a very, very close cut can be made. The Barbering manual describes what is called the "second over" when a patron requests a very close shave - only water is used after a normal shave.

Now what I don't understand is "cushion". What the hell does that even mean? I've read people's attempt to explain it, but I still don't know what the heck that is.
I never understood this either as I used Glycerin based soap only for about 14 years.
A good tallow soap (Tabac, Barrister and Mann) will give you the "cushion" people describe. The "cushion" is a feeling of protection or barrier that a soap provides as well as slickness. I believe it is the "fat" in the soap that creates this feeling.
Col Conk soap is the most slippery soap there is but it does not have a cushion feeling to it. I can splash water on my face after a shave quite a few times and still have a crazy slippery surface without more lather. No other soap does this IMO. Others will give you one or two visits then its gone.
A cushion feels very nice and the tallow leaves the face feeling pampered.
Both soaps have their merit.
Hope that clarifies.
 
I never understood this either as I used Glycerin based soap only for about 14 years. A good tallow soap (Tabac, Barrister and Mann) will give you the "cushion" people describe. The "cushion" is a feeling of protection or barrier that a soap provides as well as slickness. I believe it is the "fat" in the soap that creates this feeling.

I'm having trouble differentiating the two because slickness provides that feeling of protection for me since there's less friction between the blade and my skin. Maybe it'll make more sense to me if I ever get around to using Col Conk. Thanks
 
A great soap will have slickness, residual slickness and cushion. If your soap has great residual slickness, you can buff your face with the blade without getting irritation. If you are young and have a fine beard, you may not need to do that, but for those of us with coarse beards, buffing is necessary to achieve a close shave.

Cushion is the ability to maintain slickness even if the blade pressure is higher than desirable. In the world of lubricants, this is called lubricity. If you are buying a lubricant to minimize metallic wear, you can use a very thin lubricant like lightweight machine oil if there is little metal to metal pressure involved. However, if you are going to lubricate something like a wheel bearing, you need to use a high pressure grease. A lightweight machine oil would quickly fail to provide a cushion between the rollers and the inner and outer bearing races. The bearing would quickly heat up and fail. A high pressure grease is able to provide a cushion between the components of that bearing, even under pressure.

The same thing happens when we shave. The lubricant, in this case shaving lather, has to be able to withstand the pressure of the razor blade against the skin. While the overall pressure of shaving would appear to be quite low, when you consider that the shaving edge of a razor blade may be less than a millionth of an inch thick, the pressure per square inch is quite high. Thus, you need lather that maintains good lubricity, even under that extreme pressure. In the shaving world, we call that cushion. Without proper cushion, the friction between the razor and skin will cause excessive heat, something we call razor burn. Since the skin is a lot softer than razor steel, your skin will take the brunt of the damage.
 
I'm having trouble differentiating the two because slickness provides that feeling of protection for me since there's less friction between the blade and my skin. Maybe it'll make more sense to me if I ever get around to using Col Conk. Thanks
I felt the same way and could not wrap my head around it until I tried Tabac and B&M. I instantly knew what others were referring to.
I am not saying it is better just different. The slickness of the conk is unmatchable for me and its why I love it. Slippery is what you want in a soap but the cushion is nice also.
If you decide to try the conk let your brush sit in hot water on top of the soap for about 1 minute.
Longer is not necessary.
 
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