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Shave soap used for DE shaving not working so well for the SR shave

The shave soap I've been using for DE shaving is not working so well for the SR shave. Once I've done a pass, my face is completely dry (I'm accustomed to residual slickness)! Is there an adjustment that I need to make for SR blades?

Details:
  • Antiga Barbearia De Bairro Essentials shave soap
  • PAA Atomic Rocket 26mm Synthetic Shaving Brush
  • I face lather. The consistency of the lather is similar to yogurt
 
Hydrate it more. After experimenting with adding more water to the lather and you still can't quite get there, maybe it's time to try a different soap. I like Proraso but haven't had luck with it regarding a straight razor. I stick with Stirling / Arko.
 
@gregory56 I had a similar experience to you. There are shaving soaps that work well with DE razors but not as well with SR's. I tried more water, less water, thicker lather, thinner lather, etc. Nothing really got those soaps to work well with SR's.

What I eventually ended up doing was to buy soaps that were highly recommend for SR shavers. I started with Proraso creams. They worked okay. Then I found ARKO and Tabac. They are excellent.


The answer to your problem is try some recommend soaps for SR shaving.
 
While agree that some soaps may perform better for DE shaving than SR shaving, I've generally had good results with any soap I've tried.

But ...

That was only after I got decent at SR shaving. Typically those just starting out take a LOT longer for each pass. This means any and every soap has longer to dry out on your face AND in the bowl. It therefore needs more water, or needs to be periodically rewetted to get it back to the right consistency. This is especially true if you start on the "dryer" side of the soap's hydration window.

IMHO, that's likely part of the reason SR shavers tend to go with "wetter" lathers and soaps which do well on the wetter side of things. (But not "runny wet" or "dripping wet". You want to keep all moisture out of the pivot.)
 
Soaps that I (a face latherer) have found to work well with SR shaving are:
  • Proraso green cream (6/10)
  • ARKO stick (8/10)
  • Tabac tallow stick (7/10)
  • Palmolive cream (7/10)
  • Palmolive stick Australian - discontinued (8/10)
Of course there are many others, it's just that I haven't tried them.

I still have about ¾ of the Palmolive stick left. I now only use it on very special occasions like funerals, weddings and christenings.
 
So after offering general advice, I'll add my current soap rotation, all of which do very well for me and my straights.

In no particular order and with a wide range of price points:
  • Tabac
  • Mitchell's Wool Fat
  • ARKO Stick
  • Ach Brita Mogno
  • Wholly Kaw (current pick is Fougere Bouquet)
  • Declaration Grooming (current pick is Trismegistus)
  • Martin de Candre (current pick is Fougere)
  • Saponificio Varesino (current pick is Desert Vetiver)
 
I made a few changes,
  • I did a bowl lather with the IAMCDB technique with my current soap and brush load. It produced a lot of lather! This tells me what I had been doing produced a very dry lather
  • I only apply lather to the half of my face I'm about to shave
  • I ordered a bar of Ach Brita Mogno. I like the review and that it's a hard soap
  • I changed my blade to a 6/8" Ralf Aust Spanish Tip Hollow Ground SR. My other razor's edge was not working right.
 

steveclarkus

Goose Poop Connoisseur
The shave soap I've been using for DE shaving is not working so well for the SR shave. Once I've done a pass, my face is completely dry (I'm accustomed to residual slickness)! Is there an adjustment that I need to make for SR blades?

Details:
  • Antiga Barbearia De Bairro Essentials shave soap
  • PAA Atomic Rocket 26mm Synthetic Shaving Brush
  • I face lather. The consistency of the lather is similar to yogurt
Straight shaving requires a wetter lather. Just make a wetter lather with what you are using.
 
I haven't really noticed a difference in how a soap performs - between sr razor of de razor. Some razors just clear the soap away. The Rex Ambassador does that. Even though it's a de razor, it won't leave much residual soap behind no matter what soap or blade is used.
 
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I must have been fortunate whereby all of my soaps work for me with either SR or DE. This covers various soaps and creams by different makers.

Generally I use a wetter lather either way as I'm shaving and not going to post photos so don't need meringue like peaks.

I've only had one soap I couldn't get to work irrespective of what I tried. That was relegated to hand soap and mirror defogging.

As @Kyle89 said above, experiment with what you have and you should eventually dial it in.
 
Based on the previous thread that @rbscebu cited, many straight razor shavers prefer a wet lather. You can also add a little water to your brush during a pass and re-run the brush over the remaining lather.

When I first saw the previous thread, I thought how ridiculous but now that I have been using a straight for over one year I have developed a preference for a lighter lather that still has plenty of cushion that easily rinses off the blade. The older tallow-based Tabac is a good example. Another great example is MdC. It ain't cheap, but it sure performs!
 
I find it more difficult to shave if a wet lather has not had a bit of time to sit on the beard. For that reason I would lather the whole face before beginning the shave, and to also build up a larger reserve of lather in the brush when face lathering. Then relather the other side of the face if it is starting to dry and add a few drops of water to the brush as needed. I sometimes need to add a little water, the main reasons include: 1) not getting the water-to-soap ratio quite right at the beginning, 2) did not properly wash/wet my face beforehand which can contribute to initial ratio misjudgement listed as issue #1, or 3) when the relative humidity is low like in winter.

If you were to continue to have issues after adding more water, then it is likely that not enough soap was used. Too much soap will create a big mound of lather that should work with some of it getting wasted. Too little soap and it is impossible to get the lather to hold enough water for a long shaving pass.
 
I must have been fortunate whereby all of my soaps work for me with either SR or DE. This covers various soaps and creams by different makers.

Generally I use a wetter lather either way as I'm shaving and not going to post photos so don't need meringue like peaks.

I've only had one soap I couldn't get to work irrespective of what I tried. That was relegated to hand soap and mirror defogging.

As @Kyle89 said above, experiment with what you have and you should eventually dial it in.
+1 This
 
The shave soap I've been using for DE shaving is not working so well for the SR shave. Once I've done a pass, my face is completely dry (I'm accustomed to residual slickness)! Is there an adjustment that I need to make for SR blades?

Details:
  • Antiga Barbearia De Bairro Essentials shave soap
  • PAA Atomic Rocket 26mm Synthetic Shaving Brush
  • I face lather. The consistency of the lather is similar to yogurt
For me the lather is ready when it feels like a wet towel on my face. Most soaps are slick enough to be used with a SR, but some will require more effort to get right. I shave more or less every morning with a SR. I do not have time to spend adding water and dialing it in to perfection.
I might use something like A & E during the weekend, when i have time to enjoy it.
MDC and SV have been my go to soaps because of the ease of use and performance.
Recently i have been loading with a damp badger brush and adding a little water in the centre of the brush before i face lather. I used to apply it as a paste to my face, but got better results if i added some water into the brush after it was loaded. I work that into my skin to condition the skin, then i add water. I found it helped to spend a little more time working in the lather before i add water. Products like PAA the Cube can also help to boost the performance of some soaps. Preshave does not add much to a good soap, but can help some perform better.

If you get along with the smell of Tabac it is fantastic.
 
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