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Tips for lathering Tabac

Tabac shaving soap is usually easy to lather with and yours might be the first post I read where someone has issues with it.
That might be because you are more used to shaving creams and have to dial in how to charge a brush (for face-lathering).

It may not be necessary to soak a badger brush as you do, to charge the brush with soap it may actually be better to just immerse the brush in a sink full of (or under running) water, shake off excess water, than dip the tips of the brush in water again and take it form there.
That is what I do, and if I need more water, I just dip the tips of the brush in water some more.
By doing so, it will lead you to the sweet spot where the water/soap ratio is optimum for any given soap.
Sooner or later it becomes second nature…

By now I don’t even soak my boar brushes any longer, which at some stage I thought was essential.

I also do not believe that it is necessary to ‘bloom’ (immerse in a dish full of water) Tabac shaving soap unless you haven’t used it for a long time and it has dried out (shrunk).

As mentioned, others have success with the “Marco Method”.

BTW, regarding the question as to whether you have the ‘original’ or ‘reformulated’ Tabac.
Being new around here, you may not be aware that a short while back Tabac changed the formula of their shaving soap and replaced tallow (‘tallowate’ on the list of ingredients) with other components. This seems to be an industry-wide trend, driven partly by the desire to move away from animal products and partly because of updated regulations on the use of tallow. In any case, the soap is still sold as ‘Tabac Original’.

To some tallow matters a lot, to me it matters little - and when done correctly the performance of the soap does not have to be negatively affected.

Good luck.

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If you are not familiar with the Marco Method, here is the thread that started it all. Warning: keep a spare towel handy.

I purchased the Tabac original.
They still call the new formula Tabac Original which I think is misleading. The new "vegan" Tabac is a white puck whereas the old tallow Tabac was a cream coloured puck. They are completely different soaps and the new Tabac is not as good as the old Tabac. The new formula produces a lather that is inferior in every way to the old formula.
you really only need to load your brush shortly on the puck (< 10 seconds, I use a boar brush). Then - as others before have said - add plenty of water in small increments. And work your brush like you are having a workout. Not many soaps give you the same perfect lather as Tabac.... I do face lather, not using a bowl.

As with many soaps, I nowadays have to pre-lather from the puck and face lather twice to soften my 71 year old. tough, coarse, stubble, working with plenty of warm water and the brush, to progressively rinse off the pre-lather stages. Then re-lather for the third time and shave. Sometimes I rub a bit of glycerin on to face before the third re-lather to ensure the blade does get caught on any 'skin bumps' that may have arisen on my sensitive skin, and cause a nick or cut. Great soap, and post shave sensation.
How does one tell whether Tabac has enough water added? I'm mostly relying on the shine and how much resistance the brush offers in the bowl, but I think I'm still under-watering it.
How does one tell whether Tabac has enough water added? I'm mostly relying on the shine and how much resistance the brush offers in the bowl, but I think I'm still under-watering it.
just add more and more... until it gets runny and thin. Then next time, use a little less water ;-) It takes quite some water before you get to that point, trust me.
How does one tell whether Tabac has enough water added? I'm mostly relying on the shine and how much resistance the brush offers in the bowl, but I think I'm still under-watering it.
I don't ever rely on color. It's all about feel. The brush should glide on your face like ice. That's when you know it's ready.
The way I am reading this it seems that you are very new to building a lather. Tabac is one of the easiest soaps to lather so it's a great soap to start with but if you are having problems you are probably not using enough product and/or water and your need to learn how to lathering technique.

If you are just starting out make sure you watch some YouTube videos on how to lather a shaving soap and keep practicing until you start getting decent lathers. It's not difficult, but it takes a little practice and knowledge to get good lathers.
How does one tell whether Tabac has enough water added? I'm mostly relying on the shine and how much resistance the brush offers in the bowl, but I think I'm still under-watering it.
Try bringing the lather to the stage where if you added any more water, it would run off your face instead of staying put. The lather should have a sheen to it.
I have been using shaving creams for several years, but recently decided to try Tabac as I have seen it recommended several times. I have used it a few times now, but I am not getting a good lather and it isn't lubricating the razor. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting a better lather and ultimately a better, smoother shave with Tabac?

For reference, I am using a best badger brush that is soaked in hot water while I shower. I then put some hot water in the soap dish with the puck for a couple of minutes before starting to shave. The first time I tried Tabac, I tried getting some soap in the brush and then creating lather in a bowl, but that didn't work well at all. The next couple of times I tried creating the lather right on the puck which was better, but the shave still felt very dry.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

Hi Ngiovas,

First welcome to B&B. I see you joined just over two weeks ago.

I've some Tabac on-order so am interested in what will work best for you. Almost all of my shaves are with hard triple milled soaps. Building the lather initially on the puck in a container (e.g.apothecary mug) with extra vertical space with completion of the lather build via face lathering works well for me. For my two hardest soaps, Mitchell's Wool Fat and Williams I've found that a stiffer boar brush works best. For all my other soaps I use a synthetic plissoft brush with great results. Both my synthetics and boar have larger 26mm knots that help load lots of soap.

Note that the hybrid lathering both on the mug and face enables loading of plenty of soap for a multi pass shave while avoiding really egregious soap wastage.

Recommendations to use plenty of water in small amounts are right on the mark. I've found that a wetter lather provides much better slickness for improved shaves.

Let us know what eventually works for you.

Ron R

I survived a lathey foreman
I mostly bowl lather and how I go about using Tabac original triple milled soap is just take my pocket knife out and just peel some slivers off into the bowl and press them into the grooves or rings of bowl and just dampen my finger and moisten any small fragments of soap into the main soap area (takes 1 minute). Then with squeezed dampen brush just start until I get my paste or heavy cream started and just add some water by hand or mister and stir and repeat that stirring and adding water until desired lather pinnacle is reached about 2 minutes later with any type of brush.
Usually I have enough hard stuck soap in the bottom of bowl for another lathering the next day and I worked it this way for about 4 years and really enjoy this method, like mentioned Tabac likes water and it rewards with a nice lather IMO.
Brush collage  August 19 2022.jpg

Have some great shaves!
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