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What are the benefits of bowl lathering?

Bowl lathering is the easiest learning technique. Palm next, face lathering last. If you’ve got it dialed in, stick with it.

I’m solar powered and heat activated. I don’t like cold much at all. I liked scuttles and warm lather on cold days. I don’t like cold shaves on cold days. The second pass face lathering tended to be cool to cold with a boar brush. Badgers hold heat the best of all the brushes I’ve tried. I found a brush scuttle that warms the brush soak and will keep a lathered brush warm enough for me between passes. And I no longer have to live where water just lays around on the ground in a solid state.

Bristles laying in the top cup with no soap in the cup keeps it plenty warm enough between passes.

I like variety so I use all kinds of methods to create lather. It can change from day to day.

My current favorite method is a bit of a hybrid anyway. I do a light load on my brush and apply a thin, wet proto-lather to my face, and then go back to the puck to load more. I usually go to the bowl at that point and start working up my lather towards the way I like it. I pretty much stop when I'm roughly 75% to the endpoint I would have reached if I was going to bowl lather completely. I then apply that over the thin layer I started with, and finish building my end product on my face.

* The proto-lather acts a bit like a pre-shave and keeps my whiskers wet while I work in the bowl. It also gets some of the good smelling product on my face.

* Going to the bowl lets me tell pretty soon if I haven't loaded correctly ( a rare event but it does happen ). It also slows down the process a bit so I can enjoy the ritual.

* Keeping the last few percentage points of finish work on my face still gives me time to enjoy some of the brushes I've spent so much money on. It also lets me dial in my lather exactly where I want it.

That said today I was in a hurry and only wanted a one-pass shave, and I face lathered entirely and was in and out of the shave den quickly. I'm confident in my face-lathering skills if I need ( or want ) to shave that way.

'Horses for courses' as they might say.
Indeed an interesting conversation. One thing no one's mentioned yet has to do with real estate. I'm quite generously facially furred and have little real estate left on my cheeks or under my beard (neck) to really produce a consistant lather quality. Now, while I shave my head, I've found it much easier to paint a well established lather on my head as opposed to working it on my dome. This could have something to do with the angle the brush has to be at, the time it takes and the fact I've lived a rather exhuberant life physically. My shoulders don't like being put in a position over my head to work a lather for particularly long.

I'm using PAAs Intergalactic Travel Shuttle and rather like the fact I can start my prep after having filled it with boiling water. Keeps the lather warm. Given I generally only shave 2xs/wk (this is mostly to manage irritation), I'm not generally in a rush and use the shave as something of a self-care, perhaps slightly self-indulgent, relaxing meditation.

I have two brushes at the moment I really like: PAAs Amber Aerolite (24mm knot) and The Doppler (26mm knot). While I love the color and really like the Amber Aerolite, I really love the feel and functionality of the Doppler's 26mm knot, even with the little real estate I'm painting. I'm surprised that 2mm makes such a noticeable difference and feels more luxurious overall.

Long story short, (yeah I know: too late), bowl lather for this DE enthusiast.
The only advantage I see is that it limits the time your face is in contact with a brush. 'Brush burn' is real, especially with natural hair brushes. For that a bowl is a solution. But the better and easier solution would be to just use the palm of your hand.
Hey y'all,
I've had this on my mind for a bit and this seems like a good place to post. I am new to the forum so feel free to link to any relevant past threads .

Basically I'm just wondering why anyone would bowl lather at all? I have been face lathering since I started de shaving in February, just wet the brush, swirl it on my soap and then bring it to my face once the lather starts to pop, then agitate and add more water if needed.
I guess the only benefit of a bowl I can see would be for a barber who's shaving multiple faces throughout the day, or someone who needs to shave in a room other than their bathroom.

But please prove me wrong! I don't mean to yuck anyone's yum so to speak, to each their own if you prefer bowls, I'm just curious as to the reasoning behind it, are there some real benefits vs face lathering, or is it just something else that you use because you enjoy the process? Everytime I watch a video of someone bowl lathering I just feel like it's a huge waste of time. But maybe I am missing something.

Enlighten me, shave wizards!
Basically it’s to keep the bowl manufacturers in business lol 😂


I shaved a fortune
Early on, I had to stop using scented soaps due to a skin issue. I started bowl lathering from the beginning. I found it was the best way for me to get consistent lather. I've only had a few bowls... a small, lipped ceramic bowl was my first. I broke it and while waiting for a replacement, I got one of those modest blue Timeless bowls... unbreakable. <eg>

Since then, I've added a couple CaYuen bowls... Not only are they beautiful, they lather up whatever product I scrape or scoop, smear and smooth out thin on the bottom lathers like a dream.

I like warm lather on my face... in all seasons. I've tried cold shaving. I'm not a fan. I shower before I shave. I keep the loaded CaYuen sitting in a sink of hot water while I'm in the shower. I keep my spray mister bottle in the same sink... warming up the filtered water.

After the shower, I lather on some pre-shave, then make my shaving lather in the CaYuen... after the first lathering, I keep it sitting in a partially drained sink so it sits on the bottom and doesn't tip over with the brush resting in it, surrounded by hot water for subsequent passes.

I don't face lather because too much exposure to the brush bristles affects my skin. I can tolerate the light scrubbing of already made lather without issue. I know I can't "advance" to face lathering. I'm stuck, but I'm OK with that. <eg>
For me, bowl lathering is just part of the ritual.

It's one of the things that make me look forward to shaving. For way to many years I rushed through and hated shaving, you know, a can of Barbasol and a Mach 3, get it done, let's go, next! But now I take it easy, I do it right and using a bowl is just a part of the process. When you're young, it's hard to enjoy "the process" of a lot of stuff, but as I get older, I'm trying to slow down and appreciate the process of many things more and more.

But in the end, I'm not sure it's any better than face lathering, unless the brush irritates your face.
I mostly use a synthetic brush, which doesn’t hold water as well as natural hair brushes. Bowl lathering makes it easier to add water to get the consistency where I like it. If I lathered on the soap and added too much water (which does happen occasionally) it’s just going to take that much longer to dry before I can put the lid back on.

I also have more soap than I need and I don’t like to leave them open to dry and it just seems more clean and neat to scoop out soap into a bowl rather than build lather on the soap.

Finally, I sometimes sell soaps on the BST and I know that for me personally, if I’m buying a used soap I would prefer it to be scooped into a bowl rather than lathered directly in the container.

Maybe I’m weird though. 🤷‍♂️
For me it's the ease of using any cream/soap!
I'll face lather with a hard soap (like Arko) which gives me equal results to
bowl lathering. With an Arko tub it's just easier to do it that way! But other loose
hard pucks or soft soaps are better & easier for me in a bowl.
And something else, bowl lathering has a therapeutic effect that adds to the relaxation
of the shaving routine (at least for me it does!)
For me shaving time is my ME TIME. The longer it takes the more fun I could have. So why shorten that zen moment?

I bowl lather for my own following reasons.

1. My arms gets easily tired which could seriously affect quality & pressure I apply during shave.

2. More control & consistency over my lather.

3. My sensitive face could not tolerate prickly bristles for a long time.

4. It feels very satisfying to see that shiny fluffy lather I build in my bowl. Deym that’s a good lather right there.
potentially less sloppy, especially at first when the water and soap aren't integrated very well. Especially when using a synthetic brush (a lot of them have a tendency to fling lather around because of the springiness). A bowl serves to contain that a little.

I start in the bowl before face lathering for this reason. I can whip the brush around in the bowl and build lather very fast without making a mess. It saves time — time that I can use going back over that patch of stubble for the eighth time that I think I still might detect.

If tried to build lather on my face as fast as I do in a bowl, my bathroom would look like the inside of a drive-through car wash.
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