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Cream Lathering


This is a Comprehensive Guide to achieving delightfully hot, meringue like lather. It began as this thread.


Please do not take anything in the following pictorial guide to be "set in stone." The beauty of wet shaving is having fun, and keeping things enjoyable. If you choose to use this method of generating lather, please make sure you enjoy doing it! Wet shaving is about making a mundane daily chore, something fun, and enjoyable. When wet shaving is turned into a scientific method, it becomes drab and mundane. Ok, enough of my jabbering, here goes!

Section 1 -- Keep it hot!

The most important factor in successful lather is keeping it hot! Cold lather is like a warm Popsicle! It just does not work! A Rival water boiler purchased at Target was used for this guide. It ran somewhere around $10 and can be one of the most useful wet shaving tools. It takes around a minute or so to get the water to a rolling boil. Definitely faster and more convenient than a microwave, especially since you can turn the heat down whilst shaving and have nice hot water on hand at any time if you need a quick hot recharge!

Caveat: some gents believe that excessive heat can damage a brush. It may weaken the epoxy that holds the knot in place, or may damage the hair directly. It is up to you to balance these risks with your desire for the hottest possible lather.

Once you have boiling water, it is important to keep as much hot water as possible on the badger hair or boar bristles brush right up until you are ready to begin building lather. To do this, I insert the dry brush into a coffee mug then pour water into the mug until the hot water reaches the top of the bristles. I let it sit for about 30 seconds to a minute to warm up the brush and mug, then I dump the water out of the mug, and then repeat the process. This is important, as the first time the hot water is poured into the mug, a good portion of the heat is lost heating up the cold mug, hence the actual water temp inside the mug is not quite high enough for our intended purpose.

Section 2 -- Keep it wet!

Now, the business portion of the lathering process. Remove the shaving brush from the mug and give it 2-3 good shakes into the sink to get the excess water out of the brush.
Vulfix super badger brush
When finished shaking, there should be no water dripping from the brush and it should not seem TOO burdened with water. This process is VERY forgiving in that you cannot shake TOO much water out of the brush, as you always have a rival water boiler full of hot water ready to replenish needed water at any point in the actual lathering process. Water ratios of cream to water are incredibly difficult to master, so I bypass it.

Please note that a Vulfix super badger brush is used in this guide, so the bristles are very soft. Also, please ensure that you do not have any excess water in the tub of cream, it's a problem for many users.

The quick twist loaded the brush with the optimal amount of cream. Usually, the amount of product will be more accurate than scoping it out with a finger or out of a tube making this method less wasteful.

At this point, the amount of lather is not enough. Notice above how the lather looks chalky and a bit dry? Look in the bowl, it is not soupy at ALL (not that you want it soupy) but it is quite clear there is not enough water in the brush and bowl to build the "optimal" lather. To fix this lather, add a few drops of hot water from the rival water boiler into the bowl. As you continue to swirl the brush and build the lather, you may need to add a few more drops of hot water to get it to the right consistency.
The splash of water added...

Notice how DEEP the thick lather penetrates the brush! You will occasionally see pics of guys generating lather, always look at how deep and loaded the brush is, not just what is on ones hand. There are a good 8-9 passes in that sucker EASY, and I am using less cream than those who use a kidney bean sized portion!

Final notes

When lathering on your face, with circular motions etc, you will get a MUCH better result than me painting swipes of cream on my hand. If desired, you should be able to generate immense lofty gobs of lather on your face that will put to shame anything from a can.

This process should work with any cream and any brush. Since you start with less water, it is much easier, as it is very difficult to make too "wet" of a mixture. It is easy to add water from the boiler at any time, whereas with other methods, it is messy and a pain to add more cream in the middle of lathering.

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