Simpler still

Thoughts and input on anything related to wet shaving or men's grooming.
Post Reply
brothers
Posts: 19309
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Simpler still

Post by brothers » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:21 pm

Now it seems I'm experiencing a possibly temporary reduced enthusiasm for a thick santa claus beard of lather; accompanied by a life-long but seldom-exercised practice of using a twin blade disposable razor. The prep takes just a few seconds and it permits me to continue to use the brushes I like. The disposables actually do a much better job of cutting when the lather is almost too thin and runny to be called lather. It's still there on the face, but not in mountains. Requires little or no forethought and very little time spent with the brush. Finished product is actually very good because I'm using Tabac which is undisputed as one of the very best shaving soaps available.

EDIT: I realized today that my disposable razor already had about 10 good shaves in, so I tossed it and used the General razor/Kai blade combination instead. Even with such a simple setup there are options.
Gary

CMur12
Posts: 6809
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:41 pm
Location: Moses Lake, Washington

Re: Simpler still

Post by CMur12 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:53 pm

Hi Gary -

I never have understood the appeal (or function) of thick lather. For me, it always seemed that I had to fight it to get the blade under the whiskers. My best results have come from wet, slick lather, with little cushion, and a mild razor with sharp (but not Feather) blade. Such lather may indeed work well with cartridge razors.

(I, too, did well with twin-blade cartridge razors, but three or more blades in the cartridge never worked for me.)

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

User avatar
ShadowsDad
Posts: 2991
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:13 am
Location: Central Maine

Re: Simpler still

Post by ShadowsDad » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:25 am

I've never understood the need for more than a film of lather.
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square

User avatar
Sam
M'Learned Friend
Posts: 11706
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:13 am
Location: memphis, tennessee
Contact:

Re: Simpler still

Post by Sam » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:27 am

I don't like a blob of lather but some lathers have been on the thin/watery side and not enough slickness. I tend to prefer soaps over creams, and have used soaps. One, Joris, is no longer made but after Gordon and Dr. Chris wrote about it, I tried it. And Trumper back in the day, those two. Tried Tabac many times to no avail. And alas, I miss the hay scent of Musgo, my very first cream.

Anyway, I understand about a multi-blade. Harry's is a great set up, but I am now so used to the DE that I don't know if I would change out again

CMur12
Posts: 6809
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:41 pm
Location: Moses Lake, Washington

Re: Simpler still

Post by CMur12 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:48 pm

Sam, I can get a good shave with a twin-bladed cartridge, but, like you, I prefer the feel of a single blade at work on the beard.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

User avatar
mrjediconsular
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:10 am
Location: boise,idaho

Re: Simpler still

Post by mrjediconsular » Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:34 pm

i mostly use a thicker lather layer for the first pass then thinner layers for the clean up passes
Jordan

brothers
Posts: 19309
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Re: Simpler still

Post by brothers » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:01 pm

Murray, when I first tried it several days ago, I did remind myself of what you have been saying.
Sam, I have been a bit concerned about how I'm going to use shaving cream also. It's naturally thicker right out of the tube/tub. Maybe I can rub it on the face and then splash water on it, and use the brush loaded with water. I guess I'll find out.
Gary

User avatar
fallingwickets
Clive the Thumb
Posts: 8146
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:59 am

Re: Simpler still

Post by fallingwickets » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:41 am

Being a super fan of 'dry' lather, ive never understood the santa claus beard of lather either. I think sam and i have always been opposites viz. soap and cream,s I try creams once in a while (hello coates rose!) but its too much for two consecutive shaves.....my skin just doesnt do well, probably because of the extra pressure i apply to the razor to feel the blade working(??)

There was a brilliant thread circa early 2007 - around that time anyway - started by richard (rustyblade) waxing philosophical on the joys of a dry lather. Once You go dry, its hard to go back :D :D

clive
de gustibus non est disputandum

Rufus
Posts: 2010
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:25 pm
Location: Greater Toronto Area

Re: Simpler still

Post by Rufus » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:09 am

Clive, what is dry lather shaving? For me, I prefer a Mach3 or Sensor cartridge razor over a DE or SE razor, shaving cream over shaving soap, face lathering over bowl lathering, and badger and boar over synthetic and horse. I never saw the point in making mounds of lather either; seems a waste of time to lather to the point of whipped cream-like consistency. I like my lather to have residual slickness, which aids touch up at the end of my shave.
Bryan

User avatar
Sam
M'Learned Friend
Posts: 11706
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:13 am
Location: memphis, tennessee
Contact:

Re: Simpler still

Post by Sam » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:06 am

Thanks Clive. I meant to say I prefer creams

brothers
Posts: 19309
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Re: Simpler still

Post by brothers » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:27 pm

In your experience, what is the best way to get a thin lather when using a soft shaving cream? The reference to dry lather has me a bit confused because a dry lather (cream or soap) on my face usually results in an unworkable razor until I add water.
Gary

User avatar
Sam
M'Learned Friend
Posts: 11706
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:13 am
Location: memphis, tennessee
Contact:

Re: Simpler still

Post by Sam » Fri Nov 30, 2018 4:10 pm

I Don't really get a thin lather but then again it is not peaks like meringue

EL Alamein
Posts: 2712
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Re: Simpler still

Post by EL Alamein » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:57 pm

This is a very interesting thread.

Lather preference is a very personal thing and I, myself, have tweaked my lathering technique over the years many times.

I like face lathering and I like a nice thick protective lather yet as a straight user I need slickness to go along with a thick lather to make the blade work without irritation.

In the last few months I've tweaked my lathering again and so far I'm pleased with the results. As I get older and my skin gets more sensitive I need the two most coveted attributes of lather more - thick and slick.

Gary's past posts have been a bit of an inspiration for me to attempt this. I've never really lathered on a cake of soap and I tried it some months ago in conjunction with my face lathering. I like it a great deal but have tweaked it a bit with my own lathering technique to give me the best of both attributes.

What I do now is very contrary to a lot of the old advice. I do not soak my brush but merely dip the tips of my bristles in my bowl of water and start working on the cake. I dip maybe once or twice more and work the lather on the cake until it is mighty thick and dense and fills the tips with lather. It doesn't take long and this technique provides a little more backbone to the brush as it's not soaked and the base bristle shafts remain stiff. This helps the lathering process along quickly and provides a very protective lather which I then lather onto my face.

Once I've painted that lather onto my face working it in to the point where it's good and thick and almost dry I then dip my bristles into my water again and hydrate the lather with that water until it's shiny and very slick yet still very thick and protective. The water is already soaped due to the dipping during the lather building process and it's hardness is minimized.

The result is a very thick yet very wet slick lather that easily lets the blade glide effortlessly across my face without any irritation. My second pass is done with water only from the tap and my hand. When I touch my wet hand to my face and spread the water it is super slick and still protective even though there is no visible lather left from the first pass.

This delivers a very quick and protective second pass without irritation resulting in a very smooth and close shave. I go light on pressure for both passes as pressure is not needed.

During that second pass I do a lot of wiping of the blade to avoid runoff dripping everywhere but I've mastered it and it goes very quickly and effortlessly.

Hopefully I've recounted this right and it helps someone. But that's my technique today and I like it very much. Seems to me to be the best of both worlds.

Chris

CMur12
Posts: 6809
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:41 pm
Location: Moses Lake, Washington

Re: Simpler still

Post by CMur12 » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:45 pm

Chris, that's an impressive lathering technique. The clincher is that it works and provides you the exact lather that you seek.

Thanks for going to the trouble of writing it all out to share it with us.

- Murray
Give me Soap or give me death!

adhoc
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Simpler still

Post by adhoc » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:19 pm

Seems like I'm in the minority here. I like my lather thick and creamy, so much so that once I finished the first pass, I squeeze out the remainder of lather in the brush in to a bowl, add more soap/cream to the brush and start working the lather again in the bowl. Its quite wasteful, I know, but I don't shave everyday so I treat myself that luxury!
Olle

User avatar
drmoss_ca
Admin
Posts: 9225
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 4:39 pm

Re: Simpler still

Post by drmoss_ca » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:45 am

I'm with Chris - thick and slick is what's wanted for a straight shave. I have read recommendations in the past that lather should be as thin as possible to maximise hydration (remember He Who Must Not Be Named and his 'slag'?), but I find that hydration of the beard and lathering are best conducted as two separate processes. You get full control of each and you can obtain results like having a fully-waterlogged beard and very thick, stiff lather.

I've been wandering through some less often used razors and soaps lately, and had a delightful shave yesterday. I think I'll pause on this combination for a few days before moving on: a Pierre Thiers historical banged out by the man himself in 1884, and some old Floris No.89 soap which makes billows of thick lather with no effort just as tallow soaps ought to do.

Sam, I have a couple of unopened tubes of the Musgo Real coumarin-scented cream if you get desperate.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace

brothers
Posts: 19309
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:18 am
Location: Oklahoma City USA

Re: Simpler still

Post by brothers » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:41 pm

Sam, I hope you will take advantage of the doctor's generosity!
Gary

User avatar
Sam
M'Learned Friend
Posts: 11706
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:13 am
Location: memphis, tennessee
Contact:

Re: Simpler still

Post by Sam » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:30 pm

Well, if that is the old version of say 15 years ago, I will purchase them. That first tube was heavenly. Then I found Trumpers Violet and when they messed with that, it was never right. Glad to have Trumpers Rose and Lime back into my bathroom cabinet. Though the soaps have been underwhelming from what I can read. The etailer I got the Trumpers from made Trumpers very price competitive with Taylors. It used to be Trumpers was like $23 or more a tub and Taylors was $12 to $14. DR Harris was more than Trumpers, Coates was phasing out, and what was the superb lime scent, clear bottom container with black top? That scent was sublime and I splurged on that. Never did get the hang of Trumpers Coconut scent. Gordon, Dr Chris and I knew a guy from The Wetshavers, Donnie C., retired policeman that would meet the Trumpers shipment at the airport to get his pot of Trumpers that much earilier. Gordon loved almond, me not so much.

Yet the Musgo was my first true cream. Sure, they had Crabtree and Evelyn locally, which I tried, and when I went out of town, there was L'Occitane I could get. Memphis, nah, we never had that. Now this was way before the guy who started the Art of Shaving even probably got the idea to do it. And yes, this was before the idea of the Moss Scuttle.

As an aside, I had a straight razor shave about 6 months ago locally. I still can not get on with the shavette. Yes, he had the machine to make the hot lather, but I think it was more of a can of Barbasol heated up. Shavette did not cut as close and he had to finish up with a five-bladed razor. $25.00 not well spent. We have a more expensive place that does them but I am not paying $50 for another shavette incident.

So now, I alternate between Trumpers Lime and Rose creams, Truefit's Lavendar cream and take the Musgo in my travel kit with my regular Tuxedo synthetic brush.

Post Reply