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Thread: trouble creating lather

  1. #1
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    Default trouble creating lather

    I am having trouble creating lather to the consistency of whip cream. I have been doing it daily for (im not sure) maybe a couple weeks to a month. Granted only within the past week i have had ridges in my bowl in attempt to help create the lather.

    I have watched numerous videos on create lather. Everytime they have the consistency of whip cream. I think i only once got it decent, but have not been able to redo it.

    I have tried to create it on my face and in a bowl. I think i have better results when doing it on my face for some reason. But i like the bowl (keeping it warm throughout numerous passes). I spend at least half my time shaving attempting to create the lather properly.

    I feel like the brush is loaded properly. The brustles stick together when i am done. While whipping: Just when it looks too dry, i drip a couple drops on the brush, redo that a couple times, and before i know it, it is too wet, with bubbles in it. Then i apply more soap to even it out.....and then it gets too dry. I must admit, people that create proper lather within a minute or two have acquired a great skill. I thought the ridges within the bowl might help, but even after creating ridges, i seem to still struggle.

    Also i have noticed that not one person in a youtube video has to re-apply cream to their face within one pass. I seem to have to do it 4 times. Otherwise the soap dissipates. I think it is too wet at that point. So if i try to dry it out by adding more soap, it gets too dry again.

    But i feel like i go in circles, too wet, then too dry. I can tell the shave is better when the lather is better. I just seem to have trouble hitting that dead center sweet spot of lather.

    Is there something that seems obvious i am doing wrong?
    Last edited by metulburr; 11-20-2014 at 01:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Generating lather is an art that I too had problems with. For me a bit of water on top of the puck, letting the brush soak bristles down in a container, and walking away for 5 minutes helped. From there it is a matter of getting the water/soap ratio 'right.' What right is depends on the eye of the beholder.
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    barba crescit caput nescit Phrank's Avatar
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    For me, I give the puck a splash of hot water, drain is off and leave the top of the puck moist. Also make sure the brush is nicely soaked in hot water. At that point, with the brush moist, but not wet, a little water on the top of the puck, I'll load the brush with several swirls and then face lather. I usually re-lather between each pass, and a few drops of water on the end of the brush seems to work for me.

    Takes time, water quality differs, but keep experimenting and you'll find the sweet spot.

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    What soap are you using? I'm a newbie as well, and have had some of the same issues in this area. I started out with a pretty cheap Col Conk soap, and had the same problem: I would have to re-apply to my face several times throughout the pass. Mine seemed to be drying out after sitting on my face too long (which, granted – may be because I take so long to shave since I’m new to a straight-edge). I tried out what seems like a much higher quality soap today (Dr. Harris) and had infinitely better results. I feel like eventually I might go back to the Col Conk (I certainly won’t be letting it go to waste), but it will be after I am a little more proficient at creating lather.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Yes sir, creating a good lather is not as easy as it looks. You might try adding a few drops of water to the bristles after you have done you normal loading and load some more before whipping it up in a bowl or face lathering. After that it is a matter of getting the water ratio right. Good luck.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth nessmuck's Avatar
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    Making good lather is like making good cement....too much water ,you got runny stuff.....not enough water it won't spread. Its a fine line !!!!

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    Senior Member JTmke's Avatar
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    If you are sure you are using a good soap or cream AND you are loading enough on the brush, starting with the clumpy brush with the bristles sticking together add drops of water to the brush or bowl and whip. If the brush stays clumpy and bristles stuck after a few seconds add more water. Repeat until the brush starts to explode outward. It takes longer than a few seconds of swirling to get a good lather. You need to get air and water into the cream/soap.

    Super hot water may prevent good lather as well.

    I have found resting the lather for 30 seconds or so while adding drops of water can give the soap time to expand. If your lather is drying out on your face you either are not loading enough on the brush or not using the correct air/water mixture or not swirling your brush enough. Give your lather some time with the brush
    "The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas." -Linus Pauling

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    Senior Member ultrasoundguy2003's Avatar
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    Those small bubbles after added water is ok. Now its just about whipping it till they get to tiny. 4 re lathers is normal for a pass because you are not lightning fast with the shave yet. I exaggerate to make the point of shaving speed. If I spend too much time ,I also have to re lather or re-hydrate my brush on occasion.
    One way to say this is to illustrate with egg whites, you must whip them until they form stiff peaks. This is time consuming up front, In a month you will run hot water over your brush. load with soap and scrub up a fine lather on your face. Till then its the learning curve and you are doing fine. Remember this is not fast food and it takes a minute or two to get it right.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth Steel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    Generating lather is an art that I too had problems with. For me a bit of water on top of the puck, letting the brush soak bristles down in a container, and walking away for 5 minutes helped. From there it is a matter of getting the water/soap ratio 'right.' What right is depends on the eye of the beholder.
    +1. Hot water on top of the puck was a game changer for me. I wasn't getting enough soap to start with and then it was a tough battle wet,dry,wet,dry. After I started soaking the puck a bit it was easy making lather. I can make an excellent lather from ivory soap, Williams mug, and Vanderhagen soaps. It made a difference for me.
    What a curse be a dull razor; what a prideful comfort a sharp one

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    Thanks everyone. I have a new few great ideas i can try. As well as a few confirmations on things i was not sure about. Throughout this week, im going to try each of your ideas.

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