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Thread: I've lost my mojo!

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    Default I've lost my mojo!

    I've had some big changes recently: new job, new home, new city. It's been a stressful couple of months. Believe me, it's for the best in the long run. However, I've been getting terrible shaves ever since I moved.

    One of the many reasons I was super stoked for the move to Magog was to get away from Montreal's hard water. Magog's hardness is 52-72 mg/L, whereas Montreal's is 109-124. Even though I had learned to build excellent lather with hard water, I was dreaming of the days when I could build mountains of lather with barely any effort like in all those shave videos online. For my first couple of shaves I used my silvertip brush with MdC, and had stellar shaves, and I thought I had hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, since then I've been using my other brushes and other soaps, and can't get a decent lather to save my life. The only soap that will lather properly is MdC. Not even Baum.be! I've tried the silvertip with other soaps, without success. I've only been able to shave twice a week max because of the irritation, and I've had to break out the alum bar again, just like back when I was still learning to use a straight razor.

    I know that I don't need to worry about the sharpness of my razors, and I'm pretty confident my stropping is still up to par. The beard hairs are definitely being removed, and efficiently. It really seems to me that the problem is in the pre-shave.

    I usually bowl lather, although sometimes I will face lather if I'm using a cream. Currently, the lather seems fine when I finish building it, but it breaks down very quickly. In a matter of a couple minutes it goes from thick and creamy to light and airy, and dries out quickly on my face. Normally this tells me that either there's too much water or the water is too hot, so I've paid a lot of attention to both factors but can't seem to make any difference. Because the problem is the same regardless of the soap or brush I use (except MdC), I'm beginning to think there's something else at play here.

    Other possible contributing factors: 1) Apparently there are water quality issues here, which may play a part. 2) Just before I moved I cleaned all my brushes, and I suppose it's possible that I somehow messed them up, although I have no idea what I could have done. 3) It's entirely possible that the stress and/or lack of shaving routine has affected me enough that I'm not able to effectively judge my lather-building.

    My plan: 1) Try to establish a regular shaving routine. 2) Try to concentrate on one brush and one soap for a while, allowing me to experiment with other factors such as: A) Distilled water vs. tap water; B) Cleaning the brush again (maybe with a vinegar bath this time). C) Temperature of the water. 3) Save the MdC for occasions when I really don't want to have irritation, until I get this figured out.

    Any observations, suggestions, comments are welcome! I'm underslept and overworked, so I wouldn't be surprised if the answer is obvious and I just can't see it at the moment.

    Thanks,
    Joel
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    JP5
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    In for updates. Seem strange you are having trouble with lather if the water is a lot softer...
    - Joshua

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    " Atta Boy!!" sharptonn's Avatar
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    I suppose you need to try a bit different lathering procedure. Coming in as the winter is upon you does not help much.

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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    It really makes no sense unless the water changed after you got there or you are doing something different. Down here for water hardness we use grains to the gallon and it looks to me like your water is maybe 3 grains or so which is on the soft side. Where I am it's almost 9.

    If you want a controlled test buy some distilled water and use that and see what happens.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Could be as simple as your lathering technique is so dialed into working with hard water that you will have to change it. You could try loading more soap/cream and using less water.

    Bob
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    Gatling-Gun Jerry Gasman's Avatar
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    Im guessing your just used to the hard water and need to relearn. OR, the MDC Gods are trying to tell you to quit playing with lesser soaps and stick with MDC. The stuff is wonderful to use.
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    Senior Member ppetresen's Avatar
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    You mentioned that you've had a lot of changes in your life. SR shaving is a great way to focus yourself, almost as in meditation, but the flip side to it is also that if you're distracted and your head just isn't in it, your technique might just be off without you realizing it. Sort of like how the harder you try to force an issue the more elusive it becomes, so perhaps the key here is to stop worrying about mounds of lather and BBS shaves and just be in the moment as best you can and--and this is my theory--sooner or later everything else will again fall into place for you.
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    My only suggestion would be to load your brush normally and then add water a little at a time. working the water into the lather before you add a few drops more. It may be that you will need more or less water now as the water conditions are different. Check with your water supplier to see if they can give you a full water analysis. There is a lot more to water quality than just hardness rating. If the pH of the water is significantly different, that can have an effect. It could also depend on the type of anions in the water (chlorides, fluorides, sulfides/sulfates, phosphates, etc.). They could affect the lathering process as well as the metallic cations (calcium, magnesium, barium, etc. )
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    The First Cut is the Deepest! Magpie's Avatar
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    There is a huge difference between soft water, and water that has been "softened" If its a municipal water supply, it may have been treated using any of a variety of additives that will mess up your lather. As has already been said, try some distilled water and see what happens.

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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions and advice!

    Since I still havenít had the time to adjust my shaving routine, Iíve gone with the idea of just trying to make shaving fun again, and not worrying about trying to get the perfect lather. So Iíve only been using MdC, and itís been a blast! I love the FougŤre. For a while now Iíve maintained that I could easily get rid of all my soaps and creams and only use MdC and Baum.be and Iíd still be happy, Iím Iím enjoying proving it to be true.

    Iíve been cycling through my brushes with the MdC, and Iíve been getting excellent lather with all of them, so the brushes are definitely not the problem, so at least thatís one variable less to deal with.
    32t, RezDog, Haroldg48 and 2 others like this.

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