Create An Amazing Shaving Soap Lather
Whether you’re an old hand at wet shaving, or maybe you just got yourself your first brush and looking for tips on creating yourself a rich lather. I hope you can gain some helpful tips and get the best results out of one of the most enjoyable personal grooming practises we do.
Today we will cover some helpful tips to achieve a lather fit for a king, increasing your shaving experience while getting you good post-shave results. Some methods differ from others and have varied results, but the end goal is the same. Which one you use, comes down to personal preference. For equipment and product information go to shaveshop.ie
What is soap lather?
The lather is basically when the soap interacts with water with added movement from an external force ie (shaving brush). This creates bubbles between the soap molecules. The more movement of the soap and water increases the number of bubbles, decreasing the size of the bubbles. These bubbles then push the water molecules away from each other allowing a barrier to forming relieving surface tension. The air bubbles are now trapped, and lots of trapped air bubbles covered in soap molecules are what we call soap lather.
That’s the science bit over now let’s get down to it.
Some methods in producing a good lather
Creating a Lather using a shaving bowl
By far the most common technique and one I use. You create a lather using a shaving bowl, which is then applied to the face. This is often the easiest method for creating lather and can be mastered quickly.
Creating a lather on the face
In this method, you load the shaving brush with soap, instead of using a bowl to build a lather. Applying straight to the face. Building the lather as you move around and apply it to the face. This method is harder to work up a good lather. A method that would be for more experienced shavers, as you need good hand-eye coordination practice and a high-grade shaving brush.
Creating a lather using your hand
Hand lathering is another method of creating a lather. probably the least favourite but still a useful method when you forget your shaving mug. It’s a bit messier than the other two, but you can work up a good lather in the palm of your hand. With a Loaded brush, you work the soap and brush bristle in the palm of your hand similar to the method when using a shaving mug.
How Do I create a Lather using Shaving Soap?
Now that we have covered how you can best produce a good shaving soap lather. let’s learn how to properly lather shaving soap or cream with a shaving brush. So, using the methods above, let’s get lathering.
For this example, I will use the shaving bowl method.
What you need
Step 1. Brush Preparation.
While you do your shave preparation (Check out the Top Shaving Tips blog ) you need to prepare your brush.
Taking your shaving mug, put your brush in and fill with warm-hot water just below the base of the handle.
Doing this will allow the brush bristle to soften and absorb water.
Brush preparation is only necessary if it has natural bristles such as boar/badger.
If yours is synthetic it’s not needed but I think it’s a good habit to get into anyway.
Step 2. Soap Preparation.
Shaving soap comes in different forms needing different ways to create a good lather.
If you have a hard soap you will need to allow it soften this is called (blooming). This is done by allowing it to soak in warm water for about 5-10 mins. (I use a saucer to do this)
Doing this the same time as step 1, just let it soak, while you prep for your shave.
This needs to be done as you won’t be able to load the brush if the soap is still hard.
Shaving cream does not need this same preparation as its softened already and can be loaded to the prepared brush.
Step 3. Loading the Brush
This is when you put your softened soap on your prepared brush bristles to produce a rich lather. It is referred to as loading the brush.
Take your brush out of the mug and squeeze it to remove any excess water.
Don’t flick it as you will need to retain some of the water contained in the bristles.
If you have a synthetic brush, just pass it under the tap and squeeze out excess water.
By now the soap has been soaking long enough, you can pour off the water the soap was soaking in or keep it for later to add moisture to the lather.
Moving the brush bristles in a clockwise motion and then in an anti-clockwise motion lightly.
You’re looking to add the softened soap to the brush that will make it easier to create the lather. You can always add more soap if needed.
Step 4. Creating The Lather
This is where the magic happens,
Moving your loaded brush to your shaving mug where you are going to create the rich lather.
If you’re using shaving cream, just add a fingertip amount to your bowl.
Lightly push down on the brush in the shaving mug. Pressing gently on the brush until the bristles splay (fan-out).
However, take care so as not to damage the bristles as natural hair can be fragile.
Move the brush in a similar way to when you were loading it, for around 30 seconds while alternating between clockwise and anti-clockwise movements.
You should start seeing the lather taking shape. Pass the brush under warm running water or dip it in the water you had the soap soaking in.
Now repeat the above twice while remembering to wet the brush in between.
If you end up with a bubbly lather, you may need to add more soap.
if the cream is far too thick, you’ll want to add more water to your brush.
“Creating your perfect lather will take you time, but its time well spent”. George shaveshop.ie
Step 5. Applying Lather to Your Face
So, you have whipped up a lather your happy with and you are ready to move to the next step. Applying the lather to the area you are going to shave.
Have you done your skin preparation? Good, this will increase your post-shave results.
Splash warm water on your face or use your face cloth, this will add a moisture barrier to your face before the brush hits the skin.
Next, load the brush with some of that rich lather you have just produced.
This is done in the same way you loaded the brush, with the softened soap.
Starting at either side of the face, you work the lather into the skin and hair, by making small circles, clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Working down to the chin, mouth and under neck area letting the brush and soap work their magic.
Keeping the brush loaded and the lather moist as you go along.
A trick for when you get to the mouth and nose area.
Try to cover your teeth with your lips as you pass the brush over them. This will stop the soap from getting into your mouth. Also, if you pinch your nose when applying lather to the upper lip.
So this will bring you to the shaving process which I have covered in my Top Shaving Tips blog.
Practice makes permanent so try hone your technique to get it dialled in. you wont create an amazing lather first time you need to tinker with it. check out some of the soaps on shaveshop.ie to help guide you in the right direction. Good products and equipment will enhance your end goal.
I hope some of this was helpful in some way and helps in your grooming regime.
thanks for reading