One of the most common problems one will see when browsing forums, or even the questions we receive here at the Shaving Shack have to do with creating lather. Whether the lather is too thick, too thin, has stability issues, or just plain doesn’t work we have gathered some tips from our own experience and across the internet to help you create the best lather each time you shave.
Let us start with water content. We are talking about WET shaving after all and for it to be wet you need H2O. The best approach to reaching that sweet spot is to add water a small amount at a time. Using a measuring teaspoon from the kitchen is perfect. In your bowl start with 1 teaspoon, begin lathering and add another ½ to full teaspoon as needed until the lather reaches thick full peaks.
Some folks depending on where they reside will have water “hardness” issues. Hardness is the high dissolved mineral content in water. Your water is considered soft if it has a low mineral content. The degree of mineral content in your water can affect the lathering ability of soap or cream. If you believe this is a problem purchase some distilled water from your local retail or hardware store. If the water improves the soap’s performance you have both found a solution and diagnosed your water as being very high in mineral content. There are also hard water maps available which can help with this diagnosis.
Shaving soaps can produce an excellent lather
Our next two tips deal with soap directly. Some shaving soap are aged, pressed, and by nature have a very hard and dense makeup. This can cause difficulty in loading your brush with enough material to create a good lather. To combat soap hardness cover the surface with warm water as you enter the shower. Once done with showering pour the water off the soap. This will have allowed plenty of time for the water to absorb into the soap, softening the surface and allowing the brush to load sufficiently.
Hand in hand with the previous tip is to load the shaving brush upside down. Most of you will no doubt take the brush and with bristles down press into the soap to load. What we are suggesting is to hold the soap in hand above the brush and load bristles up. Why this works is it allows the loaded soap to drift down into the center of the brush where the mixing, churning, and whipping action creates the best lather. This loading action gives you a leg up on the mixing process aiding that lather making magic.
We hope these tips help you improve your lather and shave! Remember that it falls down to two basic things: water and product. Making sure you have a good ratio of water to product and the proper amounts of both will make for an amazing shaving experience every time.
Called a modern Renaissance Man by many, Aaron has many interests including music, science, theology, his family, camping, backpacking, style, grooming, and of course wet-shaving. His love of wet-shaving began as a teenager when he was gifted a brush, mug, and soap set for his birthday. He can be found on many online wet-shaving and men’s forums and on Twitter as @KiltedShaver.