This is it. You’re ready to wet shave and have everything planned out. You select your favourite brush and new soap and begin to patiently swirl your brush for that rich, creamy lather you’ve been dreaming of. Your excitement quickly grows into frustration, displeasure, and annoyance, as you can’t seem to get the right consistency. You decide to try again the next day only to have the same results. It does not have to be like that.
So then what’s the secret to building a rich, thick and creamy lather? We’re glad you asked!
While there is not one simple answer, these tips will definitely help you on your quest to achieve later perfection.
Use a Quality Shave Soap or Cream
Shaving with whatever soap or cream you have lying around on your counter will reduce the quality of your shave. A great shave starts with a quality shaving soap or shaving cream. Look for those that lather easily and that contain lanolin, such as Mitchell’s or Tabac, to moisturize and soften your skin during the shave.
TIP: Shaving creams from cans tend to have chemicals that dry out skin. This often causes irritation which leads to an inferior shave.
Dip Your Brush
Before you start lathering, gently dip your brush warm water until it is thoroughly wet. Carefully shake off any excess water from the brush until it is no longer dripping.
- Shake boar brushes to eliminate water.
- Squeeze badger brushes to remove excess water
- Using extremely hot water with synthetic or badger hair brushes will cause the tips to curl
Swirl and Twirl
Swirl your brush on your soap or in your bowl for about a minute, or until you see a lather starting to build up. Initially it may look bubbly, keep swirling until the lather thickens. Thicker lather results in a better shave so don’t try to dilute it.
- If you’re using a soap that is very dry, add a bit of water to soften it up. Don’t add too much water or you’ll end with a runny lather.
- When lathering, remember that quality always trumps quantity.
After creating that rich and luxurious lather, gently apply it to your face, or the areas you wish to shave, with even light strokes.
- Shaving soap generally produces a better shave than a brushless cream.
- When given the option, using a shaving mug is always preferred.
- When using a brushless cream, apply the cream directly to your face without using a brush.
Enjoy the Shave!
Mission accomplished. With a thick and rich lather, you’ll immediately notice a difference in the quality of your shave and your skin post-shave. Well done.