Traditional wet shaving is a way to enjoy something that may have always felt like a chore. Wet shaving allows you to enjoy the process and create variety in your routine with all of the various shaving products you can discover.
The first decision you face is whether to use a shaving cream or soap. It’s important to understand the various consistencies and some pros & cons of the various consistencies.
Here’s a guide to help you get started:
Shaving Cream vs. Shaving Soap
First off, it’s important to note that there are two different categories of shaving creams: mass-market shaving creams and shaving creams made for traditional wet shaving.
Convenience is king with mass-market, canned shaving creams. You just spray, lather, shave, and go. This may seem ideal, but when you compare apples-to-apples, you may start to see the disadvantages of these types of shaving creams. While shaving creams do not require much elbow grease to lather, they also do not allow for any control over the lather. Since they often come in aerosol cans, they come out with a “whipped” consistency - meaning you don’t have to add much water (or do much whipping) to achieve it. And, you have little-to-no control over whether your lather is thicker or thinner, so what you see is what you get.
Traditional shaving soaps & creams make a difference you can feel both during and after your shave. They typically require a brush to get a great lather. But after working with the soap for a few moments, you’ll be rewarded with a rich, luxurious, stable lather that you won’t find with regular drug store products. Traditional shaving creams & soaps often contain a number of natural ingredients that help to protect and nourish the skin, as well.
Tools of the Trade
There are a few tools of the trade that you may need to achieve the perfect lather.
- Brush - A brush is something that will last several years with good care. If you choose to use a shaving soap, you’ll want to use a brush that has firmer bristles in order to pull up more of the soap.
- Bowl - A special shaving bowl isn’t a necessary item unless you want one. You can use a regular kitchen bowl or lather directly to your face.
- Soap or Cream - You’ll want to use a high quality soap or cream. While there are benefits to both, it comes down to preference. With a shaving soap, it tends to take a little longer to generate a good lather.
How to Get a Great Lather
Achieving the ideal consistency can take some practice as there are a few factors that come into play.
Different brushes will work up a lather differently. Natural hair (such as boar and badger hair) tends to absorb water, which is why they need to be soaked prior to use. Boar hair is stiff and will agitate the surface of the soap & collect more, but it can be uncomfortable on the skin. Badger hair is more common because it is soft, full, and great for creating a thick lather. Brushes made of synthetic hair can vary in quality, but they don’t need to be soaked because they won’t absorb as much water.
Soaps and Creams
All soaps and creams are different, so everyone will have their own opinion on which they find easiest to work with & gives the best results. Creams tend to be easier to lather, but can be more expensive & may not last as long when compared to soaps. Soaps can be harder in form thus requiring more elbow grease to lather, but the cushion they provide is worth it.
There is no perfect formula that works for all. Everyone has their own methods and preferences that work for them. For example, you don’t have to use a brush and shaving bowl. While it's most common to use a bowl or mug to build a lather, you can also use your hand & build the lather right on your face. This can be a messier method, but feeling it can help you determine when the lather is just right.
A Basic Method
Depending on what type of brush you have, you may need to pre-soak it. If you’re using a natural brush (such as boar hair or badger hair), leave it to soak in warm water for a few minutes so that it will absorb the moisture. If you have a synthetic hair brush, just dip it into warm water and let it soak for a few seconds and then allow the excess water to drip off. Remember, your brush just needs to be damp, not soaking wet. It’s also important to note that hard water can affect the lather versus soft water.
Now, start working the soap or cream in a circular motion until a thick lather is created. This can take between 30 seconds and 2 minutes depending on your skill level and the product you’re using. If the lather is dry or not creamy enough, you can add a couple drops of water to it and try again until you get the desired texture.
Discover Products You Love
Once you discover products you love, you maximize the shaving experience. Our shaving soap is top of the food chain and will perform during your shaving ritual as well as hours afterward.
Zingari Man’s products have had years of experience and formulations to bring to market for you. Our formulas are made with expertise and care with your skin health as our main concern. Browse our collection of wet shaving products now - your skin will thank you!