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Thread: Shaving Soap?

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    Default Shaving Soap?

    Hi all,

    I have recently purchased a straight razor kit complete with razor, brush, strop, strop paste, stick, and shaving soap because I think they are absolutely brilliant. As a first time straight shaver, I have some questions that I cannot find the answer to elsewhere.

    Firstly, I have a hard soap. Does that replace shaving foam? I worked it into a lather on my face, but when I was half way through shaving, it mostly had dried/gone. Maybe it was not thick enough?

    Secondly, (may be related to the first question). I have finished now, with just one small nick (pleased with that ). It is smooth but my face is quite itchy, anyone know a reason?

    Thanks in advance for any help!!!

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    Senior Member JTmke's Avatar
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    Making lather from soap is difficult when starting out. Try putting a bit of water on top of the soap puck and let it sit while you strop, soak your brush or brush your teeth. This will soften the soap a bit. Next with a damp brush swirl on top of the puck for about 20 seconds. Run the brush under a running (barely) faucet to add some water. I pass mine about mid bristle to avoid washing out soap I have loaded. Next do 20 seconds more on the puck. You will need to add more water but at this point your brush should be loaded and you will only need to pass the brush under the faucet.

    Soaps are different. Some need more water, some need less/more soap.
    Lathering in a bowl helped me tremendously when I was figuring out the correct soap to water ratios for different soaps.
    Last edited by JTmke; 05-08-2015 at 04:16 PM.
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    Senior Member quicksilver's Avatar
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    Could be a combination of how long it's sitting on your face and also it might just need a bit more water. I recommend ARKO for those just starting out with soaps. It has a very good lubricating quality to it that helps those that need to take longer than usual. Plus it's dirt cheap. Also, make sure your brush is nice and hyrdated/soaked before you start.

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    Senior Member Mephisto's Avatar
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    Yup, if it is drying out too fast you might need more water. Every soap is a bit different though so you have to experiment to get the right amount of water. Btw, what brand of shaving soap do you have?
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    Thanks everyone

    The brand I have came with the set, it's 'TRUEFITT & HILL'.

    I assumed that if it was drying too quickly, maybe less water was needed

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    I also recommend adding a few drops of glycerin to the soap. You can find it in most drug stores. 2-3 drops on the puck before lathering will help build a thicker, richer, moister lather.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Could you post a link to the kit you purchased or list the make of the items in the kit?

    Usually when you begin to shave with a straight razor you are very slow at it so the lather has plenty of time to dry out before you get to it. Do not try and speed up the shave but just lather the part of your face you will be doing immediately then move on to the next. that should help a bit.

    Like others have said lathering a hard puck of soap can be difficult if all you are used to is canned foam. It is a bit of an art. This is a good tutorial on how to do it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4zESTQWDuw


    The itchy feeling on your face can be caused by a few things, individually or in combination. Firstly, if you are shaving with a factory edge, not on honed to shave ready by the vendor before shipping, the edge may not be quite up to par.

    If you stropped the razor before your shave you may have adversely affected the edge by poor stropping. That is a common problem for beginners also. It takes practice to get the technique correct.

    Then there is the angle and pressure on the blade. Too much pressure will give you razor burn. Again it is a problem for most beginners coming from cartridge razors. A properly honed straight razor should require next to no pressure applied to it for it to easily cut whiskers. You should maintain a couple of spine widths gap between your face and the razors spine. A cartridge razor with a pivot takes care of that for you but a straight razor does not.

    A poor lather does not help in the least either.

    So there are plenty of things that could be giving you that itchy feeling.

    Bob
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    Senior Member Mephisto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananaby View Post
    Thanks everyone

    The brand I have came with the set, it's 'TRUEFITT & HILL'.

    I assumed that if it was drying too quickly, maybe less water was needed
    Truefitt & Hill is top notch stuff. I have only used their creams so I do not have experience with the soaps. Btw, creams are a lot easier to use (for the most part), but hard soaps can be just as easy with practice and a little more time.

    Making basic soap lather - Straight Razor Place Library

    The link above will give you some tips.
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    All of what Bob said plus, if the soap does dry out on your face it will suck the moisture out of your skin leaving it itchy. A good lubricating after shave will help put the moisture back in.
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    I'd add to what everyone else has said that you should start your lathering process with thoroughly wetting down your face just before applying the lather with the brush. As one of our more senior members has said, it's called wet shaving for a reason.

    Your lather needs to stay moist and slippery while you shave. Otherwise it is not providing the needed cushion and glide (slipperiness) for the razor. There are several videos, including the one Bob referred you to to watch on the whole SR shaving process.
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