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  1. #1
    Junior Member RobertHardy's Avatar
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    Default Lathering before the hot towel?

    Hey everyone,

    I'm extremely new to straight razor shaving (I'm 3 shaves in at this point), and I'm just wondering what the benefits are of applying lather before using a hot towel. I've read over many of the hot towel threads, and it seems to be common practice to apply lather before the towel. What's the reasoning behind this?

    Thanks,

    -Robert

  2. #2
    Plausibly implausible carlmaloschneider's Avatar
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    I think the consensus is that is softens the beard, just like pre-shave oils, creams, hot water, hair conditioner, etc. Though an old shaving manual I read recently says the role of the soap is to make the beard stiffer; to make it stand up so it is cut by the blade. Whatever the supposed reason, it seems to work well. I've recently started doing this instead of a pre-shave oil or cream (or in addition to). It allows you to relax for a minute or two, and generally I wash some cream or soap down the sink anyway; so I feel I may as well use it...It also feels good, and I think straight razor shaving's maxim should be "If it feels good do it", a statement you can't blindly apply to all things in life, but to shaving it's what it's all about; it's a very tactile endeavor...
    Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?
    Walt Whitman

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    RobertHardy (09-05-2011)

  4. #3
    May your bone always be well buried MickR's Avatar
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    Gets the oil out of the hair and the moisture in.


    Mick

  5. #4
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    The very first straight razor shave I had 30 years ago, the barber did this , Hot Towel, Lather, Hot Towel over the Lather, Re-Lather, Strop, Shave...

    I started that way 3 days later and have never really changed other than to do a bit of testing here and there... The only other "Trick" I have added, is to make sure my face is actually wet before each Lathering... It is after all called Wet Shaving

  6. #5
    Member AFDavis11's Avatar
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    To infuse the lather into the beard and remove oil and dirt, all in one step. You have to wash the face first anyway (assuming you are following the barbering procedures).

  7. #6
    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    I remember the barber doing that when I got a straight razor shave forty some years ago. When he washed my face he did so vigorously. I vaguely remember him telling me that he used a lot of elbow grease to soften the whiskers.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  8. #7
    Forum mogwai thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Yep, that's the way I do it and also the lather plus the hot towel increases the scent of the soap. I also lather and use a hot towel after the shave too if I have the time.
    Every day without fail one should consider himself as dead-Tsunetomo

  9. #8
    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Hello, Robert: Yes, everything these gentlemen have noted adds to the pleasure of wet shaving. The process removes the oil, adds moisture, and softens the beard, as they point out: Lather, towel, wipe, lather again, and so on.

  10. #9
    Don't bother me with trifles. KrazieSj's Avatar
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    Hmm, I might have to invest in some towels for this purpose if that's the case.

  11. #10
    Plausibly implausible carlmaloschneider's Avatar
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    Saw some NICE towels and other VERY nice creams at royalshave.com, added a whole bunch of really cool sounding foreign creams (i.e. Top Secret, Bigelow, Veleiro, O Melhor, Institut Karite, Figaro), added a whole bunch to my 'Favorites' on my computer for lusting after purposes only to find they don't deliver outside of the US!!!

    Nice towels though RoyalShave RoyalShave Green Herringbone Barber Towel

    (sorry if someone's already posted this link!!)
    Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?
    Walt Whitman

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