Part of being at the cutting edge of men’s style is finding the classic habits that make you feel better throughout the day. For many men, this is starting the day with a quality shave using a premium brush and shaving soap. Learning how to use shaving soap is a surefire way to improve your shaves.
The method of shaving with a brush and shaving soap is not only more enjoyable than rubbing a razor across your skin, it also helps you get a closer shave. Soap will add another layer of protection for your skin, while the brush will help you build a nice lather that will make it easier to get under all those tough-to-reach spots.
Let’s dive into how this practical men’s grooming activity will leave you with a close shave anyone would want to rub their hands against.
Why should you using shaving soap?
Learning how to use shaving soap is worth the investment because of the higher quality ingredients they contain and the benefits to your shave routine. Many men prefer shaving soap to shaving cream or gel for several reasons. Shaving with a brush creates a rich, thick lather which can help your razor glide across your skin and create a closer, smoother shave.
Shaving soaps are also often made with natural ingredients and special additives that moisturize the skin as you shave, adding another protective layer between it and the blade. This helps relieve irritation, redness, and dry spots after each use.
Plus, you get that old-school, classic barbershop treatment to your daily grooming habits that elevates your sense of pride in your appearance.
What Items Do You Need for a Good Lather?
The better the tools, the easier the shave. Just like being a carpenter or repairing a car’s engine, the more precise and reliable your tools, the more likely you’ll have an enjoyable shaving experience. This should include:
· A shaving brush.
· Shaving soap or cream.
· A bowl or mug for lathering soap if you don’t want to face or palm lather.
· A towel to dry your face after rinsing off the excess water and oil from your face during the shave.
· A high quality razor
Guide to Shaving with Soap and a Brush
The basic concept is to mix water and shaving soap together to create a lather. This will help lift the hairs on your face, giving you a closer shave and reducing irritation. Here are the basic steps to get you started. Most likely, you’ll want to adapt these to your home's specific shaving tools and personal habits.
1 - Soak the Brush
You want to soak the brush to soften the bristles if you use a natural shaving brush. This allows water to absorb into the strands and soften the experience against your face. This is not required for synthetic brushes because synthetic fibers do not absorb water.
2 - Blooming the Shaving Soap
This is a controversial step that some people swear by while others reject entirely. Natural shaving soap can get a little hard so you may want to loosen the soap up before application.
Do this by adding a little warm water to the soap and letting it soak in for a couple of minutes while you shower or assemble your razor. This will loosen the soap and make it easier to stick to the brush so you can load it up more quickly.
3 - Apply Soap to Brush
Now it's time to load the brush. Take your brush and begin swirling it into the soap container with even pressure to pick up the product with the bristles of the brush. You'll want plenty of soap on the brush so don't be shy here. A good rule of thumb is to load the brush for 30-60 seconds until the tips of the brush are caked with soap. Remember that we aren't trying to build a lather here - we're just getting soap onto the brush.
How to build a lather
There are a couple of methods to try for this step:
Method 1: Using a Bowl or Shaving Mug
This is the method you see in classic magazine ads or vintage movies. You load your shaving brush by placing the brush loaded with soap into the mug/bowl, and then gently swirling it around, so it creates a lather with a bit of air.
As you begin lathering the soap, pay close attention to the look and feel of your lather. You want a texture that is dense with no visible bubbles. The texture should be similar to yogurt and it should have a nice sheen to the surface. If you don't have that sheen, add a few drops of water and keep working the lather. The entire purpose of lather is to retain water for slickness so you'll be adding as much water as your lather can hold without getting runny. Your lather should be able to develop and hold peaks for several minutes like the whipped cream on the top of a pie.
Once you're happy with your lather, use your brush to scoop it out as paint it onto your beard.
Method 2: Face lather
This is the same as the bowl lather, but instead of building the lather in your bowl and transferring it to your face, you build the lather directly on your skin. To do so, wet your face and begin swirling the soap-loaded brush into your whiskers even across your face. Just like the bowl lather, notice the look and texture of your lather and adjust as you go. Add a few drops of water to your brush at a time and continue working the lather until you have that shiny, yogurty lather.
4 - Storing & Cleaning Your Tools
When you're finished shaving, make sure that your brush is dry before putting it away. You can store your brush standing upright in a holder lined with a towel or cloth or place it flat in its original box or bag.
Take extra care of natural fibers and be sure to avoid storing the brush in any location where it's likely to be exposed to extreme temperatures (e.g., freezing winter months).
You should also clean out your shaving bowl/mug after each use, so it is fresh for the next day. Some men will place their razor in their shaving bowl, but only do this if you have dried out the interior with a cloth, so you avoid rusting your blade.
Elevate Your Routing with Shaving Soap and a Brush
Learning how to use shaving soap with a brush is the best way to get a close, comfortable shave in addition to having softer skin. Shaving this way will give you the soft, smooth skin you want throughout your day.
We at Blackland believe in only sourcing the highest quality products for your grooming routine. Our Signature Shaving Brush is specifically designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand for the perfect lather. So, whether you are preparing for an important meeting at the start of the day or getting a soft touch shave for date night, we have you covered.