If you’re new to wet shaving, you may have heard of bowl lathering but aren’t quite sure what it is or how to do it.
In this blog post, we’ll provide an expert opinion on bowl lathering. We will include what it is, the benefits of using a bowl and the best types of bowls to use.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced wet shaver, this guide will help you achieve the perfect lather for a smooth and close shave every time.
We will share the step-by-step instructions on how to bowl lather like a pro. So, let’s dive in and learn everything you need to know about bowl lathering.
Table of Contents
- What is Bowl Lathering?
- The Benefits of Bowl Lathering
- How to Bowl Lather
- How to Make a Lather Soap at Home
- Tips and Tricks for Bowl Lathering
What is Bowl Lathering?
Bowl lathering is a method of creating a rich and creamy lather from shaving cream or soap using a bowl or container.
This method is considered by many wet shavers to be the traditional way of lathering and is often preferred over other methods.
There are other methods such as face lathering or using a shaving brush and washing basin. Bowl lathering allows the user to control the amount of water and shaving cream or soap used.
This can lead to a more consistent and stable lather. The process of bowl lathering typically involves loading the bowl with shaving cream or soap.
You then add a small amount of water, and then use a brush to create the lather. The lather can then be applied to the face using the brush for shaving.
The Benefits of Bowl Lathering
- Consistency: Bowl lathering allows for more precise control over the amount of water and shaving cream or soap used. This will results in a more consistent and stable lather. This consistency can lead to a smoother and more enjoyable shaving experience.
- Lather quality: Bowl lathering is considered by many wet shavers to produce a richer and creamier lather than other methods. This can lead to a more moisturizing and protective shave, reducing irritation and improving the overall quality of the shave.
- Brush loading: Bowl lathering allows for better loading of the brush with shaving cream or soap. It can lead to a more efficient use of the product and a more effective lather.
- Personalization: Bowl lathering allows you to customize the lather to your personal preference. This can be achieved by adjusting the amount of water and shaving cream or soap used. You can make the lather thicker or thinner as you like.
- Aesthetics: Bowl lathering can be a more traditional and aesthetically pleasing way of lathering. With some bowls and scuttles being beautiful and collectible items in their own right.
- Cost-effective: Bowl lathering can also be more cost-effective than other methods. It allows for a more efficient use of shaving cream or soap, meaning the products last longer.
- Environmentally-friendly: Bowl lathering can also be considered environmentally-friendly as it allows for the use of traditional shaving soaps and creams, which are often more eco-friendly than aerosol shaving cream.
How to Bowl Lather
Bowl lathering is a simple process that can be mastered with a little practice. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to bowl lather:
- Gather your supplies: You’ll need a bowl or container, shaving cream or soap, a brush, and water.
- Load the bowl: Take your shaving cream or soap and load it into the bowl, using the brush to work it into the bowl to form a paste.
- Add water: Slowly add a small amount of water to the bowl, using the brush to work it into the paste.
- Build the lather: Start building the lather by swirling the brush around the bowl, adding more water as needed. You should be able to see the lather start to form and thicken.
- Test the lather: Once you have a thick and creamy lather, test it by applying a small amount to the back of your hand or face. If it’s too thick or too thin, add more water or shaving cream/soap as needed.
- Apply to the face: Once you have the perfect lather, apply it to your face using the brush. Be sure to use circular motions and cover the entire area to be shaved.
- Shave: After you’ve applied the lather, you’re ready to shave. Use a sharp razor and take your time, making sure to rinse the razor frequently.
- Clean up: Once you’re finished shaving, rinse your face with warm water and dry it off. Clean your bowl, brush, and razor and store them in a dry place.
How to Make a Lather Soap at Home
Making homemade lather soap is a fun and easy process that allows you to customize the ingredients and scent to your liking. Here’s a basic recipe for making lather soap at home:
You’ll need a double boiler, a thermometer, a mold (such as a silicone soap mold or a cardboard box lined with plastic wrap), and the following ingredients:
- 10 oz of coconut oil
- 4 oz of shea butter
- 4 oz of lard or tallow
- 4 oz of castor oil
- 10 oz of distilled water
- 4.5 oz of lye (sodium hydroxide)
Essential oils or fragrance oils (optional)
Step by Step Process
- Prepare the mold: Line your mold with plastic wrap or parchment paper and set it aside.
- Make the lye solution: Slowly and carefully, weigh the lye and add it to the distilled water, stirring until the lye is fully dissolved. Set the solution aside to cool.
- Melt the oils: In the double boiler, melt the coconut oil, shea butter, lard or tallow, and castor oil. Once the oils are melted, remove the double boiler from heat.
- Mix the oils and lye: Slowly pour the cooled lye solution into the melted oils, stirring constantly with a stick blender or immersion blender. Keep blending until the mixture thickens and starts to look like pudding.
- Add fragrance or essential oils: Once the mixture has blended, you can add a few drops of your desired essential or fragrance oils. Stir well to incorporate.
- Pour into the mold: Pour the mixture into the prepared mold, and smooth the top of the soap with a spatula.
- Insulate: Cover the mold with a towel or blanket. This is to keep the soap warm and help it set up.
- Cure: Allow the soap to cure in the mold for 24-48 hours. Once it has hardened, remove it from the mold and cut it into bars.
- Cure: Allow the soap to cure for 4-6 weeks, letting the soap dry out in a cool, dry place.
Note: Making soap requires handling lye, which is a caustic substance. It’s important to wear gloves, eye protection, and long sleeves when working with lye, and to work in a well-ventilated area.
Additionally, it’s important to use accurate measurements. Using too much or too little lye can cause the soap to be too harsh or too oily.
Tips and Tricks for Bowl Lathering
- Use the right brush: Using a brush with the right type of hair. You can use either badger, boar, horse, or synthetic. All these can make a big difference in the quality of your lather. Badger hair is considered the best for producing a rich, creamy lather and also the most expensive.
- Use warm water: Using warm water to make your lather will help to soften the bristles of your brush and make it easier to create a thick and creamy lather.
- Experiment with different shaving creams or soaps: Different shaving creams or soaps may require different amounts of water and may not lather the same way. It may take some experimenting to find the right ratio of water to shaving cream or soap that works for you.
- Use circular motions: When applying the lather to your face, use circular motions. This is to ensure that the lather is evenly distributed and that all the hairs are coated.
- Add more water: If your lather is too thick, add more water to thin it out. If it’s too thin, add more shaving cream or soap.
- Use a shaving cream or soap that’s high in fat and glycerin: These ingredients will help to produce a rich and creamy lather.
- Keep your brush and bowl clean: Clean your brush and bowl after each use to prevent bacteria and mildew from building up.
- Use a wide-rimmed bowl: Using a wide-rimmed bowl will give you more surface area to work with and make it easier to create a lather.
- Practice makes perfect: The more you practice lathering, the better you will become at it. Don’t get discouraged if your lather doesn’t come out perfect the first few times.
What type of bowl should I use for bowl lathering?
A wide-rimmed bowl with a large surface area is ideal for bowl lathering, as it gives you more space to work with and makes it easier to create a lather.
A bowl that is made from a heat-resistant material, like ceramic, porcelain, or stainless steel, is also ideal.
It will allow you to heat the bowl with warm water before lathering, which can help create a better lather.
The bowl should have a smooth surface to make it easy to whip the lather and also easy to clean.
What are the best techniques for bowl lathering?
Here are some techniques for bowl lathering that can help you achieve a rich, creamy lather:
- The “Load and Hydrate” method: Start by loading your brush with shaving cream or soap, then add a small amount of warm water to the bowl. Use the brush to work the lather in the bowl, adding more water as needed, until you have a thick and creamy lather.
- The “Dry Load” method: Start by loading your brush with a dry shaving cream or soap, then add a small amount of warm water to the bowl. Use the brush to work the lather in the bowl, adding more water as needed, until you have a thick and creamy lather.
- The “Face Lathering” method: Start by loading your brush with shaving cream or soap, then use the brush to work the lather directly on your face. Add a small amount of warm water as needed, until you have a thick and creamy lather.
- The “Palm Lathering” method: Start by loading your brush with shaving cream or soap, then use the brush to work the lather in the palm of your hand. Add a small amount of warm water as needed, until you have a thick and creamy lather.
- The “Two-Bowl” method: Start by loading your brush with shaving cream or soap. Use the brush to work the lather in the first bowl. Then transfer the lather to a second bowl containing warm water and continue to work the lather until it becomes thick and creamy.
Bowl lathering has several benefits, including producing a thick, creamy lather. This then helps to protect and moisturize the skin, as well as providing a closer, smoother shave.
A wide-rimmed bowl with a large surface area is ideal for bowl lathering. It could be made from a heat-resistant material, like ceramic, porcelain, or stainless steel.
It’s important to note that different techniques may work better for different types of shaving cream or soap, and some experimentation may be needed to find the best technique for you.
Finally, it’s important to keep your brush and bowl clean. Also use a shaving cream or soap that’s high in fat and glycerin to produce a rich and creamy lather.
With practice, bowl lathering can become an enjoyable and effective part of your shaving routine.