One of the aspects of wet shaving that I enjoy the most is the continuous quest for new products, tips, and tricks to get a better shave today than yesterday. A while back I read online about a method one adventurous shaver used. Perhaps he was bored or for the sake of research just thought of mixing soap and cream together. He kindly shared it on the web and it forever changed the way I shave.
“Superlathering” is basically using hard soap AND shaving cream together to create lather. The result is undeniable: a slicker, denser, and more protective lather.
I first fill up a scuttle with hot water and place the shaving brush inside the bowl. This really softens and blooms the brush so it can absorb more water and lather better. This also protects the longevity of the shaving brush because it avoids breakage of the badger hairs. Next I empty the scuttle, place new hot water in the bottom bowl, and load up the brush with the hard soap of my choice.
In the scuttle bowl, I spread out a dime-sized amount of the shaving cream. It’s important to spread the cream out in the bottom of the bowl, especially with denser creams like D.R. Harris. Then I use the brush -- already loaded with the hard soap -- to mix the shaving cream in the bowl. If necessary, I add a few drops of water to the mix until I achieve the right consistency. When the lather is right, I complete my shave as usual.
Recommended combinations for Superlathering are:
- D.R. Harris Marlborough Shaving Soap with D.R. Harris Marlborough Shaving Cream -- Simply amazing!
- Tabac Soap with Green Pond Sandalwood Shaving Cream. (Green Pond Sandalwood Shaving Cream is one of the best shaving creams available. Made by D.R. Harris for Green Pond, this cream smells and performs like no others. It is nourishing on the skin, and the scent is the same as D.R. Harris Sandalwood aftershave splash.)
- Penhaligons English Fern Soap with Proraso Shaving Cream.
Others worth mentioning are Penhaligons Blenheim Bouquet hard soap and cream, and The Art of Shaving Sandalwood hard soap and cream.
Another adventurous shaver aimed to improve this already great method of lathering by developing “Uberlathering.” This process is similar to Superlathering, but includes the additional step of adding a few drops of liquid glycerin to the mix. Although it improves the shave by making the lather a bit slicker and shinier, the glycerin clogs the bristles of the shaving brush so it must be shampooed between shaves. The slight increase in slickness does not justify the time spent cleaning shaving brushes. This extra step is unnecessary given the outstanding results achieved from Superlathering alone.
Off you go, sir. Use this technique to create your lather, then go on to shave the way you usually do. I bet you will notice a difference.