Lathering Your Shaving Brush and Pre-Shave Tips

For those who are beginning this wet shaving journey, there are so many new techniques, tools, and tricks to learn that you may feel overwhelmed. Never fear! With just a little bit of practice, you can be getting the best shaves of  your life. 

Learning to create a good lather for your shaving brush will provide so many benefits to your wet shaving journey. Investing some time in learning to obtain a properly lubricating and protective whip will be time well-spent.

Lathering Your Shaving Brush and Pre-Shave Tips


Let’s get ready

  • Shaving Brush – choose a brush in synthetic or natural hair knot
  • Shaving Soap – choose a scent that appeals to you. (There are so many exceptional artisan soap makers that you could spend a lifetime trying them all.)
  • Water – it is the art of “wet” shaving after all. Sometimes hard water can affect the lather production so you might search for a soap that is good with hard water if you fall into that category.

Step #1: Wet the tips of the shaving brush

Dunk the tips of the brush into water. Shake out the excess water from the brush.

Step #2: Load the shaving soap

Swirl the tips of the brush on the shaving soap. The goal is to load the brush with soap until the tips are pasty. A slight pressure that causes the brush to splay a bit is good to get the soap loaded. (However, you don’t want to push too hard and drive tons of soap into the knot/glue bump. It makes it difficult to clean or damages the shaving brush.)

Step #3: Add water to the shaving soap

As needed to create a paste, drop a few drips of water onto the soap. Just dip your fingers in some water and dribble it on the top of the shaving soap. (Don’t be afraid of water.) Loading can take anywhere from 30-seconds to a minute. (Pro-tip: At this point, you could prepare your face with a pre-shave oil. Simply add a few drops to your hands and smooth over your face.)

Step #4: Create a lather

While you can use a mug or palm to lather as well, face lathering is a popular option. Some people like to take the loaded brush and begin “painting” their face – straight, linear lines. Others prefer to swirl the brush creating plenty of exfoliation, raising the hairs, and developing a thick, creamy lather.

Step #5: Build the lather

Once you have covered the face with a layer, you want to continue to build the lather. Add more water to the shaving brush and repeat the swirling on your face. You may continue this process for awhile, swirl/add water/repeat. You can add water by dipping the tips in standing water or wetting  your fingers and dropping drips on the brush. Or you can continue to build the lather in your mug/bowl.

Step #6: Check the lather

Draw your finger through the lather a bit to check for slickness. Make sure the lather isn’t drying out. If you have created a slick, creamy lather, then you are ready to apply the blade. You can continue to add drops of water and refresh your lather during your shave.


How do you create a lather? Do you love the meditative process of swirling and building a lather? Tell us in the comments below.

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