Soft brush, hard soap, great lather
The HJM is a synthetic brush (made by Mühle): extraordinarily soft, wonderful, and effective. Again this morning I encountered the idea that it’s difficult to get a good lather from a soap if the brush is very soft, which notion is (in my experience) totally false: I can get an immediate fine lather from any of my soaps—Klar Seifen this morning, Mitchell’s Wool Fat (said to be finicky), or any other—instantly and easily with the softest of brushes. Any difficulties in lathering soap are due not to the brush but to the water (too hard) or to the soap (not a good shaving soap). The brush works.
And the feel of the HJM is totally wonderful. Considering that this brush costs but $25 shipped (from ConnaughtShaving.com or Shaving.ie), it is becoming my standard beginner recommendation, along with the similarly priced silvertip badger from WhippedDog.com. Klar Seifen is a fine soap, and I got a fine lather, immediately.
Yesterday I used the Merkur 37G slant, and today the Merkur Bakelite slant so I could do a side-by-side comparison. It turns out to be easy: the Bakelite slant is easily superior. It simply shaves better and more easily, the light weight a definite plus. And once more I have a BBS result without taking any special pains: a simple, 3-pass shave, producing a perfectly smooth face. Terrific razor. The blade was a newish Astra Superior Platinum, and that of course may make some difference in the smoothness of the shave—but not in the razor handling and feel.
A splash of Klar Seifen Klassik aftersahve, a favorite, and I’m ready for the day. I have pepper sauce plans.