Liquid Products for the Professional Dog Groomer
Styling products add choice and versatility to your grooming. They help give the coat a more polished look, resolve problems with finishing work, and can provide your clients with that added “wow factor” at the end of a grooming session.
Key Products You Should Know About
- Gels. Gels are ideal for defining eyebrows and whiskers, and can help frame eyes and build furnishings. They can also add firmness and texture to soft coats for a structured, “messy” look. They are generally useful for defining the shape and texture of West Highland Terrier heads, and for wiry Terriers with boxy head shapes.
- Holding sprays. Choose a flexible hold spray for building and styling the coat or a strong hold spray for fixing styles once in place. Apply wet or dry.
- Conditioners. Rinse-through conditioners offer maximum product coverage to fully soften and detangle the hair. Excessive use of conditioning products can however make the coat difficult to scissor, so if in doubt, simply spritz the coat with a light conditioning spray after bathing.
- Colour enhancing shampoos. These work to deepen the natural colour of the hair. The more porous the hair, the deeper the colour. Whitening shampoos can also have optical brighteners to enhance the appearance of a white coat.
- Volumisers. Volumisers can come in the form of mousses, balms, creams or sprays, and help to emphasise the shape and flow of the coat. As well as building the hair shaft so it appears thicker, volumising products offer a better texture for scissoring.
- Finishing products. Products such as Groomers Coatdress Mousse, Groomers Flow Coat Styling Gel and Isle of Dogs Isle Hold Mousse allow you to spot apply and fix troublesome areas. They can also allow you to achieve an immediately smooth look from root to tip.
Potential Concerns with Styling Products
Many professional groomers shy away from using styling products over concerns that they could damage the structure of the dog’s hair and/or dry it out. In truth, this is rarely an issue. Excessive use of styling products is unusual in the dog grooming industry – human hair often goes through a lot more processing on a daily basis!
Alcohol is a common concern for those new to canine styling products. Contrary to popular opinion, the alcohol will not dry out the hair, and will often evaporate on application when used in styling sprays.
Another concern with canine styling products is build-up. Generally, this is only an issue with showing dogs, as these animals are subject to regular use of styling products. Signs of build-up include dulling of the hair, hair separating into strands, or hair generally looking oily and/or dirty. If build-up is ever an issue, washing the coat with a clarifying shampoo will resolve any of these problems.
With thanks to Barbara Bird for the additional information on styling products throughout this blog.