3 Ways Dry Shampoo Can Make Your Day Easier in the Salon

Shannon Moore, NCMG  Director of Grooming and Education, Espree Animal Products

You’re not imagining it: Dry shampoos are all the rage and are making their way into the pet market and grooming salons.  As professional pet stylists, we know that nothing beats a good old fashion bath and brush out, but dry shampoos definitely have their place in grooming salons and on your grooming table. Here are 3 ways a dry shampoo can help you on in the salon:

  1. Absorb Excess Oil from the Skin and Coat

Dry shampoo is a great tool for those pooches that have overactive oil glands.  I use dry shampoo before the bath and let them sit for 15-30 minutes to let the dry shampoo do its magic. I take a brush and lightly brush through the coat to help distribute the dry shampoo throughout the coat to absorb the excess oil.  Then bathe and style as desired.

  1. Give the Coat More Volume, Thickness, and Texture

Everyone has those clients that come in with a picture of a full-coated breed and want their barely maintained pooch to look just like that picture.  After explaining that there is not enough coat on their pup, you can turn to a shampoo to help add more body to the coat and achieve the look they want.  I really love to use it on the legs of dogs that have a “not so great coat” to give that added boost of volume and texture. It is also fantastic to use at the occiput to get hair to stand up when you have floppy head hair. Just make sure you do not get it in their eyes.

  1. De-matting

Yes, you read that correctly.  Dry shampoo works its magic on a matted coat.  Simply spray the matted area and use a slicker brush to help separate and divide the coat.  It works especially well if you have an undercoated breed with a packed coat that you cannot get through.  Saturate the coat with dry shampoo, separate and divide with your favorite slicker brush, then use a force dryer on the coat.  Dry shampoo used as a de-matting tool needs to be done before the bath so you can wash out the product.

Even though we aren’t using dry shampoo to freshen up a pet, there are many ways a dry shampoo can make our day a little easier in the salon.  And, at the end of the day, you can use it on your own hair to freshen up if you need to.

4 Reasons Not To Shave A Dog

Shannon Moore, NCMG Espree Animal Products Director of Grooming Education Southlake, TX

Many pet owners think that shaving a dog down would help them stay cooler in the summer, but that is quite the contrary. The coat serves as a protector for the dog as it is the dog’s shade from the elements.

Typically, undercoat is thinner during warmer months which allows air to get all the way down to the skin to help with overheating.  In order for air to make it all the way down to the skin, it is important to keep your dog brushed out, so mats will not interfere with proper air circulation.  The coat must separate and divide all the way down to the skin.  In addition, the dog’s hair serves as a thermal regulator to slow down the process of heat absorption.  If the dog’s coat is shaved down, you are taking away their shade to help the regulate their body temperature. In addition to exposure to heat, there are many other dangers to shaving your dog in the summertime:

  1. Risk of sunburn.
  2. Expose the skin to insect bites.
  3. The coat could grow back thicker making it more difficult to regulate body temperature.
  4. The coat could grow back unevenly, and bald spots could occur with repeat shave downs.

 

What can pet owners do to help protect their dog during the summer months?

  1. Keep your pet brushed out so the coat can separate and divide all the way to the skin.
  2. Rather than shave your dog down, have your stylist shorten the furnishings for ease of maintenance.
  3. Choose products containing a touch of sunscreen.

Wash Out Those Mixing Bottles

Shannon Moore, NCMG Director of Grooming Education Espree Animal Products Southlake, TX

 

As groomers, we take so many precautions to ensure the safety and well- being of our clients from salon safety procedures, using a variety of fabulous products, state of the art equipment, providing a clean and healthy environment, and the list goes on and on.  We sometimes overlook a very basic component of our routine, the importance of cleaning out the mixing bottles. When diluting, handling, and using product, it is imperative to keep hygiene at the top of our list.

Hygienic Guidelines for Mixing Professional Strength Product:

1. Wash all containers and caps with very hot water and a sterilizing solution before mixing concentrated shampoo and conditioner, preferably the night before and let the container air dry.

2. Any unused diluted material should be discarded at the end of the day.  If you can’t bear to throw away product, bathe your own dog to get rid of the product.

3. Do not mix an entire gallon of product unless you plan on using it all by the end of the day.

4. Don’t forget to wash the caps of the mixing bottles as they can hold bacteria, mold, and fungus.  This can transfer to the animal during bathing.

It is important to remember that the contamination of product can cause pets to have a reaction to the shampoo mix if it is contaminated with bacteria, mold, or fungus from improper cleaning and handling of the mixing bottles.  Unfortunately, there are not any hygiene regulations for pet groomers.  It is our responsibility as a professional stylist to set forth a standard protocol for providing proper hygiene in our salons.  This hygiene extends all the way to something as simple as a mixing bottle.

4 Ways To Use Espree’s Luxury Remoisturizer Conditioner

Shannon Moore, NCMG, Director of Grooming Education, Espree Animal Products, Southlake TX

Everyone has their favorite products to use for different coat issues. I have always considered myself a “collector” when it comes to grooming products and equipment.  I want my conditioners to have the capability of turning a dry, brittle coat into a beautiful one by providing some serious hydration.  Espree’s Luxury Remoisturizer Conditioner has become my “go to” conditioner to promote moisture and manageability while locking in hydration.

Here are 4 different ways to use this versatile conditioner:

  1. Regular Conditioner with a dilution rate of 32:1. The Luxury Remoisturizer is recommended for all coat types. Used at this dilution rate it will keep the coat texture true to type.  It also has the ability to replace moisture lost through bathing, blow-drying, and exposure to sun and wind.  It reduces matting and promotes hair growth.
  2. Deep Conditioning Treatment with a dilution rate of 16:1. This type of treatment is ideal for any coat that is cottony, silky, or mats easily, and dogs going through coat change. I warm the diluted conditioner to luke warm and apply to coat making certain the product is distributed from root to tip. Allow it to sit on the coat for 60 – 90 seconds and rinse immediately.  Slightly cool the water temperature down when rinsing the coat.  This Deep Conditioning Treatment will improve texture and shine, while keeping the coat static free.  It is a great way to control the most difficult coats while reducing matting and tangling.
  3. Detangler. Dilute 50:1. Saturate the mats and carefully separate with your fingers.  Then gently brush with a slicker section by section until you can glide a comb through the matted area.  I use it as a Detangling Spray before the bath. Conquer mats and tangles without the drama associated with detangling.
  4.  Leave In Conditioner. Dilute 50:1 and you have a very light leave in conditioner. It will hold and protect coats from matting and tangling.  Excellent for breaking down a coat while minimizing damage from gels and other styling products. It is also great to use to set a part on a drop coat.

View the Luxury Remoisturizer Conditioner on our website.

Waterless Baths: One of Espree’s Best Kept Secret

Shannon Moore, NCMG Director of Grooming Education, Espree Animal Products

Espree’s line of Waterless Baths takes the chore out of bathing your pet and allows for a quick and convenient solution to clean up after your pet. This is an extremely versatile product and can be used in so many ways to help keep your four-legged friend always looking and smelling his best. It can be used as a true waterless bath to clean up areas without doing a full bath. Spray in the desired area, towel it in and go. For longer coats, you can blow dry it and run a quick slicker brush through to finish. Either way, the coat will come out fresh, clean, and fluffy. This product can also be used like any other Espree shampoo, wash it in and rinse if you prefer to give a good old-fashioned bath. One of the best uses for Espree’s Waterless Baths is to help break down odor. This odor-eliminating product will not mask the odor with heavy perfumes and fragrances, but rather break the odor down to help get rid of the smell. You can also use it to freshen up your pets’ bedding or even put a capful in the laundry when you wash the dog bedding. Another great use for Espree’s Waterless Bath is to lightly spray it on the dog to freshen up the coat after spending the day at doggie daycare or even their vet. The convenience and versatility of Espree’s Waterless Baths make it a “must have” for every pet owner!

The Importance of Diluting Product Correctly

Shannon Moore, NCMG Director of Grooming Education, Espree Animal Products

Groomers work very hard for their money. We must use every tool we have at our disposal to help get that beautifully executed groom with each dog we work on. These tools are not only our clippers, scissors, and styling products, but also our shampoos and conditioners. After all, the bath is the quintessential element of a professional groom. It is the one tool that gets the pets’ skin and coat clean, healthy, and vibrant. Therefore, it is one of the most important parts to the grooming process.

It is important in any grooming salon not to waste shampoo. After all, most shampoo used by grooming professionals is concentrated and needs to be diluted. If we don’t dilute shampoo correctly, there is a lot of wasted product and that is like throwing money out the window. Diluting product correctly is important in terms of performance as well. In order to have a product provide a solution for the pet and perform as the manufacture intended, we must pay attention to the dilution rate. If the product is overdiluted, it may not have the ability to do what it should do. If the product is under diluted, take some extra time to rinse and to rehydrate the coat. It is important to remember that when you under dilute a product, there is more surfactant being used than what the manufacturer recommends. In order to keep the skin and coat in optimal condition, it is necessary to rehydrate the coat.

Once you are finished bathing for the day, take any shampoo that has been diluted and discard it in order to prevent bacteria forming in the mixing bottles. We all hate to waste shampoo, so if you have any energy left, it may be a great time to bathe your personal dog with what is left over from the day. Don’t forget to clean out those mixing bottles thoroughly to remove any product in the bottle!

The Importance Of Letting Owners Know

Shannon Moore, NCMG Director of Grooming Education, Espree Animal Products

Of course, we let the owners know when there are strange bumps and lumps popping up on the dog’s skin.  After all, we have our hands on the pets more frequently than just about anyone. The owners are almost always grateful for letting them know so they can take their pet to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.  But what about those spots that show up that we have accidentally caused (or at the time, we think we were likely to blame) ? Every groomer I know has some type of healing cream or Aloe Witch Hazel Spray to help quickly heal those areas that were brush burned or clipper burned.  It’s not like this happens every day but every once in awhile, it does happen regardless of how careful we are. We are human, we make mistakes and accidents can happen.  But did you ever stop and think that maybe it is not your fault and something medically could be going on with the pet?

Groomer’s are our own worst critics.  We immediately place the blame on ourselves or the products we have chosen to use if spots start to show up on the skin when we are grooming the pet or shortly thereafter.  I always try to provide immediate relief if I see this on a pet that I am grooming, but I also let the owner know.  If it happens more than once, I recommend the pet see their regular veterinarian for blood work.   I become suspicious of an autoimmune disease in the dog.  Sometimes what appears to be brush burn (or clipper burn) is actually something going wrong with the immune system.  The immune system plays a vital role in maintaining the body’s overall general health and resistance to disease.  Sometimes, things can go wrong with the immune system.  Normal handling and brushing can trigger an immune dysfunction with dog’s suffering from autoimmune disease.

Since environmental as well as genetic factors can “trigger” an immune dysfunction, I am more likely now to refer the dog to the vet when these unwarranted “spots” show up from normal handling and brushing.  Stepping outside of your comfort zone (of course, we don’t want to be blamed for causing these unusual skin irritations), recommending the owner takes the dog to their veterinarian may allow for proper diagnosis of an autoimmune disease that could have been left unattended for a long time!

How To Grow Coat

Shannon Moore, NCMG  Director of Grooming and Education, Espree Animal Products

I am frequently asked how to grow coat on a dog?  I have an extensive background in coated breeds as I grew up raising Yorkshire Terriers, and now I raise and show Bichon Frise. I hear some pretty interesting concoctions regarding expediting coat growth.  Years ago, many people would joke around saying I could grow coat on an onion if I tried.   I thought I would share a few of my simple, yet effective ways that have worked for me.

Whether you have a show dog, contest dog, or a client dog that you want to grow coat on, keep your expectations realistic.  My goal is always about an inch of coat growth every 4 weeks.  Average coat growth on a heathy coat is an inch every 6 weeks.  But, if you want to expedite coat growth you must be consistent with whatever regiment you choose.

A very simple way to expedite coat growth is keep the coat clean.  Every time I do maintenance baths, I always condition the coat.  This helps lock in moisture and improves the elasticity of the coat making it stronger. Often, I will condition the dog and wrap them in a warm towel for about 10 minutes, then rinse.  Also, never brush the coat when it is dirty as it will break.  I typically bathe and condition a dog I am trying to grow coat on twice weekly. You must be consistent.  Trust me, there are many times I come home after a long day and the last thing I want to do is bathe my show dog.  But, I do it anyway.  Consistency is the key to success!

If I find, I am still struggling for growth, I might add some nutritional supplementation to their diet as well.  A good omega added to the food daily never hurts to keep the skin in coat in great condition.

Scissoring Spray

Shannon Moore, NCMG  |  Director of Grooming and Education, Espree Animal Products

One of my favorite things to do is hand scissor a dog into a beautiful pattern.  Groomers are artist. We have a gift of being able to create a gorgeous piece of work using the hair.  It goes without saying that dog must be clean and the skin and coat must be in good condition in order to accomplish this.  But, what else does it take to create our beautiful finished product?  Choosing the right equipment is necessary.  That doesn’t mean it has to be the most expensive, but it does need to be in good working order and properly maintained.  Choosing shears that work best for you and your hand is vital too. In addition,  we need to be able to choose the right products for the coat type. I also believe it is important to use a scissoring spray when styling a pet.

Rather than allowing a coat to work against you, scissoring spray will help the coat work with you. It not only will help reduce the static, but it will also allow the coat to be more pliable. Remember, you do not want the coat to be damp or wet, but rather a light mist so the coat will stand up and allow you to scissor the dog.  The use of scissor spray throughout the groom helps create a smoother finish on the dog because the coat is working in your favor.  It doesn’t fall down like it normally would if I did not use it. It also helps keep the coat hydrated and in the best possible condition.  Of course, I want my groom dogs walking out the door looking their best.  But, I also want that groom to look good next week, the following week, and so on. Keeping the coat in the best condition possible and putting a great finish on the dog allows me to do my best work.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short on the Bath

Shannon Moore, NCMG Director of Grooming and Education, Espree Animal Products

So many times, we are over booked, running behind, or a dog who doesn’t have an appointment made it on your schedule.  You need to make up some time to stay somewhat close to your schedule, and do not know where to take a short cut. Often, I hear groomers trying to take a short cut in the bath tub thinking that one bath will get the job done if they lather that coat up a bit more. Aaahhhh, don’t do it! The bath is one of the most important parts of the entire groom.

I always recommend two baths.  Call me old school, that is okay, but think
about it. The first bath, the preliminary bath, is going to remove all the
dirt, debris, and dander from the dog.  I usually recommend a more basic shampoo with a slightly heavier surfactant to get the job done.  The second bath is designed to offer a solution.  Maybe it’s a matter of adding more silk proteins to seal the ends of a drop coat, a keratin shampoo for volume for those curly coats, or a tea tree oil shampoo to help impede bacterial and fungal growth. Whatever the reason, the first bath will get the dog clean and return the skin and coat to a more neutral state. Once the skin and coat has returned to a neutral state, the second bath, the solution oriented bath, will allow you to treat the skin and coat.

Once the dog is clean and you have the coat in the better condition, then the finish work is more attainable.  You can artfully wield your scissors and clippers to turn the pet into whatever you want.  You are able to showcase your artistic ability making the pup look fantastic and keeping the client very satisfied!