Tangle Free

16 Aug 2018

It is always interesting to talk to exhibitors and find out their problems and the things they avoid doing. Blow drying seems to be a big avoidance and if it is done it is usually minimal. It can and ought to be easy.

The main negative for those with long flowing coated dogs is the tangles they get into. Some breeds have massive length on their coats and the question is how to tackle this with less fuss. 

Understand that the blow dryer has to blow in the direction that the coat grows - in other words, away from the skin so the dryer has to be pointed away from the skin towards the end tips of the coat. It's the same with people hair. Blow it in the correct direction and no more fuzz and tangle. 

You can use a stationary dryer on a stand or as I do with a hose and nozzle style dryer. You can adjust the speeds and heat for the coat that you are drying but once adept can usually manage most things with a strong blasting cool dryer. The quicker I get my dogs coats dry the better. 

My friend who is a great groomer likes to sit in front of the dog and with the air from her stand dryer coming over the back of the dog towards her. She then brushes the coat towards her body using various mixes of styling products to ease the brush through the various textures of coat.

I prefer to stand and hold the dryer nozzle in one hand and brush with the other away from my body. Maybe it's all the years of grooming, I just find it easier, you decide what feels most comfortable for you but it isn't that pleasant having a dryer coming at your face if you work the former method. 

I like to use my fingers for the first part of the drying whilst it is really wet. Once the coat starts to dry a bit then I revert to using an appropriate brush for the coat I am working on. For the longer coats I like to use a bristle and porcupine oval cushion brush. For the softer single coats I like an all bristle brush. Plush Puppy has two brushes available, the Plush Puppy Ultimate Anti-Static Porcupine Brush which is a 1/2 and 1/2 oval pin cushion and the Plush Puppy Ultimate Pure Bristle Brush. Some people prefer a pin brush, this all depends on the coat type for this use Plush Puppy Ultimate pin brush. These are exclusively designed for Plush Puppy and are available in varying length pins.

I tend to mix my styling products with water at the strength that will suit the various coats. Some coats I can use products neat but the infinite variety of the coats necessitates a tailored to the individual approach to get the best from all of them. Plush Puppy makes a dinky Plush Puppy Spray Bottle that holds approx. 1 cup water or 250ml with graduated marked levels on the side. They fit just right into the tack box and are just right for most things. 

For tangle free coats I use a variety of things but mostly one of 3. For the lighter less likely to tangle coats I use Plush Puppy Reviva Coat plus water at a rate of 1 golf ball sized to 1 cup/250ml water. For coats that require more and where I want it to hang flatter I use Plush Puppy Blow Dry Cream at 1 table spoon dilution rate and for the coats where I want more lift and volume I use Plush Puppy Volumising Cream and water again at the same dilution rate. 

If you want to achieve a straighter coat, you can combine Plush Puppy Swishy Coat and Blow Dry Cream - a dessertspoon of each to 1 cup/250ml water. Make it warm water for easy dissolving. The Swishy Coat is a wonderful product and though a silicone product is totally water soluble and will not attract dirt and dust nor build up on the coat. 

You can break down/dilute these products as much or as little as your dog's coat requires. These are a guide line only, however they serve to satisfy the requirements of the majority of coats that I see. In one scenario that we recently had to solve the rate of dilution was 1 tbsp. Swishy Coat to a gallon or roughly 5 litres of warm water. This was for a young puppy Shih Tzu changing coat. 

One of the latest revolutionary products in the range is Plush Puppy Swishy FAST, recommended to drastically reduce drying time by up to 50%. Infused with natural oils from the Illawarra Flame Tree Flower to protect against heat while enhancing shine in the coat. Containing an ingredient that offers a light hold FAST will boost fullness and maintain smoothness in the coat. FAST is truly revolutionary and is suitable for use on 99% of all coats, the 1% being very soft, fragile coats where this product is still extremely effective but should be diluted by 20%. Fast often can replace both Blow Dry Cream and Swishy Coat however I do know some that still prefer Blow Dry Cream and Swishy Coat. Apply to a towel dried coat, gently brush through and allow the product to break the surface tension of the water and protect the coat and dry as normal. 

Then there is Plush Puppy O.M.G Multi-Purpose Grooming Spray, wow, what a product for every coat. To be used whenever grooming a dry coat, O.M.G. detangles while eliminating static electricity and leaves the coat looking as healthy as it feels. A light spray on a towel dried coat and /or reapply during the drying process.

Most of the products we have developed have been developed out of direct need. We show dogs just like you and our quest is to find newer and better ways of achieving a good presentation. All dogs need attention to coat and being able to achieve what you want the coat to do makes that time in grooming worthwhile.

WORDS Simon Briggs – Director of Grooming at Plush Puppy Australia