What are Stains?

Getting Whites White (and keeping them that way)

As pet stylists we are often asked to get out stains of all types. Tear stains, beard stains, grass stains, clay stains, urine stains, Kool-Aid and any number of other things that our canine buddies can get into.  Our clients want us to be able to perform miracles and get their precious pups back to the glistening white they think they should be and like they see in dog shows. They don’t realize what many of us already know, and these show dogs do not usually touch the grass or get dirty often, and they get bathed every day many times. The typical client cannot do that. They just want us to fix it!

When I was doing my research I decided that there was much I did not know or fully understand and set out to get the answers. I mean, we all know that dog hair gets stained and it is hard to get stains out, but do we know what stains are or how they can be removed, or even how whitening shampoos work? For most of us the answer is simply NO we do not.

Before you can begin to remove stains from hair, there are certain things you need to know. You must know:

·        How hair is made

·        How stains occur

·        How whitening shampoos work

·        How PH facilitates stain removal

·        How to bleach out coats (and when to do it)

·        How to prevent stains from occurring in the first place

·        What makes the different whitening shampoos work

I have done a great deal of research for this topic, and decided there was too much information for one article, and created a series of articles instead.

How Hair Is Made

Hair is made up of several different parts.

Click on this link to get a drawing of hair structure : http://kidshealth.org/misc/movie/bodybasics/bb_skin-hair.html


And here for how the hair shaft is made and how hair coloring (also known as stains) work.



The outer part of the hair shaft is made of cuticles which lay like scales to cover the Cortex, protecting the interior of the hair shaft. When hair is healthy, the cuticles lay flat and smooth making hair healthy looking and shiny, feeling smoother as well as reducing tangling and staining. Damaged coat has cuticles that lay unevenly and roughly, resulting in tangled, mat prone hair that will also stain faster and deeper.

Now that you know a bit more about how hair is made and how coloring works, we can go on to how to remove the stains.


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