How Hair Grows Pt. 1

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The layers of hair regrowth on the end of this Golden Retriever’s tail illustrate how canine hair coat grows in a mosaic pattern. 

At her last visit it was cut blunt, broom style per owner request. 

Today, four weeks later, we can see that the hair has grown back out at different lengths. 

This is because both guard hair and undercoat hair emerging from the follicles side-by-side grows and sheds at a different rate- thereby keeping the dog from being either overly hairy or completely bald at any given point in time.

The stages of canine hair grown are:

Anagen

Catagen 

Telogen

Exogen or Return to Anagen


Deshedding In The Tub

As a groomer who teaches about canine skin and coat and methods that support the lifetime integrity of both, I have always been leery of working tools on wet, matted or packed coat. 

For a long time I have tried different methods of unpacking coats in the tub to make the HV drying process faster and the mechanical workload of brushing as little as possible. 

Aside from applying conditioner and using the HV dryer to blow out packed hair, they were very little tool methods that incorporated the act of combing or brushing clean, wet hair, that I knew weren’t somehow damaging hair coat for the long haul.

 

I found that this method proves to not break coat, not irritate skin, and not be physically tiresome or time consuming. 

This method happens to use a dull undercoat rake and a protein conditioning treatment as a hydrating mask that provides a great amount of slip to help the packed hair out of the coat. 

I’m also attaching a shorter video in the comments that utilizes a similar technique using only pure water with low pressure and high volume. 

It works wonders, and keeps the mess in the tub and the groom time efficient. 

Most of all it doesn’t stretch and break coat and set it up for matting right back up again!

** This is NOT a dematting method nor for use on curly coats. It is for unpacking double coats and undercoat.**

 

 

 

And a pure water rinse method as well.

 


Frothing

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FROTHING

 

My insight:

Frothing with a dairy frother, infusion machine, hand blender, wand or stick processor- introduces air into the product you’re mixing.

These mixers of various design are also called emulsifiers, that add air to an ingredient or product via emulsion- whipping action and centrifugal force (physics!)

This is incredibly helpful if you are creating your own skin & coat conditioners or emollient type masques. 

It is also very similar to the process that happens by using a shampoo proportioner that mixes shampoo concentrate, water, and air. 😉

That said:

*Shampoo and higher quality conditioners already contains emulsifiers*. 

These are introduced into the ingredient formulation so that the product stays mixed and does not settle or separate.

Depending on the product brand and their specific recommendations frothing doesn’t necessarily benefit nor is it necessary to be used as a process for many products including shampoos.

 

Why froth?

Frothing for coat & skin care applications such as a moisturizing masque or a high oil content conditioning treatment helps to make that product go farther and use less. 

It also helps it to stick easily to the hair & skin so that you don’t waste it. 

As well, it makes it easier to see where you have applied the product and where you have not.

 

I’m an advocate for frothing, but I will tell you that in most cases it does not make any sense to be doing it for a shampoo. 

In fact, it makes more work during your bathing process. Especially if you’re already using any type of a shampoo application machine or recirculator.

 

Just my two cents.

 

If you are buying product from a company that specifically tells you to apply the shampoo that way *in order for it to work*, then they may have something going on specific to their formulation that defies chemistry and physics, but I find that highly unlikely.

 

**Equally important: be sure that if you are frothing up diluted shampoo or conditioner or *any topical hair application, that you do not save it. Doing so once you dilute the product you also dilute the preservative and you are putting yourself at higher risk for secondary bacteria growth in the product.

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

**I will be releasing a video shortly showing a technique of frothing for conditioning masks and oil moisturizing wraps**


Acidifiers On Hair

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This is a microscopic view of the hair shaft before & after ACV was applied.

 

This is why applying vinegar (distilled white vinegar has a higher pH & works well for drying and crispening, ACV has a lower pH is also best for addressing skin issues), Results Rinse or another acidifying rinse helps the hair with slip, anti-stat, crispness for scissoring, and helps shorten drying time.

 

 

This is also the similar effect behind the important part that conditioners (which are also acidic in nature) play to effect the integrity of coat and it’s most optimal function after repeated grooming.

 

A sealed and healthy hair shaft cuticle helps hair with strength, increases crisp texture, increases color quality by reflecting light off the cuticle lens, helps repel static buildup in the coat, helps avoid tangling which leads to mats, helps with slip of the hair for ease in shedding and combing out, and provides the thermoregulation benefits that only healthy and maintained hair can.

 

In our profession, by using specific pet care products because we understand what they do to hair and skin, and why, best accomplishes our function and goal to be care providers. It also helps our businesses to be a truly beneficial and necessary aspect for the healthy lives of all pets. 

A cornerstone to career success and integrity. 

 

 

As groomers educated on how hair functions, we can better provide services that support coat and skin health. By using our tools carefully and choosing quality bathing and drying products and methods, we can help pet hair to do the job it was designed to do.

 

 **NOTE: while the effects of an acidifier upon the hair are immediate, the duration of this affect is likely quite minimal. 

But it does still aid us in the grooming process during the course of the pet’s visit.**

 


Don’t pick a job, Pick a boss

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This is incredibly true.

 

And ESPECIALLY if you are your own boss!!!

 

If you distrust your private self, if you discredit your professional self, if you doubt or devalue your career talent and unique skill...

Others will as well.

Trust your ability and trust it to guide you.

Don’t. Let. Your. Opportunity. Become. A. Restraint.


Grooming Mindfully

Listening to Mary Oquendo’s Women Petpreneurs podcast with Barb Hoover- great interview!

Podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/women-petpreneurs/id1450739120?i=1000437277510

 

Barb is another woman at the forefront of Mindful Grooming, and creating the best possible experience for the pets that come to her for care. 

 

Be sure to check out her Grooming the Difficult Dog book, and keep an eye out for the up-and-coming 2nd edition!

(My blog review which contains an ordering link!)

https://groomwise.typepad.com/smartstyling/2018/06/from-time-to-time-a-wonderful-piece-of-work-and-an-important-learning-opportunity-will-come-across-my-desk-and-it-just.html

 

And another great blog listing more common canine diseases and ailments that can affect the grooming process:

https://groomwise.typepad.com/smartstyling/2010/12/working-with-canine-diseases.html

 

 

#mindfulgrooming


Women Petpreneurs Podcast!

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Did you know that our industry has a new podcast available for our listening pleasure?

Each episode Mary Oquendo invites a hard working woman from our vast array of pet care professions who works for the betterment of our industry as a whole, to share their stories and insight.

 If you like listening to lighthearted conversations from women who have been there and done that and who might be able to help you out, I encourage you to find this podcast online and have a listen! 

 Here is the episode where Mary interviewed yours truly:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/women-petpreneurs/id1450739120?i=1000436845842


Cat Hair!

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Did you know that cats have a different type of hair than dogs? 

While dogs have an imbricate (smooth) hair shaft like humans, cats actually have a spinuous or barbed hair shaft similar to that of a rose stem. This is why cat hair is so good at catching on things and why cats can groom so efficiently with their barbed tongues against the rough hair cuticle.


Yeast Issues

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🐾SUNDAY SKILL BUILDER🐾

 

I try to talk about yeast at each Certified Canine Esthetician Class. As groomers we see a LOT of skin symptoms in the salon that can be attributed to yeast proliferation or overgrowth. 

There are currently ~1,500 documented strains of yeast, which is a fungus. 

It resides on every surface and helps to create a naturally balanced ecosystem by maintaining beneficial bacteria levels and helping to synthesize pathogens and surface bacteria that become overpopulated.

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With pet’s, topical and systemic yeast overgrowth happens for a variety of reasons. From poor diet and nutrition to over vetting compromising the immune system, to underlying medical & genetic issue. 

The skin & coat and systemic symptoms can have common threads, but also be quite varying.

Yeast (being misdiagnosed) as allergies is one of the most common medical diagnoses that I deal with in my area as well as a general opinion of most of the groomers that attend my program. 

From there without a support system of veterinarian opinion to help you address the issues that you continue to see at each grooming visit, it can be incredibly hard to really turn things around for the long term.

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But as groomers we have an immeasurable value of often being at the forefront of discovering these issues and therefor creating intervention & positive change.

At any rate, with each event visit we can undeniably create a positive change and give relief for the pet that sees us.

Below is an article that describes this aspect more.

An excerpt from this great article:

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“Yeast organisms have a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship with Staph bacteria on the skin.  More bacteria on the skin = more yeast on the skin.  Staphylococcus bacteria and Malassezia yeast produce mutually beneficial growth factors and alterations in their microenvironment.  It is common for dogs with a yeast overgrowth to also have a bacterial infection. Yeast produce proteins and glycoproteins that allow the staph bacteria to adhere to skin cells.  Keep in mind that the yeast organisms DO NOT INVADE the skin beyond the outer layer (stratum corneum).  Yeast dermatitis results from an inflammatory or hypersensitivity reaction to yeast products and antigens.”

https://www.healthyskin4dogs.com/blog/2015/9/8/facts-myths-about-yeast-dermatitis-in-dogs?rq=yeast


My guest spot on the The Groom Pod

Barbara Bird & Susy Scott were kind enough to have me as a guest on their Groom Pod!
If you want to laugh and learn and invest in the careers of two amazing ladies, please hit your favorite podcast app or the website at www.thegroompod.com , and have a listen- you won't regret it!
Here's a link to the episode I got to help with: https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/susythegroomer/episodes/2019-02-15T15_31_25-08_00