Residue vs. Buildup
By Sharon K. Doherty - President Vellus Products, Inc.
Residue is not a bad word! A reality that needs to be addressed is the fact that residue is not a bad word. Residue is what remains on the coat after rinsing. You rinse all of the shampoo, however if the shampoo has a conditioning ingredient in the formula, this will linger in the coat giving light conditioning while cleansing. The same concept holds true with the conditioner, some of which is left in the hair after rinsing. The residue is needed to provide the glamour, conditioning and protection of the hair shaft. You have to pick the products that give the best residue for your particular breed of dog. I have always said to my customers from the beginning (1992) "Be Creative." Read your labels to know if you are using a "ready to use product" or a "concentrate." You have to have the best groomed dog in the ring. Some labels say, "Leaves No Residue." If you have no residue on the hair, then you have no glamour. Residue is essential for the finished look.
Buildup is the bad word! Another reality that needs to be addressed is the fact that buildup is the bad word. Buildup occurs from the accumulation of residue. Remember, "being creative" with different textured coats gives one the understanding that it depends on your particular dog. Some breeds require clarifying more often while others may need to clarify only once a month. Some breeds may be gorgeous with proper structure and the zeal to win, however have an incorrect coat. Some of these coats are porous and absorb products like a sponge. This type of coat should be clarified more often and requires careful watching. Buildup will cause unusual mating, the coat will be much too soft and the shine will be gone. When this occurs, many go for the vinegar, detergents, stripping shampoos or simply change product lines and start working the hair again not solving the problem. This is not the answer and will undo the good previously achieved with the hair. All you need to do is clarify the hair with a proper shampoo used just for that purpose. Use a dog clarifying shampoo so the natural emollients will be left in the hair to maintain the health of the coat. This is a cycle that you will have as long as you are showing dogs. The dog should look the same every time the judge sees him/her in the ring.
Grooming show dogs and the proper method depends on who you are talking to and the breed they are talking about. Within each breed you will even have various opinions on how to achieve the desired look and feel to the hair. Do not believe wanna-be experts that tell you any cheap personal care shampoo and conditioner will do! This is not true. Products from the personal care industry are not balanced for the natural chemistry of a dog's skin. You will soon have irritated skin and a dog that is scratching. Remember, you must use wisdom if you want to win.
You have novice owner handlers, long time owner handlers and professional handlers, each of whom have their own way of grooming. There are novices who are like mental sponges absorbing information given to them on how to groom and what products to use. Many novices receive unsound advice. Then there are those people who know and will help. The novice will sometimes bounce from product to product as people tell them to use this and that. There are even exhibitors of many years who make their weekly trip to the beauty salon always feeling they might find the miracle, not realizing they are risking the dog's hair and skin. Human products are not balanced for the skin of a dog, plus there are some ingredients used in human hair products that should not be used on animal hair. The personal care industry is not the answer for the show dog. Remember, you can only have healthy hair when you have healthy skin! I wish you all many wins. Next time, let's talk about Lanolin. There are a few things you need to know.
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