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Author Topic: Fluff Drying-How to Get that Finished Look  (Read 32409 times)
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bluebell
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« on: March 26, 2007, 05:35:53 PM »

 fluffblush

The most important part of grooming a bichon is in the drying. Most of the home groomed bichons that I see are curly and have that scruffliy just out of bed look. The key to getting that "just groomed" look is fluff drying.

While the process of fluff drying is not hard to learn (if you straigten your curly hair yourself than you are a step ahead), it is time consuming and may require the purchase of new tools. However, it can be done with items already at home. I will try to explain this process as best I can.

To start you will need to be able to restrain your bichon somehow. You will need to control what parts of the coat are being dried, so having him on a table is essential. You will also need a dryer and a slicker brush. The brush is something you should already have in your house. If you don't, they are fairly inexpensive and you can even find them at a Walmart.

As we all know, an adult bichon's coat is curly. When hair is wet, the hydrogen bonds that form the hair become broken, and you have the opportunity and the ability to reshape the cuticle. Brushing a soaking wet coat can break the cuticles. I recommend using a spray in conditioner of some sort to help protect the hair. There are many products available for this. Chris Christiansen makes many wonderful products specifically for bichon and poodle coats, though places like www.petedge.com will carry things like GloCoat which you can also use.

If you have the means, I strongly recommend buying a small HV (high-velocity) dryer. This will drastically cut down on the drying time. Metro makes a few models for as little as $50. With an HV dryer, you will use the hose without a concentrator nozzle. Using the force of the air, the dryer will blow the water off of the coat. Hold the hose close to the skin. Don't wave it around in circles, just move methodically over the coat, drying everywhere, including the underarms and between the legs. You want to dry your bichon until he is about 90% dry with this.

The next dryer I would recommend is a stand dryer. This is a dryer that has an "arm" instead of a hose, and is placed on top of a stand. Once you are finished with the HV dryer (or if you don't have the HV, you just move straight to this step) you will finish drying with the stand dryer. If you can't afford a stand dryer (which if you can only buy one dryer, I would go with the HV) than you can use a human hair dryer. Just make sure there is a warm and a cool setting. It also helps if the air vent is on the side of the hair dryer inside of behind. If the vent is on the side, you can put a belt loosely around your middle, and stick the dryer handle in the belt.

So now the fluffing begins. Taking the slicker brush, you will start brushing the coat straight while blowing the dryer at the spot you are brushing. You want to fully dry the hair now, making sure it is straight. I recommend using the warm setting. If it is taking a while and you notice there skin is hot you can switch over to the cool setting (drying on cool will take longer but will still yield the same results). Go over the entire dog section by section. As a newbie, this will take practice. But don't worry, you will get better. You don't want the coat to dry without brushing it straight. If he starts to get too dry on parts you haven't gotten to yet, you can use a spray bottle with either water, or a diluted conditioner to spritz the coat damp again. Once the hair is dry, the hydrogen bonds will have reformed, locking in the shape of the hair. So if it dries before you fluff it, it will stay curly (rewetting and drying it straight will fix that).

It is a time consuming process, but it is what we do to get that velvet finish Smiley If you have an HV dryer, this process should take 20-30 min depending on the length and condition of the coat. Without the HV, it can take a very long time. if you can't afford the HV, you can wrap your bichon in a towel ,and let him drip dry until he is about 80% dry, and then finish with the stand dryer or the human dryer.

Another added benefit to fluff drying is that you can break up any mats that have been forming while you dry the dog. Otherwise, if he airdries, the mats will become tighter than they were before the bath.

Here are some dogs that I have fluff dried in the shop. You can see how fluff drying goes a long way to getting that smooth scissor finish. Smiley





Good luck and happy grooming.



Edited sorcerer by Del (in May 2007) to add the following.....

In another post of Danielle's, she had referenced Barbara Bird's grooming blog .... and therein (posted on April 8, 2007) was an article thumbsup, complete with short video clips thumbsup on how to "fluff-dry the pet bichon".

I'm adding the , upfront here on this post blush, so our members can benefit from both Danielle's "how-to" and Barbara Bird's "how-to"! clapping  CLICK HERE
original (and then scroll down to the 2nd blog entry).


edited sorcerer by Del (Jan 2008) to fix the broken (due to server badPC change-over) reported by Lainey thumbsup

« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 04:04:54 AM by EDDEL » Logged
BenjisMommy
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2007, 06:03:55 PM »

WOW.. thank you soo much for taking the time to write this out for all of us..

It has really broken down the process for me.......

Benji used to HATE getting brushed by me so my groomer told me not to bathe him myself in between grooming because the mats would only get worse.. now I know why  thumbup

I really appreciate this post and I know other members will too.. THANK YOU!   flowers
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SuperMax (Susan)
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2007, 06:22:00 PM »

Wow, what great information!  flowers  Thanks for taking the time to post it!  thumbsup

That "just groomedmanfro look always  shocking2 amazes me!  blush ... I don't  No bother blow drying Max  blush only because we live in a very Rain rainy climatecrazy .... I would assume  shrug you'd have to "re-blow dry" them everytime you had to take them out in the rain - to keep that look?  thinking ... or does it tend to hold up in the rain?  unsure
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bluebell
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2007, 06:25:30 PM »

You are right, you would have to redry him after he went out in the rain Sad
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Puppylove
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2007, 06:26:41 PM »

Ok that settles it for me! From now on, only the spa will bathe Princess...I want the fluffed look all the time now but heck if I'm gonna spend that time blow drying her hair. (I don't even have time to do my own!) I'd much rather spend the money and get it do right. Support your local groomer. Lol
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SuperMax (Susan)
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2007, 06:29:36 PM »

You are right, you would have to redry him after he went out in the rain Sad

Crying That's what I feared.  Don't Get It ... since they seems to be a 50/50 chance it's gonna be Rain here  crazy (I live near Seattle) and Max isn't "paper trained" ... guess he'll always be a  manfro curly cueLaughing
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2007, 08:34:34 PM »

Wow!  That was great information! thumbup  I've had my share of "bad groomers", so I've been trying to keep up with it myself.  My two get a bath about every 2 weeks and I do blow dry them and brush while I blow dry.  I own a Metro Air Force Commander, 120V - 60 HZ - 7.5 amps.  I used to use it all the time as it was much quicker to dry them with, but I do not think that they like it too much.  Is that too much power for them?... or are they just being babies  crybaby about it? thinking
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bluebell
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2007, 10:57:10 PM »

The Metro dryers are great for home use. The amps are low and they are a good price for pet owners (who can't write off $400 dryers wink1 ). The Metros usually put out at about 25,00-30,000 FPM (feet per minute-air speed) if I remember, which is half the power of the K9 dryer I use at work. They can handle it, don't worry. thumbup A good idea is to put them on a table with a grooming arm for restraint. Start from the back end and leave the head for last. If they don't like the face (which many don't) you can use a stand dryer or the human dryer with a brush to finish.
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EDDEL
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2007, 08:31:07 AM »

clapping Bluebell's mom (did you already tell us your name unsure and I missed it?? blush), that is such wonderful information see for our members.

I Thank You for the time you took to post that, as I know full well how time-consuming sweatdrop it can be to post such informative posts (well, if ya used alot of smilies like me blush it takes awhile Laughing)

I also wanna Thank You for covering this important topic of fluff-drying.... something I said I'd do but haven't got round to doing it yet blush2.

I'm gonna "sticky" sorcerer this thread so it stays on top of the [GROOMING & CARE board], for members' easy reference book





...As we all know, an adult bichon's coat is curly. When hair is wet, the hydrogen bonds that form the hair become broken, and you have the opportunity and the ability to reshape the cuticle.
That info about hydrogen bonds is definitely nodding something new I'm learning! thumbsup  I just knew that fluff-drying the coat, section by section, strand by strand even wink1, will make the coat straight.  But didn't No know twas the hydrogen bonds that was 'coating' the strand of hair that 'holds' the shape of the hair so to speak.



....If he starts to get too dry on parts you haven't gotten to yet, you can use a spray bottle with either water, or a diluted conditioner to spritz the coat damp again. Once the hair is dry, the hydrogen bonds will have reformed, locking in the shape of the hair. So if it dries before you fluff it, it will stay curly (rewetting and drying it straight will fix that).
AGREED!! nodding  What I do (also) to keep the coat damp (while I fluff-dry other parts) is to loosely cover/wrap a towel over Bianca Wub.  I learnt that from Sue Davidson, whose British grooming video I own.  So I cover her body, dry the head, and systematically push the towel down, doing her shoulders next, body next, legs next etc.


Again, Thank You for sharing your expertise, bluebell's mom! flowers
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bluebell
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2007, 06:56:14 PM »

(did you already tell us your name unsure and I missed it?? blush)

I also wanna Thank You for covering this important topic of fluff-drying.... something I said I'd do but haven't got round to doing it yet blush2.

 What I do (also) to keep the coat damp (while I fluff-dry other parts) is to loosely cover/wrap a towel over Bianca Wub.  I learnt that from Sue Davidson, whose British grooming video I own.  So I cover her body, dry the head, and systematically push the towel down, doing her shoulders next, body next, legs next etc.[/size]

No, I didn't give my name at first because most of the forums I'm on are pretty anonymous New Here,  but seeing as how this is a friendly bunch: "Hi, my name is Danielle and I'm from Westchester, NY".

No problem. thumbsup I was going through some of the other topics and there were some great threads on scissoring and finding a groomer, so I thought I'd add this one for the at home bathers.

The towel trick is also a good idea, though I've personally had problems keeping a towel on. blink I always end up knocking it off (though the better you get at it, the easier it will be to get to all of the hair before it dries).   
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Puppylove
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2007, 10:03:36 PM »

Oh Miss Danielle...we are all so glad you are here!!!  Welcome (again)

I am such a hopeless case at grooming...I wish I lived in NY so I could visit you for Princess' spa days!!  Oh well.
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2007, 10:40:17 PM »

Danielle ala buebell - thanks much for the info.  I am trying to learn to groom Riley at home, have done it for 7 months now, and not so bad.  But am leaving the cutting to the professional.  I heard you only scissors cut a bichon and never use a human blow drier because they can have a seizure.  Is this true?  I mean, i use my hair dryer on him and so far no seizures.  Thought I would ask.  Thanks again.   Riley's mom aka Joie from Wisconsin.
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bluebell
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2007, 10:49:55 PM »

Hi Joie,
 Thanks for the questions. original For a show cut, bichons are done with only scissors, but for pets there are different clipper blades and attachments made to give shorter lengths. It's a lot of work to fully handscissor and most people aren't looking for that kind of work ($price) or home maintainence.

 The only dogs I have ever see seizure from a dryer (of any kind, human dryers are much less powerful than the ones groomers use) were either epileptic or geriatric. In those cases we do what we can for them, but their safety and health come before the style. As long as he is in good health and is not stressing during the blow out he should have no problems. Just make sure to use your dryer on warm or cool to keep his skin from drying out or getting irritated.
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2007, 11:30:37 PM »

Hi Danielle,

Thank you so much for the answers to my questions.   wink3  So quick!  I probably will get him a puppy cut or a pet cut, still want the fluff though, like the round head look, have to have his ears trimmed, etc.  I even thought of going to Petco to learn to be a groomer so I could groom him by myself, but then it would cost bundles to have all the equipment.  Guess I will just stick to my every 10 days bath, brushing, clipping, and then to the groomer when he needs a trim.  Thanks again.

Joie
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bluebell
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2007, 12:18:06 AM »

If you wanted to go to a Petco/smart to learn to groom...you have to be hired as a bather/brusher first. When there is an opening at their academy they sign you onto the list. My friend had to wait 18 months before she could go. Once they send you you have to sign a contract agreeing to 1 year of working at Petco, or else pay for the academy which is around $3,000. Mind you, my friend went through their academy and learned next to nothing. She is struggling and there is no one there to help her (she's in MA and I'm in NY). If you want to learn to groom him yourself my advice would be to either find a groomer or bichon breeder to apprentice/get coaching from or to attend some seminar workshops. I wouldn't want to spend 2-3 years slaving at Petco just to learn the basics. *sorry, ending Petco rant* original
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