The lowly comb. It’s often treated like the Rodney Dangerfield of the grooming industry. It’s used & abused, but “It don’t get no respect!” The basic comb is a workhorse of a tool. In fact, you can’t complete a groom without one. But, it seldom receives much in the way of recognition or glory. It’s a simple tool that we take for granted. A comb is just a comb—right? No, not any more.
Needed not just to save time, but also to get “the right look”, pet grooming dryers are some of the most important pieces of equipment in a pet grooming salon. The decision of which to buy can be complicated. The type of dryer, available utilities, length of hose, intended location of the dryer, tolerance for sound, performance, and budget—along with a host of other factors—need to be considered.
No one leaves their house in the morning expecting to have a medical emergency, be in an accident, or be the victim of a crime. But these occurrences can and do happen every day. The majority of groomers work alone.
If you have an emergency, being able to get immediate assistance can potentially be the difference between life and death.
Many years ago when I first opened my salon, a young couple brought their Toy Poodle, Spunky in to be groomed. We discussed the style of clip they wanted, and as they were leaving, I placed Spunky in a cage so that I could finish the dog I already had on my table.
A Groomer’s Best Friend
Whether it’s true or not – we have all heard that ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’. But, if you make your living in the grooming industry, you will find that ‘dryers are a groomer’s best friend’! Time really is money in the grooming profession, and the equipment you use has to help you make the most of every minute.
Recent conversations where groomers gather to share their thoughts found me reading about how frustrated stylists can be with pet owners who do not understand our work. It made me think about other service providers who must sometimes find their customers to be vexing. Then it occurred to me that I bet the folks that sharpen our scissors can find we groomers a bit annoying.
Today, blade manufacturers are painting blades with a certain kind of paint to make them glide through coat. When the blades are used for an extended period of time, the paint starts to flake off because dog hair is very coarse and aggressive. These paint chips are hard to get out of the coat, short of washing the dog again.
Are they really worth the expense?
Oh, how times have changed in the pet care industry – and every groomer can be very thankful that they have. Not so long ago, groomers had a very limited selection when it came to choosing the combs and brushes that help them perform their jobs.
Back in ancient times, when I was a new groomer, the variety of shampoos and conditioners designed for pet use could be counted on one hand. There were just a few brands, and those brands had a very limited variety of products. They could be depended on to get dogs clean, keep static down and maybe help a bit with detangling…
Every spring a friend of mine lovingly plants flowers along the walkway leading to her shop entrance. Without fail, a client walking their exuberant dog on a retractable lead will decapitate all her flowers. But it is not just the daisies that bear the brunt of a pet that is not in someone’s control.
It doesn’t take that much oil to oil a blade, most groomers over oil them. When you over oil, the oil will drain through the teeth and onto the coat. So they turn to other forms of lubrication like Spray Coolants, Rem Oil, or WD-40. Blade oil is the best form of lubrication.
When you get dressed for a day of grooming, do you glance in the mirror and think, “Wow! I really look good?” Well, you should. In order to do your best work, you need to feel good about yourself and the way that you look. Your appearance plays a major role in the way your clients perceive and treat you. Pet parents want to know that their precious fur babies are being cared for by a qualified stylist, and professional attire helps reinforce that confidence.
Some groomers have been experiencing cord problems with clippers that have voltage converters on the end of the cord. These converters adapt 120 volts AC to DC current that runs your clipper. DC motors have more torque and seem to hold speed better in tough coat. Because of the extra weight of some of these cords, they break and short out right behind the clipper.
When you get new shears, or shears back from the sharpener, they are adjusted to cut. The adjustment for tension (or balance as some call it), is a screw or thumb wheel on the pivot of the shears. Beveled edge shears are adjusted to where the blades grab, about three-fourths of an inch from the tip. This enables the blades to slice from the pivot all the way to the tips.
Calibration can be an issue when doing mobile sharpening. I did mobile sharpening in five states down here in the South before I went strictly mail-in for 15 years. Even though your equipment is solid in your van or trailer, going over bumps, hitting pot holes, and going over railroad tracks does vibrate the calibration off.
Groomers all over the world are asking questions about the new product Clipp-Aid. Does Clipp-Aid bring dull blades back to life? Is it harmless when exposed to humans and pets? With all the chemicals groomers use, is Clipp-Aid safe to use in my salon? The answer to all these questions is “Yes.”
We all have a couple of grooming clients we will remember forever. Some clients are reminisced with fondness, others not quite so affectionately. Casey falls somewhere in the middle. She was an adorable, well-behaved Golden Retriever who inspired my love of the breed. Casey would rest her head on my shoulder during grooming and just loved to give kisses.