“Hi Michell, I have been trying to master the art of Asian Freestyle grooming. I have a few clients that really like the style but their dogs are not always good candidates. I also have clients whose dogs are perfect for the style but the owners don’t like the idea.
Any advice on how to perfect the style and getting clients to try it? Thanks, Linda”
Hi Linda. Asian freestyle grooming is lots of fun. I love it because it challenges me to groom outside the box. Showing clients pictures of dogs in Asian freestyle trims that look similar to their dog is a great way to sell it. The internet has a wealth of photos to look trough with your clients. Consider keeping a binder or a tablet with photos to show your clients when discussing styles. You can include many styles, not just Asian freestyle. Consider asking your favorite Asian freestyle artists on Facebook and Instagram if you may use their photos to show your clients.
Often clients don’t like the style because the body is too short and the legs are too long. These things can easily be adjusted into what many call a puppy cut, teddy bear trim or even a shave–off. You may also need to make decisions for the body and leg coat due to the dog’s structure. If the dog is not a natural beauty, you can alter the style to make the dog look fitter, younger and healthier.
Overweight dogs, dogs with lots of lumps and bumps, thin coat and skin issues are examples of dogs who may benefit from an altered style. Keep in mind that the style often incorporates clothing. You might suggest—in the case of a very unfortunate looking dog—that they keep a sweater on it.
The head is the most distinctive part of many Asian freestyle trims. Owners tend to like these trims because they are very animated, puppy–like and short around the mouth and eyes.
When executing the trim, keep these nine common features of the Asian Freestyle head in mind:
- The muzzle is groomed to appear separate from the skull.
- The width of the muzzle is groomed to appear wider than the outside corner of the eye.
- The top of the nose is not shaved but trimmed to create the shape of the muzzle.
- The chin coat is trimmed very short.
- Any coat sticking out past the tip of the nose is trimmed short.
- The eyes are completely open. No bangs or bubbles.
- The ears are accentuated and exaggerated in some way.
- Cheeks are most often trimmed short.
- Color accents, bows and yarn are often used to accentuate facial features.
Remember that the longer coat on the legs that is a typical characteristic of the style will need more frequent grooming. This is a good source of revenue for the salon. Also keep in mind that these are specialty trims; it takes much skill to study and properly execute these styles so be sure to charge accordingly.
Happy Grooming!—Michell ✂️
Have a question you want Michell to answer? Please send questions to