Who hasn’t looked at the pretty flowers that Creative Groomers have been designing on their dogs and thought “boy would I like to learn how to do that, but I don’t have a dog to try it on” Well you don’t need the whole dog, just the hair!
Admittedly, I am a hair thief. My coworkers always know that I am up to swiping switches from unsuspecting clients when I leave the nice long parts on dogs that we would otherwise clip off before bath time (Fig. 1). I believe I have mentioned in a previous article that a great way to test hair color products is to save hair from the dogs you are clipping down by banding it near the skin and then cutting it off, after it is clean, dried and brushed of course (Fig. 2).
This way you can use them to test color products and have on hand to show clients the different color choices. But product testing is only one use for those switches; another is practicing making flowers, bows and other shapes from the saved hair. Just last week I had a client who was a bit down when she brought her dog in for grooming and when she returned to pick up Bandit I handed her two small flowers I had made from the hair I removed from the dogs tail. She was touched. This year at Atlanta Pet Fair I wore a beautiful white flower adorned with rooster feathers and rhinestones in my hair. Just a day earlier it had been on the backside of a Great Pyrenees, yes I wore butt hair in my hair, but as groomers we have worn much worse than that!
With your hair ready to practice on, you will need a flat iron or curling iron and a firm holding hairspray. My favorites are Freeze It and Got2b Glued, both can be found in most stores that carry beauty supplies and are around 5 to 6 dollars a can.
Start by taking a small amount of hair near the center of the switch and give it a spritz of hairspray on both sides. Then use the flat iron to stiffen and flatten the hair petal. Repeat this step until you have shaped and flattened all the hair in your switch.
Once you have this done, go back with your scissors and cut the petals to the desired shape (Fig. 3). The result will make you smile as though you just got a flower delivery. I have a video on how to do this on Learn2Groom if you want to take a peek. It’s a great way to practice, so start saving those switches.