Prep for Success & Fancy Finishes - Groomer to Groomer

Elevate Your Grooming

Prep for Success & Fancy Finishes

This month I wanted to focus on everything that happens before a great haircut begins, as well as the fancy finishing techniques used to set you apart from the pack. That means, the haircut is up to you, but let’s focus on a finish!

Fig 1) The two things needed to get curly hair to straighten out is to apply heat with tension. I personally get more bang for my buck with a handheld hair dryer, but for those of you who prefer stand dryers, that’ll work too. 

Fig 2) Once you have straightened every hair, you should be able to drag a comb through the hair to the skin at a 90-degree angle with no resistance. 

Fig 3) Because this dog gets a short ear style, I will clip everything on the inside of the leather with a #15. I use my hand to create a safe, flat surface to support the ear. 


Fig 4) The anal sanitary is best done with a #10 or #15 blade, working from the outside and away from the sphincter but never crossing over it. 

Fig 5) I am always very fastidious when doing the paw pads, so to make sure that I have them as neat as possible, I use a #10 or #15 blade. 

Fig 6) On larger dogs, I do the belly sanitary by lifting one rear leg at a time and doing one side and then the other.  This makes it easier to scissor in your tuck-up when that time comes. 

Fig 7) Every face that I prep gets a quick zap of the flews. This cuts down on staining, smell and even scissor-finish time while trimming the face. 

Fig 8) I pick the dog’s foot up to trim, but always return it to the table with their weight on it in order to check my work. 

Fig 9) Many groomers would call this “done” and it is not bad, but let me show you how I comb up some areas very specifically to be trimmed to a flashy finish. 

Fig 10) I comb everything straight down to trim the underline and set the line. 

Fig 11) Next, I drag the underline straight back and re-trim the line. Then I repeat this step, but drag all the hair forward on the underline. 

Fig 12) Then I comb the muzzle hair straight up with the comb running the length of the muzzle and the tines at a 90-degree angle. 

Fig 13) I comb and scissor upwards on the legs for a plushier finish. 

Fig 14) I then retrieve all my set lines after these extreme ways of fluffing and exposing missed hairs. 

Fig 15) Gently, I hold the tip of the ear and fluff every last hair on the outside of the leather to better trim a structured finish over the ear set. 

Fig 16) For doodles, I like to mist their body coat with a conditioning spray and brush their waves back in. 

All done!


Blake Hernandez

With his crazy suits and outgoing personality, Blake Hernandez is the epitome of “Mr. Approachable,” making him a shot of energy and positivity for the industry. Blake is the 2020 Barkleigh Honors Seminar Speaker of the Year and co–creator of Groomsource, the dog grooming education hub. He also represents Foxy Roxy’s Supply Co., Ladybird Line smocks and GroomLoop, but is best known for his online persona and feature in episode four of Netflix “DOGS” documentary series. Blake manages a successful salon in San Diego, CA, grooming many breeds, with Poodles being his true passion. Find Blake on Instagram @blakemhernandez

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