Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s the little things that count?” It can be very true of the small tools that groomers use to work their art and magic on dogs and cats.
Many groomers save their tips and pool them toward the purchase of some big, expensive tool that will help them in their daily work, and that can be a very good thing. At the same time, however, those same groomers will keep aged brushes and combs with bent, abraded teeth around.
Worn, damaged hand tools can scrape and irritate skin and damage coats. Once a brush or comb begins to show wear, it should be replaced. Luckily, small hand tools like combs and brushes can often be purchased very inexpensively, and since they are mandatory for the grooming of most every pet, having a good selection on hand is important. There are many types of these tools to choose from, designed to work on the vast array of coat types that stylists encounter during their daily work.
“Our number one selling brush is the Miracle Coat Slicker,” Alison Franklin, owner of Groomers Mall, said. “Groomers tell me that they like the length of the teeth, and that they are bent at the perfect angle to glide through coats. They have a nice rubberized handle that is comfortable to hold, and they hold up well, even if you use them to brush out wet coats in the tub.”
An informal survey on Facebook grooming groups turned up a large number of groomers who said that their go-to favorite brushes are hands down the Les Poochs line. Les Poochs slicker style brushes were the first on the market to feature a flexible head.
The price tag they carry is a bit higher than many of the industry standard slicker brushes, but comments like, “You would have to pry my Les Poochs Mat Zapper out of my cold dead hands,” and, “I just tried a Les Poochs brush for the first time. My grooming life is forever changed” were posted over and over.
The flexible head on this style brush makes brushing coats far easier, and they are ergonomically designed, so are a great choice for groomers who want to preserve their wrists. The line of brushes has been hard to find of late, but they will be available again very soon, and will now be made in the U.S.
“The much anticipated re-release of the world’s top selling original Les Pooch brush is now only weeks away,” Michel Raviol, CEO of Les Pooch, said. “We apologize for the long wait, however due to recent substandard quality issues from our German vendor we decided to move production to the United States. This transition will ensure top quality and constant supply for our global market. A huge promotional special celebrating the release of the world’s first flexible headed brush will be in effect along with new exciting additions to our brush collection.”
What to Look For
Groomers know that after a pet is well brushed, they must be combed through to insure that no tangles or loose coat remain. When choosing a comb, look for a comfortable fit for your hand. Pay attention to the length and spacing of the teeth, as well. Combs are not a “one size fits all” tool.
Fine coats require closely spaced teeth, thick, double coats need a longer tooth and wider spacing. Check to make sure the tips are smooth, not sharp, to minimize skin irritation. The finish of a comb is important, too. A smooth finish will not only help the comb to glide through pet hair, it will be kinder to the coat, causing less damage as you work.
“The Aaronco Honeycombs are very popular,” Franklin said about their best-selling combs. “They are made in England, are of great quality, have a wonderful smooth finish and come in a huge variety of sizes. It’s all about teeth spacing when you buy combs, and groomers can find what they want in this line. They have a square spine and they are very comfortable to hold. Resco combs, made in the U.S., also have a loyal following, and we sell a lot of the Wahl 8 inch finishing combs. Some groomers swear by carbon fiber combs. They have a little give to them, and they are wonderful at removing static from coats.”
Les Poochs offers a comb line, as well.
“We can’t keep our combs in stock,” Ravoli said. “They are hand crafted by the same artisans who make our shears in Japan. This comb has glide through technology and features ultra light yet sturdy 3036 aircraft aluminum.”
It’s the little things in your grooming toolbox that you use most often. Invest in some new combs and brushes this year and see the difference great hand tools make.