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How do you decide on the shampoos you use?

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  • How do you decide on the shampoos you use?

    I have groomed for about 14 years and recently realized that I was kinda "stuck" using the same stuff over and over when it comes to shampoos and stuff. I own my own business, so my stuckness was my own fault. So now I have been trying new stuff. I am especially having fun trying all different facial products - Facetime from Show Season, Blueberry from South Bark, several from Espree - Plum, Oatmeal and Rainforest, Spa Facial from Davis and the one from the spa line of Tropiclean. I was wondering:

    What are your faves?

    What makes you try something new? (free sample? word of mouth? price?)

    What makes you choose and like what you currently use? (price?, fragrance?, quality?, used for specific needs like removing undercoat, skin problems, detangling,etc.)

    Just wondering and would love some response! What other products should I try?

  • #2
    #1 All Systems

    Right now I am on #1 All Systems super conditioning. This is my basic shampoo. Smell nice and works well on monthly and more frequent grooms.


    • #3
      Being mobile I like to keep the variety down so I like to use one product for most jobs. I skip the brands with a million fragrances, that isn't my priority. I look for a high quality product and for my first year Coat Handler has been great, with a few Davis products thown in for flea and hypoallergenic products. Love the Coat Handler, but I was noticing that some of my dogs were having reactions. So I tried a sample size of some other products. I've decided to switch to B3. WOW what a great product. I love love love it. It's a do everything product and the coats are so clean and wonderful. The concentration is great and goes sooooooo far! I love getting my hands in it and working it around it suds just right and the fragrance! Oooooo! I was a bit skeptical of all the claims but not anymore! It'll be my mainstay now.
      A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~


      • #4
        I was much like you, had been grooming for years and using the same old products for years. In July 08 I opened a new shop and decided to try some new things. I got samples from every shampoo company that I could. Some were free, some I paid for. Then the experiment started. I made a list of my clients and each time they came in wrote down what I used on them and how it worked. I was able to weed some out quickly, others were tied as good or ok and some became favorites. From the many, many I tried here is my results.

        For big outside dirty dogs - Espree Energy
        Poodles & Bichons - Le Pooch
        Shi-Tzu types - Spa
        Smooth coat baths - shine from Show Seasons

        I also like IOD but I don't like their ordering system and they are way over priced IMO.


        • #5

          I am not familiar with #1 All systems. Where do you get that?

          I do like Davis products! I just got the DAvis Gold with a Rain Fresh fragrance mixed in a 5 gallon bucket that I dilute even further. It works so great - good lather and rinses well and the coats look so clean and fluffy! Plus, it costs only like $6.50 a gallon when it is diluted right. I have not used coat handler or B3. Where do you order those from? I am going to the Atlanta Pet Fair, maybe I can get some more new stuff and sample sizes there!

          Are you guys going to the Atlanta Pet Fair?


          • #6
            i"m stuck too

            I go to a lot of seminars, and a habit I got into was I would buy whatever the speaker recommended. some I like, some I ended up giving away or dumping. biggest downfall is I never really compared products, and honestly I dont remember what I did or didnt like. I would like to find one company that has everything Im looking for that I like. I like a lot of show season products, although I seem to be allergic to their flea shampoo. unfortunately, lately my choices have been based mostly on price. if I'm running low, I buy what I can afford. I actually really like bark to basics from groomers choice, and top performance fresh pet shampoo from pet edge is one I have used since grooming school 17 years ago. I will only use southbark blueberry facial, and ez groom whitening shampoo, those I have compared and I like them best. I love chris christensen tools, but I still reach for my $4 frank slicker to brush out a tail. If I see a dog at a show or competition and I am really impressed with how they look, smell, feel, I will ask the groomer what they use. unfortunately there is not one size fits all shampoo. Les pooch f and t is recommended for greasy cats, I tried it and didnt think it worked any better than the grimeonator, but it is about 3x the cost, although my husband thinks its great and wants to keep using it. we'll see. I do tend to change my mind alot.


            • #7
              Originally posted by bugleroo View Post
              I am not familiar with #1 All systems. Where do you get that?
              Dog shows. It's great for the frequent shampooing show dogs enudre.
              Not good for the 1x a year weather they need it or not.


              • #8
                I guess you could say I am also in the stuck mode, but I kind of live by the "if it aint broke, dont fix it" when it comes to shampoos. I have used Davis Oatmeal shampoo forever because I have so many dogs with dry & sensitive skin and I want something soap-free that wont remove their topical flea treatments. Davis oatmeal & aloe fits that bill. I also use Davis hypo allergenic shampoo or Natures Specialties Hypo-Aloe-Genic. I dont keep a lot of different shampoos because #1- I'm mobile and dont have a lot of room for a dozen shampoos and #2- I dont want to use something real perfumey or not very mild that I may get called back because the dog is itching since his shampoo. If you have lots of shampoos and you use something at random, you have to keep up with what you used incase of irritation. Knock on wood, I have never had anyone say that their dog itched after their grooming. I use the Southbark Blueberry facial and LOVE IT! Other than the Bio-Groom Flea & Tick shampoo, that is about it. I have tried other shampoos over the years and some I liked and some I didnt, but these are the ones that I use day in and day out and could not live without.


                • #9
                  anyone going to the Atlanta Pet Fair?

                  Funny several of you have mentioned DAvis. I really like DAvis Products. I will be signing books at the DAvis booth at The Atlanta Pet Fair - as well as giving several lectures. I wrote The Mobile Pet Grooming Guide. Thanks for all of your shampoo input! I continue to learn everyday! I love trying new stuff (in small sizes).


                  • #10
                    B3 is all you need......I think the website is But the prices on the website are the retail prices. So I recommend calling them directly.
                    Mandy, Birdie, Evie, Willie and The Woo
                    Check out my Blog at


                    • #11
                      s down?

                      Not quite sure how the s down got nex to my earlier post. I can't figure out how to remove it. But it needs a s up for sure! UGH!!


                      • #12
                        I used to use the Natures Choice products until the formula changed and now its doesnt seem to work as well as it used to. I found that I really like the Earth Bath Puppy shampoo and Quadruped Tearless along with the All in One Leave in conditioner. It smells awesome.


                        • #13
                          Davis has a massive selection of shampoos for every need. They work great and the co has a nice long track record. Their website is super easy for online ordering. I also like not having to tack on extra shipping at the end of each order.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by D'tails View Post
                            Davis has a massive selection of shampoos for every need. They work great and the co has a nice long track record. Their website is super easy for online ordering. I also like not having to tack on extra shipping at the end of each order.
                            I like them for all those reasons too, especially the shipping thing. I have a large selection of their shampoos, especially the med. shampoos, as they are great. We have a prima system, and found mixing the plum and the luxury shampoo together in the prima, we got the best of the two shampoos. We had been using the plum only in the prima, but the scissor finish dogs were not coming out fluffy enough, so we started putting some luxury into the mixture, and it has worked out great for us.

                            We use a lot of the chlorexidene and the sulfur and tar shampoos too. The only one I wasn't happy with is the high protein shampoo, as a lot of the dogs, including mine, are sensitive to it. The conditioners are good, as are the hypo shampoo and conditioners are too, as are the ear cleaners.


                            • #15
                              Samples seem to be best

                              When I received my LP brushes - they sent the shampoo samples. I didn't use them for a while because it seemed like a hassle getting them out of a round jar into my mixing bottle .... lazzzzyyyy.

                              I tried them this week. Loved loved loved the brightening shampoo. I used it on my own dog and can't stop touching and kissing her. It's a bit pricey so it will be the shampoo I pull out for my dogs on a schedule. I don't think I would have ever tried it if not for the samples.

                              I also love the Kelco Tea Tree shampoo for the dogs w/the dry skin.

                              I basically have 4 shampoos (+ bb facia) and will try a new brand when time to reorder. I don't want to many options.