Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A review: De tanglers comparison

After doing the Taming the tail tutorial lots of people asked what I used on manes, or between washes to keep the hair from tangling, dread locking or in general becoming an unmanageable mess. Especially with coarse hair types or horses that have oily skin it can be particularly hard to keep long manes and tails manageable. Burs, branches, nails or anything in general can catch tangled hair on and tug it out. There are a few products that I have used/use and would recommend.

When I look for something to de tangle I want a product that is going to
  • stay in the hair for a couple of days and make the next couple days combing either obsolete or very easy.
  • Not coat the hair in silicon. Basically a lot of products, particularly human detanglers or shampoo's will contain a silicon or silicon equivalent that will coat the hair shaft and make it soft, shiny and manageable. The downside is once you start using it the hair stops producing it's own protection. Once you stop using the product the hair does not have any protection anymore. This leaves the hair brittle and more prone to breakage, defeating the purpose all together of using a product to protect the hair.
  • Not break the bank. No one wants to spend a ton of money on something that you need to use a lot of and then buy a lot of.
  • Not attract dirt. This is super important because of Indigo, the grey, dirt loving, manure lying in spotty horse. Again with a lot of products like this they are oil based and collect dirt which can weaken the hairs.

Cowboy magic detangler-
Sizes- Comes in more than one size
Price- Moderate. Between $12-$17 for the 8 oz size. 29-$40 for the bigger one.
Pro's- It makes the mane really soft and super shiny. Does not attract dust. Seems to last a good amount of time even outside. Dermatology tested, can be used on any animal or human. Smells great. Detangles hair really fast.
Con's- It is crazy slippery. My friend and I groomed her horse for a show and some of this and other cowboy magic product got near the saddle area. Her saddle fits pretty good and it slipped, causing her to fall. Word of the wise: be very cautious when this is near your saddle area! It also seemed to make the hair more prone to static and fly aways.

Santa fe detangler-
Sizes- One size, 8 oz
Price- Moderate $13-$15
Pro's- It smells great. Not strong to attract bugs or be offending like some hair products. A little goes a looooong way. It also eliminates fly aways and leaves the hair easy to detangle but also very manageable for braiding. The hair is light but not weighed down like heavier products. Does not attract dirt. Lasts a few days but washes right out with water. Has vitamin E and sunblock in it so you don't have to worry about it burning if it accidentally gets on skin. Not slippery on the hair coat.
Con's- If your horse is outside and it rains or is very damp you might have to use this every day. If you use too much it will make the hair a little greasy feeling and will stick together until it dries but nothing drastic.

Absorbine show sheen moisturizing detangler-
Size- One size 8 oz
Price- Moderate $15 and up
Pro's- Contains a lot of vitamin E and other proteins to enrich hair and keep it moisturized to prevent breaking. Detangles with a unique gel formula. Seems to stay in with wet or dry hair and does not evaporate out. Pleasant smell. Kept the hair detangled.
Con's- It's more of a gel. I wasted a lot because the gel slipped off my palm. I also found it was harder to distribute evenly. I found I had blobs all over the place where they others were more like an oil that I could rub between my hands and run my fingers through the hair. Made hair slippery.

Shapleys original MTG-
Size- 32 and 6 OZ
Price- $10 and under for the 6oz $15-$25 for the 32 oz
Pro's- This does detangle the mane and tail. It also makes the mane and tail grow, especially if a horse has an itchy spot they like to rub or a thin mane. It also works on just about every other thing you can think of skin or hair related including growing back hair and loosening scabs to ridding the horse of things like rain rot, sweet itch and scratches. It's an all in one miracle product. I gave some to a friend who had a rescue dog that had very little hair on it. Within a few days the dogs hair was noticeably thicker, actually growing in and the itchiness that caused the hair loss was gone. With repeated use it makes the hair softer and moisturized without silicon products. I also put this religiously on my pony every other day. It is the only thing other than steroids that will keep his allergic sweet itch down during the summer months.
Con's- It smells. I mean it smells like some sort of bacon campfire and it's hard to get off yourself. I use rubber gloves because the smell seems to stick to your skin for a long time. You have to shake it really well every time and make sure you distribute it evenly because it's a very loose liquid compared to other products. It's mainly oil so it can cause sunburn so not wise to use it during the daylight hours your horse is outside. It also collects dirt and grime like crazy. A white horse (See Indigo) will be looking dirty for days on end as the spots you used the MTG will stick out like a sore thumb with dirt. It's also hard to wash out so don't go using it the day before a show.
However I do firmly believe the usefulness of this product outweigh the con's.

Baby oil-
Size- All different sizes
Price- Very cheap, you can get a good sized bottle for $1 at the dollar store.
Pro's- It's cheap. When it comes to burs and bad dreadlocks it's the way to go because you can waste a whole bottle and not feel your wallet depress. You can also get non scented for those sensitive horses/people. Very safe and effective at detangling. Can also be used as a muzzle and eye highlighter for shows.
Con's- It's very oily. It collects a lot of dirt and quick. It can burn a horse to a crisp in a few minutes. It's also hard to wash off. Don't plan on using it a few days before a show because it's going to require some effort to wash out unless you use dawn or other grease cutting soap.

WD-40
Size- All different sizes
Price- Cheap, $2-20 or more for a large jug of it.
Pro's- I know your all laughing, all purpose lubricant. But it works, It's cheap and not only can you use it on bad burs and things without having to cut the hair but you can use it various other places around the barn and farm. It's uses are endless and if you are in a pinch and do not have anything else it can get out a witches knot without scissors. Leaves the mane and tail super shiny. Stays on the hair for a long time. Detangles super fast.
Con's- Do not use this on a horse that is turned out with another that chews tails/manes. It does have some toxic qualities if ingested. It also collects dirt after a wile and will make a saddle slip. I imagine it might burn too. I have only used it in spots that had burs or a large snarl that would have had to be cut out.


Other products- Is there something I missed? I have used a couple more but I want to specifically focus on generally/specifically products used on manes and tails. These are also ones I had somewhat satisfying results with.

My favorite:
Santa fe: It does not slip or slide, makes those fly aways lie flat and the smell makes me want to sniff manes all day long. The last time I bought a bottle it came into the house before making it's way to the barn. In that time my hairdresser mother found it. She discovered it's useful properties on her hair, fell in love and they have been married ever since.
I also use it on my own hair because my hair is long, thick, fine and strait all in one. Static shock anyone? Well it prevents that. No other product I ever came across did that without making my fine hair a greasy mess. I also love, love, love their coat spray and shampoo. Just an all round winning product line that has not been around a terrible long time and is often overshadowed by absorbines other products like show sheen. It out performs every other product I have come across.

I would not overlook:
MTG: I just can't say enough good about this stuff. It really does all it claims and more. It was actually originally made for men who balded in 1938! Now it's been proven time and time again to be a must have in the barn. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Cowboy Magic: In a pinch it works. I do love their green spot remover and rosewater shampoo. I would be lost in hades someplace without their green spot remover at horse shows. They have very good prices too.

Of course none of these (in exception to MTG) will miraculously make hair thicker or longer. Genetics play the biggest part in how hair grows. I want to prevent the hair from becoming tangled which might require more pulling or breaking and in the end thin the mane or tail. Thus these products are a must have for growing a long, thick mane and tail without breaking the crap out of the hairs every time you brush. It makes grooming a thick tail a breeze.

What is your favorite grooming product? It doesn't have to be mane and tail. Just list the price, pro's and con's. I would love to hear and possibly try it.

PS- I did not add mane n tail detangler in here because I wanted to focus on concentrated detanglers rather than sprays. I am also not that fond of their detangler. It leaves almost a dry, gritty feeling on Indigo's fine mane hairs, does not last as long and leaves a slippery silicon feeling on my hands. I do love their hoofmaker for my own hands and horses feet though so they are not excluded.

Note: This is not a paid review. I mean I paid for these products but in no way do the manufacturers very likely know of me or this blog. I just happen to like this stuff.

16 comments:

Breathe said...

I love MTG too - the smell is a little off putting, but it works. Bacon grease will also make hair grow back - I used it on a few spots on a horse I had. Makes me wonder if we should use this for male pattern baldness! LOL

How about Mane and Tail?

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Thanks for the experienced product reviews.
I should get some of the Santa Fe Detangler. Can it be used all over the horse, or just on the mane and tail?
Our air is so dry all winter that I am finding it impossible to pet Apache without sparking and shocking her with static electricity. And she dislikes it when I rub her with a dryer sheet. I'm not worried about the Santa Fe detangler being washed out from rain because we rarely ever get in any here. Is it made in Santa Fe? Maybe I can buy it locally in NM.

~Lisa

Laura M. said...

Thanks for the tips! My mare doesn't particularly like MTG, which is a bummer since so many people have had good luck with it. I've found regular washing, detangling, and leaving in a conditioner for Black's hair has really helped my mare grow tail like there's no tomorrow. But it won't work on her forelock... any forelock ideas?

juliette said...

Thank you for this review. I will have to get Sante Fe. I love MTG for my boys. I do think it smells, but after I leave the barn, it kind of reminds me of them! I know I am weird. It makes hair grow like crazy over a healed cut.

Jessie McCandless said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cowboy Magic. I used that in the show barn I worked in and I loved it. Only thing is be sure to never use it on a mane that you're going to band, at least a good few weeks in advance. Same goes for those "tail extensions," if you're having those put in--makes the wax not stick so well LOL.

I use MTG but for different reasons--I've used it on a lot of rescues to treat/rehab the coat after rain rot. It really helps clear up their coat, especially if it's winter and you can't wash them (and like me don't have an indoor, heated washrack). The oils in the MTG actually help protect the skin while it grows the hair back and kills the fungus. Good stuff (although it DOES smell like ash LOL)

achieve1dream said...

Fantastic post! Thank you!!

Sarah Golden said...

I love the smell of MTG. Maybe cause I associate it with Val...I think it smells like campfires.
I wonder what would have happened if we used it on Rikki next time she blew her coat in the spring? I don't want her to lose her fur again on her tail.

Sydney_bitless said...

Breathe-I added a PS about the mane and tail. It's alright but I wanted to focus on concentrated detanglers rather than sprays.

Lisa- Left you a detailed message on your blog.

So the Absorbine company did not know about me and this blog before they sure do now. Details in the future.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I love Cowboy Magic, but I won't put it on a horse with my bare hands before riding or the reins will slip right through my hands. If I forget that rule, I have to put on my riding gloves. For the most part, my horses get groomed after they are ridden. Shine On is a product that I quickly learned to never spray near the saddle area or girth also.

Crystal said...

I love MTG, it is amazing stuff, but I do agree it does stink!

I alos have used that show sheen gel and it works well for really tankgled tails, but you do end up using a lot, I am gonna try the santa fe stuff now, does it come in a spray cause thats so easy, especially in winter so I dont have to take off my gloves!

Grey Horse Matters said...

I've used some of these and haven't some of the others. Thanks for the reviews. I kind of had to chuckle when I saw WD-40 on the list, I hadn't thought of that one.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I've actually used vegetable oil when Annie gets dreadlocks. It does work to detangle but it collects dirt.

I'll have to check into the Santa Fe or MTG. Thanks for the reviews.

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

Sidney, I agree with you on the MTG!! My horses seem to get itchy at the top of their tail at certain times of the year....(not sure it's correlated with my worming rotation but it seems that way).....usually spring and fall is the worst. It does have a distinct odor but I don't mind it because it works so well. When my mare, Teya arrived with Slick on her side, her tail was short! I've used nothing but MTG and now she has a long tail, so long it drags the ground and I have to trim it! LOL! I've not tried the other brands you mention....mainly because their snapped up off of the shelves fast around here or they don't stock them with many different ones. Cowboy magic spot remover on a cream horse is great. Mane and Tail spray detangler works well for in between washes but it does make hair brittle and the silicon makes your hands too slick after so you have to wash your hands before you handle your horse. Thanks for review on products I've often wondered about! :)

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

I forgot, have also used Mane and Tail shampoo and conditioner....only because that's about all I can find available....nothing to write home about!:(

Stacey said...

People put WD-40 on their horses?!?!?!

Karla said...

Yet another great post! After reading all of the great reviews on the MTG I had to purchase a bottle. My poor mare's mane is so scraggly! It's getting long enough now, but still very thin.

Can't wait to get started. I will be documenting this, so I really hopr it works!

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