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.
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.
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.
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.