Log InCartCall Now: (616) 667-7297

Understanding Conditioners with Dave Campanella

Special Guests

Dave Campanella

Dave Campanella is an informative and entertaining seminar speaker, contributing trade columnist and genuine grooming enthusiast. He is Best Shot Pet Products sales and marketing director and has over 25 years of pet industry knowledge and experience. He and his wife Tracy co-owned a full-service pet salon and self-wash in Ohio prior to relocating with Best Shot to Kentucky. Together they enjoy exhibiting at grooming shows, being industry ambassadors and showing their Kerry Blue Terrier and Samoyed dogs.

Understanding Conditioners with Dave Campanella

In this episode, Joe Zuccarello is joined once again by Dave Campanella for a deep exploration of conditioners. Dave clears up some common misunderstandings and offers great grooming advice!

  • What are the differences between detergents and conditioners?
  • Are two-in-one products safe?
  • Should I be conditioning the pets I groom?
  • How far can I stretch this bottle of conditioner?

Tune in to find out.

Special Offer:

Unlock your FREE CONDITIONER GUIDE by entering your information below!

Unlock Your “Hey Joe!” Podcast Special Offer!


Sign up for periodic emails from Paragon to see the offer from this podcast, as well as other updates and announcements.

Transcript

Announcer: Welcome to Hey Joe!, a podcast answering questions asked by our listeners, created by pet professionals for pet professionals. And now, your host, Hey Joe!’s very own, Joe Zuccarello.

Joe Zuccarello: What’s up everyone? Joe Zuccarello here, and welcome to Hey Joe!, a podcast brought to you by Paragon School of Pet Grooming. Check out our site at ParagonPetSchool.com for lots of really cool information on a variety of programs, products, and to connect to educational resources such as webinars, podcasts, current events, special news, certifications, and lots of other helpful information to help you grow yourself, your team, and of course, your business. Let’s get started with this week’s episode.

Hey there, everyone. This is Joe Zuccarello, your host of the Hey Joe! podcast. I am so happy to bring this week’s guest to the Hey Joe! listener audience. This guest is not only one of the most educated people that I know in his particular area, but he’s also a very ethical and morally centered pet product manufacturer representative in that he not only believes in the brand of the products that his company creates, but he’s also one that stays sort of agnostic, which means he stays sort of neutral and he just wants everybody to benefit from a safe and educated platform when it comes to bathing products. I’m talking about the one and only Dave Campanella from Best Shot.

I’ve known Dave for a number of years and he is a fan favorite out there with our Hey Joe! listener audience. It would be silly for me not to continue to have him on, because he’s just got such a wealth of knowledge. One really great part is … and I’m about to tell you this, also … this particular episode’s going to serve two different groups of people. Of course you Hey Joe! listener audience podcast listeners out there, but also the Learn2GroomDogs.com audience as well, because Dave’s information is so important and so powerful, we thought we’d better share this with both audiences. So I hope you all enjoy, and let’s get started with this week’s episode on conditioners. We’ll be talking with Dave Campanella from Best Shot.

Hey everyone out there. This is Joe Zuccarello, your host of the Hey Joe! podcast. We’re actually doing something a little bit different this time, in that I’ve brought you a fan favorite as a guest to the Hey Joe! podcast. But if you’re listening to this on just the audio version, I encourage you to also go over to our learntogroomdogs.com website, which is our sister company. We are Aragon School of Pet Grooming, where you’ll find the Hey Joe! podcast, but also on our other platform which is a streaming video library of instructional videos which is called Learn2GroomDogs.com. What’s really cool about this particular segment or this episode is you’re going to be able to listen to the audio version as a podcast, but we are also videoing this. So we’re doing this in video form also, so that you can watch the video version of it as well over at Learn2GroomDogs.com.

So as I mentioned before, we’re bringing back a fan favorite. I introduced him just a few second ago to you in the introduction part of this, so let’s jump right in. I am please and I’m thrilled and we are flattered to have Dave Campanella with Best Shot back on the podcast and now also our video cast as a return expert. Dave, your knowledge goes on for decades, but we get you for a small snippet in time. I’m thrilled to tackle this particular topic, because you know what? When I was trying to learn how to groom … We all know that I’m not a dog groomer, but I was a really great bather and brusher. But when I was being taught just the basics of bathing, I don’t know that I was taught right, I don’t know that I was taught wrong, but conditioners always seemed to have kind of a role in there somehow. I thought it was great. You recommended that we have an episode on unpacking what it is that are conditioners. So Dave, thanks for joining us today.

Dave Campanella: You’re quite welcome. Thanks for having me. It’s a lot of fun. Looking forward to it.

Joe Zuccarello: All right, so Dave, I think before we get into maybe the features and benefits of conditioner, would you mind just helping us understand just the basics, if you would, what is a conditioner and what does a conditioner do in general?

Dave Campanella: Great question, and the best way to answer it is to kind of parallel our human partners in the cosmetology world. In cosmetology, the way they define a conditoner, it’s anything that improves the quality or corrects and prevents surface damage to the hair or the skin. And what’s important about that definition … and I’m kind of getting ahead of myself, but I think what’ll help is I’ll provide a handout or something, a reference for your viewers, and it’ll have this definition. But the key to that definition is conditioners do not regenerate the hair or the skin at the molecular level. I think it’s an assumption that’s sometimes assumed. And the reason for that is, with hair anyway … and we’re going to make the assumption we’re talking about hair conditioners, not skin conditioners today. But the hair is already dead. It’s nothing but dead keratin.

I’ve used the analogy of, when you’re conditioning hair, it’s a lot like antique furniture. With antique furniture, you can restore, you can refinish, you can’t replace it. It’s priceless. That’s kind of what we’re dealing with with conditioners. And finally, chemically speaking, conditioners are really nothing more than positively-charged fatty acid molecules or polymers, which we’ll get into. And where that becomes important is knowing the fundamental difference between a detergent and a conditioner.

Joe Zuccarello: So Dave, I want to circle back on this. You said something which I think is very important. Hair’s not alive, right? So hair is already dead. You can’t bring it to life. There’s no magic cure. I don’t even know what hair would be like if it was actually alive. I guess it would just be like other appendages, right? But knowing that, we see these commercials on television. You talked a little bit about the human counterpart of products that are out there. We see these commercials on television all the time about strengthening hair shafts and filling in the cracks and divots and making them stronger. I know we’re going to talk a little bit about how conditioners really behave at that level, and that may or may not be accurate.

But I know racing through everybody’s mind when you think about conditioners and you remember some of the commercials you watch on TV, one of the things you talked about is … and I’m looking down at some of my notes … is to understand the difference between detergents … which I know that sounds like such a hard word. So does surfactants or soap, which we’re going to give a teaser out later about an upcoming episode where Dave is going to tear apart some soap for us and surfactants and detergents for us, just like we’re doing on conditioners. But you talk about detergents versus conditioners. So tell us how, at a surface level, a high level, how do each behave? So that we understand each … If they were actors in a play, which role are they playing in the bath time?

Dave Campanella: You’ll be happy to know that it’s actually a very simple concept to get down. The first and fundamental thing that you need to learn … many of us already know this, many of us are just learning it for the first time … is chemically speaking, skin and hair inertly have a negative charge. It’s referred to as being anionic. With detergents, the detergent … and by detergent I mean the cleansing agent in a shampoo, a soap, whatever your cleaning product is … it’s anionic, it has a negative charge. It’s attracted to the dirt and the oil, but it repels away from the skin and the hair in water.

And I make that little distinction … You hear all sorts of scary things about detergents, and I’m the first one to tell you that any detergent can cause irritation, it can cause nasty blisters if you never rinsed it out of your hair. You hear a lot of fear marketing. But in water, we use a detergent, we wash our hair. The key is you have to rinse these compounds out with water. But the detergents, they grab onto the oil, but they repel away from skin and hair.

Conditioners are the exact opposite. They’re cationic. They’re positively charged and they’re designed to bond to the hair and the skin. It’s a very simple concept that you can base … And when you think in that terms, it makes it a lot easier to follow and get a handle on what we’re doing as canine cosmetologists.

Joe Zuccarello: And one of the things that you had made a mention of earlier … one of the really great tools that you’re going to make available to the Hey Joe! listener audience and the Learn2GroomDogs.com audience is some downloadable resources. You’re going to offer us a much deeper dive, a much deeper understanding than what we would ever have time, necessarily, to talk about on any one episode. I think you said we probably had enough material to talk for two or three episodes on conditioners. But to serve everybody, you’ve stepped up and you’ve said you’re going to make that information available to us.

Dave Campanella: Sure.

Joe Zuccarello: So everybody, you’re going to want to stay around until the very end so that you understand how to take full advantage of that and get that. Dave, when you’re talking about … I really like that. You made it really simple. Detergents, cleaning agents, right? That bonds to oils. It grabs onto oil and it carries it off in the rinse process, right?

Dave Campanella: That’s right.

Joe Zuccarello: And conditioners, they’re different. They kind of leave some of the goodies behind because they’re bonding with the coat and the skin. You educate us on a term called keratin proteins. Can you tell us why keratin proteins are important to know about, and where do keratin proteins show up in this process?

Dave Campanella: Sure, sure. The basic structure of the hair, the outermost layer with the cuticle scales … think of a pine cone or the bark on a tree … that layer is called the epicuticle. You have the outside and on the inside. On the inside portion of the epicuticle are negatively-charged keratin proteins. That’s pretty much what I meant earlier when I said hair’s dead and it’s made pretty much of keratin. But these keratins, the fact that they’re negatively charged, they act as the anchor for the fatty oil deposits, the sebum that the body produces, as well as conditioners. They’re all cationic and they will bond and anchor to that, and it’s just that positive/negative relationship.

Joe Zuccarello: Great. Again, it’s sort of like opposites attract, right?

Dave Campanella: Exactly. Exactly.

Joe Zuccarello: That’s exactly what’s happening between these products and how they’re responding to a molecular level to dirt, oils, hair, skin, the keratin and such. Now, you just brought up a really great word that I think is kind of at the center, the core, of everything we’re talking about, and that is the sebum. So, S-E-B-U-M, sebum. I think it’s important for everybody to understand that that’s really where we’re looking at conditioners having the biggest effect. And maybe I’m wrong, but let’s kind of now go into … Now that we’ve described what a conditioner is … and really trying also to understand what a conditioner and a detergent are, separate from one another. But why must we condition every coat, especially as it relates to something so important as this term you’re bringing up, sebum?

Dave Campanella: Okay. Well, I’m going to take a quick step back. Many of us, unfortunately, that have been in the industry, are familiar with the rationale that the conditioning phase is just another step and it’s an added expense. Of course, it’s business people, “Hey, if we can take a shortcut or save money.” And unfortunately, what’s so wrong is people won’t condition for the wrong reasons, or they’re not conditioning because they don’t understand.

The way the hair works … and if you’re one for understanding the concept of intelligent design … the sebaceous glands in the skin produce sebum, which is a thin, oily layer which coats the hair as it grows out. A lot of our breeds, especially let’s look to like a Newfoundland, a dog that has basically a waterproof coat. These oils, the sebum, is serving two purposes. It’s protecting the hair, but in those type of coats, it actually gives that dog its waterproof quality to its coat.

Now, the reality is, over time, environmental factors … sun, wind, swimming in the saltwater, swimming in a chlorinated pool, whatever … that can deplete those natural oils from the coat. But the thing that we overlook is that as professional groomers, when we wash, we do wash away the sebum. And that’s not a bad thing. Some cunning marketer might take that and make it a scary thing, “You’re wash awaying the essential oils from the coat.” My response to that is, “Well, duh. That’s how detergents clean.” Because sebum by nature is somewhat of a dirt magnet, and the longer our hair goes, we get flat, oily, greasy, [crosstalk 00:15:22]

Joe Zuccarello: So the sebum is the one that is like a Swiffer on a hardwood floor, right? So it’s-

Dave Campanella: So to speak. It serves two purposes. It has a purpose, but there is a point where it’s kind of the source to all our problems. So what happens is, when those oils are either naturally depleted or when we wash a dog, we really need to replace what we washed away. We need to hydrate, we need to replenish some of those oils. And what did I say earlier? I mentioned that, chemically, conditioners are basically fatty acid proteins, positively charged. And that’s what you’re doing with a conditioner, is essentially you’re replacing.

Here’s the great news. Here’s why everybody wants to condition. And this kind of is the mic drop of conditioning, is you can replace the sebum with something superior, an advanced conditioner. And what makes it superior is many of these conditioners will not attract oil, they will not attract dirt, whereas the sebum does. And what that does is that extends the concept of manageability. If I can have the hair repel more dirt … You’ll hear products, they say, “This product is good for repelling dust and dirt and urine,” or whatever. What they’re describing is a basic property of that conditioner. Sebum doesn’t do that.

So by extending manageability, what these conditioners do is … and I can touch on some of these things. Basically, you’re keeping the cuticles closed longer, you’re keeping moisture in the coat longer, you’re keeping static away. So over time, let’s say you have a customer whose dog comes in every three to four weeks. If you’re using a good conditioner regimen, you’ll notice … and most groomers will tell you, they notice that these dogs are in much better shape. They’re not as matted, they’re not as tangled. Many people with double-coated breeds … I’m an owner of a Samoyed dog, a big white dog named Baker. Some of you may have seen him at the shows. He’ll find some dirt and it’s like, “Oh my gosh,” and he’ll be black. But no worry, his coat, he’s so well conditioned and maintained, by the end of the day, a lot of that just brushes off. Whereas if we never conditioned him, now you get the staining from the wicking of the hair and you have a mess. So you really-

Joe Zuccarello: Now, there’s a term that you use for opening or manipulating the hair cuticles, and you call it … I want to read it right off … coat porosity. So that means to me, I see the root word “porous,” in there. I see it as being open and accepting of something, right? Is that accurate?

Dave Campanella: It’s accurate. And what porosity is … and let’s define ourselves as canine cosmetologists. In the cosmetology world, when they talk about different human hair types, they talk about porosity. Porosity is the degree to which the cuticles on the hair tend to lift over time. Managing porosity is either keeping it smooth and from time to time in the human world, they’ll open up the cuticles. Anybody who colors hair, they’re familiar with hot water and the very pungent alkaline smelling product that they put on the hair to open up the cuticles, and then they apply the color, and then they close it back up. Porosity is very important.

In the dog grooming world and with dogs, cats, animals, any mammal with a lot of fur and hair, we really want to manage it and preferably we want to smooth the coat and get it to this stage. When you have a smooth coat, again, you’re replacing the sebum, you’re keeping that hair hydrated. Some of the other ingredients that tag along in these formulations will fill in broken areas. You can take a split end and smooth it out and get rid of the frizzies. I mean, that’s basically what we’re talking about here. [crosstalk 00:20:09]

Joe Zuccarello: Well, and I think one of the other benefits for shedding breeds … Being in the business for so long, you have double-coated dogs and dogs that blow coat and all of that, and I understand that, and a lot of dogs shed for various different reasons. But I know that a lot of shedding is caused by the hair actually breaking off. It’s not necessarily been released from the body. Is that where maybe it’s been open too long, gets dry, the sebum’s stripped away, and it has a tendency to break off? Or am I thinking something different?

Dave Campanella: Well, with shedding … and I tell people, shed happens … what’ll happen is if the hair cuticles in the long strands of hair are lifted open, basically it’s a net trapping all the shedded undercoat that’s been released, and that’s what we deal with. If you have dry, staticky hair, you’ve really got a mess that can lead to matting and tangles, all sorts of-

Joe Zuccarello: Right, it acts almost like Velcro. Because if the hair shafts are rough, they just grab onto one another and to unlock that from the coat when you are trying to evacuate the hair in a grooming salon situation, especially … I’m a huge fan of offering shed control treatments and things like that in grooming salons because that’s what customers really want and are seeking, is less hair in their homes. So if you were going to try to expedite trying to move that coat off the dog’s body, if you’re not treating that hair properly, you’re probably actually fighting against that coat and you could be damaging it, right?

Dave Campanella: Exactly.

Joe Zuccarello: You could actually be…

Dave Campanella: Exactly. One of the advantages of … Well, some of the many advantages of conditioners. I mean, you’re not just replenishing and replacing the sebum. It’ll help with shedding. You can now use the force from your pressure sprayer in your tub or your dryer to release a lot of that without a lot of pulling and tugging. Conditioners can reduce surface friction on the hair, allowing it to slide off. But then the other thing that they do is basically they can add shine. We talked about extending manageability. It’s a domino effect, really, where it becomes a mystery with people. People will talk about, “Why do you condition?” Well, we deal with shedding dogs, we deal with tangled dogs, we deal with dogs with dry skin, we deal with dull coats, damaged coats. Conditioners literally perform a variety of … they’re multifaceted. It’s a domino effect. So many of the things that we do day in and day out require a conditoner. So if you’re not conditioning, you’re working too hard.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah. And again, this job’s hard enough, right?

Dave Campanella: Exactly.

Joe Zuccarello: In our world at the Hey Joe! podcast and Learn2GroomDogs.com, Paragon, whatever education source that we provide, we’re always looking for ways to save the professional groomer seconds. Seconds add up to minutes and minutes add up to hours and hours add up to either you get out of the salon early that day …

Dave Campanella: Exactly.

Joe Zuccarello: … or you can take an extra dog that day, maybe you’re less tired that day. But again, what you’re saying is, by using a conditioner, the conditioner then is allowed to work at different levels of performance based on what the coat might need. So it might only need a little bit, it might need a lot, but the conditioner is applied and will kind of almost behave according to the need of the coat. Did I understand you right?

Dave Campanella: That’s correct. The thing we want ingrained in our minds is that we want to condition, be it a cream rinse that we put in and we let set and we rinse out, or something even like a spray-in leave-in conditioner or a de-tangling spray or a speed dry spray. Those are all conditioners, and they can all benefit and literally what’s left behind, because of that positive bond we talked about, they’re going to keep those cuticles on that coat closed longer than the sebum would. It’s going to be a nicer finish. And let’s be honest, let’s forget about all the logical natural reasons and how it’s a replacement. Let’s just talk about the customer service standpoint. If the coat looks wonderful from the customer’s standpoint, that’s gold right there.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah, it looks wonderful, feels wonderful when they put their hands on it and such. Now, let’s talk a little bit about … I think that’s a great segue, then, Dave, to move into some of the myths about conditioners. I love that … Okay, so first, to the Hey Joe! listener audience out there and the Learn2GroomDogs.com audience, what we’re doing, we’re talking to Dave Campanella with Best Shot, and he’s actually tearing apart what is so important to know about conditioners and why conditioners should be used on every coat, every bath, all the time. Now, I mean, I know that there’s certain people out there that have special breed needs and hair coat needs for special types of trims and such, so we’re speaking to the 80, 85% out there. We’re speaking to the Betty pet groomer out there who is providing pet quality grooming up to and including … maybe not some of these specialty breeds where you guys might have your own concoctions for your own needs that way. But again, 85, 90% of you are doing pet quality grooming out there, so that’s who we’re talking to.

So let’s talk a little bit about myths about conditioners, because one of the things that I’ve heard over time is that conditioners are heavy and that they weight down the hair and then you can’t scissor because you can’t get the hair to stand up, or you can’t get the hair to behave in a certain way because conditioners are heavy. What say you, Dave Campanella?

Dave Campanella: When I hear that, the first thing I respond is they’re referring to something. They’re referring to some product and how it behaved that was heavy, that was oily, that weighed the coat down. What did they mean by that? 30 years ago, a lot of the conditioners that we used were more … I’m going to use the term, “old school,” and I have no problem with old school. Things like Shea butters and lanolins and people will use a coconut oil, some folks will mix that in. These things are fine, but on a molecular level when you look at their mass, weight and size, they are heavy and they required either very warm to hot water to rinse out of the coat, and if you didn’t fully rinse it out, yeah, you kind of got that flat feeling. Kind of like when you’re out camping and you don’t wash your hair and that sebum and that oil builds up and you get that heavy, wonderful, beautiful, thick, yucky hair. That can happen.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah Dave …

Dave Campanella: But that-

Joe Zuccarello: …. that hasn’t happened to me for a long time.

Joe Zuccarello: I’m sure some of our audience knows what that means, and if you’re only listening to the Hey Joe! podcast, you’re listening to the audio, look at the cover photo. You’ll know that I don’t have any hair. So-

Dave Campanella: Yeah, your biggest shock is you’re going to find that Joe and I have a face for radio. Anyway.

Joe Zuccarello: So Dave, another myth that are brought up are condition-

Dave Campanella: Well, let me bring it back to that, though.

Joe Zuccarello: Oh, yeah, go ahead.

Dave Campanella: Yes, some conditioners are oily, can be heavy, but most of the new age conditioners are not. In fact, you can rinse them with cold water. They’re pretty much indiscernible. Many have some softening effect, can add body. The answer to that question is, that myth is false because it depends on the conditioner of your choosing, what you choose for that application.

Joe Zuccarello: And that’s a fair response. And like you said, the technology and the awareness and the education of how these products are now constructed and manufactured, it’s just so much more advanced now. I mean, I used to work for a shampoo product manufacturer and I know you know, everybody … I guess my point is, I was always just blown away by the technology and the knowledge and the care and things that go into creating these products. What these ingredients jobs do that … I’m sure it has to be different, because that part’s evolved as well.

But some people say that conditioners are too expensive. “I buy a shampoo. Buying a conditioner is just an added cost. It’s just too expensive.” What’s a favorable response to folks that just think of it as an extra cost?

Dave Campanella: Well actually, there’s several ways of looking at it. If you break it down, just by looking at what the bottle is, it’s very true that the active ingredients in a conditioner are much more sophisticated than a typical shampoo. So it stands to reason that they could be 20 to 30 to 40 to 50% more, if not more. But here’s some good news. Because of that cationic relationship, that inactive ingredients in conditoner … Now, mind you, conditioners more so than shampoo are mostly water, not because somebody’s ripping you off. Those active ingredients depend on the water for deposition. But because they’re positively charged … I don’t know why we give … The industry’s in the habit of giving dilution rates for conditioners. You can actually take a conditioner and stretch it beyond any recommended dilution rate because it’s not a matter of if those positively-charged ingredients are going to bond to the hair and skin. It’s a matter of what method of deposition or application are you using to get it to the coat and the skin.

If you’re recirculating or you use a spray bottle or a mixing bottle, you can actually take that conditioner and stretch it much further. It’s just all in the care that you use to get it deposited on a coat. The good news here is if you have a conditioner that they say can be diluted three to one, six to one, ten to one, I’m telling you you may be able to … I’m encouraging you to experiment. You may find that you can cut it 25, 30 to one, put it in the mixing bottle … of if you’re using a recirculating system, for those that use that. The great news there is you’re going to save so much money because you’re letting the system apply that active ingredients.

So yeah, gallon bottles of conditioners can be more expensive. But when you break it down per dog and how you’re using them … and now with what I’m telling you that really virtually every brand conditioner you can stretch a lot further.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah, so tinker with it and see.

Dave Campanella: Tinker with it.

Joe Zuccarello: And again, I think it’s going to depend … and maybe make some great notes on the client file, that pet’s file in the computer. Because I think it depends also probably on some of the coat condition. And maybe you just pick a happy medium and that’s your go-to unless you need to put it on a little bit more thick and rich.

The last myth that I want to talk to you … and there’s a couple of other topics I want to make sure we leave enough time for … but silicones.

Dave Campanella: Sure.

Joe Zuccarello: I don’t know, man, but I’ve had people come up in the trade show booths for years and say nothing but terrible things about silicones. Are silicones bad? Are silicones not bad? Where do silicones rank in the conversation now?

Dave Campanella: First thing I tell anybody who tells me that is, number one, have an open mind and ultimately be your own judge, because I’m just going to state the facts. Silicones are a conditioner. They’re a copolymer. I’ll provide some things to help people explore what those are. But silicones are cationic. They’re pretty much silica and I want to say silicone nitrogen atoms. Silica is … next to water on our planet, it’s the most abundant mineral. You’ll hear people say, “Silicones are not biodegradable.” And my response to that, “Of course they’re not biodegradable. They’re a mineral. They’re degradable.”

Some people are concerned about the human footprint left behind in the processing and the refining and the manufacturing of silica. When I’ve explored that and gone down that rabbit hole, it’s considerably less in my opinion than a lot of the other things that we count on and rely upon in this world. I have a bias opinion that for a lot of people and for some companies, yeah, they can be very expensive. So if I can find something to use that doesn’t cost as much, maybe that’s a reason to be down on silicone. But the fact of the matter is, silicones are being used in medicine as carriers of medicine, plasma. There are so many applications. I’ll make sure I include a couple references where you can kind of read up and get an overview.

But if you notice, most silicone products will say they’re hypoallergenic. What’s powerful about that statement is, how many essential oils and other surfactants can make that claim? When you consider that a lot of the silicones are being used internally in medicine and have been for decades-

Joe Zuccarello: They’ve got to be safe for topical. I mean, you could at least make that assumption.

Dave Campanella: And I let the listener be the judge. Just when I’ve gone and looked at that, I keep coming up empty handed. So then, the final flip to that is, sometimes when you hear the negative things, it’s like, “Okay, what are they selling as an alternative or for…

Joe Zuccarello: Right. Are they just downplaying silicone to up-play another ingredient that might be specific to-

Dave Campanella: And shampoos is a very competitive field, both in the human and pet industry.

Joe Zuccarello: It is. It is, right.

Dave Campanella: Honestly, it takes a lot to differentiate your products. It’s one way to think-

Joe Zuccarello: Let’s talk about the shampoo/conditioner relationship. Circle back to that just for a moment. One of the myths that I’ve added to the conversation mix is, I’ve heard over my 30-plus years in the business that it’s okay to use a cheap shampoo or even Dawn dish washing detergent or bar soap. It’s okay to skimp on shampoo, as long as you use conditioner. Do you have a feeling on that, or is that accurate? Is that not accurate?

Dave Campanella: Here’s how I choose to answer that. We covered a lot of ground today. We talked about the anionic and cationic relationship and the difference between detergent and conditoner, surfactants. We talked about porosity, which is scientific fact, manipulating the cuticle to get the end result. We talked about the fact that when you wash away the sebum, you need to replace it with something, and conditioners are wonderful. They’re a superior replacement.

If someone understands the hair type and the coat, there are many things out there that one can choose to get to that effect. But if you come to me and you say, “It’s okay to use Dawn dish washing liquid …” We didn’t know that we were doing a paid endorsement for Dawn dish washing liquid, did we?

Joe Zuccarello: A dish washing liquid of unbranded mention.

Dave Campanella: Yes, yes, yes. Oops. The internet police. But anyway, my point to that is there’s better options. If you’re being mindful, if we’re professionals, just as one goes to the auto mechanic and looks for that ASE-certified mechanic, we assume he knows how to work on a gasoline combustion engine, a diesel engine, or a rotary engine, or whatever. As canine cosmetologists, one would think we understand coat type and we understand the different ingredients. What you find is there’s better options and sciences on the side of many better selections and better choices than a cheap shampoo.

What is a cheap shampoo? If your definition of a cheap shampoo is under 15 bucks for a gallon versus 50 bucks, and that the difference is … what is that, 25 bucks? Or whatever. I can’t really help you. You’re not-

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah, what is the definition of cheap?

Dave Campanella: What is the definition of cheap?

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah.

Dave Campanella: If you talk about basic shampoo or a harsher shampoo, that’s totally dismissing things like pH, porosity, coat type. So what I’m saying is, yeah, can you wash a dog with Dawn dish washing liquid? One could do that. If one wasn’t very mindful, it could be risky. But there’s better options. Does that answer the question?

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah, fair enough. My last question for you before we talk about what we’re going to do even on our next episode … which I’m really, really excited about as well. We’re kind of putting the … I won’t say cart before the horse, but we’re talking about conditioner first and then we’re going to come back and we’re going to talk about shampoo. But the last thing I have for you is both-in-one. There’s a lot of products out there that are being sold that are a two-in-one, shampoo and conditioner. So they’re either being pre-manufactured that way, or we’re playing mixologists of bathing products and we’re putting some shampoo in, we put some cleaning shampoo in and just for good measure, we put some conditioner. So whether it’s coming pre-manufactured from a shampoo and conditioner manufacturer like Best Shot or whoever … so whether it’s coming pre-manufactured or at the hands of a mixologist in the grooming department, are two-in-one products worth it? Are they safe, unsafe? What’s your take on those?

Dave Campanella: I’m glad you’re bringing it up, because it’s kind of a can of worms of misperceptions and misunderstandings. I think what happens is we tend to confuse what’s done in the human side and how it translates over into what we’re doing in the applications for double-coated fur and hairy animals. If a person’s in the shower, a two-in-one shampoo … What the intent is behind a two-in-one shampoo is it’s something that you can use on your body and the conditioner is going to allow it to rinse off easier. How many times has someone taken a shower and maybe you didn’t fully rinse, or you notice your skin’s dry and itchy? Two-in-one shampoos, because of the added type of conditioner in that application, can minimize the itching and the harsh effects of a detergent. It can also help keep the hair more acidic in the formulation, less apt to have a harsh shampoo that blows the coat. Imagine if you got done taking a shower and the hair on … Well, the hair on your wife’s head, Joe. Sorry.

Joe Zuccarello: Appreciate it, Dave.

Dave Campanella: Yeah, I know. But imagine if it opens up the hair and you have dry, staticky hair. That’s a problem. So the conditioners will keep the cuticle smooth, give you a nice shine, rinse off easy, you don’t have any itching. That’s kind of what a two-in-one’s doing. What I think happens is one of the mindsets going back to earlier points is we hear two-in-one and we’re thinking, “I can save a step. I don’t have to condition.”

Joe Zuccarello: Right. Saving a step, saving time, saving money, all of that.

Dave Campanella: That’s not what was meant by that two-in-one. People have [inaudible 00:41:32] on their head and then in certain areas … say you only have one hair coming out of a pore, out of a hair follicle, whereas with dogs there’s multiple. You have undercoat, you have guard hairs. It’s very different. What a two-in-one shampoo means, I think, in the pet industry, and how it needs to be clarified … And if you consider this, I think it fits in most cases. What you’re talking about is a shampoo that’s formulated not to be harsh, that is going to rinse easy, that’s not going to over strip the coat, meaning blow it open with the cuticles, something that’s less likely to irritate. And on some breeds, if it’s a smooth-coated dog or a hairless dog or whatever, a two-in-one shampoo can give a nice finish.

However, a lot of double-coated breeds, the reason why we also condition is it’s an opportunity to help release some of that shedding, to repair pretty much the given that there’s a lot of damaged coat. Science will prove that separate steps tend to work a little better. You’ll hear a lot about different methods, close-open-close, open-close methods, and different things. Basically, they’re referring to using different products in the phases and it’s effect on the hair. A two-in-one shampoo might be a good alternative if you’re doing a de-shedding regimen and your object is to have more smooth coat, you might choose a two-in-one shampoo.

But the two-in-one … That term is abused is, I guess, what I’m saying. It’s kind of like the term, “hypoallergenic.” A lot of people think a hypoallergenic shampoo has no fragrance and no color. And while those are distinct attributes that people look for as some people prefer no fragrance, that’s not what hypoallergenic is. So just as we misinterpret the term, that’s what’s happening with two-in-one.

Joe Zuccarello: So is it fair, then, to say that if I’m pulling the nuggets out of what you’re saying about two-in-one, two-in-one is not a bad thing.

Dave Campanella: No.

Joe Zuccarello: It’s not like it’s not safe.

Dave Campanella: No, it’s not a bad thing.

Joe Zuccarello: But when you have a detergent and you have a conditioner in one product, you’re not going to get the maximum benefit from either/or, and to some …

Dave Campanella: How can you?

Joe Zuccarello: … degree might be fighting each other.

Dave Campanella: Exactly. How can you? If there’s a conditioner in that shampoo, if it’s a shampoo and it’s designed to clean, you can pretty much see it as a given that when it was formulated, they have lower conditioning levels in that product. They’re using that conditioner for other purposes. A separated conditioner treatment is going to work better. Now, let’s go back to what you said earlier, which I thought was neat and dead on, is you get a lot of people who … what I call the chili pot scenario where they want to mix a little bit of this and a little bit of that. When you add a conditioner to a shampoo, if you’re not really being mindful and you don’t really know much more about the ingredients in what you’re working with, more often than not you’re inhibiting the detergency, so you may have to wash that dog more than once. And you’re flushing good conditioner down the drain because that detergent surfactant is going to suspend and kind of get caught up and tie up that conditioner. It’s best to do separate phases and all the research-

Joe Zuccarello: I think that’s the real words of wisdom there. It’s just best to do separate phases versus thinking that you’re doing the pet or yourself or your checkbook or whatever … you’re doing yourself a favor by mixing everything together, because you’re really not. And again … and I’ve often told people this … other than the labor that’s associated with grooming … what you pay people in your shop or your salon or what you make in your shop or your salon … the next most expensive cost in grooming are the bathing products. So to your point, you’re probably washing that down the drain.

So again, to all of the Hey Joe! listener audience and the Learn2GroomDogs.com audience out there, again, this video and audio combination is serving two different audiences out there, which is really, really cool. But Dave is going to make available some really great downloadable resources. All you have to do is, you have to go to ParagonPetSchool.com, so that’s the ParagonPetSchool.com website, and go to the resources page to the podcast, Dave’s podcast episode, and you can unlock the code to get those free resources. So again, for the Learn2GroomDogs.com audience and the Hey Joe! listener audience, go to ParagonPetSchool.com in order to unlock the free resources that Dave is making available.

So Dave, obviously you’ve been on … what, you’ve been on Hey Joe! now … This is, I think, your third visit, and we have at least one more. I assume we’re going to have plenty more after that because your … We’re probably at least going to have one more. Your audience, your viewership or the folks that are listening to these episodes are … You’re very popular, so hey man, welcome to the popular kids’ table, right? But-

Dave Campanella: I’m only in this because I was promised that after the fifth time, I get a robe and an invitation, like a green jacket or something.

Joe Zuccarello: It’s a dinner smoking jacket with they Hey Joe! emblem on it. But you are actually going to be on here in the next … The next episode is all about shampoo and soap, right?

Dave Campanella: And the difference.

Joe Zuccarello: Give us a ten-minute little … Or ten minute. Ten-second tease about what it is that topic is.

Dave Campanella: There’s a lot of call today for all natural shampoo and do we really know what that is? Can we determine the products we use, if they’re a liquid soap, or if they’re a synthetic detergent, and is there a difference between the two? Is one safer than the other? Is one better than the other? These are things that were kind of forgotten about, and there’s actually a reincarnation going on right now about soap. Nothing wrong with soap, but when one finally looks at the history and why these things called synthetic detergents came about, I think when you hear it, it’ll make you go, “Hmm. Ah.” It’s kind of an aha moment.

Joe Zuccarello: Yeah. And how to spot the differences, right?

Dave Campanella: How to spot the differences.

Joe Zuccarello: You’re going to make a much more educated decision as a consumer, as a customer of products, after listening to Dave.

Dave Campanella: Very good.

Joe Zuccarello: So Dave, what’s your last word for today? Do you have the last little bit of wisdom for the audience?

Dave Campanella: Sure. My goal in seminars and being in a venue like today and having this opportunity is the science and the chemistry behind soap and conditioner and grooming liquids doesn’t have to be complicated. We try our best to simplify it. The thing I want to leave people with is, trust your grooming liquids. Two points. If you have a shampoo that is oversudsing and clogging up the drain and you’re having a hard time with it, it’s talking to you. What it’s telling you is you’re using too much shampoo. It sounds silly, but it’s true. Forget about the recommended dilutions. Experiment, dial back. That’ll solve the problem.

And the same goes true with conditioners. I hear so many people say, “I’m using a conditioner and it just feels funny in my fingers and it’s like I can’t rinse it out.” Just like detergents, conditioners will tell you. If that’s happening, you’re probably using too much. And the good news is after playing, and the next time you do it, if you cut it back, dilute it further, you’re going to find that it works just fine. But more importantly, you’re going to save a lot of money.

Joe Zuccarello: Well, what a responsible comment from somebody that works at a shampoo company. Use less, you’ll save more money. But I think that just speaks to your character and to the ethical way that you approach this industry.

Dave Campanella: Thanks.

Joe Zuccarello: So Dave, thank you so much. I am positive that our listener and our viewer audience …

Dave Campanella: Thank you.

Joe Zuccarello: … are true benefactors. I know this was a long one, but I hope everybody agrees that it was worth sticking around for.

Dave Campanella: Oh, it was a long one.

Joe Zuccarello: Dave, we will talk again soon, my friend. Thank you so much.

Dave Campanella: All righty.

Joe Zuccarello: Take care.

Dave Campanella: Thanks. See you guys.

About Joe

Joe Zuccarello is VP of the Paragon School of Pet Grooming, leaders in grooming education on campus and online. He possesses more than three decades of experience in the pet grooming, product development and pet business consulting disciplines.

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

Subscribe on Stitcher Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Subscribe on TuneIn Subscribe on Google Play Music Listen on Spotify

Questions for "Hey Joe!"

Do you have questions about grooming, products or pet industry practices that would make for a great "Hey Joe!" episode? Submit your questions here!

error: Content is protected !!