Learning Centre

The Important Role of Conditioners for Dogs

Posted Monday, January 22, 2018, Author - Avril Cronk

A dog’s thick, soft, glossy coat is a reflection of their internal health. In addition to a diet rich in essential fatty acids, hair conditioner is essential. 

Conditioner moisturises hair and has the ability to change the appearance and texture of the hair, making it look shinier and feel softer to the touch. However it also plays a critical role in the keeping skin healthy and less prone to damage.

Understanding the Structure of Hair & Skin

To understand the importance of conditioner, it helps to know a little about hair and skin.

Hair is made up of 3 major layers:

  • Medulla: inner layer
  • Cortex: second layer – this is where moisture gets absorbed and retained
  • Cuticle: outer layer made up of overlapping flat cells like fish scales that protect the cortex

Skin is also made up of 3 major layers:

  • Epidermal: top protective barrier layer
  • Dermal: sponge layer that holds and retains the moisture value in the skin
  • Hypodermis: insulates and acts as a shock absorber. It also stores blood vessels and nerves which feed the developing hair strand. Its condition depends on the nutrients the hair receives during the growth phase.


What Happens When You Shampoo

When you shampoo, in addition to breaking down and removing sebum and grime on the shaft of the hair strand by opening and lifting the cuticle scales, you also wash away the skins natural protective layer known as the Acid Mantle Layer – a waxy barrier that sits on the top epidermal layer. It’s vital to preserve this layer as it naturally defends the body by resisting and repelling against bacteria, viruses, and other harmful elements that can aggravate or cause skin irritation. It can take up to 12 hours or more to replenish back its natural shielding barrier so the skin needs protection until then.


How Conditioners Protect Hair & Skin

Conditioner’s role is not only to reseal the cuticle scales, so that the inner cortex layer of hair is protected, but it also creates a skin barrier avoiding long term damage to precious coats and skin.

Conditioner not only makes your grooming job easier, but it also replenishes moisture and adds nourishment to the skin and coat. This in turn safeguards the animal against the environment and any damage that can be caused by harsh products, brushing, de-matting and heat. It reduces static electricity and drying time, prevents odours and repels dirt, making pet styles last much longer. It also prevents dog’s skin from drying out which can result in itching and skin irritation.