Hi Francesca! Some tips to help you:
- Curry and brush the top of the dock with a dandy brush daily. This will stimulate natural protective oils and exfoliate to release them. Several quick strokes with a stiff or medium dandy brush will do the trick.
- Clean is important. But, never use shampoo with salt. Sodium chloride is a standard ingredient that leaves skin defenseless. It strips natural, protective oils as well as parches the skin.
- Don't use detanglers. They are silicone-based and/or oily. So, they can clog pores with toxins and attract drying agents such as sun and dirt. The good All-In-One Shampoo is conditioning. If you comb the tail when wet, it will dry full and easy to manage. With the proper shampoo and combing, hair will want to separate instead of make ringlets. So, no conditioner nor detangler is needed. To comb tails when wet, I always twist the length, hold the bottom and use a fat comb to organize hair from the bottom to my grip. Work your grip up the tail, always combing from the bottom up to the grip.
- Avoid oily or greasy products. They clog pores and attract sun and dirt, which parch skin. Regardless of marketing claims, this dynamic inhibits healing. If the objective is shine, a healthy All-In-One Shampoo and daily grooming can achieve a much richer luster, with deep layers that glimmer. Nothing beats a natural, healthy glow.
- Choose a water-based, non-toxic fly spray if possible. Or, use oil-based ones sparingly as they can burn, especially in the sun. Don't spray the top of the dock. The safest places to use them are in shaded areas under the chest and belly.
- Pay attention to the sun. If you need to put a little sunscreen on the dock, I'd use one that is PABA and paraben-free. Waterproof ones are greasy and clog pores. Be sure the tail is always squeaky clean for braiders.