Just a preface: Coat Handler wins, hands-down (this is for the benefit of those who are too lazy to read through the entire post.
I've been using these three brands for the past year, and here are the different shampoos and conditioners that I tried out (click on the pictures for more info):
Funnily enough, every single shampoo and conditioner that I've ever used on Cadence.... has yielded pretty much the same results. It might be because Papillon coats are different from Cavalier coats, or because he has no ear fringe, or because he doesn't have red fur. Red hairs are more brittle and prone to mats and breakage than any other colour. So, for the sake of comparison, I'm going to review this based on results I got with Lyra.
Her coat mats HORRIBLY. Especially her ears, underarms, and sometimes chest. So conditioners are of utmost importance. By far, the worst conditioner on the list is the Isle of Dogs Heavy Management conditioner. It is also the most EXPENSIVE!! It stinks, too. The scent is overpowering--smells like roses, which I am really not a fan of. Every single time I used this conditioner, Lyra's fur would mat the very next day, and keep on doing so until her next bath. It is really no fun at all, trying to get out mats day after day.
All the shampoos were pretty much the same. None of them were especially adept at removing stains off fur (the only thing that does this well is hydrogen peroxide 3% mixed in with cornstarch). My favourite shampoos on this list are the IOD Lush Coating shampoo and the Coat Handler Clarifying Shampoo. I try not to use clarifying shampoos too often, since I bathe the dogs once a week, so on regular days, I use the IOD Lush Coating Shampoo, and right before shows, either the Coat Handler clarifying shampoo or the IOD White Coat.
Sadly, all of the conditioners here are awful except for the Coat Handler. It is an AMAZING conditioner that's reasonably priced! It can be diluted to be used in spray bottles (which I do when I brush Lyra's coat), and works well when you're trying to remove mats. For the few months that I was using it, Lyra barely had any mats at all, to my amazement. The Coat Handler shampoo and conditioner smell like baby powder, and it goes away after a day or two. I usually prefer a longer-lasting scent, but it's a good tradeoff, I guess.
The Chris Christensen shampoo and conditioner were both average. The shampoo was pretty good at cleaning dirt and mud, etc., but there was nothing special about them. I'll also review this Biogroom shampoo and conditioner since I'd used it on Cadence a couple of years back.
The shampoo is pretty strong, so I definitely don't recommend using it too often. The conditioner smells REALLY nice, and the smell is very long lasting... it's an okay conditioner, but nothing special. I've only used it on Cadence, though, so not sure how well it gets rid of and prevents mats.
Anyway, hope this review helped! I am definitely sticking to the Coat Handler conditioner from now on. As for shampoos, I think I'll just play around and find out which one smells best! I always use a clarifying shampoo before shows, though, so I think I'll always have a bottle of Coat Handler shampoo around.
Blog for the Dogs
Here's where I chronicle the dogs' daily lives, write reviews on dog products, and share tips on everything under the sun.