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70 Miniature Horse World JUNE/JULY 2013 Tip: Buy good quality products for this procedure, the cheaper versions have their time and place, but not when you are trying to nourish the tail. Tip: Until you are satisfied the hair is completely clean and stain free, don’t use the purple or highlighting shampoos. It is not recommended to use shampoo or rinses with optical brighteners, until you have lifted all the stains out. White Tails. a handy way to remove stains Those dingy, yellow stained tails are tough to clean, Even your favorite purple shampoo doesn’t seem to faze them. Well, here’s the recipe for removing those stains from a white tail and some simple ways to keep them brilliantly white. You will need a cup of baking soda, white vinegar, shampoo and conditioner, a hot oil treatment, and access to several buckets of warm water standing by. The process will be much easier and more effective if you use “hand” hot water as you need to dissolve the baking soda and warm water does a better job of cleaning and rinsing than cold water does. This works great for any color tail, but works especially well on tough stains in white tails. Whether the tail is dirty and stained from urine, or just plain dirty, try this process first before reaching for the purple shampoo. ■ Dissolve the baking soda in about a liter of hot water, and then mix it into another bucket, filled with about 5 liters of warm water. ■ Soak the tail in this bucket for a few minutes, working it through the hair and swishing the tail well in the mixture...this will cause the hair cuticle to swell and assist in lifting out the buildup. ■ Rinse the tail with clean warm water. The hair will feel very dry and brittle because of the alkaline in the baking soda. ■ Follow that with a rinse of half white vinegar and half water. This will neutralize the hair again, and it will feel smoother. You can mix this up in a 2 liter plastic jug, to make it easier when pouring it through the tail. ■ Then use a quality shampoo as directed. ■ Rinse well with warm water, then use a conditioner. Leave the conditioner on the tail for up to 10 minutes for a deep penetration. ■ Finish with the hot oil conditioner. Work the oil well into the tail and leave on as directed by the packaging. Then do a final rinse with cool water. ■ Air dry the tail, and place in a tail bag or tube tail wrap. ■ For added silkiness, use a good quality detangler for the skirt of the tail, to keep it manageable and tangle free. ■ Do this procedure at least a few days before your event, and typically just one treatment removes all but the most stubborn stains. The key is to remove the stain before using the highlighting shampoos. ■ Remember, some palominos or cremellos have a cream or slightly apricot tint to their tails, this procedure will not whiten those colors. And it won’t lighten the natural grey or darker hairs in some flaxen tails; it will only lift the stains. Reprinted with permission from Highland Park Show Horses


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