Silicone in Pet Care Products

Silicone in Pet Care Products

Silicone is an ingredient found in many pet care products that is wildly effective and useful but is often misunderstood. Some brands advertise that they contain "no silicone" as if that were a bonus. Rumor has it that silicone builds up on hair and damages it by causing yellowing andbreakage. This may have been true of early silicone-based products, but times have changed. 

Grooming educator Barbara Bird has written extensively on the subject and often talks about the usefulness of silicone on the award-winning GroomPod podcast she hosts with Suzy Scott.

Unlike the silicones of yesteryear, modern products don't build up in the hair. They work bysmoothing the cuticle, the outer layer of hair. Silicones make detangling and deshedding pets easier (thanks to that smooth cuticle!) and leave the coat shiny and more manageable. It also dramatically reduces drying time because as the cuticle of each strand is smoothed, water is discouraged from being absorbed into the shaft. Instead, it remains on the surface where it can be more easily absorbed by towels and mechanically removed with the heat and airflow from yourdryer. Beyond that, silicones are hydrophobic, meaning they repel water, and that is another component of their ability to reduce drying time. 

One of my favorite silicone products is Best Shot The MAXX. We use it as a final rinse in our bathing system with whatever conditioning product we use on each pet, but it can also be utilized as a finishing spray. This product is highly concentrated, and a little bit goes a long way, making it very economical. It makes deshedding and tangle removal a breeze and dramatically reduces drying time. It also repels dirt and urine build up in the coat after use, so pets on a regular schedule return for grooming in better shape when we use it. 

On smooth-coated breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Dobermans, and such, silicone products help groomers by reducing drying time, helping with removing shedding hair, and leaving behind a lovely sheen. Removing thick undercoat is a far easier task than ever on double-coated Nordic breeds such as Pomeranians, Keeshond, and Samoyeds. Silicone can save the day on pets prone to matting (think Poodle mixes). And your aching arms. 

Don't be afraid to buy and try products that contain modern silicone. They are enormously useful for savvy groomers and will save you time and effort while producing excellent results. 


Daryl Conner, MPS Meritus, CMCG has been devoted to making dogs and cats more comfortable and beautiful for 40 years.  You can find her happily working at FairWinds Grooming Studio with her daughter or typing away at her latest grooming-related article. Daryl was awarded both a Cardinal Crystal Award and Barkleigh Honors Award for journalism.  She shares her meadow-hugged antique Maine farmhouse with her practically perfect husband and a lot of animals.