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The Lhasa Apso is a small dog breed that is distinctive for its incredibly beautiful long, flowing coat, which often grows right down to the ground! Due to this, their coats are relatively high-maintenance to care for, and if you are looking for a dog that requires only minimal grooming and has a coat that largely takes care of itself, you are better off sticking with a short haired breed!
Caring for the coat of the Lhasa requires a daily commitment and significant amounts of brushing and grooming, but if you are aware of this and are prepared to put the time in, you will find that the long hair of the Lhasa Apso proves to be incredibly versatile, and can be styled in many different ways!
If you own or are considering buying a Lhasa Apso, read on to learn more about some of your options in terms of coat styling and grooming.
One option available to you, of course, if you find that the coat proves to be too much work to properly maintain or a hassle to groom daily, is to have the majority of the coat clipped off and kept short. This does mean that the daily grooming routine for the dog will only take the bare minimum of time, but in order to maintain the coat appearance, you do of course have to keep going back to the groomers to get the dog re-clipped!
Leaving the Lhasa’s hair to grow to its full natural length and brushing and grooming it accordingly is of course the most traditional Lhasa Apso hairstyle, but is also the one that requires the most care and maintenance! In order to keep the fur healthy and growing, daily brushing and combing is required, and this can, of course, take up a significant amount of time. Added to which, the dog will almost certainly be prone to getting mucky around their feet and on the longer ends of the body hair, which means that washing, bathing and generally keeping the hair presentable will all be regular undertakings.
Long haired, naturally coated Lhasa Apsos may require half an hour or more of grooming per day, every day.
If you find that the long, natural coated appearance of the Lhasa Apso appeals to you, but simply poses too many challenges and takes up too much time to keep it in good condition, you might like to go for a compromise between natural hair and having it all clipped off, by trimming the hair.
Trimming the hair should keep the very longest ends of hair off the ground and out of the muck, as well as making the hair less likely to tangle from the ends. However, coats that are grown long but subtly trimmed do still need a significant amount of care on an ongoing basis, including daily brushing.
Obviously, the more hair that you trim off and the shorter the coat is kept, the less work will be involved in keeping it smooth and tangle-free!
The long, straight hair on the top of the Lhasa Apso’s head means that you can actually style this hair, and give your Lhasa a range of cool and funky hairstyles for different occasions! This can be achieved with either trimmed or natural hair, or even clipped styles if the hair on the head is left long.
You can pull the hair up into a bun or top knot, a ponytail or a plaited bun, if you have the time and skills to do so! You can also part the hair and make it into pigtails or bunches, or plaits to the side of the head. Hair bands, clips and ribbons can be kept subtle, or provided in a wide range of bright and funky styles, depending upon your tastes!
Hair wrapping is popular among people who show their Lhasa Apsos, as it allows the coat to be kept long and traditionally styled for showing, but minimises the maintenance of the coat that is required on a day-to-day basis.
First of all you need to start with clean or bathed skin and hair, and brush the coat out so that it is perfectly smooth. Then, use a spray-on leave in conditioner or smoothing spray, and ensure that the hair lies sleek and flat.
You will then need to split the entire coat into individual sections, loosely tie these with a hair band, and then wrap each of them in rice paper before rolling them up and tying them off.
This keeps the coat clean and out of the way, and means that the dog does not need daily brushing. Hair wraps should be taken out and replaced at least once a week, so while wrapping will save you time on a daily basis, once a week or so it will take you a fair while to do from start to finish!
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