Showsheen Research White Paper

ShowSheen® Original Hair Polish & Detangler Proven to Reduce Hair Breakage by 40%

In laboratory research conducted in April 2018, three tests were performed by an independent third-party research team to conclusively determine the beneficial effects of ShowSheen Original Hair Polish and Detangler on horse hair. Hair treated with the grooming aid showed 40% less breakage when repeatedly combed compared to untreated hair. Additionally, ShowSheen® proved to make detangling easier, smooth hair, and help hair resist damage due to brushing.


Test 1: Dry Repeated Grooming

In this repeated grooming experiment, tresses of horse hair are mechanically groomed several times. The number of broken fibers occuring during and after the repeated grooming are recorded. Tresses treated with and without ShowSheen® Original Hair Polish & Detangler were tested.

Test 2: Scanning Electron Microscopy

The surface condition of hair fibers treated with and without ShowSheen® Original Hair Polish & Detangler was evaluated by using scanning electron microposy (SEM). Magnified topographical images of the control and treated hair fibers were taken and analyzed.

Test 3: Measurement of Dry Combing Forces

This instrumental combing experiment measured frictional forces while horse hair tresses treated with and without ShowSheen® Original Hair Polish & Detangler were pulled through a comb repeatedly.


Why test the effectiveness of using ShowSheen®? Grooming is essential to the health and well-being of horses.

“Regular grooming promotes good health. This hands-on process goes far beyond just making the horse ‘look pretty.’ Genuine grooming combines energetic scrubbing, all-over polishing, conscientious inspection, and consistent protection in a series of procedures.”
Strickland, Charlene. “Grooming for Health”.
The Horse 11 November 2013. Web. 6 July 2018.

“The best way to maintain a tail’s good looks and function is to keep it clean and in top condition. Unfortunately, though tail skin feels tough and those hairs look impenetrable, the equine tail isn’t immune to injury and disease. But conscientious care can make the difference between lush and scraggly. Healthy tail hairs are elastic and shiny, thanks to the lubricating sebum excreted from oil glands at the base of the hair follicles.”
King, Sarah. “What Your Horse’s Tail is Telling You”.
Equus 22 June 2006. Web. 6 July 2018.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of ShowSheen® when Applied to Horse Hair

Test 1: Dry Repeated Grooming

This experiment utilizes an automated grooming device that consists of a hollow rotating drum-like assembly, on which four outer crossbars hold mounted combs or brushes. One complete drum revolution combs a tress four times. Tresses treated with and without ShowSheen® were groomed for a total of 2,000 cycles, collected, and assessed.

Conclusion: Tresses treated with ShowSheen® showed a 40% decrease in breakage when compared to the Control.

What this means for you and your horse: ShowSheen® protects hair from damage due to brushing, for significantly reduced breakage and fuller, longer manes and tails.

Test 2: Scanning Electron Microscopy

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was used to evaluate the effects of treatment on horse hair fiber integrity and surface condition. Tresses were treated with and without ShowSheen®, then fibers were randomly selected and viewed under SEM. The SEM pictures were recorded at 10KV with a working distance of ~10mm at both 500x and 5000x magnification. Three locations per fiber were imaged.

Conclusion: Control fibers showed sharp edges of cuticles and cracks, while fibers treated with ShowSheen® show significant coverage by the treatment, smoothing chipped cuticles and cracks.

What this means for you and your horse: ShowSheen® smooths hair to improve the appearance of manes and tails, and aid in detangling.

Test 3: Measurement of Dry Combing Forces

To evaluate the smoothness properties in the dry state of tresses treated with and without ShowSheen®, instrumental combing is used to measure frictional forces. Six combing strokes are performed per tress, while eight replicate hair tresses are used per sample to ensure statistical relevance.

Conclusion: A decrease in dry combing force of approximately 38% was measured in tresses treated with ShowSheen® when compared to the Control treatment.

What this means for you and your horse: ShowSheen® reduces friction during brushing to make detangling much easier


  • A professional solution that’s perfect for everyday grooming
  • Helps cut grooming time in half
  • Contains provitamins to nourish coats and silk proteins to strengthen manes and tails and promote stronger, longer hair
  • Repels dirt and dust to help horses stay cleaner longer


Here at Equine Management Training Center, we use ShowSheen® as part of our daily grooming routine. With our students we believe in teaching the importance of proper grooming to ensure our horses are always turned out to impress. ShowSheen® is our only go-to smoothing, detangling, and conditioning product.
Sam Henley, Equine Management Training Center Program Administrator

I can’t live without ShowSheen®! It keeps my horses’ tails shiny, clean, tidy, and most importantly, protects the tail from breakage and damage.
Max Corcoran, Professional Equine Groom

Showsheen is probably our number 1 grooming product. We spend a lot of time competing and Showsheen is perfect for all our competition turnout needs – from mane, tail and coat shine to quarter markings it really is a fantastic product!
Emma and Kevin McNab
International event riders

We use ShowSheen® every day for everything from tail detangler to spot removing. We have a lot of sales horses in the barn, so our horses are always well turned out. ShowSheen® is an everyday product that we use on every horse in the barn.
Sinead Halpin, 5-star event competitor
Trainer and Clinician

To maintain a thick tail, I never brush them as this avoids breaking any hair. I simply wash the tail, give it a thorough spray with Absorbine ShowSheen Hair Polish & Detangler and then run my fingers through it. This tried and trusted practice and the silk proteins and pro-vitamins in the ShowSheen ensure that the hair is kept tangle free and conditioned.
Jayne Ross, Show Horse producer,
7-time Royal International Horse Show Supreme Horse and 7-time HOYSs Horse of the Year Supreme Champion

We hope this helps answer any questions you might have about using ShowSheen and improving the health and quality of your horse’s hair.