Bichon Frise dogs have thick white, curly hair that demands attention from the owner and can be styled in a number of ways according to your needs, your pet's age and the occasion. Each charming style depends on the quality of the dog's hair and the level of commitment the owner can provide. Before you decide how to style your Bichon's hair, consider your options.
A shave-down refers to the Bichon's hair being clipped extremely short, almost---if not all the way---to the skin. This type of cut is a good choice for an owner who cannot provide the necessary maintenance to prevent mats, knots and tangles. Shave-downs are also administered when a Bichon is severely matted. The Bichon's hair is extremely curly and fine and can tangle and mat easily unless it is brushed on a daily basis. When the mats become large and tight against the skin, it is impossible to brush them out without causing an extreme amount of pain, so shaving the dog is the only way to remove them. Shave-downs are not typically recommended for a Bichon, as the shaved dog has no protection from the sun. After a shave-down, Bichon Frises should wear sunblock before heading outdoors.
The puppy clip leaves the Bichon's hair relatively short, but not as short as a shave-down. This attractive inch-long cut leaves the hair the same length throughout the body. Even with the hair short, owners still need to brush their Bichons regularly, recommends the All About Bichon Frises website. The puppy cut is a good option for those who do not want the fuss of a show clip, but that don't want their Bichons totally shaved down. The hair on the ears is left short, and the face and head are cut to about medium length, leaving a bit of beard and a short top knot. Bichons with the puppy clip should go to the groomers about every two months to maintain the style's length and form.
The show clip is the formal hairstyle Bichons sport in the show ring. The hair is left longer than the puppy cut and is trimmed entirely by scissors. The fur on the head is left long and is puffed out into a halo-like semicircle. The ears and face are meticulously trimmed to match the circular nature of the head. Although they are adorable, show clips are difficult to maintain. The Bichon owner needs to brush the hair at least once a day, shampoo frequently and trim the hair about every four weeks.