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If you’re a lover of horses, you may admire their natural beauty, which includes their hair. In fact, horse owners spend a great deal of time taking care of their horses’ hair, which requires specialized shampoo.

Horse shampoo and conditioners have become so popular that they’re even used on human hair.

Mane ‘n Tail is the brand of horse shampoo that’s broken through equestrian lines and has purportedly given people softer, shinier, and thicker hair.

Before you buy your own horse shampoo, consider the possible side effects and whether your hair would benefit from equestrian hair care.

When it comes to picking out the right shampoo for your hair, it all comes down to the product’s active ingredients. All shampoos contain between 80 and 90 percent water, with active ingredients making up the rest.

Mane ‘n Tail contains the following ingredients:

  • keratin, a protein that’s found naturally in the hair shaft, but may break down over time from age, color treatments, or heated styling tools
  • avocado and sunflower oils, which smooth the hair and retain moisture in the cuticle
  • olive oil, which moisturizes and is found in some formulas
  • panthenol, a derivative of vitamin B-5 that helps to lubricate the hair shaft
  • pyrithione zinc, an anti-dandruff ingredient found in some Mane ‘n Tail products
  • benzalkonium chloride, an antimicrobial ingredient found in some formulas and used to get rid of yeast that contributes to severe seborrheic dermatitis and other organisms

The only type of horse shampoo that’s used by humans is Mane ‘n Tail. Some people use this brand of shampoo for the benefits below.

Keep in mind that the results aren’t guaranteed, and that these are associated only with Mane ‘n Tail and not any other brand of horse shampoo.

Does it promote hair growth?

If your hair cuticle is deficient in amino acids, then you could very well see more hair growth from the keratin found in Mane ‘n Tail.

Does it repair split ends?

One reason Mane ‘n Tail works well for horses is because it helps repair split ends while also preventing hair damage. While people might see these benefits to a certain level, the best way to prevent split ends is to get your hair trimmed about every six to eight weeks.

Does it make hair shinier?

Plant-based oils used in certain formulas, such as olive oil, could very well make your hair a bit shinier. Cleansing your hair with lathering shampoos of this kind can also lead to cleaner, shinier hair.

Does it make hair thicker?

Realistically, there’s no shampoo that can make your hair thicker. However, some shampoos, such as the Mane ‘n Tail line, might give the appearance of thicker hair due to its cleansing and smoothing effects.

Does it detangle hair?

Yes, but only if you use the leave-in detangler spray from Mane ‘n Tail. This is applied after shampooing.

Does it make your color brighter?

The traditional Mane ‘n Tail formula isn’t suitable for color-treated hair. However, newer formulas are designed for color protection, such as the brand’s Color Protect formula.

The product promises “up to eight weeks color vibrancy,” meaning that the shampoo and conditioner will help protect your hair color, but not necessarily add to it.

Does it get rid of oily hair?

Mane ‘n Tail is said to help oily hair. If you have seborrheic dermatitis, you may use pyrithione zinc to help get rid of this oily form of eczema.

Due to its ability to get rid of oil, horse shampoo might strip too much of your natural oils if your hair is on the drier side.

Horse shampoo may help make hair shinier and more manageable in some cases, but it also carries the risk of side effects. Remember that while Mane ‘n Tail is used by humans, it’s intended for horses.

Some of the risks include:

  • dryness from too much keratin usage
  • excess frizz, especially if you have wavy or curly hair
  • hair damage from too much keratin proteins
  • hives, itchiness, and rash, especially if you use a benzalkonium chloride-containing formula
  • hair color loss

If you have color-treated hair, you shouldn’t use the regular Mane ‘n Tail formula, as this will strip your hair of its color.

You may be able to minimize your risk of side effects by using horse shampoo on an occasional basis.

You can use horse shampoo much in the same way as a regular shampoo. Some conditioners in the Mane ‘n Tail product line come in a spray bottle formula, which you would use as a leave-in conditioner after getting out of the shower.

To use horse shampoo and conditioner:

  1. Thoroughly wet your hair. Apply a small amount (about 2 tsp.) of Mane ‘n Tail shampoo to your hair, working up a lather. Rinse out completely.
  2. If using the regular Mane ‘n Tail conditioner, apply about 2 tsp. to your hair, working from the ends up to your roots. Comb through your hair for a more even coating if desired. Leave in for a minute and then rinse out. (Skip step 2 if you’re using a leave-in conditioner.)
  3. Spray on your Mane ‘n Tail leave-in conditioner or detangler throughout your hair. Use a wide-toothed comb through your hair to ensure an even application.

You can buy Mane ‘n Tail from some drugstores, big-box stores, and beauty supply outlets. It’s also available in equestrian supply stores. Or, you can check out these Mane ‘n Tail products available on Amazon.

Horse shampoo is intentionally designed for horses. However, Mane ‘n Tail, a popular brand of horse shampoo, is also used by humans.

When used occasionally, Mane ‘n Tail may help provide smoother, shinier locks that are more prone to growth, too. Overusing Mane ‘n Tail can lead to side effects.

Talk to a dermatologist about which types of hair care products might work best for your own hair type.