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How to help a short forelock grow


How can you help a short forelock grow? I have 3 horses, two of them have super short, thin forelocks that just won’t grow! The third horse has a really fluffy, thick mane that even pulling doesn’t help much. – Stacey L, Tennessee

Thanks for the question Stacey,
Forelocks come in all thicknesses and lengths. Genetics obviously play a large role in how your horse’s locks looks. Are there ways to improve that thin, wispy, basically non-existent forelock? Well maybe is my answer!! There are a few tips I can share with you but I make no promises that any of them will work in your individual situation!

Balanced Diet
A horse’s health always starts from the inside out. A great first step is looking at what you feed your horse, and asking if the quality of hay and grass is high. Are you in an area where trace minerals are deficient? Zinc, manganese,cobalt and copper are all important minerals required for a healthy coat, mane and tail. It is so important to research what your horse might be missing, or getting too much of in his diet and working with your horse care professional to help support an optimal balance through a fortified grain, ration balancer, or multi-vitamin/mineral supplement. Then specific supplements can be added to support joint, hoof, digestion, and skin & coat or an all-in-one product can be given.

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Although this sounds counter productive, for some forelocks, removing dead ends can help to thicken up the hair. Using a razor is the best method to periodically remove the dead ends without thinning the forelock itself. When trimming the bridle path you also might consider not trimming so close the ears. Letting the hair grow out and then combing it forward into the forelock, this can help to create a thicker forelock. Obviously it will take time for this section of hair to grow, so time and patience is key.

Hair growth products
There are many hair growth products on the market. I personally have three that I use on a regular basis to help improve coats, manes and tails.

  • MTG by Shapelys
    Made of all natural ingredients, this product can be used to improve manes and tails in addition to helping with scratches, rain rot, girth rubs, etc. It’s one downside would be the smell although it’s effectiveness outweighs the aroma! You can rub MTG into the roots of the forelock every other day. It is greasy, and you should only finger groom the forelock to remove any tangles. Remember to shake the bottle well before use and use latex gloves if you don’t want to have the ‘bacon’ odor on your hands!
    Shapley's Original M-T-G Plus

    (40 reviews)
  • Super Gro
    Super gro is a product that you can find in the hair care aisle in many grocery stores. Used daily this can help to improve hair growth in areas that need it: blanket rubs, wounds (once healed) and tail rubs.
  • EQyss Equine Rebuilder
    This is a non-toxic, alcohol free product. Like MTG just rub this into the forelock, really focusing on the roots. Do this at least every other day and you should see some results in a few weeks.

Remember that with any form of hair growth product you are not going to see results overnight. So pick one that you like the sound of and then give it at least 3 months before deciding if it’s working for you and your horse.

Good luck with growing that forelock, I hope this helps a bit.

— Emma

Emma Ford

Emma Ford is one of the most respected grooms in US Eventing. Born and raised in the UK, Emma came to the US in 1998 to groom for top eventer Adrienne Iorio. After seven years with Adrienne, Emma moved to True Prospect Farm to work with five-time Olympian and 13-time USEA Leading Rider of the Year, Phillip Dutton. During her tenure with Phillip, Emma cared for many famous equine athletes including Connaught, TruLuck, Woodburn, and Mystery Whisper. She’s groomed at Burghley, Blenheim and Boekelo, cared for horses at the 2006 and 2010 World Championships, 2007 Pan Am Games, and 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and groomed at Rolex Kentucky and Fair Hill International every year since 2001. And now she’s here to help you! Submit your grooming questions and Emma just may be able to teach you a few of her tricks!

Posted in Ask The Groom

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4 comments on “How to help a short forelock grow
  1. Royalston rider says:

    High doses of biotin, which help hoof growth, also helps with hair growth. Try adding a hoof supplement like Smart Hoof to your horses’ regimen. Hair is dead, only the root is alive, so anything you put on the forelock won’t affect it’s growth, but the hair may look better. Trimming dead hair will not increase it’s growth rate, either, but a blunt cut helps make a woman’s hair look thicker, so it might help with your horses appearance.

  2. Pholmes says:

    I like the comb over idea. Not trimming so close the the ears when doing the bridle path works for my horse.

    • Isabella says:

      I also agree with both ideas but the first product idea not so much! The last one works for me. A friend of mine had a bad experience with the first product!

  3. Natalie says:

    I once asked my cousin (who is a hairdresser by trade) about the whole “trimming makes hair grow faster” idea, I was riding a Friesian mare at the time and wanted to maximize her mane, tail and forelock for an upcoming Keuring. She had a very good answer! Trimming the hair does not necessarily make it grow faster, but it can result in less breakage by bluntly removing the end where the shaft of the hair is damaged. Damage to the hairs can result in greater amounts of breakage and can compromise the strength of the hair higher up the shaft. So I think the trimming idea is a good idea, though I really hate a blunt-cut forelock. Reminds me of a bowl-cut! PS. The advice worked, I carefully trimmed off the sun-bleached red ends of her hair and I was able to get an extra few inches!

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