The order will be:
Comb, brush, comb, and spritzing as you go.
You do not want to over-do things with the leave-in conditioner (if you do, this can cause the coat to be overloaded and 'sticky'; rather, just do a light misting.
You'll work in sections, holding the bottle 5 to 6 inches away, with a quick spritz near the roots, and then brushing down to the tips.
If your Shih Tzu has a short coat, spritz the leave-in onto the brush as you go. Then, once you are done, spray some onto your hands and scrunch the hair tips.
If you find a mat:
A mat, also referred to as a tangle, is a knot of hair. This is not uncommon with the Shih Tzu due to the coat being hair (not fur) and one that grows rather quickly. The biggest reason for mats developing is a lack of routine brushing.
You will want to get into a good grooming schedule to catch tangles before they develop.
To remove a tangle, you can wet your hands with either your chosen leave-in conditioner or your Shih Tzu's bath condition and try to work the knot out by hand.
If it is not possible to work it out, the next option is to use a de-matting comb. This is a tool that has with serrated blades that remove a knot without damaging the rest of the coat. It is recommended to use as small of a de-matting comb as possible.
The grooming tools that work best for Shih Tzu are:
A pin brush: For moderate to long length coats, a 16 mm or 20 mm is often best. You'll want this to be sized small enough that it is very easy to reach all areas of the body.
For shaved or short coats, a bristle brush is best.
A two-level comb:
The side with the wide teeth are for the main body, the side with the narrow teeth are for smaller areas such as around the paws and to use as a face comb.
De-matting tool: To safely remove a mat that cannot be worked out by hand.
Below are our recommended brushes (pin for moderate to long, bristle for shaved or short), two-level comb, and de-matting comb. If you do not see the images, try a refresh. On mobile, you may need to turn your screen horizontal to see all 4 images.