Hi Michelle..when I start my grooming lessons, I'll share them with you! My understanding is that the "proper" afghan has a clean saddle, and if you want it to look natural, you don't shave it, you use this volcanic rock (which smells yucky like sulfer) to basically rub the hair in that area off. The other tip I was told is to never brush them out when their hair is dry--you should spray diluted conditioner in the area where you're preparing to brush.
Terra LOVES to be brushed out, weird dog
I need to learn how to do it properly though, because she stays matted no matter what I do it seems. Probably has plenty to do with her being outside so much.