Homemade Natural Hair Detangler


I love my messy hair!

This is the face of a wild child. This is my daughter, and all her curly hair.  I don’t have curly hair, so I’ve had to learn and relearn how to manage this head.  Brushing her hair would always end in tears.  She’s an out doorsy, rough housing, climbing trees full of life wild child who won’t hold still long.   Particularly if it hurts. I’ve tried a couple things to tame these curls over the years.  Here are some of my favorite go to recipes to help ease the tears. The first recipe is slightly tedious, but I like the way it leaves her hair feeling.  I also am glad to know it’s natural.



*  1 cup of water

*  1/4 cup marshmallow root

*  1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

*  1 tablespoon of oil (oils like coconut, olive, or jojoba)

*  5-10 drops of lavender essential oil (Email me to ask about my trusted essential oil brand)

Simmer the water and the marshmallow root for about 20 minutes.  Allow it to cool, then strain the liquid through a cheesecloth, and add in the rest of the ingredients. Then put it in a spray bottle and tame that wild hair.



This is what I ended up with.  Who knew my crazy girl had such beautiful hair in there.  Now I know what you’re thinking.  I don’t have time for that.



I hear you, I don’t always have time for that either.  So when I don’t, here’s what I use instead.
In an 8 ounce spray bottle I put in the following:

*  A healthy squish of conditioner, like Avalon Organics Conditioner.

*  water


It pretty much ends up 1 part conditioner (or less), 10 parts water.  Shake it up, and spray generously.


Earth Mama Angel Baby

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Tags: , , , , ,

53 Responses to “Homemade Natural Hair Detangler”

  1. My hair was always braided or in a bun when I was little. Always. That way it didn’t get tangled or in my way when running around (and my elastics had little bobbles on them and I whipped people with them when my hair was braided). Even now, I rarely sleep with my hair down, it gets too knotted underneath. I comb it when it’s wet and brushes only touch my curls a couple times a year. I know your baby’s pain! I may have to try your remedy one day ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Kim says:

      I braid her hair at night, and when she’ll let me it’s braided in the day too. It seems like such a shame to not let such pretty hair be down now and then. I brush her hair probably too often, it’s how you take care of straight hair. ๐Ÿ˜‰ She’ll have to figure out how to get the most out of her curls I think when she’s older.

    • Jahenna Norris says:

      Shannon, I hear ya, to this day I have very long hair, down to my waist and I’m 54. I do color it with bold greens, reds, purples, you get the picture but I loose braid it at night but pull the hair up so the loose band is on the top of my head. Easier to sleep. This way I’m tangle free and it gives my hair lots of body from the hair being pulled up at night.

  2. Unknown says:

    I have two young daughters with long hair, and we swear by the “Tangle Teaser” hairbrush. We got them at Sally Beauty Supply for about $9-$10 each. They looked like they are so cheap, but the concept is really good. The bristles are short and thin, bendable plastic. So with each swipe through the hair, the bristles are pulling through only one layer of hair (not all at once) and when you hit a tangle, the bristles only pull so much and then bend before the pulling is too painful. So you just swipe through a couple more times to get the inner layers, and done. We used to only have one of these, but the girls would go running through the house (yelling the whole time, of course) to find it whenever it was brushing time, and would take it with them on sleepovers and forget it, so we bought two more. I do the diluted conditioner spray too, but I’m interested in the marshmallow root. I’d like to try that. I’ve also used food-grade glycerin diluted with the conditioner.

    • Kim says:

      So far I’ve been disappointed with lots of brushes. They either hurt, or they don’t get all the tangles out and she has a nest under her hair. Maybe it’s just the type of hair she has, but we have to keep up on it so it doesn’t get too bad. ๐Ÿ™

      • Kay Fin says:

        I have an adult daughter with corkscrew tight {very long] curls. (like people spend $100s of dollars getting spiral perms) and her little daughter – my sweet little 3 year old granddaughter has the same tight beautiful curls.
        I always used the part conditioner/part water spray when coming my daughters hair when she she was young … sectioning off her hair and combing one section at a time – & NEVER comb or brush curly hair when dry … the small amount of conditioner in the spray would help tame the curls throughout the day too (some days a little more leave-in conditioner/mousse was needed ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
        We recently discovered a similar brush to what “unknown” above describes … my little granddaughter calls it her ‘magic brush’ – simply amazing!!
        It is called a detangling hairbrush by De Mercier (I think? – but a google search will probably find it) – fantastic!!
        I will be trying your recipe for the spray!!! Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Dena Swinson says:

    My curly hair loves the products by Beautiful Curls. Natural and proceeds go to a great cause. They have a great leave in conditioner that works as a detangler, too. Love to make my own stuff, though, so I’ll have to try your recipe! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Dena Swinson says:

    Oh, andyoy have to try the dual bristle brushes. They are WONDERFUL for curly hair. I get mine at Ulta. They are a tad on the expensive side but leave my coarse curly hair feeling silky smooth. No more tears from my curly headed daughter either.

    • Kim says:

      Hi Dena! Thanks for stopping over. I will look for these brushes and see if they make a difference. It would be nice to have a “dry” alternative! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. bodhismum says:

    HAHAAAAR Ain’t nobody got time for that!
    I love it.

  6. Renee Kohley says:

    I went no poo with my super curly haired daughter and her hair is so much easier to brush ๐Ÿ˜‰ i like this idea though so i still am going to try it!

  7. I have super curly hair. Ten years ago, the book ‘Curly Girl’ by Lorraine Massey changed my life. I am excited to try your hair detangler recipe for days I don’t want to mess with my hair, but throwing away my shampoo and brush were the best things I ever did. I encourage you to check it out!!

    • Kim says:

      I will check out the book. My hair is super straight, so it’s definitely a learning curve with her hair. Thanks for the suggestion. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. You wouldn’t have to use all that stuff on her hair if you would stop brushing it. Brushing curly hair causes frizzies, hence the need for product. I only finger brush; never brush brush.

    • Kim says:

      Thanks for your comment. My daughter is a swimmer, and I don’t know if that makes her curls even more difficult to manage or what. I’m going to check out the book suggestion that Dawn said..sounds like something similar to what you’re saying.

  9. LinaBlosh says:

    Is it ok to not use marshmallow root or does it make a significant difference. I ask because I have super fine hair and I don’t want anything that will way it down. Thanks!

    • Kim says:

      It might work ok because of the oil, but I think it would work best with the marshmallow root. I have super fine hair, but I haven’t needed to use it. My daughter’s thick curly hair is the issue, not mine. =/

  10. Thanks for the recipe. I just made it using regular mallow roots from my yard. (It’s a prolific weed here in California’s central valley.) It worked great on my daughter’s 3-days-worth of sleep nest/swim dreds that I was dreading detangling!

  11. Doc says:

    Hi there,
    I just HAD to let you know that this recipe totally worked for my extra coily hair today. I was convinced that this wouldn’t work for my hair type but, alas, I was wrong (yippee). Thank you so much for this posting; you pretty much changed my life today (..i know, sort of dramatic but absolutely sincere).

    oh– and not sure if you already knew this or tried this– but I read a long time ago that if one pre-wets hair with regular water prior to swimming then the hair will absorb a lot less chemical/salt water while swimming.

    thanks again!

    • Kim says:

      I’m so glad to hear it worked for you! I did not know about wetting hair before hand, that’s really good to know. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. maja knezic says:

    curly hair is more beautiful when not brushed. I only brush my hair with tones of conditioner and only when wet.

  13. AnnieEG says:

    Thanks for posting this. I just made the ‘mallow detangler to try on my daughter. I had a couple questions about process, though… After boiling the marsh mallow with the water for 20 minutes, the water was seriously reduced (after straining through muslin, the yield was only a few tablespoons). How much do you usually end up with? I added some marsh mallow tea I’d made earlier this week to bring up the volume. Also, do you ever have a problem with coconut oil resolidifying in the final product?

    • Kim says:

      Hi Annie,
      If it reduced too much, maybe think simmer. Turn the heat down, and try it again. I end up with enough to fill up our sprayer, maybe 1/2 – 3/4 cup. If turning the heat down doesn’t work, try cutting the boil time in half.

  14. jdub says:

    So what is the shelf life of the detangler??

    • Kim says:

      One batch usually lasts about a week in my house…specially right now since she’s in the pool almost every day. It’s never lasted long enough to expire, so I can’t answer that with a lot of confidence.

  15. m. says:

    hey kim,

    thanks for the article, looking forward to trying this. do you buy dried marshmallow root or powdered marshmallow root? or does it matter? thanks!

  16. It doesn’t say in the instructions whether this is a pour on and rinse process or leave in. I see you’ve mentioned using a sprayer for the alternative. Can you amend your instructions to include how to use it once it’s made?
    Thanks! I’m looking forward to trying this since I already use marshmallow root for sore throat and upset stomach tea.

  17. I made this for my almost 2 year old daughter and her curly hair is SPECTACULAR! I used fleaked marshmallow root and almond oil.
    I found it worked best after staying 24 hours in my glass spary-bottle. Leave-in solution. Sparying on her wet hait and combing after is the greatest!
    Thank you so much!

  18. Is it wet hair leave-in or dry hair detangler?

  19. Aaron Cody says:

    Exactly it will also help everyone those who want straight hair style.

  20. Angela says:

    I have very curly hair and swear by Kinky Curly products, especially the “Knot Today” leave-in conditioner. http://kinky-curly.com/ Their products are all natural, cruelty-free and work very well – but they are a little expensive. They even have products specifically designed for kids!

  21. […] my little girl who’s long locks are in need of a little help. Nearly Natural Mama has a greatย hair detangler recipeย that you canย find […]

  22. Crystal says:

    Can you please explain why marshmallow root is best for this? Also, I have always learned that boiling an herb will kill off the constituents and they should only ever be simmered. What do you think?

    • Kim says:

      Simmer might be a better word for it. Too high of a boil and you’ll boil it down too far. I may adjust the directions so that’s more clear. Marshmallow root leaves hair smooth without feeling oily. It really is the most important ingredient in this recipe.

  23. […] my hair air dry to keep my hair healthy and strong. If you struggle with tangles you can use this DIY hair detangler. Before you use ANY HEAT make sure you treat your hair with a protectant. Argon oil works […]

  24. Hi there,
    We recently featured your article on a blog post titled โ€™top 11 homemade hair spraysโ€™ and shared it with over 2000 facebook fans of ours.
    You can find it here: http://www.naturalandhealthyliving.com/top-11-diy-homemade-hair-spray-recipes/
    Please share if it’s ok with you! I’ve also sent you an email about this via the contact page!

    • Marla says:

      Just found your post here. Can’t wait to try it! I’ve been looking for a natural detangler.

      I clicked the link to the marshmallow root you have in the recipe, but the page is no longer there according to Amazon. Can you repost the link so we know what kind of root you’re recommending?



  25. Tahnee says:

    I have very curly hair, when young my mother kept it braided. I usually wear Bun, or braid to help fight against the terrible tangles. But i will have to try this!! Judy a side note, curly hair should never be brushed unless in the bath or shower soaked in conditioner. Finger detangling when dry is better. Combing the hair causes major breakage and split ends.

  26. […] recipe inspired by Nearly Natural Momma is one of the best detangling recipes I’ve seen. Nothing detangles like apple cider vinegar. […]

  27. […] Homemade Detangler from Nearly Natural Mamma […]

  28. […] Hair Detangler from Nearly Natural Momma […]

  29. […] Homemade Natural Hair Detangler from Nearly Natural Momma […]

  30. […] Homemade Natural Hair detangler by NearlyNaturalMomma.com […]

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge


  • Follow me on Facebook

  • Current Giveaway
  • Instagram Photos

  • Stitch Fix

    Stitch Fix
  • Recommended Books

  • Earth Mama Angel Baby