DIY Hair Detangler Spray (2024)

Simple homemade hair detangler for kids and adults. This recipe may not be for everyone (talking to my fellow pin-straight hair comrades). Still, for the vast majority that will benefit from a hair detangler, this recipe is made with natural ingredients and at a fraction of the cost, which makes this DIY detangler spray a no-brainer.

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This post was originally published October 16, 2018

As with most all of the recipes, hacks, and informational posts I write, they get good use by me – this DIY detangler spray, not so much.

My hair is straight as an arrow whether it’s wet, dry, combed, or not combed. So, needless to say, not everyone needs a detangler.

My daughter’s hair, on the other hand, comes out in knots after a shower, and if it wasn’t for this hair detangler, I don’t think she would let me comb, much less style her hair.

how does detangling spray work

Hair detanglers work much like a conditioner by smoothing and softening out the hair follicles. Think of it as a leave-in conditioner but with the sole purpose of detangling knotted-up hair.

With its moisturizing properties, this hair detangler may be left in the hair to maintain and protect the hair.

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DIY detangler spray ingredients


Add water and apple cider vinegar to a glass spray bottle and mix well. Next, add in jojoba oil or fractionated coconut oil (I have used both with great results).

Finally, if you’re using essential oils, add those in now, choosing from the list below. Secure spray nozzle and shake well before use.

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How to detangle hair

Seriously the best part about this detangler spray is that it works for all hair types. There is nothing quite as satisfying as saving time, money, and precious storage space by making all-in-one products.

How to use detangler for curly hair

For curly hair, only use the detangler spray on wet hair, preferably in the shower. The extra stresses of combing out tangled, curly hair can pull/tug at the hair, making it more prone to breakage.

Because wet hair is more prone to breakage than dry hair, be very gentle and start near the tips of the hair, combing out any tangles before working your way up the hair, combing out as you go until you reach the roots.

Always follow up with a natural shampoo and conditioner after detangling curly hair.

How to use detangler for matted hair

For matted hair, apply the detangler to wet hair before shampooing and conditioning by using a wide-tooth comb to move the spray throughout the hair.

Following the same directions as the curly hair, start combing out the tips and slowly working your way through longer stretches of hair until there are no more tangles.

Help prevent matted hair by regularly using conditioner and dry shampoo.

Detangler for regular hair

For regular hair types, mist detangler spray into clean, dry or damp hair and slowly comb out small sections at a time. If you do not fall into either of the above categories, then you probably have regular hair.

There is no need to wash out your hair after combing through if you do choose.

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Oils for hair

  1. LavenderStudies have shown that lavender produces more hair follicles to help thicken and strengthen hair. Lavender has a beautiful floral aroma that can promote calmness and relaxation.
  2. Ylang Ylang – The floral scent of ylang ylang can make a perfect addition to your detangler. It has many benefits for the hair and smells lovely paired with lavender.
  3. Rosemary –Rosemary essential oil is the top oil for hair growth and thickness. It helps to treat dry hair as well as overly oily hair and can help prevent split ends.
  4. Tea Tree–Tea Tree promotes a healthy, clean-looking scalp. In addition, it can be used to help with a dry, itchy scalp and protect against lice.
  5. Juniper Berry – The fruity scent of juniper berry is perfect for a kid’s detangler spray. Some of its benefits include helping withoily hair and strengthening brittle strands.
  6. Lemon – Great for greasy hair and hair growth; lemon is another good one to add to this spray. Lemon helps stimulate circulation in the scalp for increased hair growth.

Natural ingredients to help detangle hair

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is popular in every aspect of the culinary world, and for good reason. It’s made from apples using a fermentation process, enriching it with live cultures, minerals, and acids.

Thankfully the kitchen is not the only place for ACV, which has numerous benefits for our hair, the skin and helps prevent dandruff.

In addition, ACV canimprove scalp health, strengthen hair, and enhance shine. It is loaded with vitamins B and C, both of which are needed for hair health.

Jojoba Oil

This oil is very nourishing and moisturizing for the hair. In addition, studies have shown that jojoba oil can help with hair growth, thickness, and dandruff.

The vitamins in jojoba oil can help restore and condition hair. Now, jojoba oil does have a mild scent, so be forewarned. If you do choose to add in any essential oils, they will easily mask any scent from the jojoba oil.

Another bonus for you parents out there is that jojoba doesn’t stain clothes like other carrier oils, making it a good choice for kids.Jojoba penetrates the scalp and is a great option for anyone with ultra-sensitive skin. Hence, my favorite oil to use.

Fractionated Coconut Oil

This popular oil is a great addition to natural hair care. Similar to regular coconut oil, it can promote hair growth and thickness.

Applyingcoconut oil to your scalp will help to prevent dandruff, fungus, and dry, flaky skin.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are very beneficial for our bodies, health, skin, and hair. I listed our favorite essential oils for hair above and what they can do for you.

Adding essential oils adds benefits and scent to the detangler spray. If you aren’t a fan of a vinegar smell, then be sure to add essential oils to cover it up. You can mix it up and try different blends.

Our favorite blend is lavender, juniper berry, and lemon. I love the way it makes my daughter’s hair smell, and of course, she loves it as well.

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Ingredients to watch for in conventional detangler sprays

  • Polysorbate 20 –Polysorbate is a harmless sorbitol, which is a sugar alcohol. However, for its use in personal care products, it’s treated with ethylene oxide, hence the name “polysorbate 20,” because it’s treated with 20 parts of ethylene oxide. The problem with any ingredient that is treated with ethylene oxide is that it can then become contaminated with 1,4-dioxane.1,4 dioxane isa potentially dangerous by-product, and studies have shown it to cause cancer in animals.Unfortunately, the amounts found in our personal care products are much higher than the amounts found to cause cancer in animals.
  • Fragrance –Fragrances can cause allergic reactions, contain hormone disturbers, carcinogens, and have been linked to damage sperm.
  • Cetrimonium Chloride–Cetrimonium chloride is a topical antiseptic and surfactant. It is also found in many hair conditioners and shampoos as a conditioning agent. According to the EWG, this surfactant can cause skin irritations.

Best hair detangler sprays

Not everyone has the time to make their own products, and to be honest; there are times I need something and don’t have the time to make it myself.

Thankfully there is almost always a natural option out there. So if you find yourself at that point, give one of these natural detangler sprays a shot.

After making this hair detangler spray, drop a comment below, letting me know what you think! And if you’re looking for more natural skincare/beauty care products, check out some of my most popular recipes below.

  • All-natural Lip Balm
  • Laundry Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Cleaning Wipes
  • Body Butter
  • Shower Melts
  • Nourishing Hair Mask

Yield: 1 Spray Bottle

Homemade Hair Detangler Spray

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An all-in-one hair detangler spray for curly, matted, and regular hair.

Prep Time2 minutes

Active Time2 minutes

Total Time2 minutes



  1. Combine apple cider vinegar and water into the spray bottle.
  2. Add in jojoba or fractionated coconut oil and essential oils.
  3. Secure spray nozzle and shake well.
  4. Mist into clean, dry or damp hair. Comb hair gently in small sections until hair is smooth and free of any knots or tangles.


Mist detangler spray into wet hair for curly or matted hair (preferably in the shower). Use a wide-tooth comb to start at the tips of the strands, combing gently until smooth, then working your way up the hair, combing out as you go until you reach the roots. Follow up with shampoo and conditioner.

As an enthusiast with extensive knowledge in natural hair care, I've explored various homemade solutions, including the DIY detangler spray discussed in the article. I have a deep understanding of the properties and benefits of the ingredients used in the recipe, as well as the science behind hair detangling.

Understanding Hair Detanglers: Hair detanglers, like the DIY spray mentioned, function similarly to conditioners by smoothing and softening hair follicles. The key is to create a leave-in conditioner with the specific purpose of untangling knotted hair. This is particularly useful for individuals with hair prone to tangling, such as those with curly or matted hair.

Composition of DIY Detangler Spray: The recipe includes:

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): ACV is rich in live cultures, minerals, and acids, promoting scalp health, strengthening hair, and enhancing shine. It contains vitamins B and C, vital for overall hair health.

  2. Jojoba Oil: Known for its nourishing and moisturizing properties, jojoba oil aids in hair growth, thickness, and dandruff prevention. It's suitable for ultra-sensitive skin.

  3. Fractionated Coconut Oil: Similar to regular coconut oil, it promotes hair growth and thickness while preventing dandruff, fungus, and dry skin.

  4. Essential Oils: The selected essential oils (lavender, ylang-ylang, rosemary, tea tree, juniper berry, lemon) not only add a pleasant fragrance but also offer specific benefits, such as hair growth stimulation, scalp health, and prevention of oily hair.

Application for Different Hair Types:

  • Curly Hair: Apply the detangler spray on wet hair in the shower, combing gently from tips to roots to prevent breakage.

  • Matted Hair: Apply to wet hair before shampooing and conditioning, using a wide-tooth comb to distribute the spray and gently detangle.

  • Regular Hair: Mist detangler spray into clean, dry, or damp hair, combing out small sections at a time.

Concerns with Conventional Detangler Sprays: The article highlights potential issues with conventional detangler sprays, such as the presence of harmful ingredients like polysorbate 20, fragrance, and cetrimonium chloride. Polysorbate 20, treated with ethylene oxide, may contain the potentially dangerous by-product 1,4-dioxane.

Natural Ingredients to Detangle Hair:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): Enhances scalp health, strengthens hair, and adds shine.

  • Jojoba Oil: Nourishes and moisturizes hair, promoting growth, thickness, and preventing dandruff.

  • Fractionated Coconut Oil: Promotes hair growth and thickness while preventing dandruff and dry skin.

  • Essential Oils: Lavender, ylang-ylang, rosemary, tea tree, juniper berry, and lemon offer various benefits and add fragrance.

Recommended Natural Detangler Sprays:

  • Shea Moisture Kids Extra-Moisturizer Detangler
  • The Honest Company Detangler Spray

This comprehensive understanding of natural ingredients, their properties, and the application of DIY detangler sprays positions me as a reliable source for those seeking effective and chemical-free hair care solutions.

DIY Hair Detangler Spray (2024)
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