Free Homemade Hair Detangler

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Here’s an easy and virtually free homemade hair detangler recipe that will reduce the frustration without spending all that money for the store bought detangler!

Free Homemade Hair Detangler

Free Homemade Hair Detangler

From: Brandy M.

My daughter has long curly hair. We always use detangler after her bath. I’ve found that if you put a teaspoon of cheap hair conditioner in a spray bottle, fill it with water and shake, it’s just as good as expensive store bought detangler.

I have used a tiny amount of lotion in an emergency. We were on a trip and didn’t have any and her hair was a mess! It worked great and really didn’t make her hair oily.


For those of you with fine, limp, long, oily (can it get any worse?) hair like mine, part of the secret in using any conditioner is to only rub it on the ends, not the scalp, to prevent oiliness.



  1. says

    Are you serious?! I wish I had seen this yesterday, before I bought a new bottle of detangler. I’m new to blogs like this, and BOY am I learning a ton. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kim says

    Thank you so much for this fabulous tip!!!! My daughter also has naturally curly hair and I’ve considered taking stock in the company that makes our favorite detangler. Now I don’t have to run to the store when we’re out!

  3. says

    Thanks for the hint. I went right upstairs and made a bottle of your detangler. I have curly hair, and it has gotten dry looking in the last couple of years. And using conditioner is not a good thing. It makes it too flat. I think your idea sounds terrific.


  4. MaryLou Sneed says

    For some reason I can’t get your recipe for your hair detangler… Ever since you have went with this website thingy I miss out on a lot of your goodies. Not knocking progress but I got along alot better with the old fashioned way. Sure miss your goodies.
    Have a good one!

    • Linda says

      Could be that your browser needs updating. Sometimes things like this happen if it hasnt been updated in a while. Attachments dont want to open. Might also clear the cache.

  5. says

    Jill according to my hairdresser if you have dry hair rinse your hair in hotter water.
    If you have oily hair rinse it in cold water.

    for blondes use lemon juice in the summer to lighten it or if you want to get rid of the build up of conditioner and soap.
    for brunettes use vinegar.

  6. pam says

    since conditioners are nothing but wax, i found the best thing is to rinse the hair in baking soda and water and run a comb through. works great as a conditioner and leaves the hair feeling soft and silky.

  7. says

    Hair gets tangled because there is residual soap left. Fill a spritz bottle with vinegar and sprits on the hair, then rinse. It cuts the soap and the hair will be easy to comb. And you WON’T smell like a pickle. My now-grown daughter who had long hair can attest to this.

  8. Shaunna says

    My daughter has curly hair & we have done this for years! She is almost 11 now. Another thing we found is she doesn’t need to wash her hair as often. My hair is straight & tends to be a bit oily. I usually have to wash mine every day. My daughter can go about 3 days before she washes it, especially if I straighten it. If she has been participating in sports (she does track & volleyball) or it is hot etc then she washes it more often of course. I found the conditioner spray works well on my hair too in the winter when it tends to get full of static.

  9. says

    I have used most of the “homemade” rinses like vinegar and lemon juice and they work fine for my hair and Tawra’s but Elly’s (Tawra’s daughter) hair is like nothing I have ever seen before and none of those would work for her.

    One thing I love to do but don’t do often because it is kind of a pain and that is collect rain water and rinse my hair in it. There is nothing I have ever tried that compares with softness and feel as to rinse your hair in rain water.

    I just set a couple of bowls out during a rain storm and collect what I can. Pour it in a pitcher and for my last rinse on my hair just pour it on. I think it is even nicer then anything you could have done at a fancy spa.

  10. Fergie says

    I have a lot of long dry fine hair that tangles like crazy. The Shielo Antioxidant Leave In Protectant is the best I’ve found yet. I find that most detanglers fall into one of two categories: effective but goopy, or ineffective and non-goopy. The Shielo Leave In is unlike these in that it is light, but ACTUALLY detangles. Still, I have to use a lot of it, especially near my scalp when I want to comb my hair in a different direction.

    It is scented, but lightly so. Considering how much of the product I use, I am glad the scent isn’t too strong.

  11. Tessa says

    I love doing this, it’s perfect for my fine frizzy curls, especially in the winter. I like a half tablespoon size mixture of strengthening & curling deep conditioners for good shape & frizz control. My fave diy product is a light honey pre conditioner rinse. Best thing I’ve ever used on my curls!

  12. Martine says

    Wow this tipe is awesome! It’s winter in New Brunswick Canada and its really dry, which causes my 5 yr old daughter fine hair to tangle. Merci beaucoup!

    • says

      De rien Martine. :) My granddaughter’s hair is thick, fine and tangles like crazy so Tawra and I feel your pain. It can be a nightmare for mom and daughter alike to comb hair each morning.

  13. Trish says

    I have used rain water too. I haven’t years but I remember Momma and gramma using it on my hair growing up. Momma even used a can of beer in my hair once. I don’t remember the recipe she used but my hair was long (past my bums), heavy and curly. Momma liked what it did. As a teen I found that washing my hair everyday. Shame on me. I wished I’d listen to Momma.

  14. Kay says

    with over 25 years of experience

    I would recommend INFUSION…
    mix a small amount infusion and water
    pour in to a spray bottle..
    mix up only a small amount because it can
    go bad..
    My Son “Mark” was born with no hair…but
    his hair grew in to a mass of very light blonde
    curls… in the morning….he had monster hair
    fussy… Sprits his have with infusion… and just
    rake your fingers thru.. and beautiful curls
    bytw.. he love his curls he didn’t want to wear
    his baseball cap….

  15. Willie says

    Apple Cider Vinegar is good for removing buildup and it leaves your hair shiny. Also a small amount of Baking Soda mixed with shampoo (never apply straight to your head) is also good for removing buildup, but will leave your hair dull and dry, so remember to condition after. DO NOT use Baking Soda on you hair if it is colored. It will fade the color.

    • Swampfamily says

      I disagree that baking soda will fade colour. I have been using baking soda and vinegar on my hair for many months and I find that the colour is actually lasting longer. And I do apply the baking soda directly to my hair. I just wet my hair, shake baking soda all over and give it a good massage. Works a treat.

      • says

        I have to agree. This is the first I have ever heard of it fading the color. So far everyone has said how they love it because it doesn’t fade their color and helps the color last longer plus everyone I know of has had no problem with using the soda on their hair directly. That’s no to say that there may be some sort of chemical imbalance in your hair Willie or sometimes meds can cause a persons body to react to things too.

  16. birtrightrose says

    Kay, did you mean Infusium 23? It works wonders on my curly hair! It is in a grey bottle and is called Leave in Treatment. When I use it right after my hair is washed I don’t need gel or mousse to keep my Ro-Fro down!

  17. Willie says

    I DID NOT say ANYTHING about MY hair. Just stating what I have learned from working on hair. I did not mean to offend anyone.

  18. Sheri says

    My daughter has straight, fine, long hair that tangles like crazy. My older daughter has the same, but curly. I just put the conditioner on the hair and comb it through. No rinsing and it stays untangled longer. But it really helps to braid the hair, especially at night to keep it from knotting up. My younger daughter’s hair is almost always braided, except for special occasions.

    I used to use vinegar as my rinse to bring out the red cast on my chestnut hair. The silver is taking over…

  19. Sandy says

    Since we’re on the subject of hair, does anyone know how to get the yellow out of my white hair? It’s making me nuts! All the expensive shampoos seem to do is get the green out of my wallet!

    • says

      Sandy, have you tried the Sauve Clarifying Shampoo. All the professionals say it’s the best for getting green chlorine out so maybe it would work for you. It worked great on my daughter’s hair.

    • Penny S says

      Salley beauty supply carries a generic shampoo that is very good for getting the yellow out of grey hair. They also carry a name brand shampoo for this. But the generic does the same job and is about half the price. This shampoo lasts a long time as you only need to use a small amount of it at a time.

    • Sue in Oregon says

      My husband has white hair that yellows. I buy an inexpensive bottle of clear shampoo and add 1/4 cup of Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing to the shampoo. He doesn’t have to use it on a daily basis but with longer hair it might be necessary. This mix takes away the yellow and leaves his hair ‘Santa Claus’ white.

      • Judi says

        Roux Fanci-Full Temporary Color Rinse called White Minx, online search shows it is still available and Sally Beauty supply carries it. I wasn’t sure it still existed. My grandfather used this; his hair was a beautiful silver. Without it, it looked dull with a hint of yellow.

  20. Laura M Lancaster says

    I have waited too late.. but i am desparate. I had knee surgery two weeks ago. I was not allowed a hairbow during the ordeal.. the surgery was very painful , so I thrashed my head back and forth. My hair was slightly wet bfore so my hair problem was made worse. I got home last week but my hair was the last thing on my mind. Present day… my hair was approximatly 25 inches long (color treated), extremely thick. So thick i can rarely find a hairbow to go around it. IT is also one length. It was one thing about myself i was proud of. It is Now a huge matted mess . I have tried many products recommended by the hair product store owner. nothing has worked .. I am the lead soprano in our church. We are performing an early Easter on Sunday MaRCH 25,2012. It is a HUGE deal at our Church. I am so afraid I gonna I am gonna have to CUT it. I dont know whaat to do. I know the conditioner spray bottle will not work. I have used DETANGLER, CONDITIONER, ORGANIC, NONORGANIC . I have until Sunday 10:45 to fix , or wear wig , hat or scarf. I would appreciaate any tips, advice or prayers. I already lost my knee to lose my hair would hurt MUcH worse. Thank you Laura M Lancaster

    • says

      Oh Laura you are having what I would call the ultimate bad hair day. : ) I shouldn’t laugh because I know how frustrating that is. You have tried most everything it sounds like. The only other things I could think of is I have been using the baking soda in water to wash my hair I noticed a side benefit which is it really detangles my hair so well I don’t have to use conditioner any more. Now my hair is long but not thick. You might try also to apply a little vegetable oil or peanut butter to one of your rats nest working it in and see if that helps. I would just do it on a small piece to see if it works.

      As a last resort you could go to a beauty school today and see if they can get it combed out for you and if the worse case scenario happens you can have them get as much as possible out and then they could cut and layer the pieces you can’t detangle. That way you can keep most of the length. They usually take walk ins and charge very little although I do know they are busy on Saturdays and of course this would be a last resort.

      One last thing. Don’t we wish we lived in a day and age where we could wear hats and veils for just such occasions. : ) Let me know what happens.

    • Judi says

      Coconut oil has been a wonderful thing for my hair because coconut oil absorbs rather than coats. Health problems caused my hair to become straw like, fall out and break so bad I can see my scalp. Mornings would be horrible….I kept my hair in a tie, and clipped it flat to my head, trying to keep my problem at a dull roar, but no help, there. A friend sent me a sample pack of WEN shampoo from QVC, and the very first night I used it, I had a huge improvement, then I began to rub at least a teaspoon or two of coconut oil through my hair, and my hair is never oily looking/feeling. I can now brush my hair like a normal person! It never sounds like hay, anymore. It FEELS like hair. It still sticks up like a troll doll, so it stays in a tie, clipped to the back of my head, and a head band on to try to limit how far it stands up. I was so embarrassed to have to wear it that way to my son’s wedding – but it was far better than embarrassing him with my hair standing up! I never use the recommended amount of WEN, I found 3 squirts work as well for me as 20. I use a squirt for conditioner, as well. I hope the WEN and the coconut oil will continue to help and the little broken ends can begin to grow! If the hair isn’t as dry as mine, it may require less coconut oil….but give it a try! It’s been wonderful for me.

  21. Liz says

    well, I tried the baking soda and water, my hair hasn’t been the same since :(
    However, been leaving most of the conditioner on my hair. Although it doesn’t cure the frizz I created, it has calmed it down a lot.
    In frugality’s name though I have to admit that the tsp in a spray bottle makes a whole lot of sense!
    My daughter is encouraging me to keep my hair short, it does look better, for about a week. I can’t afford her $95 cuts. so am trying to limp through the frizz to a length that may help it hang better.
    Trying the tsp tip today, after I get cleaned up from canning all week! LOL
    oh, by the way, I found Tresemme for .87 a bottle at HEB yesterday, same stuff on the shelf for $3 something, I can’t figure out why it was on such a sale, but it’s gone now! LOL, I’m a pig, bought it all!

  22. lizanne says

    How much water with the 1 tsp conditioner?

    I have an old spray-in conditioner bottle I was thinking of reusing for this purpose & want to get the right concentration (I have really hard water, which does a number on my dry/fine/curly hair).

    • says

      Probably about 1-2 tsp. for your bottle. It doesn’t have to be exact. If it seems to be to much after the first time you spray it just dilute it or if it doesn’t quite detangle just right add a little more. You need to just adjust it to your water and hair type.

  23. Lynne says

    I used infusium for years and it is a great product, I always mixed it half and half with water and it was still effective.But a few years ago I realized when my bottle of conditioner was empty if I took it and filled it with water and shook it I get free detangler and just pour it in my spray bottle, then adjust it by adding more water til it looks about right.

  24. Linda says

    Now that we have learned to detangle hair can someone tell me how to prevent limp outs? My hair is baby fine and in the summer it just falls flat and no amount of gel or mousse with help.

    • says

      Mine is baby fine too and goes limp in a heart beat. The only thing I can tell you are the things that seem to help my hair a little is I have started using baking soda for shampoo which has made a big difference, I don’t use gel, mouse, etc. on my hair and I have found that using curlers instead of a curling iron works better too for limp. I know curlers are a pain to use and don’t use them often. I have found the baking soda works better then any thing so that all I have to do is sometimes blow dry it (don’t don’t even always have to blow dry it) then I use a brush blow drier on the ends to give it a slight curl that lasts pretty good.

  25. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    I have a lot of fine hair. When young I kept it braided to minimize combing. Now I dissolve 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda in a empty shampoo bottle and pour in on my wet hair to wash. The baking soda is also a mild ex folient and ex oilier on my skin. Where was this idea when I was a teen? This causes my fine hair to have more body, keep a style and go 3 days between washing, but my scalp is a little itchy.

  26. HitonH says

    I have very thick/heavy hair and it is a nightmare to work with when wet. I use Shielo’s Leave In Protectant which is the best detangler and leave in conditioner I have ever used. It makes it easy to comb through my hair when wet and leaves my hair silky after drying. Other leave in conditioners I have used have required a generous amount to work and then leave my hair flaky. The Shielo Leave In is light, so it doesn’t weigh down your hair and you don’t have to worry about having to use so much that it dries on your hair and flakes off. It is also a great heat protectant to use before straightening your hair.

  27. Kimberly says

    My daughter is mixed (white & black) she has really curly hair. I have tried Wen & Mixed Chicks habit products in her hair to no avail. How can I gether ccurls to soften without using chemical products?

    • says

      Kimberly you might try the detangler in this post. I have used baking soda to shampoo my hair all the time and I noticed I don’t have to use conditioner any more to detangle my hair at all. As a matter of fact I forgot my baking soda the other day and had to use shampoo instead and I had a mess combing my hair out. I don’t know if that would work for your daughter or not because I don’t have curly hair but I do have long hair that tangles a lot. Maybe some other reader has a suggestion for you too.

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