DIY Homemade Hair-Detangling Spray

posted by Andrea | 01/26/2015
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hair detangling spray

Believe it or not, Dave and I BOTH have very curly hair (see very bad/old picture of us below — after just traveling for several hours on an airplane)

curly hair

… so it’s not a huge surprise that Nora has some crazy, frizzy, curl-action going on.

Ok, that last picture is a wig… but I think you get the idea πŸ™‚

Her hair isΒ a mess, it’s snarly, it’s hard to comb through (especially for miss sensitive), and it’s a pain to control. Add in the fact that Nora doesn’t particularly love any amount of water on her face or head, and you can imagine how difficult it is to wash her hair — let alone use conditioner to control the frizz and snarls!

About a month ago, in attempts to tame her hair and even up the length a bit, I gave her a big girl hair cut.

That did help a little bit — but we were still battling the frizz… and the dry winter weather was making things worse.

So as I was contemplating how to tame her dry, frizzy, curly hair with the most minimal effort possible, I remember my mom using leave-in conditioner (also called detangler spray) on my hair when I was younger.

I remembered reading another blog post about DIY detangler spray, so I looked it up on Pinterest — sure enough, it’s SUPER easy to make (it took me about 20 seconds to mix up a small batch).

Recipe for Homemade Hair-Detangling Spray

INGREDIENTS:

  • a small spray bottle (I reused a travel-size hair spray bottle)
  • a tiny amount of conditioner (I used about 1/2 teas.)
  • warm waterΒ (warm water works best to dissolve the conditioner)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Pour a tiny amount of conditioner into the spray bottle
  • Add warm water until the bottle is almost full
  • Shake to dissolve the conditioner
  • Spray in wet and/or dry hair before combing

spraying into Noras hair

A FEW MORE TIPS:

1. I make one very small batch at a time because I like using the tiny spray bottle, and Nora doesn’t have that much hair. Obviously, if you have a house full of long-haired girls, you might want to make a bigger batch.

2. If you currently have store-bought detangler in the house, just use that bottle (once it’s empty) to make the DIY stuff. That way, you have a built-in label!

3.Β This recipe is an excellent way to use up those tiny sample size packages of conditioner that are almost too small to do anything with — but of course, any brand or variety of conditioner should work just fine.

4. My measurements are not exact. If you or your child have very thick, long hair, you might want to increase the amount of conditioner. If you have very thin hair, you might want to use less. There is no one “right way” so just try it out a couple of times until you find what works best for your hair.

5. This recipe is SOOOOOOO cheap! So far, I’ve only used the sample size packs of conditioner, so I have yet to spend any money making this spray. And considering the store-bought varieties are anywhere from $5.00 – $20.00 per bottle, I’d say this is a super awesome money-saver for families with lots of hair!

6. If you have a cranky, stubborn toddler, calling it “magic spray” works REALLY well πŸ™‚

.

For the record, THIS is what her hair looks like when she wakes up…

This is what it looks like after a couple squirts of detangler spray and a few passes with a comb.

after detangling spray

Nora still doesn’t love it when I comb her hair, but she also doesn’t totally freak out anymore either — progress, right??

And, now that her hair isn’t nearly as snarly, I can do fun braids and other “creations” without pulling too hard on her (very sensitive) scalp.

braids

So yes, my free, DIY hair detangling spray (a.k.a. “magic spray”) is definitely worth my 20 seconds of effort. We use it twice a day — after her shower at night, and in the morning before I do her hair.

If you have dry, snarly, tangled hair in your family, I would highly encourage you to dig up an empty spray bottle and take 20 seconds to mix up a batch of this DIY hair detangling spray. It might just save hours of your life that would otherwise be spent fighting and crying over hair brushing!

hair detangling spray

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28 comments

  1. Carol Laughlin

    03/10/2017

    I LOVE THIS STUFF!! Thank you so much! It works so much better than $6 spray I just got at Target. We used to spend a lot of time brushing out my 8 year old’s hair every morning and now it’s so easy and lays so much better (she has long straight hair)! This is on MY list of favorite things this month!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — glad it’s working well for you! It’s especially nice in the summer when hair gets tangled from the pools!

    [Reply]

  2. Janet

    01/28/2015

    Just wanted to tell you that I’ve been using this solution for my 4 year granddaughter for a few years.I spray it on her dry hair and finger comb it because she has really curly hair. It works like a charm.

    [Reply]

  3. Joy

    01/27/2015

    Andrea, I have two girls and we found an amazing brush on Amazon. It’s called the “Wet Brush.” It’s great for detangling or just a regular brush. We use it on wet and dry. We love it so much we have 2 more in our travel bags. Great for after the pool/beach as well. They have regular and mini sizes which are great for little kids. Here is a link. But just do an amazon search and it will pull up a bunch – cool colors too. http://www.amazon.com/Wet-Brush-Standard-Squirt-Combo/dp/B00ANTO702/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1422381306&sr=8-7&keywords=wet+brush&pebp=1422381332431&peasin=B00ANTO702

    [Reply]

  4. Deborah

    01/26/2015

    I always want to comment on you, your family and your blog but always distracted. At 3:00 am and nothing to distract me I thought I would tell you what a awesome mom you are, and young woman. Your daughter is beautiful like her mama! You are so ahead of your years with your simplified life and outlook. I have 3 adult age children, but still enjoy your blog! God Bless!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Wow… thanks Deborah! And yay for your first comment πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  5. Amber

    01/26/2015

    Hi Andrea,
    This is a great idea. I remember my own mom using a detangler on my unruly curls as a child.
    I highly recommend the “wet brush” it truly is magic on wet and dry hair. No tangles of pulling at all. I was given the travel size version for a gift and it works great for long hair. They sell them everywhere. Target has the travel size for around 6$. It’s a bit expensive, but worth it if you are in the market for a new hair brush πŸ™‚
    Amber

    [Reply]

  6. LIsa

    01/26/2015

    Just have to say that I’ve always loved Nora’s out of control curls — they always make me smile! BUT she’s so cute with her big girl cut!! It makes her look so grown up!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Lisa — and yes, Nora is a big girl now πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  7. Kim

    01/26/2015

    Love the idea for a DIY detangler spray. My daughters also have fine, curly hair and we go through our fair share of detangler. πŸ™‚ Have you tried using a “Wet” brush? Wet is the brand and it seems to work quite well on combing knotted, snarly hair. You may not need it if the spray works really well, but we have found that it definitely helps.

    http://www.thewetbrush.com/

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kim — Nora’s hair isn’t super thick yet, but I have a feeling once it gets thicker, we may need a special brush to go with the detangling spray πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Melanie Reply:

    I was just coming to comment and suggest The Wet Brush. I love this brush and give it as gifts. My stylist recommended it to me and it is a game changer!!

    [Reply]

    Kat Reply:

    When did Nora go from toddler to little girl? Seriously cute!

    One more vote for the wet brush! I have curly hair that used to take a forever to comb through after a shower. No more. A few swipes with the wet brush and I’m done. That thing is a miracle worker. Even my daughter who has straight fine hair- but a tender head- loves hers.

    Don’t wait until she’s older. Get one now. They make baby
    sizes and are the best thing since sliced bread.

    [Reply]

    Julie G. Reply:

    Hi! I have another huge vote for The Wet Brush! My oldest daughter has long, thick (yet fine), straight hair. My son has long, fine, (and pretty out of control) curly hair, and my second daughter has super fine straight hair. All tangle very easily, and they all have my very sensitive head. The Wet Brush handles all of them! We’ve been using it for a few months, and I’m sold! Each kid has a different color, and I’ve even gotten one for me and my long, straight, fine hair. It really works well!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — looks like I need to get a Wet Brush!

    I’ve honestly never even heard of it before — but it sounds like everyone else is using it with lots of detangling success!!

    [Reply]

  8. Kimberley

    01/26/2015

    Nora is such a cutie!!! πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    she gets it from Dave πŸ™‚

    [Reply]

  9. Amy

    01/26/2015

    Awesome! I was just thinking I should buy a bottle of this for my girls, but need a natural one and they are expensive. I can’t wait to try this with our own conditioner. Thanks for posting!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay for making your own! also, I figured this would be great for people who wanted more of a natural/organic product without the extra cost!

    [Reply]

  10. Barb

    01/26/2015

    Thank you, thank you, I have two girls with long hair and tangles are always a problem. Definitely going to try this!

    [Reply]

  11. April

    01/26/2015

    Andrea,
    What a beautiful young lady Nora is becoming. I know having a young family is exhausting at times, but I miss it now that mine are 16 and 19.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks April!

    [Reply]

  12. Rose

    01/26/2015

    First off…..She CAN’T get any cuter! I have dry, curly, Italian hair—I have spent tons of cash on different products…..I’m gonna certainly try this….

    [Reply]

    Rose Reply:

    Ooops! Thanks for coming up with this idea to do research on for all of us! Have a wonderful week!!

    [Reply]

  13. Felecia

    01/26/2015

    Hi Andrea! Thank you so much for sharing your ‘Magic Spray”! I will definitely be making this for my great-nieces when they come to spend the night! They all have long, thick, curly hair, so this will save me so much time when brushing! I can hardly wait to share this with their Mom’s! Thanks again, Andrea! Blessings from Bama!

    [Reply]

    lydia @ frugaldebtfreelife Reply:

    What part of Alabama? We are on the coast!

    [Reply]

  14. Debbie W.

    01/26/2015

    I am going to definitely try this for my girls. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  15. Jen

    01/26/2015

    Nice! My girl has long hair that she now washes herself, but she’s at that age where she’s not very good at it yet, so it’s always a little…questionable… unless I help her, which she hates.

    She is EXTREMELY tender-headed. I have had “You’re killing me!!!” screamed at me as I ever-so-gently worked at a knot on more than one occasion. She got a Tangle Teezer for Christmas and it was a total game changer. Like, I find myself staring at it thinking, “What is this magic?” But adding a good detangler on top of that might make it even better.

    No, I do not represent Tangle Teezer. I promise. I am a convert, though, for sure.

    [Reply]