10 DIY recipes and instructions for detangling natural hair

Almost all of us have experienced the pain and frustration of tangled and knotted hair. Whether you have trouble combing your hair after a swim or just can’t undo your ponytail without a forceful tug, you risk breaking your hair every time.

But what exactly causes these tangles? It turns out that everything you do – or don’t do – can cause your tangles, from wind, exercise and sleep to dryness, styling, your natural hair texture, brushing or infrequent combing, and more.

Since there’s little chance of avoiding tangles completely, your best defense is a detangling spray or an easy-to-apply leave-in conditioner. Unfortunately, the commercial detangling products you might find at your local pharmacy are too often loaded with harmful chemicals.

These 10 DIY hair detangler recipes with all-natural ingredients will remove tangles without harming your hair or the environment.

Apple Cider Vinegar Detangler

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You can pair apple cider vinegar with salad dressing or lemon water, but this versatile ingredient is great for detangling hair and softening hair.


  1. Mix 1.5 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and 5 drops of lavender oil in a 2-ounce glass spray bottle.
  2. Let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add water until the rest of the bottle is full.
  4. After replacing the vaporizer cap, shake the bottle thoroughly.
  5. Apply your new detangler to damp hair after shampooing and comb through easily.

Kid Friendly Jojoba Oil Spray

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After a hectic day at school, there’s no telling what your child’s hair will look like. If you’re tired of post-bath detangling wars, look no further than this jojoba oil-based spray.


  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil with 10 drops of geranium essential oil in a 4-ounce glass spray bottle.
  2. Fill the rest of the bottle with water.
  3. Shake gently before use and apply lightly to wet or dry hair as needed.

Moisturizing spray with aloe vera

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Aloe vera is so much more than a sunburn lollipop or a refreshing juice ingredient, and this three-ingredient recipe will prove it to you. The gel from this powerful herb smooths out tangles, allowing a comb to glide through your hair.


  1. Mix one part vegetable glycerin, one part aloe vera gel and four parts water.
  2. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, if desired.
  3. Transfer to a small glass spray bottle and shake gently.
  4. Apply lightly to hair after shower to make combing painless.

Coconut oil treatment

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The uses for coconut oil seem endless, and that’s especially true for anything related to hair care. This simple, one-ingredient treatment is specially designed for tangled hair.


  1. Massage the melted coconut oil into all problem areas, from roots to ends.
  2. Wrap a warm towel (add a touch of peppermint essential oil for some aromatherapy benefits) around your head and let your hair absorb the steam.
  3. Remove the towel once it has cooled and comb your hair.
  4. If you have fine hair that tends to look greasy with oil treatments, wash your hair and rinse it afterwards.

Aromatic spray with rosemary and peppermint

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If you’re a fan of essential oils and want a therapeutic experience while you detangle, this spray is your best bet. Rosemary Oil and Peppermint Oil combine to invigorate your senses.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin
  • 6 ounces of water
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
  • 1 teaspoon of argan oil
  • 10 drops rosemary oil
  • 10 drops peppermint oil


  1. Combine vegetable glycerin, water, vitamin E oil, argan oil, rosemary oil, and peppermint oil in an 8 ounce glass spray bottle.
  2. Shake to mix the ingredients well.
  3. Apply all over hair, paying particular attention to problem areas, and comb through.
  4. Store at room temperature, but be sure to use your homemade detangler within two weeks.

Leave-in detangling conditioner

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This leave-in conditioner offers a great alternative to detangling sprays. With few ingredients and simple instructions, you’ll only need five minutes to whip up a batch.


  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin
  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • 10 drops of orange essential oil


  1. Mix aloe vera gel, vegetable glycerin, water and orange essential oil in a small glass bottle.
  2. Shake until everything is well mixed.
  3. Apply to hair and comb as usual.
  4. Shampoo and rinse after one to two days.

Flax seed detangler

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For a quick recipe using ingredients readily available at your local grocery store, check out this DIY spray.


  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1.5 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  1. Add flax seeds and water to a small saucepan.
  2. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from fire.
  3. Strain the seeds using a fine-mesh strainer and add them to your compost.
  4. Add the olive oil to the remaining liquid and stir.
  5. Add apple cider vinegar.
  6. Allow the mixture to cool before transferring it to a small glass spray bottle.
  7. Apply all over your hair and comb to distribute, especially if your mixture is rather thick. Alternatively, add a little more water to create more of a fine mist.
  8. Store your spray in the fridge for best results.

Detangling spray for natural hair

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To keep your natural hair tangle-free, consider this quick and easy spray. With nourishing ingredients like olive oil and coconut oil, your hair will thank you.


  1. Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, and 1/4 cup warm water in a small spray bottle.
  2. Shake the bottle to make sure the ingredients are well mixed.
  3. Spray all over the hair and massage.
  4. After running your fingers through your hair, comb out any remaining knots.
  5. Don’t forget to soak your spray bottle in warm water before using it if it has regained a more solid shape.

Ylang-Ylang Floral Spray

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Ylang-ylang oil is the star of this aromatic detangler. The delicate floral scent will have you reaching for this hair mist even when there are no tangles in sight.


  1. Mix 20 drops of ylang-ylang oil, 1/2 cup of argan oil, and 20 drops of rosemary oil in a small spray bottle.
  2. Gently invert the bottle several times to mix well before use.
  3. Apply to damp hair and comb through from ends to roots.

Anti-Frizz Marshmallow Root Spray

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This DIY detangling mist does double duty by untangling knotted hair and taming flyaways. Marshmallow Root and Aloe Vera combine to hydrate and smooth even the toughest tangles.


  • 2 tablespoons marshmallow root
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
  • 20 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon of argan oil


  1. Combine marshmallow root and water in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a simmer and maintain the heat until half of the original liquid remains.
  3. Pour the contents into a small bowl over a colander. Remove the marshmallow root from the colander and place it in your compost bin.
  4. Once the marshmallow root liquid has cooled, pour it into an 8-ounce glass spray bottle.
  5. Add aloe vera gel, lavender essential oil, rosemary essential oil and argan oil.
  6. Spray all over your hair to reduce frizz and eliminate tangles.
  7. Store your vaporizer in the fridge. Replace with a new batch every two weeks.