DIY Hair Detangler Spray (with a Printable Label)

Got long hair? Or got kids with long hair? Forget those expensive hair detangler sprays from the store. You need this DIY Hair Detangler. You can make it with just a few ingredients you already have in your bathroom. And it helps to get the tangles and knots out, while naturally conditioning and strengthening hair.

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closeup of lavender, ylang ylang and rosemary essential oils near a blue spray bottle

Got long hair? Then you know the struggle… tangles! And if you have kids with long hair, you know how hard it can be to get those tangles out. There’s usually tears involved from both you and the kids.

So it’s no wonder most parents resort to store-bought hair detanglers. I used to buy them for myself as my hair started to grow out long. I’d get terrible tangles and needed something to help. But little did I know most hair detanglers are made with toxic chemicals.

Here’s an ingredients list of a popular brand of a hair detangler for babies and kids:

Water, Amodimethicone, Glycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Polysorbate 20, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Trideceth-12, Cetrimonium Chloride

I don’t know about you, but I can’t pronounce most of those ingredients. And while most of the ingredients rated 3 on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database (0 = most safe, 10 = highly unsafe), the ingredient I’m most concerned with is the fragrance. Companies don’t need to disclose the recipe for their fragrance because it’s considered to be a trade secret. But that fragrance could actually be comprised of up to 300 different toxic chemicals engineered to smell natural.

No thanks. I wanted something better for me and my family.

So I started to experiment with DIY Hair Detanglers. Most recipes were basically a teeny amount of conditioner mixed with a lot of water and poured into a spray bottle. That might work for some but I wanted to find something that could help to condition my roots too. And I finally found it.

How Hair Detanglers Work

Although there are many possible ingredients in hair detangler, store bought detanglers all work by altering the surface of your hair. A hair detangler is a type of hair conditioner that smooths your hair by coating it so that the hair’s surface tightens up, smoothing the scales on the hair’s outer surface or cuticle and imparting a positive electrical charge to prevent the static that can worsen tangles.

This DIY Hair Detangler  Spray leaves hair shiny, clean, and smelling fresh. It doesn’t leave hair (even fine kids’ hair) weighed down or oily.

How to Make This DIY Hair Detangler Spray – Step by Step

1. Add essential oils to the spray bottle.

2. Add 1 oz of witch hazel.

3. Add 1 oz of distilled water.

4. Shake well each time before use. Spray onto wet or dry hair and gently comb through.

Closeup of blue spray bottle with witch hazel and bottles of essential oils

What makes this homemade hair detangler recipe special is the witch hazel. Most of us know that witch hazel is a natural astringent and helps to control oil production on the skin. Well…. it does the same thing for hair. But it’s actually quite moisturizing too. It’s like a natural conditioner that can give hair more volume without the frizz. And it means you can spray the roots AND the ends of your hair.

Witch hazel is great for dry, itchy scalp too. Just massage it into the scalp and let it sit for about 30 minutes. It can help to remove the dry flakes from the scalp. Then, just wash it and use a regular conditioner and then this DIY Hair Detangler to get the tangles out.

Hair Detangler Brush

I recommend using a detangler brush or comb is great in conjunction with this DIY Hair Detangler. Swap hard or abrasive brushes for something gentler on knots to avoid making the problem worse in the long run. Try to avoid overworking your tangles with a regular brush or comb as this can cause additional damage. It’s better to use a wide-tooth comb – start below the tangle and work your way up.

When you wash your hair, avoid tugging through tangles too quickly. If you wash too vigorously, then you can cause more harm than good – not to mention the pain that would come from all the. Instead, slow down the pace and take your time to tease out those tangles. Leave your detangler spray in for a few minutes to give it time to sink in and help soothe away tangle-causing dryness.

Knot-Free Hair

While you may never be forever knot free, here are a couple of tips on minimizing your knots, after detangling.

  1. Wash your hair gently. If you’re tangle-prone, tone down your technique to keep knots to a minimum from the get-go. Use the palm of your hand rather than the fingertips, for less friction while washing your hair.
  2. Towel dry your hair gently. When drying your hair, squeeze the water out and pat your hair dry rather than vigorously run the towel through your hair.
  3. Never leave your hair tied up in a towel unless it’s been brushed through first, or you’ll get more tangles later.

About the Ingredients

  • Witch hazel acts as a natural conditioner – giving it more volume and helping with frizz – yet it also helps to curb oily scalp.
  • Ylang Ylang essential oil helps to strengthen hair and helps it to grow in thick and strong. It can also help with dry scalp.
  • Rosemary essential oil helps to stimulate new hair growth and really helps with damaged hair. It can help with dry scalp too.
  • Lavender essential oil helps to soften and condition hair naturally. It also smells fantastic.

Another bonus? Ylang Ylang, Rosemary, and Lavender essential oils can help to protect hair from those unwanted little visitors kids get during the school year. Get a starter set of essential oils for 60% off – use the oils to make this and so many other DIY recipes.

Who’s ready to make this DIY Hair Detangler?

Top Tips for This DIY Hair Detangler

  • Make sure to shake well before each use.
  • The essential oils in this detangler can also help with preventing hair lice for kids.
  • Keep knot free for longer by gently washing and drying hair.
  • Create a nice label for your bottle with my label template (link in recipe card).

Step by step tutorial on how to make DIY hair detangler spray

More DIY Tutorials

Did you try this DIY Hair Detangler? Don’t forget to rate the recipe and comment below to let me know how it went. You can also FOLLOW ME on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

DIY Hair Detangler in a blue bottle and some bottled essential oils

DIY Hair Detangler Spray

Don't Mess With Mama
Got tangled hair? Forget those expensive hair detangler sprays from the store. Make your own DIY Hair Detangler with just a few ingredients you already have in your bathroom. 
No ratings yet
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes



  • Add essential oils to the spray bottle. 
  • Add 1 oz of witch hazel.
  • Add 1 oz of distilled water.
  • Shake well each time before use. Spray onto wet or dry hair and gently comb through.


Keyword diy, hair, hair detangler
Tried this recipe?Mention @dontmesswithmama on Instagram

Closeup of lavender, ylang ylang, and rosemary essential oils with a bottle of DIY hair detangler with lavender flowers in the background


Want More DIY Beauty Recipes?Natural Beauty Made Simple Book on an e reader

Check out my book Natural Beauty Made Simple. It comes with 45 homemade skincare recipes with a set of printable labels and gift tags. You can download it instantly to your phone, computer or e-reader, so it’s portable and can go with you anywhere!

With this book, you’ll learn how to:

  • Make your own organic beauty and skin care products for less than $25 a month!
  • Learn simple techniques to make your own skincare – without the fuss of complicated recipes or hard-to-find ingredients
  • Get tried-and-true recipes that work to nourish the skin and make it look more radiant than ever before
  • Create beautiful gifts for friends and family with the printable labels and gift tags I’ve included with this book


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