Written by contributor Tiffany Larson.

Lucky or not, my daughter inherited her curly hair from both her father and I. On bad days, we both grumble about her mass of knotted curls but on the good days, I gush over how her curls match her fun and charming personality. If you have a curly headed child, you can probably empathize with me.

If you’ve followed my green goals for 2012, you know that I’ve planned to make more personal care products at home this year.  So I started with natural hair detangler because I use it every day.

In the past, I’ve used some great natural hair detanglers purchased from the store. If you aren’t the DIY type, you might like one of these. Kiss My Face Kid’s Detangler Creme loosens the knots in my daughter’s hair however it leaves  it fairly greasy if we don’t wash it every day.  I’ve also talked to moms that love Nature’s Baby Organics Detangler.

My favorite natural hair detangler from the store is Tru Kid Dancing Hair Detangler. Not only does it detangle but it adds just enough hold to my daughter’s curls to last the day without any greasy left over.

For those of us on a mission to do it ourselves, I tested out three different homemade detanglers to see if any were successful.


Remember the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding?  In it, the father uses Windex to cure everything.  Well, white vinegar is my natural version of Windex.  I keep a spray bottle of it in the kitchen and use it for everything.  Can’t find the hand soap?  Vinegar.  Fingerprints on the chrome?  Vinegar.  No buttermilk?  Add vinegar.  So it was just natural for me to try out vinegar first.  I tried both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar (separately).

So did they work? Yes and no.  They did coat her strands enough to comb out the tangles but I’m not sure they worked any better than water alone.  Additionally,  the smell was not a hit.  As my daughter said, “Mommy, I don’t like this potion.”  The apple cider vinegar gave her curls great shine but the white vinegar left her hair crunchy.  Crunchy curls are not my favorite look.

aloe veraPhoto by robertivanc

Glycerin and Aloe Vera

I also tried a recipe using 8 ounces of water, 1 tsp of aloe vera gel and 1 tsp of glycerin. You could also add a couple drops of essential oil.  I combined them in a spray bottle and shook to mix.  While this detangler did help to soften the knots, I was hoping it would add a little hold to her curls for the rest of the day. Once her hair was dry, the curls loosened up and were a bit more frizzy than I prefer.

Natural Conditioner and Water

After two strikes, I decided to go with the old standby: conditioner.  Her hair always looked great after conditioning it in the shower so I thought I might as well try using it on her dry hair, as well.  I added water and a few drops of natural conditioner to a spray bottle, shook it up and sprayed.  This has to be the easiest and most frugal homemade “potion” ever.  Simple Homemade contributor Stacy Karen agrees, she’s been using her own recipe of conditioner and water for nine years.

After using this mixture for a few days, I found that it worked better if I sprayed it on and let it sit for a minute or two and then combed.  The knots came out easier and the conditioner helped keep her curls soft and defined all day.

I’ve found a winner.  I’m crossing homemade detangler off the list.

What is your favorite detangler? Do you have a homemade hair detangler recipe that you use?