2012-07-03 22.22.28

Homemade Hair Detangler

Elle’s hair is growing fast and getting long, and she is not too concerned about keeping it clean.  Combine that with the fact that she is severely tender headed and hates getting her hair brushed, and I am left with a teary eyed toddler every morning. I was recently contemplating whether or not I should use conditioner on my 2-year-old’s hair, but and the thought of a chemical-free homemade hair detangler for my daughter’s hair was much more appealing.

The main ingredient in this infusion is marshmallow root. After a little research, I discovered marshmallow root has been referenced as a healing herb since the Egyptian period.1  It is commonly used to cure a sore throat, but that is not all this delightful root does.  When it is infused, it may soften hair, soothe an itchy scalp and promote hair growth.  It’s also commonly enjoyed as a medicinal tea. 

Wow, that is one useful root! When combined with oil and vinegar, it makes one fantastic homemade hair detangler.


  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup dried marshmallow root
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 10 – 15 drops essential oils, optional
  • 1/2 cup water

Combine marshmallow root and water in a small pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 15-30 minutes.  This cooking time will allow the mucilage to release. The longer you let it simmer the thicker the mixture will be.  If the mixture gets too thick, you can always dilute it with extra water. 

Remove pot from heat and allow mixture to cool.  Strain the liquid from the marshmallow root using a fine mesh strainer.  

marshmallow root strain

Once the mixture is cooled and the liquid is separated, add in remaining ingredients, and stir to combine.  Transfer to a small sprayer bottle (you can usually find them at Walmart in the travel section, for around $1) and store for up to 3 months.  

To use:

Spray onto wet or dry hair, allow to sit for 1 – 2 minutes to soften, and then brush.  

Note: If the mixture is too heavy or greasy for the hair, add in more water, 1/8 cup at a time, until it is a good ratio for your hair type.  

This recipe was adapted from: frugallysustainable.com.

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshmallow_root

hair detangler

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6 Responses to Homemade Hair Detangler

  1. Rachel says:

    How is the scent?

  2. tarrah says:

    I have the dropper/liquid form of marshmallow root, do tippy know how I should alter this recipe?? I’m so excited to give this a try, I too have a little tender headed princess who hates brushing! Thanks!!

    • avaughan says:

      Hi Tarrah, thanks for stopping by!

      I haven’t worked with liquid marshmallow root before, but if I were experimenting, I would mix 2 drops liquid marshmallow root with 3/4 cups distilled water, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 tbsp olive or jojoba oil (and any essential oils you want to add). Try that out, and add a drop more at a time until you’ve found the right amount that softens, without making the hair greasy. Hope that helps!

  3. Teresa says:

    Does it have a shelf life? Does it need to be refrigerated!

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