Homemade Hair Detangler | Homemadeforelle.com

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 the thought of a chemical-free homemade hair detangler for my daughter’s hair was much more appealing.

The main ingredient in this easy homemade hair detangler is marshmallow root. After a little research, I discovered marshmallow root has been referenced as a healing herb since the Egyptian period. 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 natural homemade hair detangler recipe.

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 for Hair Growth | homemadeforelle.com

Once the mixture is cooled and the liquid is separated, add in remaining ingredients, and stir to combine.  Transfer to a spray bottle and store at room temperature for up to 3 months.  

To use:

Spray this apple cider vinegar detangler 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. 


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9 Responses to Homemade Hair Detangler

  1. Susan says:

    I had waist length hair as a young girls and vividly remember the pain of having my hair brushed. I’d have appreciated this natural detangler greatly., as would my daughters who had long hair all their lives. Pinning now

  2. Kathryn Johnson says:

    (Just a quick warning: I use all-caps as emphasis! I’m NOT yelling or angry; I’m honestly and very simply trying to emphasize something. Most sites don’t have the option of italicization..so PLEASE don’t EVER take offence due to my use of all-caps, because that most certainly is NOT my intention! 🙂 )

    I’m curious about the combinations of apple cider vinegar and the oils. I’ve tried ACV on my hair before, and it was like eating a TB of Alum! I could almost FEEL my hair trying to shrivel back into my scalp to get away from the scary bad vinegar! (I was trying a “natural” hair care ‘system’ with ACV and Baking Soda; NEVER. AGAIN. [That ‘natural’ in there really should have been my first clue, as technically and quite critically EVERYTHING is natural!] I seem to recall that the Baking Soda was last, but it was THAT many years ago that I don’t remember!

    Now, I know that both of these ingredients on fine, aging hair that has no “product” build up was rather foolish; my hair needed nothing of the kind. Not to mention, my hair is oily, and while I now DO use some product, it would probably STILL be too much dryness from that stuff!

    So I’m curious; how does ACV work with the oils that you add?

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Kathryn,

      Thanks for your comment! The amount of ACV in this recipe is small, so it is much less abrasive than putting it straight on the hair. I add essential oils to mask the scent of the ACV.

      All hair types are different, and you can certainly make this hair detangler without adding ACV if you know it doesn’t work well with your hair.

      Hope that helps 🙂


  3. Rachel says:

    How is the scent?

  4. 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!

  5. Teresa says:

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

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