When it is time to start doing a child’s hair it can be frustrating and painful. The more textured the hair, the worse the process can be for combing and detangling.

Detangling is a challenging activity for parents and children - it can even be challenging for parents to deal with their own detangling sessions. Then, factor in having a sensitive scalp.

Just the thought can cause anxiety. No one wants to go through this. Combing your child’s hair with as little tension as possible sadly does not bring much relief. The solution to the problem starts before you start combing. A good detangler is a must!

Let’s make doing hair a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Give this DIY detangler a try and see how much your hair days with your little one improve.

DIY Detangler for Kids


  • 2 cups of distilled water
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (ACV)*
  • 2 tablespoons of daily dew or a carrier oil of choice
  • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel
  • 4 tablespoons of marshmallow root

*This is optional. If you are concerned about using ACV on your child’s hair feel free to leave it out. The recipe is still very effective without it. If ACV is excluded add an additional tablespoon of aloe gel.

Why are these ingredients used?

Distilled water is the purest form of water. No need to worry about bacteria, protozoa and other things being in the water. Water is a great moisturizer.

Apple Cider Vinegar is acidic. This allows it to flatten the cuticle layer of the hair. The smoother the strands are the easier it is to detangle, retain moisture and reflect healthy shine from the hair.

Carrier Oil is for lubricating the hair and to retain the moisture from the leave in.

Aloe Vera Gel makes the hair smooth, conditions the hair and scalp. Also reduces irritation and dandruff.

Marshmallow Root has antibacterial properties, very soothing, provides a lot of mucilage for tons of slip. This makes detangling a breeze.

photos courtesy of Daniel Benjy - Getty Images


  • Boil the distilled water with the marshmallow root. Allow it to simmer for approx. 20 mins. Be sure to stir regularly. When you notice the water starting to draw or thicken it is ready.
  • Strain and add in the ACV, daily dew, aloe gel and ACV. Stir well to fully incorporate then pour solution into a spray bottle.

How to Use It

  • Shake well prior to each use.
  • Hold a few inches from hair and spray well. Spray more in areas that have tangles.
  • Divide the dampened hair into workable sections.
  • Comb the hair with a wide tooth comb from the ends up the length of the hair.
  • Spray more at the roots if necessary.
  • Be sure to store in the refrigerator when not in use. This should keep for a week or two. It does not contain any preservatives so be sure to discard if smell, color or anything changes before the two week period is up.

Additional note: be sure to allow the child to read a book, play a game or watch a show of your choice. This pleasant distraction takes their mind off of the fact that you are doing their hair, and will make the experience much more enjoyable for you both.