Make Your Own Homemade Hairspray and Hair Detangler

homemade hair detangler

I am constantly amazed by the intelligent people who read this blog. You provide me with so much interesting material to research and present. So Thank Youand keep ‘em coming!

This blog post idea actually came from one of my sister’s (who just happens to also be an intelligent reader of this blog AND who just happens to have a blog of her own that you should check out!)

She has two little girls, 8 and 6 years old, and is in that phase of Mommy life when she is constantly “fixing” their hair. The younger of the two has very fine hair that tangles easily, combined with a very tender head….so using some sort of detangler after hair washing (and even when her hair is dry) is a must!  She ran out of her store-bought brand of detangler the other day and mentioned to me that I should do a post about an homemade alternative.

Well one thing led to another and in my researching of a hair DETANGLER, I came across some interesting homemade versions of hair SPRAY! As a matter of fact…you are not going to believe how simple it is to make! I mean really….you’re not going to believe it. I didn’t believe it until I made it AND tried it.  And now….I believe! :-)

Let’s start with the hairSPRAY:

homemade hairspray

Homemade Hairspray



1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 Tablespoons rubbing alcohol
6-8 drops essential oils (optional)

Heat water to a boil and turn off heat source. Add 2 tsps of sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Then add 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol and 6-8 drops of your favorite essential oil scent (optional). Once again I chose Lavender…because I love it! :-)   And THAT ladies and gentlemen…is it!



However, according to Diane at there are 3 SIMPLE but KEY TIPS to make this work:

1) Find the right concentration for you.
2) Use a spray bottle with a very fine mist.
3) Wait for it to dry 20 – 30 seconds between applications.

I followed these 3 steps to the letter and was quite literally amazed at how well this stuff works! I figured I would have to use 4 or 5 applications before it was a strong enough “hold” (after all…it’s basically SUGAR WATER!) but after just ONE misting…it held my hair in place quite nicely. I didn’t even bother with a second application. And an added bonus…the sugar water actually adds a little extra shine to your hair. And really….who couldn’t use a little extra shine in their life! :-)

So that’s homemade hair concoction #1.

#2 is the…..

homemade hair detangler


Homemade Hair Detangler


Did I say the hair SPRAY was simple to make???  Well………then THIS recipe is going to blow your mind! ;-)

Here’s what you’ll need:


A spray bottle
Hair conditioner of your choice


Here’s what you’ll do:

1.  Fill your spray bottle two-thirds full with water.
2.  Add conditioner of your choice to finish filling the bottle.
3.  Shake the bottle well, making sure the conditioner and water are thoroughly mixed.
4.  Spray the mixture into your hair and brush as you would normally.



Are you OK?  Do you need to sit down and taker a breather after that exhaustive process?  ;-)

The fact that we spend SO much of our hard-earned money on these products that are SO SIMPLE and INEXPENSIVE to make at home continues to boggle my brain. Today’s post is the perfect example. It’s just a good thing I have such SMART READERS to point out the painfully obvious to people like me. :-)



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  1. Anonymous says


    • wreachell says

      I agree with the previous comment!
      Thank you so much for sharing this. I have long black silky hair and I recently decided to make some changes so I got a body wave perm about a month ago. I want it to stay wavy but I refuse to use gel or hairspray that are high in alcohol and other harmful chemicals. I saw this and I immediately got excited!

      I love it. Thanks again!

      • Glenda says

        Peppermint oil is an excellent insect repellent for some insects. Don’t know about the bees though.
        An excellent book on EOs is “The Complete Book Of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy” by Valerie Ann Worwood.

    • Emily says

      Rubbing alcohol dries out your hair but doesn’t cause any major damage. A LOT of hair products have alcohol in them; it helps your hair dry faster. Use thermal protectors when using hair dryers, curling/straighting irons, etc. Huge saver on your hair!

    • Laura says

      Sam…I thought the same thing. The detangler I use is this: 1 T apple cider vinegar and 1 cup water. Mix in a spray bottle, then spray on your hair in the shower, leave it in for a minute or so, rinse, and voila. No tangles.
      Btw, I use this as my conditioner too, after washing with a baking soda and water solution. I’ve been doing this since last July, 2011. AND I still have friends.

    • emily says

      Sam, I think the point is that you are making a concoction of two inexpensive ingredients that accomplishes the same purpose as a much more expensive product marketed specifically as a “detangler”. After all, what is “homemade” if you can’t use store-bought ingredients? Dirt and water? I guess if you used home-grown ingredients that might count, but I bet you still bought the seeds :)

    • tahirah says

      sweetie she said your favorite conditioner that can be any thing from aloe vera to shea butter with lavender oil. just cause she you used a store brand dont mean you have to but one the other hand i make my hair spray the same way for over a year but i use vodka or rum instead of rubbing and it works wonderfully and if i want a different looser hold i add flax seed gel or aloe oil and if i want a stronger hold i add more sugar. and the detangler is similar to my moisturizer minus my oils distilled water and glycerin. so a +

    • Tamm says

      the alcohol acts a a preservative, it keeps bacteria from growing in the sugar water, you can leave it out but you have to throw out any mixture you don’t use and make a fresh batch every time. i use half a cup of water, half teaspoon of sugar, half teaspoon of salt, a dash of olive oil for shine, and a drop of rosehip oil which helps repair your hair

  2. Deanne says

    I heard about this homemade detangler from someone else and I’ve been using it on my mixed race foster children for quite a while now. It works SO MUCH BETTER than the stuff I had been buying in the store. It’s great, even on my 2 year old who has super dry, kinky/curly hair.

    • says

      YESSSSS I was reading these comments JUST TO FIND OUT whether this works on other mixed people as well! Some times people get GREAT ideas for hair, but it only works for white hair, never mixed. Wooo hooo! Now I shall go try it out! Thanks everyone! :D I am in need of a REALLY GOOD detangler for my kinky-during-the-day, matted-by-night hair! :D

  3. Kehau says

    Aloha! I have been using the detangler recipe for years. I am not sure if I read it in a magazine or just tried it out on my own. I will also spray my hair with the watered down conditioner before paddling, my workouts and before I go to the beach. If my hair is up in a bun or in braids while I work out, my hair gets a good conditioning when the heat from my body mixes with the conditioner. I ALWAYS get compliments when I have my hair cut that my hair is so soft. Now, I will try your homemade hairspray recipe. Thanks so much!

  4. Tiffany says

    For those who are worried about the alcohol, turn your store bought hairspray over and read the ingredient list. If you use hairspray, you put alcohol on your hair. Thanks for the great tips!

  5. Christy says

    I remember my Mom talking about my Grandmother spraying her hair with sugar water as a child as she would put rollers in her hair @ night. It’s no surprise about the home made hair spray! The detangler sounds like a great diy as well. I can’t wait to try out myself. What you need to come up with next is a HAIR SMOOTHER like Frizz Ease. :o) Thanks for all the great homemade goody recipes!

  6. susan h says

    Here is my question: While I see that it says to take off heat source, it doesn’t say anything about cooling before adding the rubbing alcohol. Doesn’t the heat make it dissipate?

  7. Whitney B. says

    I’ve been using this same detangler spray on my 6 year old for a while. I lobe it…especially when I use coupons to get conditioner for pennies or free. We’ve played around with it amd don’t need quite as much conditioner for her thick hair. It’s amazing after swimming and showering. Chlorine takes so much out of hair. In fact, we love it so much that ehile my mom was visiting my daughter mentioned she was out of detangler, my mom bought her commercial hair detangler and it doesn’t work near as well.

    • Michelle says

      Read the ingredients on your hairspray bottle. All commercial sprays have alcohol already. At least this is cheaper and you can play around with the amount so maybe you don’t use quite as much.

  8. Katie says

    I tried the hair detangler recipie and it just didn’t work good on my hair. I’m sorry. My L’OREAL kids hair detangler just works much better on my hair and doesn’t make my hair greasy, like this one does. I haven’t tried the hair spray concotion yet! Bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Jolene says

    I just want to say, I love you! I’ve tried several of your “recipies”. This is the best for me. My kids have curly, tangle-oriented hair. I spend about 30 mins a day brushing their hair in the morning and that is with the help of water and/or detangler. I tried your mix and it worked the same as the store bought. But the other day I accidentally put way too much conditioner in there. Today I brushed their hair in about 3 minutes! I couldn’t believe it! And they have so much hair, if it had less body, I didn’t notice. I love this! I would have struggled with the store bought ratio for life. Now I can make my own ratio and get out of the house on time!

  10. Lydia says

    Hey, great minds think alike! I ran into the same problem when I ran out of detangler which I have to use on my daughter’s superfine hair. The only difference is that I don’t use nearly as much conditioner in my detangler. I haven’t really measured things out, I fill the old detangler bottle (reduce, reuse, recycle!) with water and a little bit of conditioner, screw back on the nozzle, give it a shake, and then it’s good to go :)

  11. Brigitte says

    I love vinegar as a detangler- I’ve tried store ones but have never had as great success as I’ve had with vinegar. I’m excited to try this hairspray! Thanks again Jillee- I refer people to your site all the time!

  12. Lizzy says

    Great info. I have been doing this pretty much all my life. I have hair down past my waist. and I am in my mid 50′s. I use the no-poo shampoo with the raw apple cider vinegar rinse.
    A trick to keep your hair from tangling, bunching, breaking etc. Sleep on a satin or tricot pillowcase. They are very easy to make. Not only will it help your hair. but it prevents extra wrinkles forming on your face, neck etc.

  13. Val says

    I love the hair detangler as I use it all the time and also as leave in conditioner. However, I put a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in my mix. I have super curly and thick hair and have found this to help control frizz throughout the day. Thanks for the post I definitely will try the hairspray.

  14. says

    Can’t wait to try the hairspray! Isn’t it amazing how such simple ingredients we all have turn into something that saves us money :) I already make the detangler and have for years. Just love your site!

  15. says

    I only use hairspray on my bangs (trying to train them to go to one side), but I hated using it. So I tried your recipe, and it works perfectly! I made it several weeks ago, put it in a recycled (well-washed-out) hairspray pump-sprayer bottle, and it still works just fine. The little bit of rubbing alcohol acts as a preservative, as someone mentioned. Thank you!

  16. Bonnie says

    I wondered that too. Bees follow me around when I even use my own natural sunblock made from my homegrown lavender. Sugar makes me worry. Just don’t go rolling around in the grass….ants might be attracted to it. But there are essential oils that would drive these little insects away too.

    A tid bit on the alcohol part, use 100 proof alcohol (vodka for example it has hardly no smell) rubbing alcohol retards the abilities of essential oils if you are using them in your blends. I know this adds to the cost of your spray but I use it for its effects rather than cost. Love homemade detangler been doing that a while. Love your tips. Good job.

  17. Jenni Dill says

    We have been using Apple Cider Vinegar in our hair for over a year now! After shampooing and conditioning, we rinse with just a tad of ACV, give it a quick rinse (but just a quick one! don’t rinse it out completely!) and get out of the shower (word to the wise: DO NOT DO THIS RIGHT AFTER SHAVING YOUR LEGS!!! You WILL regret it! The entire neighborhood will hear you howling in pain!!!). We started doing this after two bouts of head lice in one month – a lady at our church said that rinsing with ACV will not only do super awesome things for your hair, but will keep lice away! And we’ve not had lice since! Idk if it really works for that, but it doesn’t hurt a thing! We’ve also used a drop of tea tree oil in a bottle of shampoo (yes, ONE drop per entire bottle of shampoo), for the same reason, but tea tree oil smells terrible (even one drop in a whole bottle – the whole bottle stinks!!!), and the ACV leaves no smell behind!
    Seeing the suggestions above, we may switch to using ACV as a detangler spray, rather than forgetting to do it before I shave my legs and having a horrible HORRIBLE end of shower experience! ;-)
    Love these recipes, both of them! And for the people worried about the sugar water attracting bugs – if you wear anything fruity/flowery smelling (shampoo that smells like lilacs, body wash that smells like tangerines, body spray that smells like lavender and vanilla, etc) – you are already attracting bees and mosquitos! ;-)

  18. Deborah says

    Dear Jillee, I love your site. I once went through all of it in one night (yes, I did not sleep hahaha). I wanted to give you my testimonial. I have a beautiful son with tight tight curls. So tight I could not comb his hair without hurting him. Most of the time I just shave it all off. Luckily we live in a very warm climate, so he likes it :)
    But the few times in between haircuts, I do need to comb his hair. So I thought of the hair detangler recipe here. But because he also has relatively dry hair, I decided to add some coconut oil. So I made a mixture of conditioner, coconut oil and water (2:1:1) and it works like a charm. I can use it once and his hair stays tangle free for at least 4 days, sometimes even a week, even with him jumping around under the shower and getting his hair wet :) and he even grabs the comb now and combs his own hair :)

    I bought him his own bottle of aloe conditioner and next time I will try it with some olive oil AND coconut oil. I also heard Amla oil is great for hair, so I intend to experiment with that too.

    I just have to finish the last batch. I made half a squirt bottle (the ones for ketchup and mayonaise) and it keeps and keeps, even though even I started using it! The oil, water and conditioner don’t seperate (yay), so it stays creamy and smooth :)
    Sorry for the long rant, but I am so happy my little boy is finally “friends” with the haircomb again :)

  19. Una says

    I have been making the homemade leave in for a while. I read that you need to either make small batches that you use quickly, or add a preservative. Apparently rinse out conditioners are not designed to be watered down, and there is not enough preservative to stop it from going moldly. I had some mold on me once. I can’t remember what or how much one must add. I do remember using vodka in another one I made.

    Thanks again for the recipes. You are great.

  20. Landon says

    Has anyone that lives in a humid region tried homemade hairspray? Just wondering if the humidity would ‘melt’ the hold as soon as I walked out the door. I use a regular hairspray in the winter, but have to use one marked humidity resistant in the summer. Even if I just used the homemade in the winter it would be a pretty good savings, so thank you for another GOOD thing, Jillee!

  21. anonymous says

    I ran out of hairspray a while back and have been trying to find one that would hold my hair in place all day. i’ve looked everywhere to find a good hairspray but couldn’t find one that fit my needs. but i was looking up home made recipe’s and they are all complicated and require things that i don’t have or have the money to get, so when i found this recipe i was very excited!! can’t wait to try this out thanks :)

  22. BlueJae says

    Home made conditioner also works as a wrinkle release product. I usually add about a tablespoon of conditioner to a squirt bottle of water and it works wonders on wrinkled clothes.

    I have very long thick easily tangled hair and will try the home made conditioner as a leave in.

    Thanks for all the info.

  23. Cydne says

    We have tried the conditioner detangler on my daughter’s fine thin hair and it was too heavy. If I thinned the formula, then it still got very static-y. However, thanks to many comments on this post, I have come up with a detangler/leave-in conditioner that seems to be working very well.

    It is simply 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and 10 drops each of castor oil, almond oil and orange essential oil (or other essential oil, however the citrus balanced well with the vinegar). It worked better than nearly all the commercial hair detanglers/leave-ins that we have tried.
    And, to simplify my life further, I can use this as my vinegar rinse/conditioner when I am showering too and I don’t need to deep condition as often!

  24. ms rose says

    thanks for the homemade hair spray– we are flooded in, raining like crazy and some of the worst “bad hair”
    days ever, and I run out of hair spray after a new perm frizz! This is a life saver, as I have a quad, grandaughter whose sitters showup looking like they spend all their time taking care of themselves–which I don’t! Thanks, I’m 73, and starting to show my age, I need a new style which doesn’t require so much fuss! (I used to run a beauty shop, but fooling with my hair constantly isn’t my cup of tea– Thanks again,

  25. Elle says

    Thanks for the blog and all of your great ideas. I think what they are trying to say is that everything is store bought, but Vinegar is a natural detangler and I have tried it and was amazed, but it does sting if you have cuts or dry hands. I have recently returned to school and had to take a course in business ethics and even Johnson and Johnson recently had problems for using cancer causing ingredients in their baby shampoos and products so I think people have a right to be concerned about all of these chemicals they use in beauty products when some of these older recipes work just as good and are safer.

  26. says

    I swear after finding your blog I am never going to buy anything prepared again. You have such wonderful ideas and with being that we are down to a one income family I just love being able to make all this stuff for my family and save $$$ Thanks

  27. Linda says

    So, rather then using the conditioner in the shower and washing it out, just wait until you’re out of the shower, your hair is still wet, rub your conditioner through your hair and just leave it in and blow dry.

  28. Kaila says

    I would love to try this! I am just a little concerned about sugar and alcohol in my hair… wouldn’t the sugar do something not beneficial to your hair? And will the rubbing alcohol dry it out? It sounds quick, easy, and cheap, I’m just wondering what it will do to my colored hair?

  29. Kathie says

    I throw my almost empty conditioner bottles into a wicker basket…then fill them with water when I need to make more detangler, and pour it into my stray bottle….two birds with one stone! More detangler, and an empty conditioner bottle (cause ya know you can never quite empty it)


  1. [...] for pin curl setting spray. During the war women made their own. This is the page that was pinned but essentially it is just sugar water. Take 1/2 cup of water, just boiled, 2 teaspoons of sugar, [...]

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