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Remedies for Knotted and Tangled Hair

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Depending on the kind of hair you are dealing with, there are a ways to get it untangled. This guide is about remedies for knotted and tangled hair.


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By 8 found this helpful
August 5, 2010

For hair detangler, fill a spray bottle with one third hair conditioner and two thirds water. Spray on hair and comb out. This not only detangles your hair, but also stretches your hair conditioner.

Source: The Dollar Stretcher

By duckie-do from Cortez, CO

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August 6, 20100 found this helpful

I have very long hair, and if this works, it'll be wonderful.

Thanks for the tip.


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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
December 29, 2014

Please need help. I have a 5year old mixed race daughter (she has more of African hair). Her hair is stressing me out and don't know what to do. I am thinking of using texturiser, but really don't want to because of the chemicals.

I have tried almost all hair products to soften hair, but she keeps crying. I bought a hot comb to try stretch it out, but she still cried.

I am currently using Tresemme Mositure plus both shampoo and conditioner as I use them for my own natural hair as well, but don't think it is helping her. I am still using Dark and Lovely detangled spray, but she is still crying.

Please need help because my only option now is to cut her hair really short or use a kid's hair softener (Just for Me, Beautiful Beginnings).



By Emma B

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 8, 20151 found this helpful

My advice as a woman of color: love your daughter's hair! Please please love her hair. It can be a struggle to take care of until she can by herself, but it'll do wonders for her self-image when she can be proud of her natural hair!

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February 1, 20150 found this helpful

Thanks guys.

I have tried conrows and braids. Its great but have to loose the braids one at a time and comb each one because it tangles quickly.

I make her hair into big braids about 10 myself because I have tried at least 3 hair stylist for her hair type and the front of her hair started breaking so I decided to make her hair myself. I will try all that advised and see if it helps.

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March 10, 20151 found this helpful

Hey Emma,

Being mixed, I've been through it myself with not knowing what to do with my hair. My mom relaxed my hair when younger to better deal with it's thickness (she relaxed her hair too, so she knew how to style it better when straight). I recently chopped off my hair almost a year ago to get back to being naturally curly and learning to love my hair as-is. Please do NOT relax her hair or use chemicals. You both will appreciate it in the long run as it'll only cause more breakage. There are many curly girls out there who support each other and many tips/tricks on curly blogs and youtube for sure for visuals. You can check my blog for some tips @

One tip, before attempting to work with her hair, try spritzing with water (moisture) then adding oils (olive oil, coconut oil, etc) to soften. Leave that in until you can almost run your fingers through her hair without hurting her. Then wash it out with SULFATE-FREE shampoo or use a cleansing cream. You could also just rinse with conditioner (aka co-washing). Detangle her hair when wet, after adding lots of leave-in conditioner, trust me if her hair is thick it will soak it all up! Try giving her about 4 braids or so (more if her hair is shorter), leave it overnight, then when dry, undo the braids. This will give her a wavy look and her hair will be more manageable.

Hope this helps as a starter, but start googling and checking youtube/blogs. There is SO much information out there to help you out :) Goodluck on your/her hair journey!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
January 22, 20160 found this helpful

Use a au natural line free of sulfates I use the Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine line by Shea Moisture in my daughters hair! It's free of all chemicals, completely natural and it can be found at Walmart and Walgreens. The line has detangling spray, shampoo, conditioner, co-wash, a hold and shine moisture mist, milk, smoothie, and a soufflé gel for staying in place hair styles!! We regularly buy the complete line!!! It's absolutely awesome!! It also comes in different types for different hair types, but I suggested that once since my daughter has very curly hair as well!!!

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October 19, 20160 found this helpful

Beautiful texture is a brand their detanglers work amazing

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December 18, 2013

My husband and I are in our 60s. He loves my hair, and has requested that I grow it long for him. So I thought I should at least give it a try. For some strange reason, I didn't remember that it can get matted if it is not brushed out often. I have tried detangler sprays. I even found a special brush for tangles at a local store. It is really a mess. I spent about 3 hours on it yesterday. My arms hurt, and my scalp hurts. Any ideas? Help.

By Lois

Answer Was this helpful? 1
December 20, 20130 found this helpful

Maybe it would be a nice idea to head to your local cosmetology school, maybe once a month or so, to get a nice shampoo and set or blow dry. Just having that done for you would make your hair easier to maintain in between. Always comb your hair or use a detangling brush at night before bed to keep it untangled.

Do something protective, such as a satin pillowcase or cap, or a nice braid or even tie it into a ponytail with an elastic loop or satiny scarf at bedtime; that would help. Always start at the ends when detangling, the process goes faster when you work your way up instead of starting where the tangles are.

When you wear a sweater or other rough or highly textured fabric, wear your hair up (an up-do/bun or ponytail), because that kind of fabric grabs and tangles the hair. If you need to use something to detangle with, a little moisturizing conditioner (about a tablespoon) mixed well in a spray bottle filled with water will help a lot-mist the offending area, wait a minute or so, then start detangling.

Use fairly large teeth or bristles on your styling tools, and use your fingers to check for snags on your styling tools before you buy them. Make sure you get trims regularly-once every 2-3 months, either get a trim at a salon, or trim off a small amount of the ends yourself. If you have regular trims you won't need to have a lot trimmed off each time.

Over time you will begin to be able to feel when you need a trim-your comb will drag through your ends and the ends will tangle or break more easily. It seems like a lot, but once you get your routine all sorted out, it will be effortless.

My source for my suggestions is personal experiences-I once had waist length curly hair, and for 10 years I was a cosmetologist with a lot of long-hair clients of all ages, from all sorts of cultures and nationalities. Once you learn your hair detangling will take maybe 2 or 3 minutes.

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December 21, 20130 found this helpful

First of all, when you wash your hair, use a conditioner. I have found that if you dillute it in warm water before you put it on it works better and you don't use as much. I like Alberto VO5 shampoos because they seem to immediately disperse in the water.

After shampooing and rinsing, pour the dilluted conditioner over all your hair. Use a big tooth comb and comb any tangles out then rinse. After towel drying your hair, again, use the big toothed comb and comb out any tangles, then dry or dry and set your hair.

Before you go to bed, again use the big toothed comb and get rid of any tangles. then brush. If our hair is long enough you can lightly braid it. Then upon waking use the comb again and brush. It does help to comb and brush your hair every day. My hair does not seem to tangle as much when it is permed.

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December 24, 20130 found this helpful

Hi Lois,

I am in my sixties and have had long hair most of my life. Braid your hair at night before going to bed. I have fine hair and never suffer from tangles. Another suggestion is to use a different shampoo and conditioner each time.

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December 28, 20130 found this helpful

Dear Lois,

I send my best wishes to you with growing your hair, it can really be a "crowning glory", but it can be a real pain and a lot of work and care. It sounds like you might have dry hair, as I do sometimes. Like the posts recommend, keep it conditioned, and I even will put a little jojoba or almond oil on it while wearing between shampoos - just a little till you see if you like it. This has helped me with lessening tangles.

But the most important thing I always say, is to prevent them in the first place! Control your hair with a braid, one of those lace up things for a long ponytail, or in a bun with plastic hair pins. Watch out that your metal barettes and clamps don't break your hair, and don't ever let it "fly in the breeze" it snaps off the ends-making split ends, and tangles like crazy.

Care for your hair like fine cashmere, it will look good on you!


P.S. Read on the internet about long hair too.

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January 22, 20061 found this helpful

I remember seeing a recipe for a leave in conditioner for your hair in a magazine many years ago, however I don't recall what it was. Does anyone know of a recipe for leave in conditioner? I think it had fabric softener in it, but I'm not 100% positive.

AC from Minnesota

Answer Was this helpful? 1
By guest (Guest Post)
May 21, 20060 found this helpful

Use 2 ounces of fabric softener to 22 ounces of water this will detangle and leave your hair silky soft

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 26, 20060 found this helpful

mix one egg with 4 oz of olive oil and a drop of your favorite conditioner mix it up thoroughly an use as much as necessary the save the rest in a closed container in your refrigerator

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 16, 20070 found this helpful

I need a homemade recipe recipe for science fair for my horse what recipes should I use??

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 7, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you SO much for the conditioner recipes. My dd3 has been bedridden for 3 days. It is too painful to get her up to wash her hair and laying so much was making her hair a dry tangled mess! The leave in conditioner recipe did the trick, for no money at all. Thank you from a grateful Mama.

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 30, 20080 found this helpful

I mixed 1/2 oz jojoba oil, 1/2 oz sweet almond oil, 1/4 oz vegetable glycerin, 10 drops rosemary oil. In spray bottle combine ingredients, add water to fill, shake well and spray on wet hair. Leaves it silky, shiny, and gets rid of frizz.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 22, 2016

Remedy for tangled hair.

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March 10, 20170 found this helpful

Sometimes I neglect to brush my shoulder length hair. It is very fine and straight and tangles terribly, to the point it becomes like a big rasta

I've come very close to cutting it all off until I discovered the egg yolk treatment!

I simply take as many egg yolks as I can, beat them, add them to my hair and put it all in a plastic bag. I leave it on for 45 minutes and then wash it out.

Not only did doing that for a few months (every time it got tangled) help the problem, now my hair is somehow cured because it never becomes that bad ever again.

i highly recommend it

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March 11, 20170 found this helpful

Fill a spray bottle 1/3 full of conditioner. Fill the rest with water. Shake and spray after each shampoo for a leave-in conditioner that works well.

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December 5, 20120 found this helpful

I had washed my hair and it got really tangled and knotted up. I've tried conditioner, mayo, olive oil, washing it again with conditioner in it, detangler shampoo, and Vaseline and none of it helped. Does anyone know what I an use for my hair?

By Lea

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December 7, 20120 found this helpful

Have you tried wearing a shower cap with the lubricant of choice (mine is olive oil, does SUCH lovely things for hair!) thickly applied?

I apply a huge amount of olive oil then stuff all my hair under a thick plastic shower cap which I wear for up to an hour-sometimes two if I'm distracted by something, lol.

Then, while the oil is still in my hair, I gently comb through it with a wide tooth comb, then a finer toothed comb. Sometimes if it's been especially 'knotty', I'll put the hair back under the shower cap after the de-tangle (without washing out the oil) for another hour or two.

I do this once a month, it works a real treat. Good luck, I hope you find a solution that works for you!

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December 7, 20120 found this helpful

I find that if I brush my hair out properly before washing there are hardly any tangles after.

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December 7, 20120 found this helpful

Believe it or not a light trim goes a long way. I used to have hair down below my waist and noticed every time it started tangling really bad. A trim removing the split ends worked wonders.

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December 11, 20120 found this helpful

Have you tried any of Sally Beauty Supply's Beyond The Zone brand. I love these products as I have naturally dark hair that I have bleached to a light blonde. I really love Beyond's Protein Cocktail spray, it is great & my stylist even noticed my hair was much softer & the straw like texture was gone! I hope this helps!

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December 20, 20120 found this helpful

I know this is a little late, but I just read your post. I've had this problem before with my hair and with my children's and grandchildren's hair, and what has worked wonders for us is using Frizz Ease hair serum. It is silicone based and helps to de-tangle even better than oil. I would put it on the knot and take a large tooth comb and start to work it out gently, even using my fingers to pull individual strands out as I was able. My one granddaughter said she only wanted grandma to comb her hair!

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December 6, 20140 found this helpful

I am having trouble with my daughter's thick tangled hair. Dealing with her hair is a pain and it hurts her when I have to comb her tangles out. Help. I do use conditioner in a bottle, but it seems like it makes her hair look oily or like too much conditioner is in it? She won't let me cut her hair haha.

By Veronica

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December 7, 20140 found this helpful

Try water in a spray bottle. Just spritz a little water directly onto the tangle and then brush or comb it gently.

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December 7, 20140 found this helpful

I have 3 daughters with very long hair. My own is very long too. We have tried many different things, but what has worked the best for us is a wood-bristle brush. We use this exact one... http://www.amaz  od+bristle+brush

It does not catch on our hair like nylon bristle brushes do. If you are really adventurous, you can skip washing her hair with shampoo. We love washing ours with baking soda. Our hair is shinier and seems healthier than when we washed with shampoo. We still use conditioner though. Also, once a week is all children really need their hair washed. One more thing that has worked well for us is Tresemme Nourishing Rituals Cashmere Touch Hydrating Serum. It is oily, but it does not seem to make my girls' hair oily. It soaks right into their hair and makes it easier to comb. I hope you have good luck with these suggestions. They have made my life a lot easier.

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December 9, 20140 found this helpful

Start with the shampoo. First mix the shampoo with water in a glass, before you pour onto the wet hair. It doesn't take a lot. After you rinse her hair, mix conditioner with water in a glass. Pour over hair and work through with your fingers. Use a comb with large teeth and comb tangles out. Then rinse. Her hair should be pretty tangle free. When her hair is dry, if it tangles. Use Johnson and Johnson No More Tangles spray, Spray it on and again use a large toothed comb to comb through. See if this helps.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 5, 20100 found this helpful

I need to make "hair detangler". It is for a small girl who swims every night in her bath, the cost of buying hair detangler is getting too high. I think there must be a cheaper way.

Sharon from East Texas


Hair Detangler Recipe

I put a small amount (a 2 second 'squirt') of hair conditioner in a spray bottle then fill with water and shake. It doesn't feel quite the same as the commercial detangler but it works just as well. (12/29/2005)

By Lilygloves

Hair Detangler Recipe

Our hairdresser suggested hair conditioner also as our daughter has long hair and it is easier to brush with the hair conditioner when it is wet.It certainly makes a difference. (12/29/2005)

By rustyreks

Hair Detangler Recipe

This is not a recipe, but I have 3 girls with long impossible to brush hair and have tried everything! What really works is Biolage Detangling Solution by Matrix (Get it at a salon). The directions say to use it as a rinse but don't. Wash and condition hair as usual and then put a small amount of the Biolage in your hand and rub it through your daughter's hair. You can use it on dry hair as well; it doesn't make it greasy. It has made a world of difference in my girls' hair...wish I'd known about it years ago. (12/29/2005)

By Rebecca

Hair Detangler Recipe


Hair Detangler Recipe

To detangle my own curly hair and to tame frizzies I use a dab of hand lotion mixed with a couple of drops of water. I buy cheap, runny lotion from the dollar store. I mix it in my hand each time I need to use it, but it would be easier to mix in a spray bottle like Lilygloves suggested. (Recycle a hair spray bottle:) (12/29/2005)

By thriftyboo

Hair Detangler Recipe

Have you gone to a beauty supply store? They have genaric hair care products that work just as well as any name brand. If her hair is long enough, why not braid it until it's time to wash it. That will help keep he knots out of it. (12/30/2005)

By onixxx888

Hair Detangler Recipe

I agree with Lilygloves, that's what I do, too. Another suggestion is to pull the hair up high and hold it in one hand while you start parting horizontal across the bottom of the hair (very small parts). As you part, you pull the hair down and comb through it and it almost magically detangles with each part going higher until you've done all of the hair. It's a trick I learned in beauty college about 40 years ago and it really works!!! My daughter's hair tangled so easily, so I used this method with her. (12/31/2005)

By Luvyabye

Hair Detangler Recipe

See if you can buy the product in a large supply... Perhaps you can get it in a gallon jug and a lower per ounce price. I'd try Sally's Beauty Supply. (12/31/2005)

By Carol

Hair Detangler Recipe

I buy the Equate brand from Wal-Mart for 98 cents a bottle. It works just as good as any other brand. (01/01/2006)

By jessiworm

Hair Detangler Recipe

I was buying a Suave children's detangler and it wasn't too much $. I recently found Dollar General has some and it is only a buck for the spray bottle. I never thought of putting conditioner on my daughter's hair that I could rinse out. I only use Johnson's Head to Toe on my kids to wash their hair and body. My daughter's hair is fairly short but still gets so tangly and she really yells and pulls away when I try to brush it out. It's worse in the morning after sleeping especially when she puts her head under the covers! (02/21/2006)

By Debbie52

Hair Detangler Recipe

I found out from another website to put a very small drop or two of fabric softener in a spray bottle and add warm water and shake - spray on hair as you would detangler. This works great on my daughters hair, and she has had comments on how shiny her hair is. This does not make the hair look greasy at all - I would highly recommend this very cost effective solution. (08/29/2007)

By Donna

Hair Detangler Recipe

I had this curly tangled hair problem for a long time and I was looking for some solution. I was so tired using different hair conditioner with not much effect what so ever. Than one day while browsing in the grocery store I just saw the Hair Detangler for kids , Equate Brand on the isle.

For the sake of giving one more product a try to my unresolved problem, I bought the product. And to my amazement it worked so well. I feel so lucky to find a working solution for my problem.

Thanks Euwate!

By Meera

Hair Detangler Recipe

I just put 1 part conditioner and 3 parts water in a spray bottle and shake well. I spray it all over my hair when I get out of the pool, and my hair is a mess. It works really well, and it is cheap too. (08/19/2008)

By Shannon

Hair Detangler Recipe

My 2 year old has curly curly hair, I use the equate brand or the generic from the dollar store. We can not live without detangler, so am looking to make it myself. For overnight sleeping that tangles the hair, try satin pillowcases. They are a wonder. It cuts down on the tangles dramatically. (10/25/2008)

By Rekia

Hair Detangler Recipe

My 2 1/2 year old gets nasty tangles in the back of her mid-back length hair. I have super curly, wiry, frizzy hair and I use Biosilk Silk Therapy ($12/150ml). TWO DROPS rubbed in the palms of my hands and applied to her towel-dried hair.. the comb goes right through, her hair is shiny, and it smells wonderful. And it is CHEAP. I've had this bottle for over a year and I use it daily, too. That is already less than a dollar a month and getting cheaper by the day. (12/09/2008)

By Barbi

Hair Detangler Recipe - no fabric softeners please!

Please don't use fabric softener on your kids hair and better yet, don't use it on your clothes. I learned from a friend who got sick after cleaning out his dryer exhaust conventional fabric softeners are riddled with toxins.

See EPA referenced citation below: (12/31/2008)

By Dave

Hair Detangler Recipe

Hello..I don't have a recipe, however; I highly recommend John Freida's Sheer Blonde Sleek and Shine Detangler. Don't be afraid of the "Blonde" this product does not contain any dyes (it's clear). It can be used on all hair colors and types. You can pick some up from a drug store, ie. CVS/Walgreens for about $5. I wait until they have a BOGO free sale! (01/11/2009)

By CutieP

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