Friday, February 18, 2011

Homemade / DIY Hair {Detangler}

I've always had long hair. My whole life. Always. 

[OK, not entirely true. It has been cut short-short-short 3 times. Once when I was in Kindergarten. Once in college. And once about 5 years into my working career. Everyone is allowed a few acts of craziness in their life, right?? But other than those 3 times, it has always been long. Long, I tell ya!]

So naturally, both my girls have always had long hair. Granted, they get trims to keep the ends healthy, but otherwise, we do the long hair thing in this household. They both got haircuts right before New Years when we all agreed that SweetPea's hair was just a little out of control in terms of its length.

Gorgeous, but just too long to manage!

Here she is waiting to get a trim...

Her hair is like mine and grows like a weed.

I will say, the stylist was a little surprised when I showed her where I wanted her to make the cut... but she did it anyway.

Whoa - that's a big chop!

SweetPea was quite happy to get it cut shorter - it was just too difficult to do anything with it that long. I admit, however, that I did cringe a little bit when all of her beautiful summer highlights and baby curls wound up in a pile on the floor. (and yes, even though this was her 3rd haircut, I did take those curls home and put them in an envelope for safe keeping - I AM a mom, after all! ;).

Big pile 'o' hair  - *boo hoo*

However, as mentioned, it is still long. {And to be honest, has already grown about 2 inches since that cut}. *sigh* Needless to say, when it is time to brush hair, my girls are not fans. Why? 


That dreaded occurrence. Tangles. *sigh*  No matter how we style their hair (except maybe in braids) these girls get tangles. I attribute it partly to the fact that we live in an area with realllllly hard water. But, truth is, I've always gotten tangles too - no matter where I lived. Now I suppose one could blame it on me and say that I must simply just be a bad care-taker of hair. But given that I've had long hair all my life, I'd like to think I know what I'm doing. So I'd much rather just say that it is a fact of life that if you have long hair, you will be burdened (to some degree) with tangles.

If you have little ones, you know that brushing long or curly hair is NO fun due to those dreaded tangles! I know what I am doing when it comes to getting out tangles and it is still NO fun. I know all the tricks - "work from the bottom up" and "hold the hair in your left hand while you brush with the right", etc. - it is still NO fun! NO FUN, I TELL YA!!

The solution.... detangler.

We've been using it for years - my girls both came out of the womb with full heads of hair. So much that you could tie a ribbon in it when they were 1 day old. So we are well-versed in the benefits of using detangler. And all this time, I've been using J&J detangler. You know the stuff. It works well. Smells sweet like little girls. :)

Our long-time friend.

But it is expensive - way more than it should be. I'd always stock up when it was on sale or I found a coupon. But when you've got 2 kids using it every other day, it goes fast. Then one day, while I was lamenting my grocery budget, I got the brilliant idea to try making my own. Surely it couldn't be that difficult and would definitely be A LOT cheaper more frugal than buying it at the store every other day.

A quick search on the internet and I found plenty of other moms out there who had already had this brilliant idea and gave good tips on how to make your own. Basically, all you need is:

- Hot Water (using hot water helps the conditioner dilute better)
- Conditioner
- Spray Bottle

Basically, you just dilute some conditioner in water and voila - homemade detangler! The ratio I decided to use was roughly 1/8 cup of conditioner to about 1 cup of hot water. {You may need to play around with your proportions to see what works best for you/your child so that it detangles well, but doesn't weigh down their hair either}. I just used one of the conditioner samples I had in the linen closet (I'm a sucker for freebies! And this is such a great way to actually use these up.) and mixed it with about 10 oz of water. I wasn't exact with my measurements.

A free sample of conditioner was the perfect amount for my spray bottle!

I mixed up one batch for SweetPea and funnelled it into the empty J&J bottle. And made a second batch for Boogey and just put it in an empty spray bottle that I happened to find in the linen closet. 

How I love my label-maker! :)

They still dread getting their hair brushed (must be a preschool power thing) but at least it isn't quite so painful anymore. For any of us. :)

Do you have any DIY tricks to help save money? I'd love to hear them! I'm cheap frugal, remember?? :)

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  1. What a neat idea! My three year old has never had a hair cut! I'm so scared that her curls will disappear if we get it cut. Her hair gets so tangled when she wears it down. I'm going to try this!

  2. I love that you saw the need and made it for yourself! I have two boys with short hair, so I won't be needing this for my wee ones, but I'm thinking of making some for a gift for my little niece. Thanks for the idea! Love your blog - just came across it today. :)


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