I finally got around to mixing up a detangler with marshmallow root and this week was the perfect week to try it. I had some serious tangles and matting going on in my new growth this week. So much so that I couldn’t work my hair into a bun towards the end of the week because my new growth formed a little pillow of hair that just refused to lose any volume. Claw clip, a headband, and aloe vera gel to smooth edges helped keep my hair presentable.

What you’ll need:

  • Marshmallow root (can also use powdered form)
  • Distilled water
  • Coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
  • Essential oil (optional)

For this homemade detangling spray I used marshmallow root, coconut oil, distilled water and a few drops of lavender essential oil to mask the scent of the marshmallow root (because it’s not that pleasant). I started by boiling 2 cups of distilled water with 4 tablespoons of marshmallow root for 15 minutes to release marshmallow root’s mucilage. It’s this mucilage that provides slip. After taking the pot off the stove, I let the herbs steep for 30 minutes.

After steeping I used a strainer to catch the herbs and used the back of a spoon to extract as much mucilage as possible. I poured 1 cup of the marshmallow root tea into a spray bottle, added 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. *I saved the remaining cup of marshmallow root tea for my tea rinse.


Once all ingredients were combined and the mixture cool, I sprayed my hair and detangling using just my fingers. This spray worked. like. a. dream. This mix helped loosen my tangled hair all while softening it.

Here’s a quick video (seriously, it’s only like 2 minutes long) of me applying and working the spray through my hair.

I purchased that 1 pound bag of marshmallow root from vitacost.com for $13.18. Once I make a dent in that bag I think I’m going to try marshmallow root powder and maybe add some aloe vera juice as well.


Try it! And lemme know how it goes!


  1. Hi My Sister,
    I give all Praise to the Most High!
    I have long thick hair. I got very sick unto the point of death and I was unable to comb my hair. One day ,I decided to pour olive oil all over my hair with water and went to bed. The next day my hair was rolled up in a bun,knotted and matted. I could not part the hair because it was so tight.Please, help me!

  2. Hi Jen, I love your post! I made some of this for my neices- we all have really fine, light, long hair. It works great for me (the kids haven’t had a chance to try it yet), although I think it darkens the strands a little bit. Does the mmr powder really dissolve well in the water? I was hesitant to use it because I’ve had powdered forms not dissolve and end up clumping.

  3. Is the essential oil to cover up the marshmallow root’s smell? I take it that it doesn’t have anything to do with detangling.

  4. Hi! I came across your website and found it interesting. Interesting that we have the same type hair combination. Wanted to see if you could share some of your hair secrets to a few of my questions.

  5. I absolutely LOVE the Shielo's Smoothing line + Restoration Oil. I have relaxed hair and to this day no other product have been able to detangle and give my hair so much slip. Shielo is amazing. Whether it has something to do with micro-oils – these products work. I would definitely co-wash or add it to your regular regimen.

  6. Hi Jen love your blog- wanted to ask can this be used as a leave in? I detangle mid week too so wanted to know can i use this even when I dont want to wash?

    1. Hey Anonymous! I know the question was for Jenijen but I know a lady who uses a mixture of marshmallow root and slippery elm on her daughters hair, and what she does is mixes a little bit of her favorite organic leave in (I think she uses Shea Moisture products, but she says to use your favorite) and it works wonderful as a leave in. I say give it go! I definitely will!

  7. Hi Jeni! so if i got the powder, how would the recipe be altered? just dissolve them into the water? still boil the water?

    1. Author

      Hi there, yes I'd boil the water (or use distilled water) and add the powder in once the water has cooled.

  8. Hey Jen, I purchased some MMR powder, Slippery Elm Bark powder, & Aloe Vera powder. Do you think this will work just fine?

    1. Author

      Hi there, yup I think it will. Those are actually the three ingredients I plan on trying in the future after I've worked through most of the bag of MMR I have now.

  9. Hib Jen,

    Can I use Marshmallow root tea bags and get similar results? I have some that I use for rinses mixed with others but never thought to use it alone as a detangler.

    1. Author

      Hi there, I haven't tried using MMroot tea bags but I can't imagine it not working just the same.

  10. is this a leave-in or rinse out

    1. Author

      Hi Anon, it's not a conditioner. I use it before my regular wash days.

  11. That marshmallow root tea stuff has been on my "want list" for a while. With a name like marshmallow you would think it smells divine, but I still want to give it a try. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Jeni!

    1. Author

      Yes I was disappointed with the MMR's smell! My pleasure 🙂

  12. Hello jen. I'm new to your blog. I'm 12 weeks post and I have no Idea wat to do with my new growth I don't have the marshmallow at home , any idea how I can detangle my hair and get it into a bun?. Thanks

    1. Author

      Hi there, using a nice moisturizing leave-in conditioner/moisturizer and a little serum helps me tons when detangling my new growth. My faves are Pura Body Naturals Murumuru Moisture Milk, Hairitage Hydration Soft Coconut Milk, and Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum. Work in small sections with a wide toothed comb and take your time. I get the tamest buns when I bun while my hair is a little damp from detangling. For the new growth at my edges, I use aloe vera gel and a silk scarf to smooth them out.

    2. thanks for the information. I'll try this on my wash day. 🙂

  13. Oooo! I love a good kitchenista Detangler! I bet if you add the Aloe Vera Juice is will be the perfect moisturizer too!

    KLP | SavingOurStrands

  14. Hey Jen! About how many inches of new growth do you have now at 20 weeks post? I'm at 14 weeks post and i'm at about 1 1/2- 2 inches, is that ideal?

    1. Author

      Hi there, 2 inches at my nape and edges, 2.5 everywhere else. Hair grows an average rate of .5 inches a month so it looks like you're right on track.

  15. This is such a good idea, I'v been mixing aloe vera juice with my moisturiser and it works really well.


  16. Everytime I use marshmallow root for detangling I am left with bits of roots stuck in my new growth/texlaxed hair. Did you have this problem?

    1. Author

      HI Mally, no I didn't. My strainer caught all the herbs.

  17. Awesome! I've got some marshmallow root and slippery elm that I mixed with conditioner I had one time. Jen how long will the spray last? Did you have to use it all immediately? Marshmallow root doesn't seem to produce as much mucilage as slippery elm. I might try mixing the two. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Author

      This time I used 1 cup and used it all. But in the future if I didn't use it all at once, I'd probably keep it in the fridge for a week. I wouldn't be comfortable storing it for longer. If I added a little vitamin E oil I'd probably keep it maybe 2 weeks.

      Slippery elm produces more mucilage you say? *Adds that to the top of my 'to try' list!*

  18. U should try kinky curly knot today. It's basically slippery elm and marshmallow root and detangles new growth like no other.

    1. Thank you for sharing! I didn't even realize that it was one of the ingredients! Kinky Curly Knot Today is amaaaazing! Worth every penny! I use it with the Kimmaytube leave-in recipe :o)))

  19. Hi Jen, when would this detangling mix typically be used? Also, between Pura Body Naturals Murumuru Moisture Milk, Darcy's Botanicals Daily Leave-In Conditioner, and Hairitage Hydration Soft Coconut Marshmallows, which do you prefer for air drying? Which do you prefer for roller/flexi-rod sets? Also, would you suggest on for the first few weeks after a relaxer and another one for when there is a significant amount of new growth later on during a stretch?

    1. Author

      Hi there, before co-washing or shampooing. It's nearly a tie between PBN Murumuru and HH Soft Coconut Marshmallows, but Soft Coconut Marshmallows provides more slip. I've only tried Darcy's Leave-Ins for my sets. These same moisturizers/leave-ins can be used both at the beginning of a stretched or later on in one.

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