Biracial Hair Care 101: DIY Detangling Spray

Posted on June 1, 2014

Biracial Hair Care 101: DIY Detangling Spray for African American / Biracial Blended Beauty / Natural Hair : FREE PRINTABLE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW

I go into stores and there are rows upon rows upon rows of shampoos, conditioners, and general products for hair. Then crammed between cotton balls and bath gloves is a tiny corner called “ethnic hair care.”

In this little corner one will find many products. Some are good. Many are full of chemicals that I would never put on me let alone my children. (And it is not just this section but 90% of the general hair care products also fall into that category to me as well- see my post on chemicals).

Anyways, once I enter into this tiny “cave of wonders” to pick a hair care product it is actually advertising propaganda in super-drive. Use this chemical for moisturizing, this one for shine, this one for repair, this one to grow a new head of hair! Really. Really?!

I tried a lot of that stuff in the beginning. The detangling sprays had chemicals that dried out the hair horribly. One moisturizing cream from an “all natural” brand caused a huge rash on my daughter’s check. The rest I found over time was not needed or not effective.

This is what I do now. I don’t waiver. It works for us. As much as possible for us we keep a natural home using the least chemicals as possible. We DIY natural cleaning supplies and soaps. This technique for hair I have been using for over 7 years now and it has worked on all 3 of my girls who all have different hair types and textures, each a beatiful blend of African American / Caucasian hair. 

Here’s the only 3 things we use: FREE PRINTABLE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW

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1) A Good Quality Spray bottle (buy here affiliate link). It needs to be a good quality spray bottle like this because I use it every day. Cheap ones will clog and break.

2) Coconut Oil (buy here affiliate link)

I buy this in bulk to save money. We use it for hair, skin, and cooking. I section this large container into smaller jars for different uses. Watch my youtube video for how I use this to remove deep tangles as well.

3) Natural Leave In Conditioner cream. (buy here affiliate link)

It must be Leave In. It must be good quality like a Shea Butter Leave In Conditioner. It is worth spending money on this quality item, because I do not need to buy ANY other hair products – the ONLY other thing I use in addition to this is an all natural locking cream for when I do corn rows / twists but that is another post).

Biracial Detangling Spray (This is for Hair: Do not Eat it! 🙂
This is how I make my DIY Biracial Detangling Spray. See more tips, tutorials and joyful encouragement at
  1. 1. Open Spray Bottle (I use a small size as pictured, for these measurements)
  2. 2. Spoon in 2-4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (the amount varies with the hair type / texture needs, and the season. In dry seasons I find the need for more than in moist weather seasons)
  3. 3. Spoon in 2 -4 Tablespoons of Leave In Shea Conditioner.
  4. 4. Fill almost full with warm water. Shake and adjust if needed for hair type. You want the spray to be a milky white solution that coats the curls. If it feels too thin, add more to meet your hair texture needs.
  1. We make and use the full amount every week. Make sure you clean your spray bottle weekly with just warm water to keep it clean and prevent clogging.
  2. *Coconut oil is solid at colder than 76 degrees and a liquid at warmer than 76 degrees. The warm water melts it as you add / mix them together.
  1. Disclaimer: I am a Mom, not a hair professional. This is what I do in my own home. If you have specific hair, medical, or body needs, please consult your own doctor or hair professional. We love this technique and I hope you do too.
I Believe in Joy!
 That is IT. We apply this solution in the mornings before we fix hair to detangle and start our styles. We also use it to add condition to hair that has been in corn rows for weeks, we spritz a few sprays on each week. We also use it for our short hair styles – when we want to have tight ringlet curls. (side note – if we want to pick out the hair for a puffy afro style, we do not use the spray but instead just rub a little of coconut oil in our palms and smooth the afro puff style.) All other types of styles, we use this spray recipe.

Free resources:

Biracial Daily Hair Care 101 series includes posts, information, style gallery, videos, and more all free.

Youtube Videos: How I make my spray step by step. 

Video Tutorial: How I use the spray on my toddler.

Video Tutorial: How I detangle longer biracial hair.

Video Tutorial: HELP! I let the hair get tangled. How I get out extremely matted knotted hair naturally.

For a toddler photo example, Here is my toddler with her “wake up hair”  every morning.

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This is my same toddler’s hair ten minutes later using ONLY my biracial spray and natural hair care technique:

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This is her all natural curl pattern brought out by the natural ingredients and natural hair care technique. For this length of hair I did not even use the Denman brush. I simply used my hands to massage the spray into the hair. Then I finger combed and defined her natural curls. Subscribe to My Biracial Hair Care 101 youtube video channel to see how I do this. I let her hair dry right like this naturally – beautifully, uniquely, joyfully!

I leave it just like this adorable style for toddler boys or girls or then I take the next step and now get my comb if I want to do twists, rows, or another style. The hair is ready for whatever I want to do next. Simple, natural, fewest chemicals possible, painless, joyful!

Thanks for stopping by! Joyful Hair!!

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Author Joy Brownlee. Written and Photography copyrights
to Joy Brownlee @ for the photos bearing Joy's watermark.

17 thoughts on “Biracial Hair Care 101: DIY Detangling Spray

  1. Oh my goodness!! I am so glad I found your site (after watching your toddler hair routine videos). I have 20 month old biracial twin girls with totally different hair textures. As luck would have it the one with lots and lots of really thick frizzy curls is super tender have headed. I don’t like using grown up products (with tons of chemicals) on their hair, especially because they are so young. I am super excited to try your spray. I have been a big believer in coconut oil for other things, not sure why I haven’t tried it too. I can make their hair look nice right after it is watched but after one nap those cute defined curls are long gone. How often do you usually wash the little one’s hair?? It is a real struggle for me because my girls at this age hate to get their hair wet 🙁

    1. Hi Heather, Thanks so much for taking the time to post. I am really glad you found my blog. Here are a few tips I have done to make hair washing more fun. For short toddler hair: during bath time I wet a washcloth with warm water and wash up my Little’s back, and happily just go upward to the scalp. She really prefers this instead of dumping the water over her head. I wet and wash the hair starting this way and it is more enjoyable. Definitely you can check out my shampoo post, the leave in conditioner / detangling post, and banding for bedtime post. These will help especially if the hair is long enough to detangle and band. If you LIKE and FOLLOW my facebook page I Believe in Joy, I will make a bath time tutorial just for you and it will alert you when I post it. I will put that on my request list for you. Enjoy the spray ~ It is all we ever use now 🙂 ~ Joy

  2. Your daughters are so beautiful and I want to tell you that you are doing an amazing thing by not putting artificial products into their hair and handling their hair naturally. As a teen with biracial hair, I understand how frustrating it can be to get my hair to “be good” without using those terrible products in the store. I will be trying this out FOR SURE! Thanks a million! 🙂

    1. Hi Margaret, Thank you for sharing your day at my blog and for the positive words. Keep shining your beautiful natural heart and hair! Keep it up 🙂 ~ Joy

  3. Hi! Thank you so much for this tutorial! I can’t wait to try it on my son’s hair -although his curls are much smaller/tighter! There are so many products out there that I have found it pretty overwhelming to try and find something natural that works well. I have already bought a few that I threw out almost immediately due to their overwhelming fragrance. Do you have a suggestion/recommendation for what type or brand of quality shea leave in conditioner to use? Thanks again!

    1. Hi Kim, There are a few that I like. One is called Shea Moisture (Leave in Shea conditioner) and the other is Cantu (leave in Shea Conditioner). I use those two brands most commonly and I use pure coconut oil as described in my recipe post. That is all! I have three different hair curls on my daughters, and one is a much tighter curl pattern as well and the formula works great! It is all we use now. Thanks for posting your question. ~ Joy

  4. Gorgeous Family!
    I know sometimes hair wash frequency can make a difference with drying out the hair. How often do you wash(or co-wash) your girls hair? Do you prefer to wash their hair every night during bath time?

    1. Hi and Thank you 🙂
      My post on Shampoo talks a bit about this, so it will be a good read. My general rule is – anytime I get the hair wet, I also condition it. So, for my young kids, that usually means daily baths – so this means a daily co-wash (washing the hair with a moisturizing yet cleansing conditioner). My biracial hair store has the Co-wash that I use. After the co-wash (which I rinse out), then I apply the Leave In Conditioner (also available in my store). Finally, depending on the weather, style, and hair texture differences (all 3 of my girls require a bit different schedule), the shampoo product wash is limited to once every one – two weeks. The shampoo I use is also in my store. In addition to this routine, during the day I use my daily Detangling & Conditioning Spray which I have a post that shows how I add coconut oil & make it at home. We’ve loved this routine and it saves so much time and the yearly healthy hair growth is amazing! Thank you for asking! 🙂 ~ Joy

  5. Thanks for the great info!

    As a father I think this is a great resource for those of use who are open to taking on the challenge of styling our daughters hair. One question though: the Coconut Oil that you use in this mixture, is it a liquid or a semi-solid? I ask as all the coconut oils I’ve seen have been more semi solid than liquid, but upon viewing your YouTube video, the oil you use seems more liquid. Any clarity would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Welcome! Thank you so much for joining us here for joyful natural biracial hair! You ask a very good question. Coconut oil is very light and it will go from a solid to a liquid as soon as the external temperature reaches about 76. So colder than that and it will be anywhere from a semi solid to a hard solid, and warmer than 76F it will be a liquid. Depending on where you live and where you store your coconut oil the solid or liquid state will change with the temperature. If its colder than 76 and our coconut oil is turning solid, I do 2 techniques to work with it: 1) I will put a few tablespoons into a microwave safe small bowl and warm it only a few seconds until it melts (make sure its not too hot before you use it). or technique 2) I will scoop some solidified coconut oil into my spray bottle and then add the warm water to change it to liquid as I shake them together. Both techniques work well for us and we add the leave in conditioner to that, amount depends on texture and type of hair needed. Please continue to ask any questions and welcome!! Love, Joy

    1. I would use a natural as possible Leave in Conditioner that contains no allergens for him. One I like is Andalou Naturals Leave in Conditioner, I just added it to my Biracial Hair Care 101 Store for you to purchase there. Thanks for stopping over! Love, Joy

  6. Thanks for your tips on how to make your de tangling spray, can’t wait to try it ! Is there anything else that can be used instead of coconut oil, just find the smell too strong! Thanks

    1. Hi Jean! You can use whatever oil you use to condition hair, such as avocado oil, jojoba oil etc ~ Just make sure they are pure organic oils with no additives. (You may also consider using the refined coconut oil which has the scent removed.) You can try a few small bottles to find the one you like, and then buy the large economy size once you decide. I will put a few alternatives for coconut oil in my Biracial Hair Store for you as well. Have a great day! Joy

  7. I’m so glad I found your site. I’m the mother of an 18 month old bi-racial daughter who’s hair is just starting to grow. She has some tight curls and some loose curls. She has never liked her hair brushed and not because of knots. I’m totally going to try your detangler in hopes she lets me start doing her hair 🙂

    1. Welcome! I am so glad to have you here. This method has truly transformed our lives, it costs less, uses less chemicals, and celebrates each of my daughter’s different type of biracial hair ~ I can use this on all of them! I am so glad to have another awesome family part of our site. Welcome! Love ~ Joy

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