Best detangling spray for kids

detangling for kids mum spraying daughter's hair

by Laura Healy |
Published on

As parents, we all know that familiar screech when we try to brush our children's hair. It doesn't matter whether they have had a busy day at nursery or school, a good night's sleep or are fresh from the bath, you might even have used detangling shampoo, but when the brush touches their hair they wriggle, squirm and moan that it hurts, which causes both frustration and guilt as a parent. It is such a common problem, but detangling spray for kids can make the task a lot less painful for both you and your little one.

Of course, we don't want to upset our children, but at some point they do need their hair brushed and often it can be quite tangled after a day of adventures, or first thing in the morning. Sometimes it is tempting to get an easy to manage toddler haircut, but that won't please your little one either, especially if they are keen to grow their hair, so what can you do? Brushing hair when it is wet can make it easier, and there are some great detangling brushes which are more gentle, but ultimately, you need to get through those tangles!

A good detangling spray for kids will make their hair a lot easier to manage, and it is even a good product for curly hair. It is essentially a type of leave-in conditioner that smoothes and moisturises the hair and makes it less likely to tangle, but also, when tangles happen, it reduces friction between the hair shafts and makes breaking apart tangles simpler.

Best detangling sprays at a glance:

Best for thick hair: Baby Love Kids 2-in-1 shea butter conditioning detangling spray

Best for long hair: Johnson's No More Tangles Kids Conditioner Spray

Best for sensitive skin: Childs Farm Kids Hair Detangler

If your little one loves their long locks, and is aiming for Rapunzel length hair, then you probably need a detangling spray for kids to make hair brushing less stressful for you both. Plus, often detangling sprays smell lovely and will leave hair even more soft and shiny. They are so nice you might even borrow them yourself for your own easy hairstyle! With so many on the market we have selected some of the best detangling sprays for kids, for all hair types, for you to choose from.

Best for post swimming tangles

This lightweight spray helps to moisturise hair to make it more manageable. Your little one's hair will feel smoother and softer and they might even enjoy brush-time. It also has a subtle fruity fragrance and is certified with PETA as being animal-test free and Vegan Society certified.

Review: "My daughter has the most tangle prone hair I've ever known so we have tried most products! This one works really well, it smells lovely and definitely helps with the brushing through and keeping it less tangly throughout the day. She also loves the packaging, and this helps with making her brush her hair daily!"


  • Smells lovely
  • Makes hair soft
  • Good for adults too


  • Some reviewers weren't impressed when used on curly hair
AgeNot suitable for children under 3 years
  • PETA certified
  • Subtle smell
  • Can be used daily

Best for sensitive skin

Simply spray this gentle detangling spray over dry or damp hair and comb through to remove knots and tangles. With grapefruit and tea tree oil the spray is moisturising and smells gorgeous, plus tea tree is a natural anti-bacterial. Childs Farm detangler is dermatologist and paediatrician approved and is suitable from newborn, and all skin types including even eczema prone skin. Even better it is cruelty free and the bottle is recyclable.

Review: "We love Childs Farm detangling hair spray! My daughters both have thick, wavy hair that knots very easily and the child’s farm spray helps get straight through it. It’s great for styling their hair too. It also smells lovely!"


  • Suitable for sensitive and eczema prone skin
  • Approved for use by all ages, even babies


  • Some reviewers said the scent was too strong
AgeFrom newborn
  • Suitable for eczema prone skin
  • Suitable from newborn
  • Uses natural oils, tea tree and grapefruit

Best for value

A mild and gentle spray, this detangling spray helps to banish knots, leaving hair soft, shiny and more manageable, plus it is a must for any Frozen fans! It is suitable for all hair types and you simply spray it onto damp or dry hair before brushing. It is also great value with two bottles of 200ml in this pack.

Review: "My little girl has very long, curly hair and because she loves to wear it down it gets knotted pretty quickly. This product helps me to get the brush through it without any tears, it also smells lovely and my daughter just adores the packaging."


  • Fun packaging
  • Great value


  • Can make hair sticky
AgeNot specified
Quantity 2 x 200ml
  • Fun Frozen packaging will appeal to your little one
  • Great value with 2 x 200ml bottles

Best for babies

With a cute character, Teaser Teresa the Octopus, on the packaging, this will instantly appeal to kids. It is great for tackling knots and tangles and is an extremely lightweight formula, with 98% naturally derived ingredients. Spritz it onto dry or damp hair for stress-free brushing.

Review: "This product was used by my hairdresser when my son had his hair cut. It was great. He has relatively short hair but he likes this spray to freshen up his hair and help tame fly aways.
My daughter also uses it on her long hair and I've found the smell to be great and the detangling element to work well for her."


  • Good for babies and short hair
  • 98% naturally derived ingredients
  • Lovely fresh smell


  • Spray bottle sometimes awkward
AgeSuitable from newborn
  • Lovely fresh smell
  • Naturally derived ingredients
  • Suitable from newborn

Best for thick hair

This natural detangling spray is great for tough tangles but gentle on hair with added shea butter. It prevents breakage and can be used on all types of hair. It will gently soften hair to tame tangles for easier brushing and styling.

Review: "First time using on mixed race hair. Honestly first time in a while that we did not have tears. I just spray with water to dampen hair then use this and it works amazing."


  • Works on all types of hair
  • Prevents breakage


  • Leaves the hair a bit dry
AgeNot specified
  • Good size bottle
  • Suitable for all types of hair
  • Added breakage protection

Best for hydrating

detangling spray my little coco
Price: £4.17 (was £6.25)

This might be a gentle formula but it is tough on tangles. With the simplest and softest of formulas, it will be delicate on your little one's skin and hair, but will target any knots. Enriched with organic coconut oil it is truly nourishing as well as being beautifully scented with blueberry and grape. Plus, it is suitable for newborns, babies, children (and you!), and it is dermatologically tested, paediatrician approved, vegan friendly and cruelty free.

Review: "My 5 year old daughter has very long hair, which can get very tangled after sleeping. This spay is great. It’s light and does not make the hair greasy, detangles with ease and smells amazing."


  • Very gentle formula
  • Smells lovely
  • Nourishing


  • Bottle leaks
AgeSuitable from newborn
Quantity 150ml
  • Enriched with coconut oil
  • Paediatrician and dermatologist approved
  • Vegan friendly
  • Lovely scent

Best for long hair

detangling spray for kids Johnsons
Price: £2.33 (was £3.50)

Specially designed to help keep toddlers' and kids' hair manageable, this hypoallergenic and PH balanced detangling spray is paediatrician and dermatologist-tested. Spray it onto damp or dry hair and it will tackle tangles and knots making brushing easier for you and your little one. Great for long and curly hair.

Review: "My daughter has VERY long and thin hair, her hair is always tangled. THIS works so great and lets me brush her hair out without her making a fuss! Doesn’t leave a smell like the other stinky kids brands."


  • Great for long hair
  • Can be used on dry or wet hair
  • Really conditioning


  • Some reviewers said the smell was a bit chemical
AgeNot specified
  • Hypoallergenic and PH balanced
  • Paediatrician and dermatologist approved
  • Conditioning formula

What is the best detangling spray for kids?

There are so many detangling sprays for kids on the market, choosing the best is a personal decision. To help decide it is worthwhile considering the type of hair you will be using the spray on. Is it long? Or curly? Thick? Wavy? Thin? Perhaps you need it for after swimming with your toddler? Or you want to use it on dry hair while brushing your little one's locks in the morning before school. Some sprays work best on wet hair, while some can be used on both wet and dry hair. Also consider if your little one has sensitive skin and might need a more natural product, or perhaps they get overwhelmed by strong smells and you might need to find a detangling spray for kids with a gentle fragrance.

Does detangling spray work?

We think it does! Of course some children will always dislike having their hair brushed, especially if they are tired, or don't want to sit still, but with a detangling spray it will make the task easier. A detangling spray for kids will condition the hair making it smoother and separating the hair strands to make it simpler to break apart knots and tangles. Not only do detangling sprays tackle tangles, they also make your little one's hair smell lovely and will make it soft, smooth and shiny. It will quickly become a lovely part of the bathtime routine.

Can adults use a detangling spray for kids?

There is absolutely no reason not to. The sprays will work on adult hair as well as kids' hair. In fact, your little one will probably enjoy watching you using the spray, and it might encourage them to use it too if they are a little hesitant. You could even let them brush the tangles out of your hair to show them how brave you can be. It might become a lovely activity to do together.

Do you use detangling spray on wet or dry hair?

You can use it on both but it might be easier with wet, or damp hair. However, if you are rushing in the morning and your little one won't let you brush their hair because it hurts, then a detangling spray will make things quicker and will help you ease those tangles out without too much distress, or without having to wash their hair and it will hopefully make your morning routine less hectic. Additionally, a detangling spray for kids will calm frizzy hair, or little cowlicks, so they can start their day with smooth, detangled and styled hair.

Laura Healy is a Commercial Content Writer for Mother&Baby. She is a mum-of-two girls and loves writing about all things parenting. She has a PhD in Creative Writing and enjoys reading and attending literary festivals, as well as writing fiction.

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