How to Make Homemade Leave-In Conditioner

How to Make Homemade Leave In Conditioner

Today we’re going to make Leave-In Conditioner! This is a fun one!

We all know that there is a lot of pressure to look a certain way and to look a certain way it usually means buying certain things. Those things usually consist of clothes, make-up, and hair stuff. All this STUFF costs money and it adds up QUICK. Very quick.

I’m gonna help you cut another cost. Never again will you have to buy leave-in conditioner or detangler because you’ll be able to make your own! This is a simple and easy recipe and you can use what you already own to make it.

(You might also like this link to my dry shampoo recipe)

Is your hair all tangled and dried up? Mine too! Let’s get started!

  1. Get yourself a spray bottle. If you have your old store bought leave-in conditioner bottle (with a pump) use that one or pull a spray bottle out of the recycling bin (be sure to wash it out good). Next, grab your conditioner. Yep, just your normal conditioner out of your shower.

2. In goes your normal conditioner into the empty spray bottle. You’ll want to put approximately 2 TBSP of conditioner into the spray bottle. Then, fill up the spray bottle with water leaving about 1/4 inch of air at the top.

3. Shake it all up and spritz just like you would with the name brand stuff.

It’s just about free and it works like a charm!

P.S. Spray it just at the ends of your hair so you don’t end up with a grease ball head.


65 thoughts on “How to Make Homemade Leave-In Conditioner

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  1. smc62

    If you're into the no-poo / co-poo thing, a slightly thicker variation on this theme works well as a replacement for shampoo. Cutting out shampoo completely probably doesn't add up to much savings, but it may be healthier for you and better for your hair.

    Sample no-poo article:

    Sample co-poo article:

  2. abby

    the fact that you called it 'ghetto' is really obnoxious. How about 'DIY' or 'Made By Me' detangler? Before you go and call something 'ghetto,' you might want to look up the meaning of the word.

  3. Dear Abby

    Don't you have other things to worry about like starving kids in Africa? Ghetto in modern language means a poor neighborhood, in this economy just about everyone lives in a ghetto. Get off your high horse and find something truly offensive to be offended about.

  4. Get over it!

    Wow let's not get our panties in a bunch just because she called it ghetto. Get off YOUR high horse, and don't take everything so seriously. Thanks :)

  5. Abby's Right

    People ought to try to be a little nicer to each other… Clearly people don't really know what that word means anymore. And no most people don't live in ghettos "Dear Abby" its a recession in the 1st world, most of us aren't missing meals.

    I just wrote this note because I think it's important for people to sometimes have a reminder to be kind and think before we speak– the way all of our mothers taught us to do! I am sure this lady isn't a bad person, just a little careless with her language as we all can be at times. Defending mistakes rather than admitting them as some of the commenters have done is not a good response– we know better.

    1. Tasha

      Wow. What’s with all the hateful, dismissive language? I agree, a better word should have been chosen. For me, as an African-American, it is not about being “politically correct.” However, I do believe it is important to recognize the power that words have. I think we all sometimes forget or choose to ignore that fact. A lot of arguments can be avoided simply by choosing to be more cognizant of the negative connotation that certain words and phrases have. I don’t think that means being politically correct, per se. But, I do think that means being more culturally conscientious and polite. We can all do that.

  6. Ari

    The fact that you referred to it as "ghetto" honestly made me not want to try your idea. Maybe you should look in a dictionary for a better word.

  7. Anna Newell Jones

    Hi Ari, it may not be the best word to have picked but I used it in a light-hearted way. My aim was not to offend anyone.

  8. PeaceLover

    I'm of mix ethnicity and I was also offended by the use if the word "ghetto" in the name of her conditioner. I have many homosexual friends who absolutely hate it when someone says that something (in a descriptive way) is GAY. Using words that can be considered epithets of any kind can be a fine line to cross. I agree with Ari, this made me want to negate trying this idea or even looking at anything else you’ve written. I hope that we can all begin to treat each other with more respect and develop a better understanding of how to relate to other human beings no matter what cultural background they come from. Judging from the responses to this photo it might be best if you just took another one that isn’t so offensive or debatable. Peace and Love!

  9. Anna Newell Jones

    Hi there, I've modified the picture in question. My intent was never to offend or disrespect any of you.

  10. Sarah

    the word ghetto has nothing to do with race. stop getting onto someone about their idea. if someone doesn't like what another person has to offer then move on. but why don't you try to look up words instead of assuming? ghetto doesn't mean "like a black person". assuming that makes you look stupid.

  11. Jennifer

    Hi everyone. The word "homosexual" really offends me. Can't you use the word "differently-sexualized"? Do you see where I'm going with this? It's a sad, sad little person who can't read a blog post about leave-in conditioner–which happens to mention "ghetto"–and not get offended. Peace and love? Give me a break! This is the type of crap that stirs up angst. Get a life, or find something to do to keep from getting so bored.

  12. Grey

    Where I live the word "ghetto" is never often used. Matter of fact I never knew it was offensive until I read these comments (pardon my ignorance). Anyway guys, she made it clear she didn't mean to offend anyone. Since pretty much all the comments here are about how she used the term ghetto and how you guys find it offensive (I'm not sure if I should apologize that I don't?), I'm sure she knows full well that it was wrong of her to do that. And thank you Anna for this post. They don't sell leave-in conditioners over here, so making one seems pretty convenient. :D God bless!

  13. Anna Newell Jones

    Thanks for the support Ginger and Grey. Yeah, it's funny that I even changed the pic that offended people and there are still people getting offended about it. I didn't know that word could/would be so offensive. Gosh, lesson learned!

  14. I Get It

    I found this post via Pinterest. It was pinned before you changed it so it's still out there as "Ghetto Detangler". So you may have people coming over with that in their mind, fuse already lit.

    Clearly you made the post in a light hearted way, if it were something you disliked you wouldn't try and help others by sharing it. But lets not feign ignorance. You know when people say ghetto, the image in their head is not a typical middle class neighborhood filled largely with white people. While they aren't rich but aren't as poor as the people who would actually qualify as poor. It's usually some version of a poor neighborhood with more black (or minorities) than white people. Those poor people would typically be more pressed to create a recipe such as this to try and make ends meet, out of necessity rather than trying to save money.

  15. Anna Newell Jones

    Hi "I get it", I'm not feigning ignorance. I really had no idea people would be so offended by that word.

  16. shepjenn

    Ok, guys its been 6 months since the "offense". Isn't it about time to forgive and forget. Now we r just dragging this out too far. Anna, thanks for the conditioner, and people are too sensitive these days. Either that or they are too dense to actually see the true meaning of the article which was a recipe for a homemade conditioner. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this.

  17. Anna Newell Jones

    Thanks shepjenn.

    Yeah, there are a lot more things in this world to get upset about. Put that time and energy to better use! It's really a silly thing to make a big fuss about.

  18. terri

    dear anna~thanks so much for sharing. clearly too many people have WAY too much time on their hands, then to worry that you referred to this as 'ghetto' conditioner. yeesh. thanks so much for the recipe! xo

  19. Alice

    Hi Anna! This is Alice in Loveland! I hadn't been looking at comments for quite awhile…til now…all I can really say is….DAMN and WOW!!!

    I love "THE GHETTO LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER" idea! It really helps after I color my hair and I don't want a heavy conditioner feeling. OOOOOO saaawwwft!

    You can't please everyone!

    Sorry if I stir it up again!!! ;)

  20. A-Town

    I love this, and plan on using it in my Ghetto over here in A-town Aurora. Thanks for this website so many of my co-workers love it as well! keep it up!

  21. kim

    honestly, I am saddened by how petty some people really are. I am a black woman and I did not take the ghetto comment as a racial statement because there are ghettos all over the world. Anyone who felt otherwise about it, may be the ones who really have the racial hang-ups. I'm just saying, sometimes things of this nature only become an issue when we feed them and give them life. I am lovin the natural, money saving ideas, so keep them coming please!

  22. Destinee

    Well I wanted to let wonderful Anna know, that this was very helpful and I'm truly grateful to receive your wonderful tip! Thank you!

  23. Kammerriee

    Ok, ghetto is about as offensive as the word stupid and dork were in the nineties. Grow up, it's not something to get offended over. I think this is a wicked cool idea.

  24. Bre

    Just found this through Pinterest today and used it. My daughter has long, thick curly hair that gets tangled and I wanted to try a DIY leave in conditioner, and found your recipe. It works great!! Thanks for sharing!!

  25. Pink Erin

    Can't wait to try this! Hitting the $1 store to get some conditioner and squirt bottles. I follow the no 'poo method and my ends get a little dry and don't want to use the apple cider vinegar mist in the morning. Want something pretty smelling! :) this might be nice in the winter when i am all static head too. Thanks!

  26. BacktoPortugal

    Hi –
    Nice blog, and thanks for the recipe!!

    FYI, I'm also a black woman and I took the use of the term "ghetto" in the light, fun spirit in which it was meant and wasn't offended.

  27. Kat

    Haha, some people are hypersensitive…there's a lot worse going around on the Internet but you see the word "ghetto" (used in slang terms, not seriously) and freak out. Come on, pull your heads out, ladies. This is an article on how to make your own products for cheap. Not a lesson on so-called political correctness.

    BTW thanks Anna for the great idea – I think I'll try this with my Orgnx conditioner – smells great :)

  28. Laura

    Wow, ok aside from all the "political correctness" going on over here, thanks so much Anna for this DIY trick :D Really useful info!

    Ladies! If you have hair loss, frizz or dryness then try the conditioner I'm using, it's called Pro Naturals moroccan argan oil conditioner and it's been really good to me. Just a side note which I think should be shared, good products should always be!

  29. Young Wifey

    I just recycled my empty leave in conditioner bottle yesterday! Too bad! Next time I have an empty spray bottle! Usually when I get out of the shower and my long thick hair is still dripping, I smooth some of my reg conditioner over the ends and use it like a leave in! Thanks for the tip!

  30. Crysta

    I am an African American female. I live in the ghetto in Chicago. I miss meals, because I'm poor. I'm half English major.
    I think it's hilarious you used the word, because I know this happens to be a way the word is used. I obviously can't see it now, because you unfortunately gave in this, but I'm letting you know that even black, ghetto, females in Chicago, who are English/CS majors, are not offended by your use of the word "ghetto". Unfortunately, people who ARE offended are more likely to post, for obvious reasons, so you might have been a bit overwhelmed. I probably would have done the same in your case.
    Around here, we describe things as being 'ghetto' all of the time, and your use of the word was in accordance with our secondary definition-that is basically 'doing something unprofessionally in a way that saves money' or 'taking things around the area and using them in place of purchasing a new thing'. Like when I used random electronical devices to light a makeshift fort instead of buying a cheap light.
    These people just want to 'be right'. The trouble is that words progress and have more than one definition in different cultures, refusing to accept that is…not 'right'. :P

    At any rate, I decided to do this with a combination of my leave-in that hasn't been working too well, and my actual conditioner [with some jojoba oil]. Thanks for this idea, because I really needed a way to use that leave-in and I've *needed* a spray conditioner for when I do curly styles [I'm relaxed].

  31. Misty Post author

    You can buy spray bottles at Target, Walmart, Big Lots, dollar stores, pretty much anywhere. They are usually in with all the travel-sized stuff. If you can’t find the mist-spray type, then you can use the trigger-type spray bottles. You can turn the nozzle to adjust the spray to achieve a mist on most of them.

    By the way, I recommend you use silicone-free conditioner (avoid anything ending in “cone” in the ingredients list). The cheap stuff is usually safe. It looks like she used VO5 here, which I really like as well.

  32. Gabriellyn Post author

    I have sat here and read just about all of these comments and all I can say is I can’t believe this has turned into such a mountain of what is and isn’t politically correct. The whole idea of this article is to help others save money but there are some who find fault with the use of certain words which were not used intentionally to offend anyone. I think gratitude for someone giving their time to try to help others is what is important here. Unfortunately I’m adding to the same issue but I just wanted to thank you for the time you’ve taken and I’m sorry that this has turned into such a nightmare for you. I’m quite sure you never meant to offend anyone and you have repeatedly apologized so I truly don’t know what more people can expect. Anyway…….thank you, Anna, for taking your time and it is most definitely appreciated by most of us. P.S. And Danny…..not to sound mean or anything but sometimes you just have to use some good old common sense and figure it out for yourself. I wish you luck.

  33. Cookie Post author

    Hello!! because i have decided to step out into the world of going natural
    here i am typing in the g00gle field “homemade conditioner” ..i ran into this particular blog website …sooo.. im scrolling reading… …ghetto this/ghetto that..hmm offended this/offended that… black people …da da da everyone inputting information about not knowing what the word “ghetto” even MEANS…(BTW only people over FORTY cud really give a better description of “ghetto” than any youngER person cud EVER explain)… BTW as an african american…. im thinking this person seems like a really nice person who is contributing her gift into the world wide web on how to spend and NOT spend which is FOR EVERY race to acknowledge because what EVERYONE does in America EFFECTS the next HUUUUMAN being….love this blog keep it going lady!!!! PS…um if the coffee grounds are kinda over time hazardous to your teeth will it actually really really turn your face a dark color too?!! (over time im saying)

  34. rebecca

    its a word people, get a f*n life. who cares im white live in palm beach and use that term so what? move on , insttead of writing your lame comments maybe you can volunteer , have a great day

  35. michelle

    omg it can’t really be this easy can it?! I pay $16.50 for salon leave in conditioner and try to make it last as long as possible. This is better! Why hadn’t I thought of that before LOL? Thanks Anna.

  36. Karin

    Hahaha, I’m going to add to the madness in defence of Ms. Anna! I read somewhere that ghetto was first used to describe the parts of town assigned to Jews so I decided to look it up. This is what I found. “The world ghetto originally referred to the restricted quarter of many European cities especially Italy in which Jews were required to live. The word is now commonly used to mean areas in cities occupied by a minority group either voluntarily or because of social, economic or legal pressures.” I am creole. :D

    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      Hey Norma, The spray bottle in the post is approximately 12 fl oz so for a 5 fl oz spray bottle I would use a hair less than 1 TBSP. You can always see how that works and then modify it to you liking the next time you make it. Or, start with 1/2 TBSP. and add a bit more to your liking.

  37. Sara

    Hey! Thanks for this “recipe”! I just ran out of leave-in for my daughter’s rat’s nest head of hair and I *really* didn’t want to go to the store just for that! :)

  38. T

    I am definitely going to give this a leave in conditioner a try! Tired of buying a bottle every few months. I read similar posts that suggest essential oils added for fragrance but they say to use glass bottles if using oil.
    Any idea why?

  39. tutorial

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However
    I am going through troubles with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I cannot
    subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having similar RSS problems?
    Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond?


  40. Krista

    Thanks for this recipe! I like using a leave – in conditioner when I go to the pool after swimming and no one sells it anymore!!! I’m really excited to try this. Thank you!

    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      Thanks, Krista! Have you tried using a leave-in conditioner when you go to the swimming pool, under your swimming cap? It helps to protect the hair from the water. Let us know!
      Anna. :)

  41. Kristal

    Whoever started this feud about ghetto being offensive is extremely lame and small minded. Clearly Anna didn’t mean to offend anyone. If you’re having problems don’t take it out on people who are actually trying to help.

    BTW thanks so much Anna for the DIY leave in conditioner. So amazing. Do you know any hair thickening recipes.

  42. Margaret

    Hey there would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re using?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers aand I must
    say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you recommend a good web hosting provvider at
    a reasonable price? Kudos, I appreciate

  43. Nozomi Sasaki

    Thanks , I have recently been searching for information about this topic
    for ages and yours is the greatest I have came upon till now.
    But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you positive concerning the source?

  44. wendy smith

    Hi I needed a detangle spray for a poodle!
    Had some Tea Tree Oil conditioner so mixed with warm water as it is so thick.
    Sprayed dog works like a charm.
    Thank you from my dog for this tip.🐩🐩 x


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