Marshmallow Root Provides Great Slip as a Natural Hair Detangler

08/21/2012 | By | More


Click here to order Marshmallow Root

Marshmallow root and marshmallow leaf (Althaea Officinalis) has several alternative names: Mallards, schloss tea, mortification root, sweet weed, hock herb, wymote, mauls, and cheeses plant (named after the flat, round fruit). Marshmallow root and leaves are not only great to use as a detangler on dry hair, but can also be used both internally and externally for a wide variety of skin and health conditions such as:

  • insect bites
  • boils and abscesses
  • wound healing
  • moisturizer for dry itching skin
  • inflammation and ulceration of the digestive tract
  • assists with upper respiratory complaints such as coughs, bronchitis and asthma
  • relives irritation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat
  • detangles and nourishes the hair

For the sake of this article, we’ll be focusing on the last benefit listed for use of marshmallow root to detangle and nourish natural hair.


Marshmallow is a High Mucilage Plant

This wonderful -rich plant is filled with vitamins A and C starch, pectin, phenolic acids, sucrose, asparagine, oil, flavonoids, cellulose, sugar, glutinous matter (some refer to it as ‘slime’), and phosphate of lime. Marshmallow is a mucilage plant just like aloe vera, okra, fengreek and flax seeds, and kelp, which means it produces a “snot-like” secretion that is extremely similar to the slippery quality of aloe vera.

Marshmallow can significantly cut down on your natural hair detangling time after shampooing. Marshmallow used as a rinse or with conditioners has an amazingly slippery texture and incomparable detangling abilities. Its nutrient rich composition promotes healthy hair growth, and adds a natural shine to your hair. If you suffer from irritation of the scalp such as dandruff, eczema or psoriasis – marshmallow root will soothe your dry, itchy scalp. It’s natural anti-inflammatory properites help heal inflammation of scalp tissue and reduces bacteria, lessening the likelihood of an infection of the scalp.


Marshmallow Root Detangling Spray

This simple to make (DIY) marshmallow root detangling spray makes a huge difference in hair styling after shampooing. Detangling with marshmallow root is much easier, single strand knots (SSKs) slide right out, and there is less tangling which means reduced breakage.

For women transitioning from relaxers to natural, a detangling spray is indispensable to reduce tension between your new growth and the relaxed hair during comb outs. Marshmellow root detangling spray will help you experience much less hair breakage and maintain length during your transition period.

What You Need:

  • 1-1/2 cups distilled water
  • 3 Tablespoons Marshmallow root powder (or shreds of the root bark)
  • 2 Tablespoons Aloe Vera juice
  • 2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil


  1. Warm the distilled water in a pot until it is very hot but not boiling (usually let it boil slightly then take it off the stove for 1 minute to cool slightly).
  2. Place Marshmallow root in a large heat-resistant ceramic or glass bowl; pour hot water over herbs.
  3. Cover bowl with a plate and allow mixture to steep for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove root bits by straining through a fine strainer or cheesecloth into a large measuring cup with a pour spout.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. When cool enough to handle, pour the mixture into your spray bottle.
measuring out my marshmallow root

Click to order organic marshmallow root

Use this whenever you need to detangle your hair, especially immediately after shampooing. Always shake before using.

The mixture keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days; to keep it longer than that add a few drops of an anti-bacterial preserving essential oil such as Lemongrass or Tea Tree oil.


Risks/Side Effects of Marshmallow

We could find no known side effects attributed to use of marshmallow. However, as with any plant or food, there is always risk of an allergic reaction which could be serious. Seek emergency medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as a skin rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face, tongue or throat), severe dizziness or you experience trouble breathing.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Protecting

About the Author ()

Blogger, writer, relationships/dating expert, fitness trainer and natural hair enthusiast since 1997. Sharing information from grandmomma, books and scientific journals, as well as my personal discoveries and experiences with natural hair as we journey from relaxers, flat irons and weaves together.

Comments from Facebook

Comments ()

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jasmine says:


    I have been natural now for one year and am loving it! However, I do have somewhat of an issue. Once my hair is wet, it draws up. My hair is actually 7 or 8 inches in length, but you’ll never know it. After I wash and condition my hair, I let it hair dry. I do not like heat. Once it’s dry, my hair looks as if it’s only 3 inches in length.

    In order for me to take advantage of my length, sometimes, after I wash my hair, I plait it up. The downside to that is since my hair naturally begins to draw up, my hair breaks.

    Is the marshmallow root good for this type of issue? I like plaiting my hair up after I wash it so that it can dry. I just don’t like the breakage.

    • Deborrah says:

      Give me more information on your hair washing and maintenance routine. I have some guesses but this is not enough information for me to make solid recommendations.

      Marshmallow root is great for providing “slip” in that it minimizes friction and when your hair rubs together it slides easily instead of tangling into knots or breaking. In that regard it would help you.

      The shrinkage you describe sounds like your hair is either 4a or 4b type with tight coils. Type 4 hair is, in my opinion, the most delicate and requires the most gentle handling to prevent breakage. If your hair is breaking there could be many issues to consider such as:

      – incorrect product pH
      – lack of proper conditioning before styling
      – wrong type of conditioner being used for your hair type
      – not enough protein
      – not enough moisture
      – porous hair where moisture escapes leaving hair dry and brittle
      – product chemicals that disagree with your hair
      – rough handling of your hair
      – damaging styling tools (combs/brushes)

      So you see, there are so many things it COULD be that I need more information. But I’d be happy to help.

      • Jasmine says:

        I wash my hair once a week; twice a week if I’ve been sweaty or playing with the neighbor’s dog. I’ve tried many different shampoos but find that I like Mizani shampoos and conditions. They leave my hair soft and bouncy. My moma used to condition my hair with mayo quite often when I was growing up. She’s always told me that I had such dry hair. I use organic olive oil to moisturize my hair.

        I guess I’m not informed enough about the different combs and brushes. The brush is definitely plastic with plastic bristles and the combs range from rattail to wide tooth. The wide tooth is used after washing my hair. The medium is used after all of the tangles are loosened. The rattail hardly ever gets used.

        How do I find out which type hair I have?

        • Deborrah says:

          One thing you might want to consider is that the only thing that moisturizes hair are things that are wet – water, rosewater, aloe vera, etc. Oils seal the hair and keep moisture in after you put it there, but they do not provide moisture. They aren’t wet.

          Look on the site under the Conditioning tab then Moisturizing to get some ideas about how to increase the moisture level in your hair to prevent dryness and breakage. There are recommendations for 100% natural products, as well as moisturizing spritz combinations that will change how your hair feels. Won’t do you much good to grow your hair out if you lose it as fast as its growing in. :/

          As for hair type, take a look at the chart here:

          After you wash your hair next time, take a small section and place something light behind it like your palm or a piece of paper. Look into the mirror and see which curl pattern on the chart most closely resembles your hair.

          There is no need for a rat tail comb unless you are using the tail part to section off hair. That’s it. The medium comb is also not your friend. The wide tooth comb should preferably be used to detangle while you have conditioner in your hair, as it will be much easier to comb. Using the marshmallow root tea as a rinse will eliminate the need for any major combing after that. You want to handle your hair as gently as possible no matter WHICH type it is, but especially if its in the 4 category.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oil from Mountain Rose Herbs