I’ve never been one of those girls who is good at “doing” hair.
Apparently I missed the memo in high school that you were suppose to spend hours in the mirror playing with different styles… So I didn’t.
Instead I was outside, riding my horse, working at Jiffy Lube (wait– have I ever told you that? But yes, I totally changed oil at Jiffy Lube to pay for college…), and pretty much doing every other thing I could think of that didn’t involve hair, makeup, or other girly pursuits.
It’s all fine and good, except I still struggle to do my hair in a style other than a braid or messy bun. Which is less-than-handy when I have to make an appearance at a public event.
But why am I talking about my own hair?
Today’s post is about horse hair, not mine. Thankfully.
I don’t talk about my horses a whole lot here, because, well, they aren’t technically classified as a homestead sort of animal. (Unless you’re using horse-powered farm equipment– which is SO DANG COOL, but not something I do…)
But horses are good for my mental health. So that’s something.
There are a lot of pricey horse hair products on the market, but I’ve been using this simple DIY solution for years. Some folks call it ‘Homemade Show Sheen’, but it doesn’t really produce the slick shine that Show Sheen does. Rather, it’s a rich leave-in conditioner that helps to detangle manes and tails, and I use it liberally before I go into the show ring OR when we’re just at home and I’m working a knot out of a mane or tail.
The ingredients are versatile and forgiving, and all-in-all, it’s much cheaper than the store-bought versions. Adding essential oils to the mix adds additional benefits as well (such as calming or insect repelling).
And now my horses have nicer hair than I do. Hmmm.
Homemade Horse Hair Detangler Recipe
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup conditioner of your choice (see notes)
- 1/3 cup fractionated coconut oil (see notes)
- 5 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
- 10 drops rosemary essential oil (see notes)
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
Combine all ingredients in a 16-ounce spray bottle.
Shake well before each use.
Spray on your horse’s mane and tail, work in with your fingers, then brush.
No rinse necessary!
DIY Horse Hair Detangler Notes:
- Any ol’ conditioner will work–human, equine, or otherwise. I usually just use some of our doTERRA conditioner, as that’s what I always have on hand
- Instead of fractionated coconut oil, you can use sweet almond oil, apricot oil, or avocado oil instead. Any oil that’s good for skin will work well here.
Other Essential Oil Combos for Horse Detangler:
I usually aim for about 20-30 drops of essential oil in each batch of horse hair detangler I make. However, you can increase or decrease that amount, or play with different combinations of oils.
Caution: I’ve noticed some horses to become extremely energized around peppermint oil, so use it with caution if your horse is high-strung. Also, never apply citrus oils to bare skin (such as around the muzzle), as they can cause photosensitivity.
Rosemary + Eucalyptus (hair growth + insect repellent)
Tea Tree + Rosemary (encourages hair growth)
Lavender + Frankincense (calming)
Cedarwood + Lavender (grounding)
Eucalyptus + Tea Tree + Thyme (heavy-duty insect repellent)
Wild Orange + Frankincense (calming + focusing)
Where I Get Essential Oils
I’ve been using essential oils since before they were cool, and I’ve stuck with the same brand for the last 7 years: doTERRA.
I also have a team of over 35,000 (!!) essential oil lovers, many of them homesteaders just like you, and I can help you get discounts on the oils you want, and education on how to use them. Click here for the deets!
Remarkable Blog Posts!! Great work Buddy.
Patricia (Pat) Dickeson says
Just thot I loved you before. Now that I know you also live horses I adore you. Unfortunately I lost mine to old age and the last beautiful Arab gelding to coyotes
Zahra Baintner says
Now…. Will this work for humans, too?
I tried this recipe out for the first time a few weeks ago. So far, I’m loving the results and I especially love the smell! It actually smells good rather than an overwhelming vinegar smell that I’ve ended up with in other recipes I’ve tried. I do have one question that I’m hoping you can answer, while my horse’s mane and tail look and feel way softer than before….they also seem to have a small sticky feel to them. Could I have not mixed it well or perhaps have too much of a certain ingredient that I may need to cut back on? Please let me know. Thanks!
Laureen Sue Magyari says
Will this work on human hair? I have the most tangly hair and hate using comercial products but cannot get a comb through it if I don’t.
yes, i was wondering the same thing…will it work on people hair? mine gets tangled easy…really long.
Do you suppose this would work on cattle? We have Scottish Highlanders with really long hair.
Jill Winger says
I haven’t tried it on cattle, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! 🙂
Love your post. I was a dog groomer for over 20 years and dematting was always a challenge. I myself have course African American hair, which I am letting go naturals, that gets hard to comb at times. I can’t wait to try this on my hair and some double coated dogs. I especially love the fact that it is leave in. ?
Dang I wish I’d seen this before I bought some today haha! Definitely going to try the recipe.
Love this! I hate Show Sheen anyway. It’s just a spray on shine that does nothing for the health of the hair. Do you have a DIY fly spray? My horse haaaaaates bugs.
Kayla- Prairie Homestead Assistant says
Yes! This is Jill’s DIY fly spray recipe: https://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2011/06/natural-homemade-fly-spray-1.html
Lisa metcalf says
Do you need to add the oil of your choice in addition to the eucalyptus and rosemary oil that’s listed in the ingredients? I want to try making this for our show horse’s tails. Thank you!
Hey! Would olive oil work instead of the coconut oil?
Can fabric conditioner be used?
Liz Higgs says
I have two black mares. Last year I tried a different recipe with ACV… And ended up with bleaching on their coats. Does this work without the added vinegar? Would you use more water or oil instead?
Rhonda Arsenault says
Hi, this is likely a silly question lol but, the recipe comes to just over 8 oz in total, n you mention a 16 oz spray bottle, should I be filling the rest of the bottle with water?
Jo-Ann Wisniewski says
Wondered this also! Did you use as is … or add water?
Julie Lynne Torres says
This stuff is magic…we have an old rescue horse whose mane was basically dreadlocks. Silky smooth with VERY little effort. Trigger and I thank you