This $5 Kids Detangler Makes My Hair So Soft

This popular ’90s spray has a regular spot in my hair rotation, and I’m not ashamed to say it.
Suave Kids Silly Apple detangler spray

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On a recent car trip, I found what is possibly the largest Target I’ve ever seen. I stopped just to use the bathroom, but was quickly sucked into a beauty and body section. I’m not a makeup guy, but I’m a lifelong sucker for a versatile body or hair product that’s easy to use and smells really good.

At first, I spotted a travel-size Sun Bum leave-in hair conditioning spray, which like all Sun Bum products, smelled beachy and amazing. But $20 for a tiny bottle felt a little steep. I could see myself spritzing it twice, then dropping it by mistake into a dark crevice of my car, never to be seen again.

I was craving a cheaper but still good-smelling hair mist when I saw it: a green beacon from childhood perched on the shelf. It was Suave Kids’ Silly Apple detangling spray, with the timeless label confirming it’s “tear-free.” It cost under $10 for more than double the size of the Sun Bum. I immediately grabbed one.


A ’90s baby, the unmistakable green apple scent instantly transported me back to summer camp and swim lessons and going to sleep with wet hair. I so clearly remember my parents and babysitter using this in my thick hair to help with tangles and knots as they brushed it out, and it felt sweet and nostalgic to use it again. (In my day, there was a purple octopus on the bottle, which sadly has been replaced with some sort of green cartoon lion.)

I looked forward to using this after a much-needed shower when I read the label and learned I can use it on dry hair, too. As it’s technically also a leave-in conditioner, the spray helps with flyaways and styling, while keeping hair super soft. It’s not a hair spray, so it has no hold, but that also means it’s not sticky and leaves no residue. The non-aerosol spray dispenser is easy to use and lets me get the product exactly where you want it.

Whether you spray it on wet or dry hair, you don’t feel it on your hair the way you do with a texture spray or dry shampoos. It just simply lets you get a brush, comb or your fingers through hair easily, while giving a little extra shine and smoothness.

I have low-maintenance hair and the hygiene habits of a teenage boy, so I don’t need much from a product other than it smelling good and helping with tangles. Yet even for folks who do have an intensive hair ritual, I would suggest this budget-friendly timeless throwback for its scent and help with knots and tangles. Many reviews are from adults who use it for themselves, saying that it works on curls and that it performs better than even salon-grade products. Some even mention this product helping them with severe matting and knotting when postpartum depression made hair maintenance challenging.

And again, I feel compelled to mention the smell: It’s super fresh and fruity without being too sticky sweet or overwhelming and it just makes you feel good. I’ve been laughing to myself and calling it my new perfume, though the fragrance only lasts for about an hour or so after you spray it on your hair.

I recently mentioned my purchase to a child-free friend, and to my surprise, she said she keeps some in her house for herself as well. I’m telling you, the smell is a must. The softness and detangling is just extra.

Here are some reviews from others adults who love this “kid” product, too:

“I absolutely love this stuff! I’m a grown man in my mid 20’s, and I used to use this stuff back in the early 00’s. Back when’s there was an apple octopus on the bottle! This stuff is affordable and STILL SMELLS THE SAME years later! It still works as well too!! I used to use another detangler spray, but they recently changed the formula for the worse and sometimes it’s insanely priced at certain beauty stores! I decided to back to the reliable detangler that was of my childhood! I can buy this anywhere, it still smells great, is super effective, and it’s usually at a great price point! I know the bottle says “kids” but this stuff is great no matter your age. It’s reliable and has been for well over 15+ years! Seriously buy this!” — Carl W, via Target

“This product works for KIDS and ADULTS! I have thick hair and this product helped my hair get untangled!” — Kay, via Target

“Okay, so I read the previous review about the lady who has hair depression, and I’m the same way. I had postpartum depression where I would just let myself go and not brush my hair. THIS. IS. MAGIC. A must have!!! Works great for kids too, but works amazing for adults as well! I’m now currently pregnant with #2 and now my hair is starting to become really curly and knotty, and it can comb through my curls with ease! It also makes my curls more noticeable and healthy looking. Everyone has been giving me compliments about how good my hair looks and “what perfume are you wearing” - y’all, it’s the dang suave detangler ! WHO KNEW?! and it’s like three bucks. A hair MUST HAVE!!! :)” — nltakacs, via Target

Great smell, easy to use nozzle, but most importantly great detangler. And between myself and my kids we have short to very long hair.” — Hemmyhere

“This product is not just for kids !! Even as an adult I struggle with my hair getting tangled. This is only product I have found that helps detangle my hair !! Been using it since I was kid. Although , the bottle has changed from the octopus to the lion the Apple sent is still my favorite and smells amazing. Can’t rave about this product enough!” — EmilyB2723, via Target

“I am an adult and I have been using this since I was a kid for about 15 years and I absolutely love it! I have tried other products. But I always come back to this one for the wonderful apple smell and because it is great at detangling without leaving oiliness. All around great product and not just for kids.” — Val, via Target

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