If you’re like me, you’re always looking for new ways to take your natural hair regimen to the next level. I recently decided to explore Aloe Vera’s benefits for natural hair.
This low-maintenance and hardy green powerhouse is loved by balcony botanists and greenhouse gurus alike.
But I’ve discovered that natural hair can also benefit from aloe vera’s many advantages.
Aloe’s healing and humectant properties make it a great addition to your natural hair care regimen. Among its many applications, aloe vera can soothe an itchy or inflamed scalp, be used as a topical anti-microbial, as a protectant against the sun’s UV rays, a moisturizer for dry hair, an astringent to cut down oiliness, and so much more.
If you’ve been struggling to find the right routine for your natural hair to flourish, you may want to consider adding Aloe Vera to the rotation.
What is Aloe Vera?
The aloe vera plant is grown all over the world, mostly in subtropical environments. It also does well indoors in sunny, dry spaces, making it a favorite for those who don’t have a lot of space.
Aloe looks similar to the cactus but is actually part of the lily family. It is a succulent, which is a fancy word for a plant that can store its own water. This makes Aloe a perfect source of moisture.
Aloe Vera is known as a “wonder plant” and has been studied clinically for its medicinal benefits. For centuries, Aloe has been used for its therapeutic perks making it a go-to home ready for ailments worldwide.
Ancient Egyptians dubbed this plant “the plant of immortality” because of this. It is said that Cleopatra used Aloe Vera in her daily beauty regimen.
Aloe Vera “is one of the oldest mentioned plants on record due to its medicinal properties and health benefits.”
But Aloe also has many uses to promote and maintain healthy hair. Continue reading to see how this miracle plant can help you achieve longer, stronger hair.
1. Relief for Itchy or Inflammed Scalp
An itchy or inflamed scalp is no fun and Aloe Vera might be something you’d want to try. It is recommended to use the jelly inside of the aloe leaf and apply it directly to the scalp.
Aloe has anti-inflammatory properties that are believed to calm down the itch and minimize dandruff. To extract the soothing gel from the plant, simply cut one of the leaves into pieces and scoop the gel from the inside with a spoon.
You can also add oils to the gel (Jojoba, Avocado, or any oil you like) for added hair benefits. Lightweight oils work best so as not to build a film on the hair and weigh it down.
Some people are sensitive to allow, however, and a persistently itchy and inflamed scalp should be evaluated by a medical professional to rule out more serious conditions that may require treatment with prescription medications.
It is always a good idea to consult a doctor to ensure your scalp is healthy and aloe would be right for you.
2. Repair Hair Damage and Slow Down Shedding
Afro-textured hair is more prone to damage due to the unique curl patterns. Although our scalp secretes a natural oil (sebum) to coat the hair, the coils and zig-zags just don’t make it easy for the oil to cover the strands.
Dry hair can lead to split ends and breakage. The moisturizing properties of Aloe can help strengthen and repair damaged natural hair.
Aloe Vera has a pH of about 4. Our hair naturally has a pH between 4.5-5.5. Since our hair is acidic, and aloe vera is more acidic, it contracts and closes the cuticle layer of hair.
Cuticles are the outermost layer of your hair and look like shingles on a roof.
Just like shingles on a roof, the cuticles of your hair create a barrier to protect the inside of the hair from damage.
Closed cuticles provide a smooth surface, causing the hair strands to reflect more light, creating shine.
If your hair is healthy, the cuticles lay flat. Products that are acidic, like Aloe Vera, help the cuticle to stay closed and lay flat.
Rich in vitamins A, C, and E, the aloe gel helps decrease cell degeneration and aid in promoting hair health and growth.
Aloe vera is also packed with vitamin B12 and Folic acid. Vitamin B12 assists in healthy hair growth by helping our bodies produce red blood cells, which then nourish hair follicles by bringing more oxygen to the cells.
Folic acid also helps keep our cells healthy and has been linked to promoting hair growth and shine.
That’s especially good news if your hair needs some extra TLC.
3. Promote Hair Growth and Strenghten Strands
There’s almost nothing I love to hear more than a remedy to promote longer, stronger hair. Many people claim that Aloe can do just that. Some even say that it can stimulate hair to grow faster.
Using Aloe vera as a conditioner can minimize hair loss. Because it contains vitamins E and C, Aloe helps protect against free radicals that can cause cell damage.
You can use the aloe gel from the leaves or bottled aloe juice, adding it to your favorite conditioner to give it that extra boost.
Aloe Vera also has a chemical similar to keratin, a fibrous protein that our hair, skin, and nails are made of. Keratin is used to rejuvenate hair damaged from heat or chemicals.
4. Increase Moisture and Banish Frizz
Remember Aloe is succulent, right? Well, that spells good news for dry, thirsty hair.
Aloe Vera is a known humectant that stores its own moisture in its leaves. It pulls the moisture from the environment so, if you have a case of dry curls, using Aloe can infuse your hair with moisture.
If there is any solution to eliminating frizz, sign me up! The moisture-retaining properties of Aloe have also been said to minimize frizzies.
Aloe loves attracting water, so spritzing your hair with a mixture of water and Aloe can keep the frizzies (and dry hair) at bay. 1/2 cup of the aloe gel (or bottled juice) with 1 cup of water is all you need for the perfect leave-in conditioner.
This can be especially good for high porosity hair as Aloe Vera’s acidic properties can help close the cuticles, retaining that much-needed moisture.
Aloe is lightweight, so don’t be afraid to spray hair daily to ensure your coils stay hydrated!
5. Decrease oiliness and Dandruff
Dandruff is a condition where dead skin cells accumulate on the scalp and is a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis.
It can be caused by dry skin, conditions like Psoriasis or eczema, or a fungus (malassezia). Allergic reactions to hair products can also cause dandruff.
Aloe Vera has natural enzymes that can combat this condition while balancing the natural pH of the scalp and hair.
Applying the gel to the scalp a few times a week can help you reduce dandruff and promote a healthy scalp and hair.
It is always recommended that you consult a doctor to evaluate your condition to be sure Aloe Vera is a good option for you.
6. Define Curls and Style
The gelatinous pulp of the Aloe leaf can also be used to style your curls.
Not everyone will see curl definition from Aloe Vera gel, however. If your hair is particularly coily (type 4), you may still need your favorite styling aid to get the curl definition you want.
Consider combining Aloe Vera with your gel or styling products for additional moisturizing benefits.
7. Detangle Coils and Condition
I don’t know a curly girl who has not shed a tear or two over the knots and tangles in their hair.
As your hair grows longer, this can be a daily battle as your hair will LOVE to tango with all of its coily friends.
A good detangler is a must for every curly-haired girl. Guess what? Aloe Vera gel does that too!
This video is a great example of what Aloe can do for detangling type 4 hair.
Adding some of the slick Aloe gel to a combination of water, glycerin and your favorite oil (go easy!) can make detangling a breeze.
I’ve started using Aloe Vera daily to moisturize my curls and am already seeing progress! We’re all different, but if your hair is perpetually dry, Aloe Vera may be worth trying.
Aloe Vera is packed with water and vitamins that your hair needs to be strong and healthy. For those who suffer from dandruff or itchy scalp, it may also provide relief with its soothing, emollient properties.
Aloe can help your hair retain moisture and keep those cuticles closed, protecting it from damage.
Have you tried Aloe Vera for your hair? If so, how did it work and how did you use it? I would love to know how it worked for you!