Aloe vera is a compound credited for everything from shinier hair to hair growth to soothing sunburned skin. I consider aloe vera to be one of nature’s most incredible products. The minerals and vitamins in aloe vera are abundant. It makes for an exceptional and protective influence on hair. Aloe vera provides strength and elasticity. It prevents breakage. And more.
How Aloe Vera Works on Hair
Aloe contains proteolytic enzymes. This element repairs the scalp’s dead skin cells. The enzyme encourages healthy growth, prevents itchy scalp, conditions hair, and minimizes dandruff. It also acts as a conditioner, leaving hair shiny and smooth.
Keratin, a significant protein in hair, consists of oxygen, amino acids, carbon, and amounts of nitrogen, hydrogen, and sulfur. Aloe vera’s chemical composition is similar to keratin. Using aloe vera enhances the process keratin offers.
The combination of both compounds extensively rejuvenates hair as aloe vera provides its own nutrients. The addition provides elasticity and prevents split ends and breakage.
Benefits of Aloe Vera
It penetrates hair follicles and enhances the possibility of improving dry, damaged hair, among its many benefits.
Aloe Vera Calms the Itchy Scalp
The clinician term for dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis. This is an irritating and, for many, embarrassing condition. A study shows aloe vera helps resolve the inflammation that results from dandruff. The aloe plant has fatty acids that contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Strengthens and Repairs Your Hair
You’ll find vitamins A, C, and E in aloe vera. These three minerals contribute to cell turnover. That promotes healthy hair. There’s also folic acid and vitamin B12, components that prevent hair from falling out.
Aloe vera is popular for managing the skin after sun exposure. The element contains high levels of collagen and cooling function. That suggests aloe vera’s influence on repairing sun-damaged skin can improve hair as well.
There are cases where after-use treatment can leave a film in your hair. Wash it out thoroughly after using an aloe vera hair mask or conditioner.
Potential to Encourage Hair Growth
When the scalp is thoroughly cleansed, and your hair’s conditioned with aloe vera, you could see hair loss and breakage slow down. While no studies have proven it, many beauticians and customers say they’ve seen their hair grow faster with aloe vera use.
Deep Clean Oily Conditions
Aloe vera strips extra sebum from the hair shaft and residue left by other hair products. Aloe vera’s process won’t hurt hair strands as it cleans.
Many hair products aren’t gentle and will not preserve the integrity of your hair. So, aloe vera cleanses and gets that shinier, softer, and healthier appearance we all want!
Typical Results of Aloe Vera Use
Not much research points to what hair type is best suited for aloe vera treatment. But hair care experts recommend it if your hair is:
- 4C Hair
How to Apply Aloe Vera
Here are some of the best ways to use aloe vera.
Aloe Vera Hair Mask
This is one of the more common uses of aloe vera on your hair.
First, get yourself an aloe hair mask. It should list aloe as one of its active ingredients. Otherwise, you’ll need to put pure aloe vera directly to your scalp.
Check out the ingredient list. The mask should have natural ingredients (no parabens or sulfates). If you use an aloe vera gel, aloe vera should be the only ingredient in your mask. If it’s possible, always get the gel directly from an aloe plant. We recommend Seven Minerals’ Organic Aloe Vera Gel.
If your goal is to treat dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis or to promote hair growth, concentrate on the scalp—massage aloe vera into the scalp for a few minutes. Now, let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Cover your hair with a shower cap in the interim. Scalp heat helps the aloe vera penetrate the scalp and hair.
Another method is to blend coconut oil and aloe vera. This creates a highly-end hair mask. The coconut oil will mask hair dryness and manage the scalp’s natural tendency to produce oil when it’s irritated. Coconut oil is rich in antifungal properties to help with a healthy scalp and fight dandruff.
Should you want to see if there are more effective ways to use aloe vera in this manner, try mixing the substance with any of the following:
- Egg whites
- Jojoba oil
Massage the mixture into the scalp and hair. Leave the mixture for 15 minutes and up to an hour. After, use a mild shampoo to rinse your head.
If you see no ill effects, you can double your aloe vera dosages for thick or long hair.
Washing Hair With Aloe
Experiment with aloe vera as a shampoo and put its nutrients to work on your hair. If you find it’s not cleaning your hair the way you’d like, mix the aloe vera with your shampoo. This will create a nice lather. You can also try using it as a conditioner. The element’s natural properties will make a neat way to hydrate your hair.
Some folks like to use fresh aloe vera for direct application to their scalps. Here’s how to do it.
- Get a live aloe vera plant and cut off one of its leaves.
- With a spoon, gather the gel (you can blend it with olive or coconut oil).
- Rub the substance directly into the scalp.
- Let it sit for an hour. (I recommend the use of a shower cap).
- Use a mild shampoo to wash the scalp and hair.
- Repeat the process up to three times a week.
To see if you possibly have a sensitivity to aloe vera, take a small amount of the gel and rub it into your wrist. If you get a bad reaction, do not use aloe vera on your hair.
Here are a couple of recipes for aloe vera hair use, using different ingredients in your hair masks.
Coconut Oil and Aloe Vera
Coconut oil helps give your hair a softer feel and a more fabulous shine while promoting follicle strength. It might also play a part in reducing frizziness.
Here’s how to make an aloe vera coconut oil hair mask.
2 tbsp aloe vera (fresh or store-bought)
1 tbsp coconut or room temperature virgin coconut oil
- Protect your clothing with an old shirt or towel.
- Stir the aloe vera and oil in a bowl until you have a blended, smooth paste.
- Apply the mask with your fingers to your hair and scalp. Divide long hair into sections to make the chore easier.
- Begin at mid-shaft. Work towards the ends.
- With the mask worked into the hair ends, go back and apply the mixture to your scalp. (If you’re fighting dandruff, begin at the scalp.)
- With the application finished, you have your mask.
- Use a wide-toothed comb and comb your hair. The idea is to spread the mast entirely and evenly.
- Cover your head with a plastic wrap or shower cap.
- Wrap a towel around your scalp to prevent dripping. The towel also keeps hair from drying out. You can warm the towel to enhance the moisturizing effect of the mask.
- Leave the mask for at least 30 minutes. If you want extra conditioning, leave the mask on for an hour.
- Rinse the mask.
It might be a good idea to wash your hair. Aloe vera may result in a filmy residue you don’t want.
You can replace regular conditioning with the coconut aloe vera mask, using it up to once a week to boost the health of your hair.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Aloe Vera
The mixture of aloe vera and apple cider vinegar is ideal for an itchy, flaky scalp. It’s said apple cider is an excellent advocate to fight dandruff. For this mask, use the following.
- 4 tbsp aloe vera gel
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey (optional; honey locks moisture and offers a soothing effect)
It’s the same mix as the coconut mask with the following differences:
- Apply the mask to your scalp.
- After 20 minutes, rinse the mask from your hair.
- Use the mask twice a month.
How Often Should I Use Aloe Vera for My Hair?
I recommend if you’re working on the overall health of your scalp and hair, use aloe vera one to two times a week. Use it two to three times a week if you want to find a replacement for your current shampoo or conditioner. Base this on the type of hair you have and how often you wash it.
How Long Should I Leave Aloe Vera in My Hair?
In a recent study, researchers reviewed the impact of different shampoos, oils, conditioners, and serums on the scalp in a recent study. While the study doesn’t mention aloe vera, it suggests people with scalp sensitivity need to be mindful of how long to leave these products in their hair.
I suggest you never leave any store-bought product in your hair longer than the advised numbers in this article. But the instructions on the product always take precedence.
Now, if you’re waiting for the recommended time to pass and suddenly find your hair burning or itching, wash the substance out of your hair immediately. The rule applies if you get the same experience after use.
What About Watery Aloe Vera Gel?
Pure aloe vera will have the consistency of water. Manufacturers will use add additives to thicken the solution. That will make the substance easier to manage in your hands.
Your store-bought aloe vera should not be watery. It’s likely your homemade solutions may be thin, especially if extracting from an aloe vera plant.
Does Aloe Vera Go Bad?
Here’s the 411 on what’s needed to keep your aloe vera safe for hair use.
Aloe Vera Products
Aloe vera gel has a shelf life of two years when stored according to recommendations. Some sources say it will last up to five, but let’s assume you’ll use the product regularly. You won’t need to refrigerate it, but store it in a dry, cool place that’s free of natural sunlight.
You need to worry about the gel drying out. Keep the lid tightly sealed. Clean your hands before using the gel; otherwise, you risk contaminating the gel with microbes.
If you take the gel outdoors, avoid leaving it in direct sunlight. Leave it in a beach bag or backpack to prevent heat from drying the substance out. This also reduces the effectiveness of ingredients.
If you keep the leaf at room temperature, use it within 24 hours. You have five to seven days with refrigeration, and if frozen, you have up to two weeks.
Raw Aloe Vera
When freshly cut from a live plant, raw aloe vera is not heat processed or pasteurized. It will contain none of the elements used to prolong shelf life. It’s like a fresh vegetable—once cut, it has to be safely refrigerated or frozen.
Take care with freezing aloe vera leaves. The process breaks down the plant’s cellulose structure. Once thawed, you have to use the plant right away.
If you do choose to freeze, freeze it in doses. Freezing and refreezing will dilute the beneficial impact the substance can have.
Aloe Vera Extract or Juice
As the juice gets extracted from the plant’s inner gel, the terms “extract” and “juice” are pretty much synonymous.
Buying aloe vera juice, water, or extract from a supermarket or grocer refrigerated section requires refrigeration when you get home. The label has expiration dates. After opening, refrigerate the product immediately.
Depending on preservatives, aloe vera juice can last days or several weeks.
Potential Side Effects of Aloe Vera on Hair
There appear to be no negative results from using aloe vera externally. But there are some things you want to keep in mind.
- Allergic reactions are not uncommon. I’ve seen complaints from people allergic to garlic, tulips, and onions.
- Skin irritation is another issue. Contact skin rashes or dermatitis can develop.
- There are also cases of phototoxicity, a condition similar to a sunburn.
- Other allergic reactions include redness, itchiness, and scales.
If you use hydrocortisone cream on your skin, talk with your doctor before applying a topical aloe. Aloe vera has the potential to increase cortisone amounts absorbed by the skin when used with hydrocortisone.
Do Hair Types React Differently to Aloe Vera?
Hair types do require their treatment. Characteristics of hair include texture, density, diameter, style of cut, and porosity that influences treatments and products.
African-American hair is an example. This hair type can be dry. Many dermatologists highly recommend the use of aloe vera and other natural ingredients to manage hair. Aloe vera has a rich blend of minerals, vitamins, moisturizing elements, and more. It can safeguard dry hair.
Can Aloe Vera Be Used for Hair Loss?
Considering how beneficial aloe vera is to hair health, thickness, and more, asking if it can help hair loss is a reasonable question.
Finding a trustworthy resource to manage hair loss is tricky. The market’s inundated with treatments that promise the world. But perhaps a natural remedy, something like aloe vera, may help.
Aloe vera is a natural succulent. While there are no substantial studies supporting hair loss, considering what aloe vera can do, perhaps it can help with male pattern baldness.
I want to stress that while aloe vera as a hair loss solution can’t hurt, there is no evidence that it impacts DHT levels. But aloe vera is a legendary home remedy. The aloe vera gel contains more than 75 active compounds. That makes it one of the world’s most potent natural healers.
One of its primary benefits is the promotion of healthy cell growth. With strong follicles, you increase the chance of producing robust and new hair. Aloe vera’s vitamin B12 component helps manage good blood circulation. That influences healthy oxygen where it’s needed, supporting follicles and hair growth.
Free radicals are a threat to hair, especially as we grow older. It’s why the mature man sees gradual hair loss. The antioxidants in aloe vera battle free radicals, thus reducing hair damage.
You also have vitamin C, an antioxidant that promotes healthy hair growth and stronger follicles. So, I can’t guarantee aloe vera will help, but it wouldn’t hurt to try.
I would advise you not to use aloe vera as a single solution. Combining it with other strategies may be the way to go.
Aloe vera is a proven solution for hydrating the scalp and hair. It contains nutrients that reinforce natural substances that make your hair healthy. But always talk with a trichologist or your dermatologist to ensure you have a customized treatment plan.
I hope you find this helpful information and it gives you some innovative ideas for rejuvenating your hair. Aloe vera use has been around for over 2,000 years. A lot of people used it to improve their hair and health.