Aloe is a staple for me. I use it in my shampoo and as a styler. Normally I use the gel and keep whatever I make with it in the fridge or I will use orange essential oils and helps it to keep for a week or two.
I have only used it a few times from the plant but that is because it is kind of a pain. Anyway what I did was cut the leaf of a few plants and mixed it with coconut oil then I applied it to my ends. I should mention my ends were pretty bad. This stuff helped a lot.