The agave plant is native to the southwestern region of the United States through the northern part of South America. This honey-like sap comes from the leaves of the blue agave, which is a succulent plant that resembles cactus or yuccas in form and habitat but actually more similar to the aloe vera. There are well over 100 species of agaves but the blue agave is the preferred species for producing nectar even though it contains more fructose than any other commonly-known sweetener, including high-fructose corn syrup, according to Dr. Oz. So consuming this natural nectar may not be ideal but believe me when I say it does have some benefits to enjoy.
Agave nectar is a natural alternative to refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. It is unrefined and free from additives, has a taste comparable to honey and has none of the bitter aftertaste associated with artificial sweeteners. It is about 1.5 times sweeter than sugar and comes from the same plant that's used to make tequila. If one is not up for consuming this natural sweetener than what it can do for your tresses may be what you are looking for.
Agave Nectar for hair
Our world has an abundance of natural gifts that we have used for centuries to heal, aid or soothe our bodies. One such prized possession would be agave nectar. This natural wonder is a soothing hair humectant, which provides moisture and gives hair a lustrous shine. The biggest benefit from agave nectar is the large molecules it is comprised of: polysaccharides. Saponin, inulin, and fructose have many hydroxyl groups that make them hydrophilic or attract water. As a result they act like a humectant and draws water to the hair.
You can use agave nectar in the same way you use honey for your homemade hair and facial treatments, but it can be very sticky. There has been much debate about using humectants year-round, but most agree they are great for the warmers months so this may be a great ingredient to either use in your DIY treatments or finding products on the shelves that incorporate them. Here are a few DIYs to try that use agave nectar to hold in that much needed moisture.
Avocado hair mask
- 1 avocado
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. agave nectar
Mash up the avocado and add the oils before mixing well. Apply to hair and allow it to sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse well and style as usual.
- 3 tbsp. aloe vera
- 1 tsp. vegetable glycerin
- ½ tsp. agave nectar
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
Not a DIY curly girl? No worries as we’ve got some products with the agave nectar already in them ready and waiting for your dry and thirsty tresses.
Products with agave nectar
- Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner
- Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Pudding
- SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Souffle