I first came across aloe vera when beginning my natural hair journey; transitioning affected my scalp a lot during the first few months as I got used to the change in products and routine (on an already sensitive scalp, no less). When researching natural remedies that calm an itchy scalp, I came across this ingredient being recommended highly by many and once I tried it, I was hooked. Read on to find out more about the benefits of aloe vera for natural hair.
Aloe vera: the characteristics
You have most likely seen the aloe plant before with its thick leaves and small sharp spikes. Inside the leaves is a gel-like substance that is used in beauty products, juices, and natural medicines. Aloe vera is grown wildly in tropical climates worldwide; its cool consistency is a great survival tool for calming down any skin irritations--hence why aloe vera gels are used to soothe sunburns. Aloe vera juice is also very popular in China as a way to naturally cleanse the body.
For hair growth
You can buy and grow the plant yourself to extract the gel substance, or you can buy the gel and juice in your local health stores.
The main cause of your natural hair not growing is due to the pores and hair follicles on your scalp being clogged by dead skin and product build-up. Aloe Vera contains enzymes that actually remove the dead cells from the scalp allowing for your hair to grow freely! The enzymes also help to give your scalp a boost in stimulation and balance out the hair's pH to help retain moisture. It’s like a magic natural ingredient for replenishing the scalp!
Aloe vera products for growth
- Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Water Penetrating Hair Treatment
- SheaMoisture Organic Yucca & Aloe Thickening Growth Milk
For moisturizing dry hair
Along with scalp repairing enzymes, aloe vera is also packed with amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to help nourish the skin and hair. Buying the ingredient in a liquid form is a great way to get moisture into the hair whilst wet. I love using aloe vera as a sealant especially during the summer months!DIY fans: make your own conditioner by cutting the aloe leaf from the stem upwards and use a spoon to remove all of the gel inside, soften up the gel and simply apply to the length of the hair. Go the extra mile by leaving a thick layer on your hair for 20 minutes under heat, washing your hair afterwards as a pre-wash treatment.
Aloe vera products for moisture
For an irritated scalpProbably one of the best uses you will get out of aloe vera is its ability to rid the scalp of bacteria, fungus, and irritation. The cooling sensation and moisture of aloe vera can soothe and treat sunburn and dry skin on the scalp. Simply massage the gel or liquid form directly onto the scalp before washing or throughout the day when you feel any irritation.
Aloe vera products for the scalp
For natural hairstylesAloe vera can be used as a styling product to add shine to the hair once conditioned. I like to seal after a wash-and-go with aloe vera in the summer to protect and add a glisten to my curls! You can also use the gel form for definition, but test if it will works better alone or cocktailed with your favorite leave-in/styler. The ingredient works great as a detangler, thanks to its liquid texture you can mix it well with water and oils, apply some of the Aloe juice in a spray bottle and spritz the hair section by section before detangling.
Aloe vera products for styling