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Aloe vera gel is a common ingredient in the household but did you know you can use it for hair care as well. Aloe vera gel is a powerhouse of natural nutrients and vitamins that does wonders for the skin and hair. It is 100% natural and one of nature’s best gifts.
When I was a kid, a herbalist mentioned the benefits of aloe vera gel to me and I began growing it at home. It was one of the few plants that I managed to keep alive. It grew fast and was easy to harvest the gel to use on my hair. This was long before aloe vera gel became common for hair care. It proved to be an excellent conditioner that left my hair super soft.
What is Aloe Vera Gel?
Aloe vera gel aka Aloe barbadensis, Aloe frutescens and Aloe arborescens among other names is obtained from a cactus-like plant that thrives in hot and dry climates. The aloe gel is the clear, mucus-like substance found within the leaves of the aloe plant.
Aloe vera gel is obtained by splitting open the leaves and scraping out the clear substance within. Sometimes, the gel is further filtered for purity and clarity. The consistency is thin and mostly odourless. Aloe vera gel is made up of around 96% water, some organic and inorganic compounds, amino acids and vitamins A, B, C, and E.
Aloe vera gel is used in skin care as an insect repellant, to treat psoriasis, acne, burns, and rashes due to its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Aloe vera gel can also be taken internally as a treatment for several health conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, stomach ulcers, fever, constipation, hemorrhoids and much more (Always consult with your primary care physician before you start consuming medicines internally).
Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel for Hair
I have received a few emails asking about the benefits of aloe vera gel on hair and if it’s worth including in hair regimen. Below is a breakdown of the many benefits of aloe vera gel:-
- Aloe vera gel contains amino acids that help make the hair super soft after application.
- Aloe vera gel contains an enzyme known as proteolytic that helps treat itchy scalp and prevent dandruff.
- If you’re suffering from excessive shedding, aloe vera gel can help alleviate shedding.
- Aloe vera gel’s antiviral and antibacterial properties help soothe any scalp irritation.
- Aloe vera gel is perfect for dry hair and can help maintain moisture when included in the regimen.
How Do You Apply Aloe Vera Gel on Hair?
This was the recipe I use. You will require aloe vera gel, coconut oil, and vitamin E oil. I use this as a pre-poo treatment sometimes. If you don’t like coconut oil, you can replace it with wheat germ oil, hemp seed oil, castor oil or grapeseed oil.
- In a plastic bowl, pour 3 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 5 drops of vitamin E oil.
- Mix thoroughly and apply to dry hair like a conditioner.
- Twist your hair up in sections, pin-up and cover with a shower cap or cling film.
- Leave in for 45 minutes then proceed with the rest of your regimen. You can adjust the recipe for the length of your hair.
DIY Aloe Vera Gel Detangler
This recipe is a gentle and natural detangler, which you can apply after shampooing before deep conditioning.
- In a spray bottle like this one, fill up with distilled water or bottled water. You can also use rose-water.
- Add 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel, 2 drops of vegetable glycerine and 5 drops of lavender or ylang-ylang essential oil.
- Close the spray bottle and shake well.
- Spray generously to detangle your curls before deep conditioning.
With a pH of approx 6, you can also use this mix as a leave-in conditioner to close your cuticles or daily spray to refresh your hair.
How to Use Fresh Aloe Vera on Hair
Fresh aloe vera gel is the gel you scrape out yourself from the split leaves instead of buying a commercial product. Harvest the leaves, split open with a knife and scrape out the gel with a clean spoon.
Use it the same way as prescribed in the recipes above. Store any unused gel in an airtight container like this one and use within a few days (7 days maximum). You can add a few drops of vitamin E oil, Abyssinian oil, lemongrass oil or star anise seed oil for preservation purposes. Do not use lemon juice as a preservative as it has a tendency to dry out hair and/or lighten hair.
Aloe Vera Gel for Hair Growth
There’s a lot of misconception that aloe vera gel can help hair growth. While aloe vera gel is great for moisture, softness, and shine, it cannot by itself facilitate faster hair growth. It will, however, eliminate hair enemies like dryness and breakage, which is part of what leads to hair loss, and help you preserve your curls.
For more detailed information on the kind of products and practices that do facilitate faster hair growth, you may be interested in The Ultimate Hair Growth Guide: Stop Hair Loss. Regrow Bald Spots. Fill in Thin Areas.
Best Pure Aloe Vera Gel for Hair
Most of the aloe vera gel brands on the market have a few additives included for preservation, texture, etc. While there’s nothing wrong with this and they can still be used on hair, you should know they aren’t 100% aloe vera gel. Some of the best brands include:
- Amara Organics Aloe Vera Gel
- ArtNaturals Organic Aloe Vera Gel
- Aubrey Organics Pure Aloe Vera Gel
- Green Leaf Naturals Aloe Vera Gel
- Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gelly
- Majestic Pure Aloe Vera Gel
- NaturSense Aloe Vera Gel
- Radha Organic Aloe Vera Gel
How to Grow Aloe Vera
As I mentioned earlier, I used to grow my own aloe vera when I first discovered its benefits for hair. It’s one of the few plants I managed to keep alive because it’s so easy to grow and grows quite fast. Below is a step by step process for growing your own aloe vera plants:
If you want already grown plants for you to continue nurturing at home, you can buy aloe vera plants HERE.