Aloe Vera Part 1: The Benefits of Aloe Vera for Natural Hair October 06 2018
Looking for the benefits of aloe vera for natural hair? Aloe vera is huge in the beauty industry, and millions of products include this popular ingredient in their formulas.
Are you unknowingly causing damage to your hair? Get the Natural Hair Mistakes Free E-Guide to make sure!
You can, of course, purchase ready-made skin and products for your hair that contain aloe vera, but you might be interested in learning how to use it on its own. Thinking about buying a bottle to cocktail it into your store-bought hair products? Check this article out first.
In this post, you’ll discover the benefits of aloe vera and how to use it, so you can decide whether you want to add it to your natural hair regimen.
What is Aloe Vera?
Aloe vera is a plant that is native to the Arabian desert. It was traded and shipped to many parts of the world as far back as 4th century BC.
Egyptian queens, Cleopatra and Nefertiti, both used aloe vera in their beauty rituals, and this unique beauty regimen has stuck with millions of women.
The plant is an evergreen perennial that grows well in tropical climates. It is highly prized for its medicinal, cosmetic and decorative purposes.
Aloe is a succulent plant. It retains water within the leaves and it can thrive for a long period of time without additional watering—unlike our hair!
What are the Benefits of Aloe Vera for Natural Hair?
Aloe vera has numerous benefits for the scalp and hair, including:
Hydration for Dry Hair. We tend to use aloe vera in very small amounts because it’s much more expensive than water, but aloe is every bit as hydrating because it contains water. Aloe is medicinal for dry, brittle hair. It has water-retaining properties and it can help your hair retain its moisture too.
Nutritive for Weak Hair. Aloe is a powerhouse of nutrition for the hair and scalp. Aloe vera contains 75 potentially active elements, including vitamins, enzymes, minerals, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids, according to a 2008 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology.
Heals Itchy and Irritated Scalps. Aloe vera has a medicinal power that can be used to heal skin cells, and it might help relieve the scalp of irritation and itchiness. You might even try it for scalp damage caused by relaxers and tight extensions.
Promotes Hair Growth. Aloe doesn’t exactly stimulate hair growth, but it can help repair hair follicle cells and improve the effects of aging of the scalp.
What Types of Aloe Vera Should You Use for Natural Hair?
Fresh Aloe Vera. Fresh is always best if you can find the plant. Look for aloe plants in landscaping nurseries, garden centers, and occasionally at the grocery market. You may also be able to find a large cut leaf at Asian food markets in the produce section.
Fresh aloe contains no preservatives, so you’ll have to take precaution to store your concoctions in the refrigerator. A fresh aloe leaf will last two weeks in the fridge.
However, once it is extracted for hair recipes, you should either use it or throw it out within one week.
Wondering how long you can leave fresh aloe vera on your hair? Aloe goes rancid even faster if you’re using it on your hair and scalp because of body heat. You should always rinse your hair of fresh aloe vera the same day you use it.
Aloe Vera Juice. Aloe vera juice is excellent for spray bottles and other hair DIY recipes where you’d normally use water. Aloe is ultra-hydrating for the hair, skin, and body, and it repairs better than plain water can.
You can find aloe juice at health food stores and on Amazon. Most aloe vera juice can be taken internally but be sure to eyeball the label first. Internal and external uses are both beneficial for the skin and hair.
Pay close attention to refrigeration instructions. Some brands need refrigeration after opening and some don’t. You might want to go with a distilled variety of aloe vera juice, which usually doesn’t need refrigeration.
The non-refrigerated aspect is super helpful for cosmetics because you can store your DIY products handy in your bathroom instead of the kitchen.
You may also want the distilled aloe vera juice variety for cocktailing products, so you don’t end up having to store your purchased products in the refrigerator.
Lastly, distilled aloe makes a great substitute for plain water because it won’t grow mold. You’ll also find that aloe softens your hair better than plain water if your city has hard water.
Aloe Vera Gel. You can take the gel fresh from the plant by slicing the leaf and squeezing it or scooping it out into a bowl. But if you’re concerned with the rancidity of fresh aloe, try the store-bought version. Look for a brand that contains at least 99% aloe. Organic is always preferred.
Store-bought aloe vera gel doesn’t normally need to be refrigerated because it contains a negligible amount of preservatives. That means you can easily store it in your bathroom and it will last you for months or years.
A bottle of organic aloe vera gel may look expensive on the shelf, but it’s probably more economical in the long run than buying several fresh leaves.
However, if you can find a large aloe plant, you can have it for many years. And then you can easily cut a leaf off whenever you want to do a hair treatment.
Curious about aloe vera hair treatments for curly hair? Stay tuned for Part 2 in the Aloe Vera Series: How to Use Aloe Vera On Natural Hair.
Have you used aloe vera for natural hair, and if so, what were the results?