Most people know that aloe vera has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties that make it ideal for treating sunburns and other skin-deep abrasions. But did you know you could use aloe vera juice for hair conditioning and scalp care? When you learn about this remarkable natural ingredient, you’ll wonder why you never used it on your hair before!
3 Ways to Use Aloe Vera Juice for Hair
As you’ll soon find out, the aloe vera plant has several amazing properties that make it a perfect addition to your hair product shelf. There are many ways to use products with aloe vera and even make them yourself. However, most of them give you one of these three benefits.
1. Moisturizing the Hair Shaft
If you’re looking into using aloe vera juice for hair, you’ve probably heard of its moisturizing properties. But what makes this ingredient so magical?
Well, to begin with, it has an incredibly high water content — it’s 99% water! If you know anything at all about hair, it should be that water is the main ingredient you’ll need to keep it happy and healthy. Everything else you put on top will either nourish the hair strand or seal the moisture in.
As it happens, aloe vera can also provide nourishment and even seal the hair shaft. It contains minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, B, and C. Most of those substances have a decidedly positive effect on the growth rate and quality of hair. The same goes for fatty acids and amino acids, which are also commonly found in this plant.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which happen to be what your hair is made of. So in addition to providing moisture, aloe vera can also strengthen your hair shaft much like a protein treatment would. In essence, putting aloe on your hair would reinforce the protein bonds inside your hair, decrease frizz, and even help you detangle your hair.
Aloe vera also has two properties that make it very important for moisturizing skin and hair. It’s both a humectant and an emollient, meaning that it can both attract and seal in moisture. However, many humectants have the opposite effect in certain kinds of weather.
Suffice it to say, you might want to drop aloe from your hair care routine when the temperatures drop below 35 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, humectants can cause dryness, frizz, and breakage.
2. Scalp Care
Several things make aloe vera juice or gel the ideal ingredient to use on your scalp. As you know, aloe vera can do wonders for a wide range of skin conditions and injuries. So if you have redness or itchiness on your scalp, it should help you cool it down.
In addition to having anti-inflammatory properties, which will immediately soothe and cool the affected area, aloe also has some antifungal effects. That means that it should take care of any fungal skin conditions that may be plaguing your scalp.
Once the most irritating symptoms dissipate, the plant’s antioxidative properties will increase cellular regeneration in the area, leading to an increased rate of healing.
Applying aloe vera juice to your scalp will result in a momentary cooling and soothing sensation. Over time, it will make sure your scalp remains properly moisturized and dandruff-free. It may even help your hair grow faster! After all, a healthy scalp leads to a healthy head of hair.
3. Slicking Back Your Edges and Adding Hold
Many people in the natural hair community eventually conclude that using all-natural products with as few ingredients as possible is better than getting store-bought stuff. If you agree, you could use aloe vera gel to add hold to your style or slick back your edges.
Unlike some other products and methods you may have subjected your baby hairs to, aloe may encourage them to grow thicker.
How to Incorporate Aloe Vera Into Your Hair Care Routine
Of course, there are other ways to bring aloe vera juice into your hair care routine. So let’s go through the typical wash day routine and find the best application methods of aloe in each step.
If your hair is somewhat sensitive to aloe vera, the best way to incorporate it into your hair care routine would be to use it as a pre-poo treatment. You could either use it on its own or mix it in with one egg for extra protein and shine. After fifteen minutes, rinse it off with cool water — you don’t want to pick cooked egg out of your hair.
Of course, there are other things you could mix with aloe vera juice for hair growth or scalp health, including:
• Honey and yogurt to moisturize
• Apple cider vinegar to restore the pH of your scalp and soothe inflammation
• Tea tree oil to treat dandruff and fend off fungal infections
• Lavender or peppermint oil to promote hair growth
Mix in several tablespoons of aloe vera juice or gel with a tablespoon or two of any of these ingredients and you’ll have the perfect pre-poo treatment for your hair. Just massage the mixture into your scalp for about ten minutes and let it soak in for another thirty. After that, you’ll be able to wash it off as usual.
2. Add to Your Shampoo or Conditioner
If you want to make the current products you’re using slightly more moisturizing, just add aloe into the bottle — or mix it in with your hands before putting it in your hair. You can do this with shampoos, conditioners, moisturizing treatments, and even leave-in conditioners.
Just make sure the different products can mix well by blending a small amount of each in your hand. If the concoction unifies without an issue, you’re good to go. However, if your conditioner starts clumping when it comes into contact with aloe vera, leave it be.
3. Make a Homemade Refresh Spray
Aloe vera also makes a fantastic curl refresh spray or leave-in conditioner. Just put about an ounce and a half of distilled water into a spray bottle along with a tablespoon of aloe vera juice or gel. If you want to spruce it up even further, add a few drops of glycerin, and a light oil into the mix. And there’s your daily moisturizing spray!
4. Add to Your Mousse or Gel
On its own, aloe vera gel may not be able to provide the same amount of hold you’re used to getting from your products. Still, you could always combine it with your usual stylers.
As always, you’ll want to check whether they’ll mesh well first by combining a bit of aloe vera gel and a bit of your mousse or gel in your hand. If you don’t see a weird reaction and the ingredients blend well enough, you can put it on your hair.
Why Some People Experience Problems When Using Aloe Vera Juice for Hair
Unfortunately, aloe vera juice doesn’t work wonders on all hair types. Low porosity hair tends to treat aloe vera as a protein, even though it technically isn’t one. Now, proteins are something everyone needs to use once in a while. However, low porosity hair usually can’t absorb it as successfully as high porosity hair can.
Using aloe vera on that hair type often results in symptoms that are similar to protein overload. The hair may dry too quickly — a phenomenon known as “flash drying” — or become stiff, brittle, and dull. So be sure to test your hair’s tolerance for aloe before fully committing to it.
How to Get Your Hands on Aloe Vera Juice for Hair
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of combining all these ingredients, you could also buy products that already contain aloe vera juice. You’d just have to accept not knowing exactly how much of it made it into the final product.
The next best thing would be to purchase aloe vera gel at your nearest drugstore or pharmacy. These products are usually green rather than transparent. So you can be sure that they’ll contain at least some ingredients that aren’t necessarily part of the aloe plant.
If you want to know what you’re putting on your hair, you could always get an aloe vera plant. The next time you want to make a homemade hair treatment, you can just grab a stem. After chopping off the tip and spiky sides of the leaf, you’ll have all the gel you want. You can either put it directly on your head or put it in a blender!
However, if you decide to keep the aloe vera juice for hair experiments, store it in the fridge or freezer. While you’re at, you might want to sprinkle in preservatives like vitamin C (lemon will do) or honey, for good measure.