Aloe vera has been used in different cultures all around the world. There are many different reasons and uses for this particular plant. The benefits of Aloe Vera for hair are not well known although in Western society, it’s been slowly integrated into healthcare products and hair care products. We all know, likely from experience, that aloe vera is helpful for burns and irritation. But what exactly is the benefit of aloe vera for hair?
Firstly, aloe vera contains 75 active ingredients. Let’s take a look at some:
- Many essential vitamins, such as A, B12, C, E
- Many minerals, such as copper and zinc
- Plant steroids
- Fatty acids
- Amino acids
- Proteolytic enzymes
- Antiviral properties
- Antibacterial properties
Now, how can these ingredients work for the overall wellness of your hair? Since aloe vera has a similar chemical make-up to keratin (which is the protein of our hair), it can help to:
- Boost overall scalp health
- Stimulate blood circulation in the scalp
- Improve delivery of oxygen to the scalp
- Heal damaged cells on the scalp
- Help heal and prevent dry skin (and dandruff)
- Protect hair from external damages
- Prevent breakage
- Prevent itching on the scalp (including itching caused by cradle cap)
- Encourage and stimulate hair growth
- Reduces the amount of hair falling out
- Keeps your hair moisturized, shining and voluminous
Possible side effects of eternal aloe vera use include: Allergic reactions, skin rash, skin irritation
There are many different studies being conducted to narrow down exactly how aloe vera aids in hair growth. It seems to be a result of the proteolytic enzyme which promotes hair growth. It’s not a magic solution to instantly beautiful hair. However, repeated use will show desired results. On average, hair will grow 1 cm per month if you are using aloe vera.
Now that you have an idea of the benefits of using aloe vera, let’s take a look at how to use this plant to your benefit. There are two main methods used for hair health and growth:
Method 1: Pre-Wash Base
This method involves applying fresh aloe vera to the scalp before a hair washing. This isn’t quite as easy as rubbing an aloe vera leaf on your scalp though. You’ll want to mix the aloe vera gel with coconut oil or oil olive before application. Once you have the mixture, apply it to your scalp and let it sit for an hour. Then use shampoo to wash your hair as you normally would. Try and use a gentle shampoo and steer away from anything too heavy.
You can use this method 2-3 times a week.
Method 2: Hair Mask
In this method, aloe vera is used with a thicker agent (such as honey, jojoba oil, or egg whites) and mixed into a paste. The mixture is then applied directly to the scalp. After this is done, you’ll want to throw on a shower cap or something similar. The mixture can be left for as little as 15 minutes or you can leave the mixture in for an hour. After you take the cap off, wash your hair as normal.
Alternatively, aloe vera products can be bought in stores. To ensure the highest quality, you’ll want to purchase from a beauty supply store or an organic market. Otherwise, you’re taking your chances on a product that has been overly manufactured.