I know any moment you think of Aloe Vera you may think of the yucky smell. Like seriously, how can I put up with that smell on my hair? You never know the worth of something till you try it! Aloe Vera plant has been known for ages and used especially for its medicinal value throughout the centuries. The name Aloe Vera comes from the Arabic word ‘Alloeh’ which means shining bitter substance and ‘Vera’ in Latin which means true.
Can you use Aloe Vera gel on natural hair? Aloe Vera is a popular herb that has been used for centuries to treat common scalp conditions and promote natural hair growth. So, yes you can use Aloe Vera gel on natural hair. The herb is packed with Vitamins A, C, E, and B12 which nourish the hair. Aloe Vera is also packed with enzymes such as catalase, cellulase, lipase, all very good for stimulating healthy hair growth. Aloe Vera contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Aloe has anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of fatty acids such as plant steroids and lupeol.
The Aloe Vera plant has thick leaves which are filled with the precious gel. It’s found all over the world, and many people even grow Aloe Vera in their surroundings. Aloe Vera gel is cooling and soothing when applied to the skin and to the scalp, which typically proves some sense of health and hair benefits that it provides.
Today we focus specifically on aloe vera gel as a beneficial ingredient on our natural hair. I use aloe vera gel in my natural 4C hair care routine, freshly extracted from my potted plants. In this article, I will share the different ways you can use the gel to grow long healthy natural hair.
Nutritional composition of Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera consists of several potentially active constituents which include: [source]
- Vitamins: Vitamins A, C, and E, which are antioxidants. It also contains vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline.
- Enzymes: which include bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase. Bradykinase helps in reducing excessive inflammation when applied to the skin topically.
- Minerals: which provides calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc? They are essential for the proper functioning of various enzyme systems in different metabolic pathways and few are antioxidants.
- Fatty acids: It provides 4 plant steroids; cholesterol, campesterol, β-sitosterol, and lupeol. All these have anti-inflammatory action which helps in eliminating dry and itchy hair.
- Hormones: Auxins and gibberellins that help in wound healing and have anti-inflammatory action.
Benefits of Aloe Vera on natural hair
- Hair growth: Aloe vera can increase blood circulation to the scalp. [source] When you applied to the scalp there is increased blood flow which means nutrients are supplied to the scalp promoting healthy hair growth. Aloe vera also has an exfoliant property due to the proteolytic enzyme which clears dead skin cells that may block follicles, preventing new hair growth. This helps in thickening hair due to the stimulation it offers with the natural enzymes.
- Healthy scalp: Aloe vera has an antibacterial property that helps prevent dandruff [source]. It has an enzyme which soothes and moisturizes the scalps hence reducing dandruff, preventing dryness and itchiness. The enzymes also promote blood circulation that stimulates the production of natural moisturizing oils.
- Moisture retention: Aloe Vera helps in balancing the hair PH. It attracts and retains moisture from the air hence used as a natural conditioner. Aloe vera oil generally smoothens hair cuticle, keeping the moisture within the hair shaft. Ensuring the hair maintains its elasticity, break less hence promoting hair growth.
- Hair shine: Use of aloe vera as a conditioner helps in promoting hair shine leading to softer and stronger hair.
- Hair fall: Proteolytic enzymes in aloe vera gel repairs dead skin cells on scalp which promote hair growth, prevents itching on the scalp, reduces dandruff and conditions the hair hence making the hair stronger and less prone to breakage.
How to use Aloe Vera for natural hair growth
Aloe Vera gel can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment to reduce dandruff buildup. The enzymes in aloe Vera gel destroys the excessive dead skin cells and fungus that lead to dandruff and also helps in balancing the hair PH leaving the hair moisturized. Mix Aloe Vera juice and you favorite pre-poo oil such as Olive Oil. Apply this mixture to your scalp and along the hair strands, massage and leave it in for 30-45 minutes then rinse before shampooing. Applying a pre-poo before shampoo is a good way to prevent the hair from breakage that can occur during washday.
Aloe Vera gel can be used as a moisturizing shampoo. Add some aloe Vera to your current shampoo and use it as often as you can. This moisturizes the hair and keeps the hair strong. You can draw the Aloe Vera juice from a freshly cut piece and drain it in a bottle for use.
Products with amino acids like Aloe Vera gel promote moisture and condition our hair. Due to the succulent nature of Aloe Vera, it can retain water which is ideal for your hair, especially dry hair. This is contributed by a high content of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes.
- Cut the aloe vera leaf from the stem upward if you have it nearby. If not you can obtain the ready-made Aloe Vera gel from an online store such as Etsy.
- Use a spoon to scoop all the gel and put it in a bottle
- Moisturize your hair by sprinkling some water
- Section your hair and apply it on the scalp and along the strands
- Cover your hair with a shower cap or a towel and let it rest for 15-30 minutes
- Then finally wash your hair with a gentle shampoo
Looking for a simple way to detangle your hair or your baby’s hair? Sometimes it’s good to go off hair products on stores and make a homemade product? Aloe Vera provides slip to your hair making it easy to detangle.
DIY Aloe Vera Recipes for Natural Hair Growth
Aloe Vera hair mask can be prepared in literally 1000 different ways! That is the beauty of DIY, you can go all wild on how you want to customize your product. Before I started using Aloe Vera on my hair, I did some searching around to understand how other naturals are using the gel. Pinterest is a great place to get inspiration.
Below are 10 different ways you can use Aloe Vera on your hair. This is adapted to my hair type, so please feel free to pick what works for you and adapt it to your hair. You will have to keep trying different recipes until you find the perfect one for your hair.
1- Castor oil and Aloe Vera for hair growth
Castor oil has been used for ages to improve hair growth. When mixed with Aloe Vera gel, it results in a very strong concoction that will stimulate hair regrowth. The mixture is also intensely moisturizing. It will condition your hair strands and prevent breakage if used consistently.
- Mix all the ingredients
- Divide your hair into sections and apply the mixture to your scalp and along the strands.
- Cover it with a shower cap and leave it for 20-30minutes
- Wash of the mixture with a gentle shampoo.
2- Aloe Vera, Honey and Coconut Oil for hair growth
Aloe vera, coconut oil, and honey combined make a very good conditioner. This mask will nourish your hair, make it soft and very easy to manage.
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
- Massage the mixture to your scalp and hair strands and proceed to massage gently
- Cover your whole head with a shower cap and leave it in for about 30-45 minutes.
- Wash and rinse off your hair with a gentle shampoo.
3- Egg and Aloe Vera for hair growth
The egg yolk of filled with proteins and vitamins which makes your hair more resistant to damage making it an effective conditioning ingredient. In combination with Aloe Vera, it helps nourish your hair and boost hair growth.
- Mix the egg and aloe vera to make a paste.
- Apply this mixture to your scalp and hair strands
- Use a shower cap to cover and leave it in for 30-45 minutes
- Rinse out your hair with warm water and shampoo.
4- Onion and Aloe Vera for preventing hair fall
Onion Juice is becoming popular among natural hair bloggers because it has proved to promote hair growth. Onion juice stimulates dormant follicles and increases blood circulation to the scalp. To learn more about onion juice, read this article.
- Take 3-4 large onions and blend them to a smooth paste
- Add the aloe Vera gel and mix well.
- Massage this mixture into your scalp
- Leave it on for about 30minutes
- Rinse off your hair with a gentle shampoo
5- Coconut Milk and Aloe Vera for hair growth
Coconut milk is known for its conditioning effect which contributes to healthy, strong and shiny hair. The coconut in the mask allows for deep penetration of the nutrients into the hair shaft so that they can be nourished from within.
- Mix all the ingredients until you get a smooth paste
- Massage this mixture into your scalp from roots to tips
- Leave it on for about 30minutes then wash it off.
6- Hibiscus and Aloe Vera Gel for hair growth
Hibiscus is commonly used to condition hair. When used in combination with aloe Vera gel, it helps boost hair growth while maintaining soft hair texture.
- In a bowl, mix the ingredients until you get a smooth mixture.
- Section your hair and massage this mixture into your scalp
- Leave it on for about half an hour and then proceed to rinse your hair with a gentle shampoo
7- Lemon and Aloe Vera for hair growth
Lemon juice has a high vitamin C content which is very essential for the synthesis of collagen which promotes rapid hair growth. Lemon juice also helps maintain the health of your scalp by maintaining optimum pH levels.
- In a bowl, combine the ingredients until you get a smooth mixture. Massage this mixture into your scalp, leave it for 20-30 minutes then rinse it off with warm water and gentle shampoo
8- Henna and Aloe Vera for hair growth
Henna helps in conditioning and softening the hair. Using this mixture will not only boost hair growth but will also improve the health of your hair
- Fresh Henna Leaves or henna powder
- 2 tbsp plain Yogurt
- 7 tbsp fresh Aloe Vera Gel
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Soak the Henna leaves before use
- Blend the leaves and then add all the other ingredients together. Mix well to make a paste
- Apply the mixture to your hair and scalp.
- Cover your hair for 30 minutes
- Rinse off your hair with warm water and gentle shampoo
9- Shea Butter and Aloe Vera Gel for hair growth
Shea butter is known for strengthening hair and promoting volume as well as shine. Its deep conditioning effect helps add shine and luster to your hair while preventing issues such as breakage and split ends.
- Melt Shea Butter and leave it to cool.
- Mix the melted Shea Butter and Aloe Vera
- You can store the excess amount in the fridge to use later
- Massage your scalp and hair with this blend and leave it on for about 30 minutes then wash it off with a gentle shampoo and conditioner.
10- Fenugreek and Aloe Vera for treating dandruff
Fenugreek is known for treating dandruff and also acting as a conditioner to the hair. A healthy scalp is a foundation for healthy hair. To learn more about Fenugreek, read this article.
- Soak the fenugreek seeds overnight.
- Grind them in the morning and mix with aloe Vera gel to make a paste
- Apply this mixture to your hair and scalp and leave it on for about 30 minutes then rinse it off with a gentle shampoo
If you have never tried out Aloe Vera for your hair, then you have been missing out a lot because, from past generations to date, this has been the common natural remedy for all hair related problems. Remember to always test fresh Aloe Vera on the back of your hand just a patch and leave it for few minutes to taste if your skin is reactive to its properties, then now you can go ahead and use it for various needs mixed with essential oils.
Let me know what mixture from the 10 blends works best for your hair. I have intentionally left out the measurements in most of the recipes because with DIY, it is best to do trial and error and find what is best for your hair. In case you are interested in the exact measurements, let me know in the comments below.