You’ve probably heard someone you know talk about aloe vera and the magic it does to their hair at least once in your life. That’s because aloe has been used for centuries in countries like Egypt and India to grow luscious hair. “Can I use aloe vera gel on my hair everyday?” I remember asking my mum during one winter when my hair seemed to be perpetually dry.
I’ll be delving into that issue in a minute.
The thing is, aloe vera is not just a plant sitting in your grandma’s garden.
But if you make aloe vera a staple in your hair regimen – like all those women from centuries back who flaunted long, silky, shiny hair – trust me, you’ll see a world of difference.
What is aloe vera?
A succulent plant of the genus Aloe, Aloe vera is a plant believed to have originated from the southwest Arabian Peninsula.
However, it is now being cultivated in different countries.
Due to its succulence, aloe vera is able to survive even in hot regions with little rainfall.
This allows it to grow in the wild in both tropical and arid climates.
Aloe vera is a short plant with thick, fleshy leaves.
From these leaves come different notable products, such as aloe vera gel (found inside of the leaves) or aloe vera juice (extracted from outside the leaves).
These are believed to provide a variety of medicinal benefits (as well as cosmetic uses) leading to its fame as a natural medicine among natives.
Aloe vera has since grown in popularity, especially for cosmetic products.
Skin and haircare brands have started incorporating aloe vera as a key ingredient for different products.
This is as a result of the benefits aloe is believed to have in keeping the skin and hair healthy.
Aloe vera is believed to help fight acne, help treat psoriasis, and be effective in treating minor cuts, abrasions, and wounds.
Its benefits on the hair include facilitating hair growth and providing moisture.
It also makes the hair healthier with its many vitamins and minerals.
Benefits of using aloe vera on your hair
You probably know of aloe vera as a natural soothing gel.
This is why it’s commonly marketed as a product for sunburn or even a skincare product in some Asian countries if you have oily skin.
But what does aloe do for the hair?
First, let’s talk vitamins and nutrients.
The gold standard for aloe vera is the gel scraped straight from the plump and thick leaf of the aloe plant.
You can find this plant in the produce section of your grocery or even plant it yourself at home if you want to cut down on costs.
Fresh, pure aloe vera gel is abundant with nourishing properties and strengthening vitamins that promote healthy hair growth.
It’s rich in vitamins E and B12, arguably the most popular hair vitamins out there because of their strengthening and moisturizing benefits.
It also has many minerals like copper and zinc, which can help with more robust hair growth.
It also has fatty acids and amino acids, which help condition the hair and give it some softness and glossy shine.
In its list of vitamins and minerals alone, aloe vera is a force to be reckoned with.
One small portion of a thick and juicy aloe vera leaf can offer so much for your hair.
Here are some of the things your dull, tired tresses will enjoy with the help of aloe vera:
Immense hair growth
If there’s anything aloe vera is famous for in the hair world, it’s for growing your hair super long.
The vitamins and amino acids found in aloe keep your hair strong.
In the long run, this cuts down your chances of breakage and hair loss, helping you maintain length.
In addition to that, aloe vera has proteolytic enzymes that slough off dead skin cells sitting in your hair follicles in the scalp.
This creates the optimal clean and fresh environment for new hair to grow out faster and stronger.
Sure, aloe vera was most popular for hair growth a couple of generations ago.
But there are still so many women all around the world who rave about this miracle plant because it helped their hair grow long.
Aloe vera is a known humectant, which means it draws moisture from the environment to pull into your hair, keeping it very hydrated.
It’s an amazing solution to dryness and brittleness in the hair and scalp.
Aloe also helps lock that moisture in because it creates a protective barrier between your hair and the elements of the environment that can stress it out and deal damage.
So if your hair is parched and is in dire need of quenching its thirst, you can look to aloe vera for your source of deep hydration and moisture.
Gloss and shine
It also has conditioning properties to keep your hair silky smooth, which almost always equates to gorgeous shine and luster.
Aloe is considered a natural conditioner that keeps your hair looking healthy and shiny thanks to vitamins A, E, and C.
Because of this, aloe vera gel makes for a terrific leave-in conditioner on days when your hair looks particularly dull.
With just a couple of spritzes of aloe vera leaf juice, you can give it a boost of shine and vitality.
Soothing the scalp
If you suffer from a dry scalp or other conditions like intense dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, this one’s for you.
Aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory properties in its fatty acids that soothe red and irritated skin, which is likely the case if you have itchy scalp conditions.
It reduces itchiness and flakiness when massaged gently into the scalp, and the relief is almost instantaneous.
Dandruff, be gone!
In a way, this specific benefit traces back to aloe’s ability to promote healthy hair growth.
After all, a healthy scalp means your hair can grow longer and stronger.
Strengthening and repairing
While aloe vera doesn’t contain any proteins (the main nutrient that fortifies hair strands), its chemical make-up is actually comparable to keratin, the protein our hair is made of.
That means using aloe vera on your hair can make your hair shaft stronger, preventing breakage, snapping, hair fall, and thinning in the long run.
And because it’s rich in vitamins E, A, and B12, as well as folic acid, it helps keep your hair strong, sturdy, and resilient against damage.
Cleans grime and oils from the hair
Aloe vera is excellent at cleansing the hair gently yet thoroughly.
It gets rid of excess sebum in your hair that can make you look like a total greaseball.
It also helps to get rid of buildup from hair products you’ve used throughout the week.
If you have a no-shampoo rule, you might want to consider using aloe vera to cleanse your hair now and then.
It has no harsh cleaning agents like sulfates that can dry out your hair, so you’ll be able to preserve its health and shine while getting rid of all the nasty gunk and grime.
Ways to use aloe vera on the hair
There are tons of ways to incorporate aloe vera gel into your daily hair regimen.
You can get as creative as you want with how you use it, whether it’s as a no-poo cleanser, a detangler before you get in the shower, or even as the star ingredient of a DIY leave-in to amp up hydration and shine.
A good start would be to mix it into your shampoo and conditioner when you wash your hair.
This adds softness and conditioning to the hair, and even helps get rid of frizz and tangles.
If you want to make sure you’re using only pure aloe vera gel on your hair, you can make your own aloe-infused hair care products with the different options listed below.
To start with, it would be best to have pure, natural aloe vera gel at hand.
If you already have an aloe vera plant at home, you can obtain its gel by following these instructions:
- Take a whole aloe vera leaf and slice it in the middle.
- Scrape the gel inside the leaf using a tablespoon.
- Set aside extracted gel in a small container, ready for use.
- Keep the gel in the refrigerator (if not in use).
Once you have enough aloe vera gel, you may now proceed with any of the following options for using aloe vera on your hair:
Use aloe vera as a conditioner
Pure aloe vera gel can be used as a substitute for conditioner.
Consequently, you may opt to mix aloe vera with your usual conditioner for an extra kick of moisture.
Either way, the method is simple:
- Simply apply aloe vera gel as you would normally apply your conditioner right after shampooing. Slather the gel generously on the tips of the hair, slowly working your way to the scalp.
- As with typical conditioners, let the gel sit on the hair for a few minutes.
- Make sure to rinse thoroughly.
This can be done daily if needed.
However, it is recommended that you start with applying the gel a few times a week first.
You can then work slowly working towards daily use if the results are satisfactory.
Mix aloe vera with a carrier oil
If you’re apprehensive about simply applying pure aloe vera on the hair, you may consider adding it to a carrier oil that’s also beneficial for the hair.
This way, you will be able to harness the benefits of both oils for healthier hair.
That said, the carrier oil you will be choosing depends on what you’d like to have for the hair.
For instance, you may opt for castor oil if you want hair growth, or olive or coconut oil if you want more moisture for the hair.
Here’s a sample recipe:
- 1 cup aloe vera gel
- 2 tbsp carrier oil of choice
- Mix 1 cup aloe vera gel with 2 tablespoons of your carrier oil of choice
- Store into an airtight container until use
- Apply to hair from ends to tips
- Leave overnight and rinse the next morning.
Aloe vera protein mask
If you’re looking for an alternative to using carrier oils with aloe vera, then perhaps you can try a more readily available resource: egg.
This hair mask is rich in proteins, which helps strengthen the hair and nourish it from within.
By adding proteins to the hair, you can be sure to maintain your hair’s moisture throughout the day, thus making it healthier and less susceptible to breakage.
To make this mask, here are the ingredients you will be needing:
- 4 tbsp fresh aloe vera gel
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg yolk
- Put all ingredients in a bowl. Mix until thick paste forms.
- Apply the mixture to the hair, starting on the ends all the way to the scalp.
- Keep the mixture on the hair for around 30 minutes.
- Rinse off the mixture thoroughly, preferably with water and shampoo. Make sure not to use hot water, since this may cook the egg in the mixture.
- Optional: Use conditioner after rinsing to retain even more moisture.
Can I use aloe vera gel on my hair everyday?
So, back to the question I asked my mum years ago: “Can I use aloe vera gel on my hair everyday?”
Technically speaking, yes.
You can use aloe vera on your hair every day, especially if you have dry and brittle hair.
This is because it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals and cleaning agents that can deal damage to your hair shaft.
But there are a few caveats to this.
For one thing, using raw, undiluted aloe vera gel every single day can make your hair sticky, especially if you don’t rinse properly afterward.
It can also cause dryness and brittleness in your hair if you leave it on for too long.
On that note, don’t leave the gel in your hair for hours at a time every single day.
Do aloe vera masks before your wash day around once or twice a week only.
You also shouldn’t jump straight into incorporating aloe into your daily routine without checking for possible allergic reactions.
If you’re going to use aloe vera gel for the first time, do a patch test on a small part of your arm.
If your skin develops rashes or becomes super itchy, it’s best to stay away.
A major watch-out for the overuse of aloe vera is hygral fatigue, or over-moisturizing your hair (yes, it’s a thing).
This occurs when your hair has too much hydration and not enough protein, which leads to a gummy texture and lots of frizz.
Balance it out with a protein treatment, and you’re good to go.
If you have fine, thin hair, you might want to look out for aloe vera weighing your hair down if you use it daily.
This can cause heaviness in your hair, making it look flat and have zero body and volume.
This is not a cute look even if you have moisturized hair.
Can you leave aloe vera in your hair overnight?
Yes, you can.
Leaving an aloe vera mask in your hair to soak throughout the night is one of the most common ways to give yourself a little aloe vera pamper session.
Leaving the gel in your hair for a night allows your scalp and hair shaft to absorb all the nutritious goodness aloe has to offer.
It’s quite simple to set yourself up for an overnight masking session.
The first thing you need to do is cut up your aloe vera leaf plant into a couple of squares, making sure to be careful around the prickly skin.
Scrape the gel off of each portion of the leaf and mix it in a bowl to get that gooey, viscous, gel-like consistency.
If you don’t want to get aloe pulp in your hair, you could strain the pulp with a cheesecloth, so you’re only left with the aloe juice.
Now for the fun part.
Apply the gel all over your hair, from root to tip.
You can use a hairbrush to disperse the gel into each section of hair, ensuring every strand is coated with it.
Don’t forget to massage it into your scalp to soothe any irritation and itchiness in the area too.
Wear a plastic cap on before going to bed to make sure you don’t get your pillows all wet from the gel.
When you wake up, hop into the shower to wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner as you normally would.
Use gentle shampoo
It’s a good idea to use a gentle, non-sulfate shampoo so that you don’t strip your freshly-moisturized hair.
After all, aloe is pretty easy to rinse.
There’s no need for that clarifying shampoo for now.
The end result is soft, shiny, super moisturized hair with a beautiful bounce.
You’ll surely see a dramatic difference in shine and hydration in the short-term and noticeably faster hair growth in the long run.
An aloe vera overnight mask is a great way to incorporate the miracle plant into your hair routine without disturbing your washing and styling process.
Don’t do it too often, though – mark your calendar for this treatment just twice a week to avoid the risk of hygral fatigue.
Aloe vera is the key to thick, full, and shiny locks.
The best part is that it’s super affordable and can be found anywhere, whether you’d like to go for a fresh aloe plant or a high-quality tub from the drugstore.
We’ve discussed my question: “Can I use aloe vera gel on my hair everyday?”
Yes, but it’s important to note that aloe vera can cause allergic reactions in some people, especially those who are proven allergic to garlic.
Hence, it might be better to do a patch test prior to covering the whole hair and scalp in aloe vera gel.
Should you find that it agrees quite well with your hair and scalp, then you may explore how often you can use it on the hair for the best results.
With all this information in your hands, it would be rather unwise not to take this centuries-old secret and see how it can bring your dull, dry hair back to life.
So what are you waiting for?
Give your hair a boost of vitality and shine the natural way with a good aloe vera treatment so you can rock strong and long tresses for life.