Aloe vera is a versatile plant-based ingredient. It offers lots of dope benefits for your hair and scalp. You can easily make a DIY aloe vera hair treatment at home without breaking your budget.
Aloe vera is known across the globe for its dope skin care superpowers. But this goopy gel can also benefit hair health! Peeps claim aloe vera can help:
- ease an itchy or flaky scalp
- cleanse oily hair
- strengthen brittle hair
- protect hair from the sun
- increase hair growth
Here’s what the science says about these potential perks. We also have a step-by-step guide on how to use aloe vera at home and a DIY aloe vera hair mask recipe.
Here are five reasons why you might want to add aloe vera to your hair care routine.
1. Ease an itchy or flaky scalp
About 50 percent of adults across the globe have dandruff. Lots of folks also experience itchiness, redness, or scaling scalps. While it’s not a cure-all, aloe vera might help ease these symptoms thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. There’s also a chance it can help soothe dry patches of eczema on the scalp.
FYI: Aloe vera might not work on all conditions that cause dry, flaking, or itchy skin. (We’re looking at you, psoriasis 😠.) But since it’s very gentle on the skin, it prob won’t hurt to try. Just be sure your dermatologist says it’s OK before you use it.
2. Cleanse oily hair
Tons of products claim to offer a deep clean for oily or greasy hair types. But alas, a lot of these products can dry out or damage your hair. This is not the case with aloe vera. Its antibacterial agents remove oils without attacking the actual strands of your hair.
Products with aloe vera can be great if your hair naturally builds up a lot of oil. You can use it every day while maintaining the strength of your hair. Speaking of which…
3. Strengthen brittle hair
Aloe vera is loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients that are great for your hair. It contains a treasure trove of micronutrients like:
- folic acid
- vitamin C
- vitamin E
- vitamin B12
- vitamin A (beta-carotene)
According to a 2019 study, these substances play a role in cellular turnover and can reduce your risk of hair loss. There’s also a chance aloe vera can give you shinier, thicker, and stronger hair.
However, science is divided on if aloe vera can actually repair damaged hair.
4. Protect hair from the sun
The sun’s UV rays can rob your hair of its natural shine while making it brittle and fragile. Some peeps think aloe vera can protect your hair from these rays, but there’s very limited science to back this up.
The good news is that aloe vera is cheap and basically risk-free. So, even if it can’t 10/10 protect your hair from the sun, it still might be worth a shot.
5. Increase hair growth (maybe)
Lots of peeps think that aloe vera helps hair grow. Limited scientific evidence points to its antioxidant content as being able to repair and regrow hair. However, we need more evidence to say for sure.
You can find aloe vera gel in a huge range of skin and hair care products. Shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, shielding sprays, you name it. If it can be used to treat hair, someone will have used aloe gel as an ingredient at some point.
While you can def buy aloe vera gel for your hair at the store, you might have more fun making it at home. The plant itself is hardy and easy to grow even in small spaces. Once it’s mature (about 3 years old) you can harvest individual leaves and extract your own gel like this:
- Use a sharp knife to cut one of the plant’s lower leaves.
- Chop off the pointy tip of the leaf.
- Stand your leaf upright in a container for about 10 minutes to drain off the sap.
- Cut off both of the leaf’s serrated edges.
- Using your knife or a vegetable peeler, carefully remove the top of the leaf.
- Use a knife or a spoon to scrape the jelly-like aloe gel from the leaf.
- Slice the gel up into cubes for easier storage.
The gel will keep for about a week if you store it in the fridge inside an airtight container. If you use aloe gel for your hair regularly, you’ll be able to simply snip a new leaf off the plant whenever you need more.
Instead of spending beaucoup bucks, you can easily whip up a dope DIY aloe vera hair mask at home. Here’s how!
- 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
Psst. You might want to double those amounts if you have uber long or thick hair.
To make an aloe vera hair mask:
- Stir the aloe vera gel and coconut oil together.
- Apply this paste to your hair. Start at the roots and work outward to the tips.
- Once the hair mask is lathered in, comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb to ensure an even spread.
- Put on a shower cap, then wrap your head in a warm towel to stop your hair from getting dry mid-treatment.
- Let it sit for 30–60 minutes.
- Rinse well with lukewarm water.
- Follow-up with your regular shampoo and conditioner.
- Repeat once every week instead of conditioning your hair for max goodness.
Aloe vera allergies are rare, but they can happen. Stop using aloe vera gel ASAP if your skin becomes:
PSA: Just because something contains aloe vera doesn’t mean it’s good for your skin. Always double-check a product’s ingredients list to make sure it doesn’t contain any irritating substances (like added fillers, dyes, fragrance etc.).
Check to make sure that aloe is the first ingredient listed on the label and if there are a bunch of other ingredients you can’t pronounce, move on to a different product.
Aloe vera offers a lot of perks for your skin and hair. It may help reduce scalp itch, bolster shine, cleanse away oils, and strengthen brittle hair. And as an added bonus, it’s cheap AF.
You can find aloe vera in lots of commercial hair products. You can also grow your own aloe vera at home and make your own masks and other treatments.