Aloe vera has been used for generations to treat burns, dry skin, and as a component in cosmetics. Many naturals on social media recommend aloe as a way to maintain natural hair soft, moisturized, and lustrous. I went to Amazon and bought a top-rated brand of aloe vera, mixed it with a quarter of water, and sprayed the concoction on my curls and scalp after washing and conditioning.
To my pleasure, I discovered that Whitney White and other YouTube experts were completely correct when they recommended putting aloe on natural hair. My curls had been moisturized and shaped, and my scalp had felt healthier in months.
GET TO KNOW THE EXPERT
Tonya Lane is a cosmetic scientist in North Carolina with a Master of Science in chemistry from North Carolina Central University.
- INGREDIENT TYPE: Hydrator
- MAIN BENEFITS: Soothes irritated scalp, reduces hair loss, and moisturizes the strands.
- WHO SHOULD USE IT: In general, persons who suffer from dry scalp and are worried about the moisture level of their hair should use it.
- HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU USE IT: Once a week on wash day, as well as once a day to wake up and hydrate the hair
- COMPATIBLE WITH: Other water-based substances such as glycerin and water
What exactly is Aloe Vera?
Most of us are aware that the aloe plant’s clear gel soothes, but what makes aloe vera such a versatile substance for hair? “Aloe is a plant that has several advantages for the body, skin, and, of course, our hair,” Lane explains. “Aloe has a natural capacity to retain moisture, which is especially useful in arid situations where water is limited.
Because of its amazing feature, aloe is an excellent choice for acquiring and preserving moisture in our hair.” Lane further mentions that aloe has several vitamins, amino acids, and minerals for our hair; nonetheless, the major component of aloe is water, and among its watery makeup are incredibly interesting chemical components known as “polysaccharides.”
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Long-chain sugar molecules with hydroxy groups (-OH), resulting in a hydrophilic (water-loving) environment. This reduces transepidermal water loss and so protects the cell barrier function. 1 Aloe is particularly effective at hydrating because it both locks and loads; it may form a moisture-retaining layer on the hair to help lock in moisture while also attracting moisture from the air owing to its humectant characteristics.
Aloe Vera Hair Benefits
Aside from attracting and retaining moisture in the hair, many naturals believe aloe promotes healthy hair growth. While aloe does not promote hair growth, it does contain vitamins E and C, both of which aid to fight against free radical damage, suggesting that the integrity and strength of your hair may be preserved.
Aloe is also very calming due to its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties3, making it an essential element for individuals who suffer from itchy scalps and dandruff.
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Aloe Vera Side Effects
When using aloe vera gel, there is typically minimal cause for concern, although some people may be allergic to it. Perform a patch test before using aloe vera topically. Apply a little quantity of aloe vera gel on the inside of your wrist and wait a few hours to watch how your skin reacts. This test will determine if you are sensitive to aloe.
Though they are uncommon, aloe can leave a film on the hair. Experimenting with different product layers might assist you in determining what works best with the water-rich plant.
How to Apply It?
Lane elaborates “Because aloe is hydrophilic (attracts water), it works well with other water-based substances such as glycerin and water rather than an oil. You may still add a tablespoon or two of aloe vera juice to your favorite conditioner or moisturizer for added hydration.” Lane suggests the following recipe for your spray bottle if you intend to use it as a daily moisturizer:
- 1 quart of water
- half a cup aloe vera juice (inner fillet)
Lane concludes by saying that there may be too much of a good thing, even wetness. Lane claims that after using the aforementioned spray in big amounts, her hair “become overly hydrated, and [she] had to undergo a protein treatment to rejuvenate [her] hair.” In other words, use sparingly and only when your hair is in desperate need of some TLC.