|Photo: Brigid Turner|
There are lots of natural options that are touted as healing for hair. One of the oldest and most widely accepted is aloe vera. There are many reasons that the benefits of aloe vera in hair are recognized and legitimate.
Why Aloe Vera?
A long time healing solution, there are many benefits of aloe vera in hair. The pulp of the aloe vera plant (the sap) that contains the juice and gel has been used for medicinal, cosmetic and health purposes throughout time due to the fact that they contain antioxidants, antibiotics, and antifungal properties.
They also have a vast amount of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, Calcium, folic acid and amino acids to name a few. Apart from being used for our skin and health, it can also be used on our hair. The juice and gel can be used on all hair types and is especially beneficial for dry and damaged hair.
Benefits of Aloe Vera:
- Promote hair growth
- A natural humectant
- Restore the natural pH balance of the hair and scalp
- Reduce dandruff
- Naturally condition the hair
- Reduce hair shed
- Promote hair softness
- Help heal an irritated, dry, itchy scalp
Ways to Use Aloe Vera:
- In a spray bottle with water and an oil of choice or a little leave-in conditioner
- As part of your moisturizing Deep Conditioner
- In your shampoo – just adding a little when you shampoo your hair
- As part of your leave-in conditioner
Where can I get Aloe Vera Juice (AVJ)?
You can sometimes find it in your local supermarket, health food store or pharmacy. To make the juice yourself: break off the outer leaf of the plant (use something to catch the sap because it will start to ooze once the leaf is broken). Carefully slice/cut off the spikes to avoid hurting yourself and then slowly slice down the middle of the leaf. Using a spoon you can scrape out the sap and mix it with a little water (add vitamin E if you want to boost its nourishing benefits). Put the mixture in a blender and store it in the fridge in an airtight container for no more than 4 – 5 days as this is when its nourishing properties are at its peak.
NOTE: While it is a humectant, you should only use a little AVJ at a time as too much can sometimes make the hair feel dry. Some people might be allergic to fresh AVJ and you should perform a skin test before using it for the first time by putting a tiny amount of juice on the inside of your arm and waiting 24 hours to see if you get an allergic reaction (e.g. red & itchy).
Whether dealing with an irritated scalp or dry strands, the benefits of aloe vera in hair can provide an answer to the problem. It is no wonder this plant has been a staple for generation after generation.