Aloe vera is quite famous in the world of natural beauty care and holistic health, but you might still be surprised to hear about all the ways aloe vera can be beneficial for hair care.
Aloe vera gel is a naturally occurring substance that comes from the aloe vera plant, and is often mixed with water and various vitamins and minerals to make aloe vera juice. There are many health benefits associated with aloe vera juice, and aloe gel can be used to soothe and hydrate the skin, and also to treat sunburn. But aloe vera can also do wonders for your hair.
According to up-and-coming New Jersey-based celebrity hairstylist Ona Diaz-Santin, AKA “The Hair Saint,” “Aloe vera is a favorite when it comes to the natural hair community, and many ‘naturalistas’ incorporate aloe vera to all categories of products from shampoo, conditioner to styling because of its health properties.”
She said aloe vera “can be used for just about any hair and scalp concerns,” and that it can “be applied as a hair/scalp treatment.” Depending on the texture of your hair, “it can also be used to detangle, or even as a styler.”
So clearly using aloe vera juice for hair seems like a good idea, but what are the exact benefits?
The Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice for Hair
According to the experts, aloe vera juice is effective for all of the following uses.
Stimulating Hair Growth
Research has shown that aloe vera-based herbal formulations are effective for promoting hair growth. This study from 2010 found that even a short-term treatment made a significant difference.
Laura Goddard, owner of the sustainability-focused Laura Goddard Style salon in Atlanta, Georgia, and certified member of Green Circle Salons suggested that “aloe improves the health of the hair follicles” and so “indirectly promotes healthier scalp and promotes faster hair growth.”
This theory is enthusiastically confirmed by Emma/Lady Alopecia, creator of a website called Lady Alopecia that offers information, advice and support for people with hair loss. Lady Alopecia claimed that — “having tried A LOT of different hair loss products, and products to maintain healthy hair, (she) can safely say that aloe vera gel and juice are among the best natural treatments out there.”
So it seems aloe vera juice for hair growth is a great option if you’re interested in natural solutions.
Treating Dandruff/Itchy Scalp
Aloe vera juice can also be used to treat dandruff and an itchy scalp. Laura Goddard explained that “aloe contains proteolytic enzymes which repair dead skin cells on the scalp.” She said this restoration helps to “prevent itching and can reduce dandruff.”
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study has also shown that aloe vera extract “is effective in the therapy of patients with seborrheic dermatitis,” which is a dermatological condition very closely related to dandruff that causes an itchy rash with flaky scales on the skin.
Lady Alopecia added that aloe vera acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can increase its effectiveness for reducing itchiness and treating dandruff.
Repairing Hair Strands
When it comes to repairing hair strands, aloe vera juice can also be of service.
According to Lady Alopecia, because aloe vera contains “18 amino acids,” as well as the proteolytic enzymes mentioned earlier, it can be used effectively to “repair dry or brittle hair strands.”
Goddard agreed with this claim, stating that aloe soothes dry, damaged hair because it is filled with enzymes, amino acids and vitamin D and E that can help protect the hair when used on a regular basis.
Moisturizing Natural Hair
If you’re using aloe vera juice for natural hair, it can be very effective if your goal is to moisturize.
Various patent-related studies for natural hair care products have justified the inclusion of aloe vera in their solutions because of its cleansing properties. Aloe vera cools the skin and conditions the hair.” Because aloe vera is a humectant, it helps the hair and the scalp to retain and preserve moisture.
Laura Goddard confirmed that aloe vera has the ability to attract and lock in moisture, and that it helps to balance the pH level of the scalp, which adds even further to its moisturizing properties.
Cleansing Hair/Removing Oily Buildup
From what we’ve learned already, using aloe vera for hair seems to be a no brainer, and you can also use it to give your hair a cleanse and remove any oily build-up that may have accumulated.
Because aloe vera has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, Lady Alopecia recommended using it to remove excess sebum. Sebum is the oily excretion that might leave your hair with a kind of greasy texture.
By treating your hair with aloe vera juice, you can remove the excess grease and give your hair a luscious, healthy shine!
Aloe Vera Juice as a Natural Hair Dye
If you’re looking for a way to dye your hair naturally, studies have shown that a mixture of plant extracts containing 40% aloe gel is highly effective for fast-dying of the hair without causing hair damage or skin irritation.
It’s unclear what particular hair colors this mixture is effective for, but if you’re thinking about mixing things up, aloe vera-based hair dye could be a great natural option for you!
Protecting Your Hair From the Sun
Although it’s been proven that aloe vera can be used to treat sunburn, it should not be used to protect your bare skin from UV light. However, studies have confirmed that aloe vera juice can be used to protect your hair from the UV radiation associated with sunlight.
It must be noted that the degree of protection offered by aloe vera from sunlight differs depending on hair type.
How to Use Aloe Vera Juice for Hair
So the experts have spoken, and the many aloe vera juice benefits for hair are clear to see. Here’s some tips on how you can incorporate aloe vera juice into your own hair routine.
Make Your Own Hair Mask
To make your own hair mask, Lady Alopecia recommended using one cup of fresh aloe vera juice, one tablespoon of castor oil and two tablespoons of fenugreek powder for added moisture.
After mixing all these ingredients in a bowl to form a paste, you should then apply the mixture to your entire scalp while focusing on roots and tips.
Once you have applied the mixture, Lady Alopecia suggested covering your hair with a shower cap or towel, and allowing it to set overnight. You should then rinse in the morning with cool water for added shine.
Using an aloe vera hair mask like this will help to foster a healthy scalp, which in turn can reduce hair loss, promote hair growth and improve the overall condition of your hair.
Use Aloe Vera Juice with Shampoo
Laura Goddard suggested that using aloe vera juice or gel in combination with shampoo is a great way to boost the shampoo’s hair nourishing capabilities.
She recommended using pure aloe vera gel or juice, mixed with a high-quality hair oil as a pre-poo that fits the needs of your hair and scalp. By letting this mixture sit on the scalp and hair for 10-15 minutes or so before shampooing, you can be sure that your hair will come out looking extra healthy.
Use Aloe Vera Juice as a Scalp Massager
Laura Goddard also recommended massaging your scalp with pure aloe vera juice because it will stimulate hair follicles, soothe the skin cells on your scalp and promote hair growth even further.
If you’re feeling super daring, you could even try doing this with your very own homemade aloe vera juice or aloe vera gel.
Add to Conditioner/Use as Conditioner
Not only can you add aloe vera juice or gel to your conditioner to boost its effectiveness, Laura Goddard even recommended using aloe vera in place of regular conditioner, leave-in conditioner or deep conditioner.
She said you should shampoo first then follow with your aloe of choice for the conditioner. This combination offers a completely natural way to condition your hair and help it retain nutrients and moisture.
Create an Aloe Vera Spray
To create your own aloe vera spray, Laura Goddard advised that you should combine half aloe vera juice and half water in a spray bottle and shake to mix.
You should then spray (the mixture) on the scalp and hair liberally, and use your fingertips to massage the mixture into the scalp. Then rinse the mixture out, or leave it in for a while, but Mrs. Goddard did warn not to leave the mixture in too long or your hair will go dry and brittle.
Left in for a short amount of time, the aloe vera spray will help to improve overall scalp and hair well-being.
It is also possible to use a mixture like this as an aloe vera juice hair spritz.
How to Use Aloe Vera Juice for Hair Growth
Clearly there are plenty of different reasons to use aloe vera juice for hair, but to use aloe vera juice specifically for hair growth, Laura Goddard recommended the following steps:
1. Cut a leaf from a live aloe vera plant.
2. Using a spoon, collect the gel (some like to blend it with oil.)
3. Rub the gel or mixture directly into the scalp and let it sit for an hour.
4. Use a mild shampoo to wash the hair and scalp.
5. Repeat this process once a week.
Aloe Vera Juice vs Aloe Vera Gel: Which is Better?
If at this stage you’re convinced that you’d like to try using aloe vera for hair, you might be wondering whether you should use aloe vera juice or aloe vera gel. From the evidence available, both are good options, but choosing the best option for you really depends on your hair type and desired outcome.
Laura Goddard explained that aloe vera juice would be a lighter consistency, and great for fine hair or as a light leave-in mixed with water. She said aloe vera gel is thicker, and would be better for more coarse or thicker hair, because it helps smooth the cuticle and reduce frizz.
Lady Alopecia added that there isn’t a major difference between the two, except that the gel leaves a sticky residue, while the juice dries in a less notable way. She recommended using the juice if you want to leave aloe in during the daytime, and the gel when you’re indoors.’
She personally prefers the gel for hair growth but thinks the juice spreads better to create a healthy shine.
So it seems that there is no better option when it comes to choosing between aloe vera juice and aloe vera gel for hair care. If you are interested in aloe vera for hair, maybe you should give both options a try and see which one works best for you.
Using aloe vera juice for hair is an effective and natural way to maintain and improve the health of your hair and scalp. If you’ve got some aloe vera products at home that you’d like to use for hair care, you might be interested to read our guide for how to store aloe vera products and extend their shelf life.
Download Our Free Guide to Sustainable Living.
From reducing waste to recycling and upcycling, our e-book shows simple ways to make choices you can feel good about.