An effective way of incorporating the miraculous Aloe Vera plant with its plethora of virtues into your natural hair routine for long, shiny and healthy tresses, and a dandruff-free scalp.
The succulent Aloe Vera plant is considered a miraculous plant due to its innumerable health benefits and healing properties. Aloe Vera grows in various regions all over the world and is prized for its plethora of medicinal properties since ancient times. Its benefits are pretty wide-ranging, earning itself the reputation of being able to address various discomforts and health conditions; such as lowering blood glucose levels, soothing burns, bruises, joint pains and stiffness associated with arthritis, as well as alleviating digestive ailments like indigestion, constipation, heartburn etc. Aloe Vera has also been known to have natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which can help reduce gum swelling, bleeding, and inflammation, making it beneficial for oral health in general.
Because it can hydrate, exfoliate, nourish, clarify, and revitalize the skin and hair, Aloe Vera is extensively used for cosmetic purposes as well. Its antioxidant properties and richness in vitamins help it to repair skin and hair damage and to protect them before and after the harmful effects of UV radiation.
This makes Aloe Vera a key ingredient in most of our beauty products (skin moisturizers, soaps, shampoos, sunscreens, lotions, makeup, perfumes, shaving creams, etc) and widely used for moisturizing dry skin, soothing sunburns, speeding the healing of burns & cuts, reducing itchiness, inflammation, acne spots & blemishes, and for preventing wrinkles and fine lines.
Just as with skincare, Aloe Vera has been treasured for its hair care properties for ages. It provides nourishment to the hair strands, eliminates dandruff, prevents excess oiliness, promotes hair growth and helps to prevent hair loss. It is commonly used as a DIY hair mask or deep conditioner, where it could be mixed with a whole host of ingredients (such as eggs, honey, apple cider vinegar, , coconut milk, yoghurt, fenugreek seeds, or oils such as , coconut oil etc) depending on what your hair needs. However, because Aloe Vera is already rich in so many nutrients, your deep conditioner doesn’t need many ingredients added to it. All you need to do is mix the Aloe Vera gel or juice with one or two ingredients and apply to clean sectioned hair. Cover with a plastic cap and leave for one hour. Rinse and style.
All of these amazing benefits add up to a glowing complexion and beautiful shiny hair.
Aloe Vera gel is the clear innermost and most prevalent part of the Aloe leaf. When blended in its purest form or with equal parts water you get Aloe Vera juice. I have been using Aloe Vera juice for my natural hair for a while now; with my first use for it being as a natural detangler. Aloe Vera juice has enough slip to detangle and does a great job of hydrating the hair and feeding nutrients to the hair shaft. I usually use 100% juice, or sometimes make a 50-50 mix with water and oils in a spray bottle and spritz my hair section by section, before detangling using my fingers or a wide-toothed comb.
Depending on the needs of your tresses, Aloe Vera juice can be incorporated into your hair-care routine in more ways than one for hair and scalp health. Some benefits include the following:
» The main cause of your natural hair not growing is as a result of the pores and hair follicles on your scalp being clogged by dead skin and product build-up. Aloe Vera contains active proteolytic enzymes that act as an exfoliant, getting rid of dead skin cells from the scalp and allowing for your hair to grow freely! The enzymes also help to give your scalp a boost in stimulation and balance out the hair’s pH to help retain moisture. It’s like a magic natural ingredient for replenishing the scalp and boosting hair growth!
» Thanks to the large amount of water contained in Aloe Vera (about 96%) and its richness in fatty & amino acids, minerals, vitamins A, B, C&E, it is excellent for hydrating the hair and promotes hair growth. With such excellent moisturizing properties, Aloe Vera juice can serve as a natural conditioner to deeply moisturize the hair strands.
» If moisture escapes too quickly and often from hair, the dryness can lead to split ends and eventually, breakage. Aloe Vera juice conditions your tresses and seals moisture in. Aloe helps to close the cuticle, keeping the moisture within the hair shaft; the hair maintains its elasticity, so your hair is less likely to break. Its effective sealing properties gives your hair an overall healthy appearance.
» Smoothening your hair can be of great benefit to us naturals because it can help curls to glide past each other instead of tangling and knotting. The amino acids in aloe help to control stray hairs and smoothen them into a more defined curl pattern. The hydration factor also helps to calm frizz and helps your hair look more lustrous.
» As you probably know, having a pH of 4.5-5.5 is the key to preventing dandruff. Spraying aloe vera juice on the scalp will help restore the pH balance of the scalp and fight dandruff. In fact, adding aloe juice to your DIY recipes will create a mixture which will help you maintain the healthy pH and natural oils of the scalp (but not in excess), and avoid dandruff.
» Do you have an itchy or sore spot on your scalp? Spray some aloe juice on your scalp to repair and restore the skin. Its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties help prevent dandruff, while its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe the scalp, preventing dryness and itchiness.
Below is a video showing you how to make your own Aloe Vera juice for your hair regimen. I make mine the same exact way as in this video, except for the fact that I like my Aloe Vera juice in its purest form, straight, no mixer. Aloe Vera is pretty watery, so I don’t add any water to the Aloe Vera gel and it blends very well with no additional liquid. After blending I strain the juice and sometimes add a few drops of lavender or peppermint essential oil for fragrance. I normally preserve my homemade Aloe Vera juice in the fridge for longer shelf life or in the freezer for the juice to last even longer, up to a couple of weeks.
♦ Start by cutting a single leaf of the plant at the base.
♦ Wash it clean with water and skin the flat side.
♦ Inside, you will find a transparent, white, sticky flesh. Use a spoon to scoop it out into a bowl.
♦ This will look like sticky gel-like chunks. Blend until all gel turns to all liquid and strain into a container of choice.
♦ Store the Aloe Vera juice in the refrigerator if you intend to use it later, though it is recommended to use it fresh.
Aloe Vera juice is a natural ingredient that brings with it a treasure trove of benefits whether you choose to ingest it or use topically for your skin or hair. However, my favourite uses for Aloe Vera juice are for my natural hair-care regimen. My scalp is very sensitive and prone to dandruff and so far Aloe Vera juice has been my main ally to rid my scalp of bacteria, fungus, and irritation. I add it to my regular shampoo and use it as often as I can. This soothes my scalp, moisturizes my hair and keeps it strong. My go-to uses for my homemade Aloe Vera juice are as a pre-shampoo treatment and everyday hair moisturizing mist.
Pre-poo: Aloe Vera juice can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment to reduce dandruff buildup. The enzymes in the Aloe Vera destroy the excessive dead skin cells and fungus that lead to dandruff and also help in balancing the hair pH leaving the hair moisturized. Mix Aloe Vera juice and your favourite pre-poo oil such as Olive or Coconut Oil. Apply this mixture to your scalp and along the hair strands, massage, cover it with a plastic cap for added heat and leave it in for 30-45 minutes before shampooing. Applying a pre-poo before shampoo is a good way to prevent the hair from breakage that can occur during washday. You can also wash your hair without a shampoo when using this and rinse it with water.
Leave-in Spray Conditioner: This is my go-to use for my Aloe Vera Juice – a DIY Aloe Vera leave-in conditioner. I use Aloe Vera juice in a spritz bottle together with a couple of tablespoons of unrefined carrier oil (extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, or sweet almond oil) and a few drops of essential oil (lavender or peppermint oil), as a daily moisturizer for my natural hair and it has helped a lot with my hair being softer and more manageable. I also use this hair mist to keep my hair nourished and hydrated when in a protective style.
Regular use of this homemade Aloe vera mist is very beneficial to take your dry and damaged hair to healthy, shiny and dandruff-free hair.
If you have never tried out Aloe Vera Juice for your hair then you have been missing a lot, because this natural remedy truly works wonders for all kind of hair related issues. You can use Aloe Vera juice in place of your regular conditioner to make your hair silky, soft and smooth. The best way to enjoy it, without the fear of added chemicals, is to grow the Aloe Vera plant in your own kitchen garden or balcony and make your own Aloe Vera Juice. Don’t have a green thumb? No problem. Aloe, like other succulents, is easy to keep alive and healthy because it doesn’t need much maintenance, but the benefits you get in return are plenty.
That said, keep in mind that even though Aloe Vera juice may be an all-natural product, you might have allergies or an unpleasant reaction to it. Therefore, to err on the side of caution, it is best to do a patch test on your wrist or back of your hand to check for a reaction within a 24-hour period.
As with any hair routine, consistency is key. It’s best to use your Aloe Vera juice consistently between 2-4 weeks before you start really enjoying its benefits. So, if you are struggling with dry, damaged, unmanageable and super frizzy hair, Aloe vera is the answer: all-natural and way cheaper!