Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended as medical advice. For any medical concerns, always contact your doctor.
You already know that aloe vera is an amazing skincare ingredient in the world of beauty and wellness. But did you also know aloe vera bestows various potential benefits on your mane, making it a must-have in your haircare routine?
Ahead, we explore how this widely loved ingredient hydrates your locks (and so much more) to help you see the appeal of aloe vera for hair. Who knows? You may be the next in line to fall in love with this humble ingredient — if you haven’t already.
The 411 on Aloe Vera for Hair
Many of us call the aloe vera plant as it is, while some of us may recognize it as Aloe barbadensis miller. Yet, the actual botanical name of aloe vera is A. vera (L.) Burm.f, singled out from some 420 species of the Aloe genus. Names aside, you probably want to know how it rose to popularity as a versatile haircare ingredient.
For starters, historical reference to aloe vera’s beneficial properties is traced to 1550 BCE when the ancient Egyptians recorded the plant in the Papyrus Ebers. Even famous Egyptian queens like Cleopatra included the plant in their beauty routines.
Around 70 AD, the Greek Herbal of Dioscorides (one of the most influential and widely read books on medicine and natural history) detailed the aloe vera plant‘s various uses, including as an ancient treatment for hair loss. Renowned military generals like Alexander the Great also used the herb to treat battle wounds. Even though the plant is said to originate from Sudan, it enjoys worldwide acclaim as a medicinal herb and home remedy, particularly in India, Japan, and China.
Interior designers have also used the aloe vera plant as a decor piece, thanks to its distinctive fleshy leaves. But beyond its external beauty, the aloe vera leaves contain pure aloe vera gel that gives the plant its herbal properties.
According to a 2008 medical review, aloe vera contains “75 potentially active constituents” including:
- Vitamins, like vitamin E, vitamin B12, and folic acid
- Enzymes, like amylase and lipase
- Minerals, like calcium, copper, and magnesium
- Fatty acids, like cholesterol
- Amino acids
- Salicylic acid
- Saponins, which are soapy substances with cleansing properties
Due to the plant’s nutrient composition, aloe vera possesses antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. Keep in mind though that just because the plant has these qualities doesn’t mean you’ll reap all the benefits by applying it to your hair or scalp. However, there are some upsides of using aloe vera for hair.
5 Potential Benefits of Aloe Vera for Hair
Many people have spoken highly of aloe vera for hair, deeming it a cure-all for every hair issue under the sun. While some claims may sound believable — say, hydrating a dry scalp — others like aloe vera for hair growth (or even regrowth) may raise your eyebrows.
To help you weed out the truth from the tall tales, we’ve dived deep into the scientific literature to pull out five potential benefits of aloe vera for hair. So sit back and take notes on what the plant might be able to do for your tresses.
1. Soothes the Scalp
Scalp issues come in many forms, from itchiness, scaliness, and flakes to scalp sunburn. But with some fresh aloe vera on your side (or an aloe vera-based hair product), you can possibly bid some scalp issues goodbye.
How it works: Aloe vera gel hydrates and soothes a dry, itchy scalp. The gel’s cool, lightweight texture is a calming balm on scalp flaking to provide you with much-needed relief.
That said, it’s important to remember that the amount of aloe vera in haircare products will vary, so there is no guarantee of results. It’s always best to consult your dermatologist or physician if you think you have seborrheic dermatitis.
2. Moisturizes Your Mane
Just as using aloe vera hydrates your scalp, it also benefits dry hair the same way. The good thing about this plant’s moisturizing properties is that it has an oil-free, lightweight texture that’s suitable for all hair types.
In other words, applying aloe vera to your strands, be it in the form of a DIY aloe vera hair mask or a conditioner infused with it, can promote the appearance of shiny hair without looking overly greasy. Plus, keeping your hair well-moisturized means a lower risk of hair tangles and breakage, which may help to encourage a fuller-looking mane.
3. Gently Cleanses
Coupled with the soap-like saponins present in aloe vera, it’s easy to see why a 2009 study called this herbal plant a “natural cleaner.” So, if you prefer a mild shampoo for your fine hair strands, make sure aloe vera is on the ingredient list as a key substance.
4. Fortifies Hair Fibers
Weak hair strands that break off after a bout of heat styling are far from what most people consider optimal hair health. That’s where nourishing aloe vera steps in to potentially protect your strands.
Aloe vera has a rich antioxidant profile — cue the vitamins, fatty acids, and amino acids we mentioned earlier. These nutrients help promote a healthy-looking mane.
5. Styles Your Strands
If you have natural hair but find ingredients like shea butter too heavy for your strands, introduce aloe vera to your tresses instead. Thanks to its lighter texture, aloe vera is less likely to weigh down your hair and leave a greasy mess behind.
For scientific proof, the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry supports aloe vera for hair as a styling gel. In fact, the journal highly recommends it for curls and frizz. In which case, curly and coily haired people may find there is no better way to emulate the appearance of healthy hair than with aloe vera.
How to Use Aloe Vera for Hair
It’s easy to incorporate aloe vera into your haircare routine. You can choose to go the all-natural, DIY route by buying fresh aloe vera leaves or pure aloe vera gel from local farmers’ markets, grocery stores, health food stores, and Amazon.
Another more convenient option is to choose over-the-counter haircare products that enlist aloe vera as one of their key ingredients. For instance, our “hydrate” hair goal consists of aloe vera and coconut oil to help restore your hair’s moisture balance, prevent future moisture loss, and promote long-lasting hydration.
Aloe Vera Is Here for Your Locks
Now that you know the potential benefits of aloe vera for hair, why not give it a shot? All you have to do is take our hair quiz and add the “hydrate” hair goal to any product you want to see in your shower caddy or on your vanity table.
Here’s some food for thought: Our custom shampoo and conditioner can help cleanse and moisturize your scalp and mane. Simply put, there is no better time to take advantage of this multi-tasking ingredient you know your locks will love.