Calling all curly coily ladies out there! Are your curls thirsty? Has harsh weather made your hair stiff? You might be overlooking a great natural ingredient that could be your saving grace. Aloe vera is known to promote shine and moisture in hair while also preventing hair loss and dandruff. Grab products with aloe vera or some all natural aloe vera gel to benefit from this amazing plant! Why should you? So glad you asked.
What are the “ingredients” found in aloe vera gel?
Many curly girls are extremely careful about the ingredients found in the products that they use on their curls…as they should be! With aloe vera gel, there’s no doubt that you’re using a natural product that’s great for your hair. It consists of water, 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids, and 200 phyotonutrients.
Our Curl Chemist Tonya McKay says “most ‘100% pure Aloe vera gel’ available for purchase is a mixture containing some aloe, polymers for viscosity modification, preservatives and other additives. These additions will necessarily change the impact of the aloe vera on your hair as well.” This is even true for one of the most popular brands in the curly community is Fruit of the Earth which you can get at Amazon, Walgreens, or Walmart. So you can use any brand that sells pure aloe vera gel, but just be aware that most will contain additives.
Use aloe vera gel as a pre-shampoo treatment to reduce buildup dandruff. Aloe vera’s natural enzymes destroy the excessive dead skin cells and fungus that leads to dandruff (malassezia) while also leaving the scalp’s pH level balanced and hair moisturized. Apply to your scalp as a treatment before your wash and give yourself a fresh start!Massage the gel into your scalp and leave it for ten minutes, then rinse before shampooing or co-washing as usual.
You can also use aloe vera juice to the same end. For a lighter pre-shampoo treatment, mix aloe vera juice, coconut milk and wheat germ oil.
Aloe vera gel can make a great moisturizing shampoo. Some shampoos (even sulfate-free shampoos) can leave your hair dry and stiff. Check those ingredients and try a shampoo containing aloe vera, or add some aloe vera gel to your current favorite! Its naturally moisturizing properties will leave your hair strong and moisturized.
For women with tightly coiled strands, natural oils are trapped at the root. Products with amino acids promote moisture and condition our hair. Aloe vera has 20 amino acids!
You can use a ready-made aloe vera conditioner or you can mix aloe vera gel with the conditioner that you already use. If you’d rather go all natural, here’s a very simple conditioning recipe:
-Cut the aloe vera leaf from the stem upward
-Use a spoon to remove all the gel
-Apply it to damp hair, starting at the scalp and working your way down to the ends
-Wrap your hair in a warm, damp towel and let the treatment sink in for at least 15 minutes
-Wash your hair as usual after the treatment
4. Aloe Vera Gel
Looking for curl definition? Many use aloe vera gel to define and moisturize their curls simultaneously. Defined curls always look the best when they are conditioned well. For Type 4 Coilies, this may not work so test on a small section of hair first to see if you like it.
-Apply a small amount of aloe vera gel to your hands after washing and conditioning
-Scrunch it into wet hair just before your go-to styler or gel
If you are looking for natural detangling products that are gentle on your child’s or your own curls, you can skip the store aisle and make your own. Simply combine the following ingredients in a spray bottle:
8 oz distilled water
1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
1-2 drops glycerin
1-2 drops essential oil (e.g., lavender, jojoba)
10-15 drops grapefruit seed extract
Then section the hair and apply the mixture to each section as you detangle.
6. Hair Growth
YES! We all love to see our hair gain some length. Use aloe vera on your “special” areas that need a little extra help, or even bald spots. The enzymes in aloe vera will attack skin cells clogging your hair follicles leaving two gifts (moisture and shine). While helping to unclog your follicles the nutrients that promote hair growth can do their thing.