Aloe Vera for Hair: Benefits and Uses

Aloe vera has been used for centuries to treat various medical conditions. Ancient Egyptians considered it “the plant of immortality.” Aloe vera contains many healthy vitamins, minerals, and other essential compounds. It is most widely known for its ability to soothe sunburned skin. Aloe vera has recently gained popularity for improving hair.

Read on to discover the benefits and side effects of using aloe vera for hair.

What is aloe vera?

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Aloe vera is an abundant cactus-like shrub that thrives in drier subtropical environments. For thousands of years, since Ancient Egypt, people have used it to treat certain medical problems with varied success. Some research has demonstrated its ability to treat several medical issues, including hyperlipidemia, constipation, diabetes, burns, and wounds. However, the research is limited, and more is needed.

Aloe vera contains abundant active compounds:

CompoundPurposeCompoundPurpose
Vitamins A, C, and EAntioxidant propertiesAnthraquinonesAntimicrobial properties
Calcium, copper, and zincSupport different metabolic functionsEnzymesReduce inflammation
Fatty acidsAnti-inflammatory and antiseptic propertiesLignanEnhance the penetration of products
Amino acidsEssential to make proteinsSaponinsCleansing agents
HormonesAnti-inflammatory propertiesSalicylic acidAntibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties

What are the benefits of aloe vera for hair?

There is a lack of evidence and good studies to support the benefit of aloe vera for hair. Many of the reports are anecdotal. Because aloe vera contains numerous amazing, active compounds, many believe it can help improve hair. More research and evidence are needed to support this claim.

Here are some potential benefits of topical aloe vera:

  • Soothes. It can stop the itch and inflammation of seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and sunburns.
  • Removes oil. It contains compounds that can gently cleanse the skin and hair.
  • Repairs hair and promotes growth. It has vitamins, fatty acids, and amino acids, which may promote healthy hair growth.
  • Moisturizes. It can moisturize hair, which may prevent breakage, dullness, and frizz.

Side effects of aloe vera

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Topical aloe vera is considered safe and has few side effects, which occur rarely. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergic reactions, try a test spot first. It is possible to have an allergic reaction to or experience contact dermatitis from topical aloe vera. Always consult your dermatologist before starting anything new to ensure it is right for you.

Aloe vera comes from the lily family. If you are allergic to any of the other members of the family, you should avoid using aloe vera. Other family members include garlic, onions, shallots, asparagus, chives, and leeks.

Possible side effects include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Soreness
  • Burning
  • Flaking or scaling

How to use aloe vera on hair

There are two ways to reap the potential benefits of aloe vera for hair. You can use store-bought products that contain aloe vera, such as hair gels, serums, or shampoos. It is the quickest and easiest way to add aloe vera to your beauty routine.

Many grow their own aloe plants and harvest the gel from the leaves. You simply cut the leaf open and scoop out the gel. You can apply it directly on the hair, left on for 30–60 minutes, then wash it off. Some combine raw aloe with different nourishing oils to create a hair mask or lemon juice to get a deep clean.

Aloe vera contains numerous compounds that can potentially improve hair. However, studies are lacking, and more research is needed to confirm these benefits. Topical aloe vera is mostly safe with few side effects. If you are interested in trying aloe vera for your hair, ask your dermatologist if it is right for you.

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