Hair Ahead - Aloe Vera for Hair
Aloe vera is essentially the gel extracted from the aloe plant. It is widely recognized as a product with great medicinal properties and is consumed as a supplement. In the modern medical industry there are very few health products in which it is not included as one of the main ingredients. Aloe vera hair treatment techniques are popular the world over, and its use dates back into history to Egypt. Though it was originally found in Southern Europe, the Canary Islands and North Africa, it is now grown all over the world, as people are quite keen to take advantage of its versatile health giving properties.
From sunburn to heartburn, hair to heart, ongoing research seems to have been able to uncover new qualities of this plant which are being used to address a variety of health issues. Apart from that it is also used as a decorative potted plant and has a capacity to survive in areas of sparse rainfall because of its succulence. It is also used to treat wounds, burns and skin irritation. And yes, it is easy to maintain even when you keep it at home, as it does not need regular watering. No wonder, most have no hesitation in using aloe vera for hair issues.
Benefits of Aloe Vera on Hair
The raw gel of the aloe vera plant is used on hair and it is very easily found. It is available in medical shops and can also be taken out from the plant, if you happen to have one at home. Though it is primarily the genes and the general health of the individual which make the difference to the presence and quality of your hair, aloe vera does leave its impact too. There is a suggested procedure to use aloe vera for natural hair. You need to rub this watery liquid into your scalp and hair and let it work on your follicles; wash it off after an hour with a mild shampoo. This works as an excellent conditioner and has the capacity to enhance the quality of your hair with its natural properties. It has good water content and performs as a humectant because it can preserve moisture. The ease and convenience of use is the reason why most use aloe vera for hair.
Aloe vera has almost 75 ingredients including a number of vitamins (A,C,E and B12). These include 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 20 phytonutrients, 18 amino acids and water. Apart from that it also has essential amino acids, choline, copper, zinc and plant steroids. These give it the capacity to stimulate blood circulation and provide nourishment to the follicles. The pH level of aloe vera is quite similar to that of your hair and scalp and that is why it completely safe to use. You should ideally use it 1-2 times a week. Let’s take a look at the benefits of aloe vera on hair:
- It is used in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff which can lead to temporary hair loss. The fatty acids present in it give it anti-inflammatory qualities which offer great relief to flaky skin and an itchy scalp. The yellow crusty flakes and red rashes on your scalp can be quite troublesome. Experts suggest the use of aloe vera for dandruff.
- Aloe vera is very effective in cleaning the hair shaft, it removes the excess sebum and clears the residue left behind by different hair products. One of the great advantages of aloe vera is that it has a soothing effect on your hair as it is a gentle cleaner made up of completely natural elements.
- Aloe Vera imparts strength to your hair strands by enhancing cell growth. Its collagen and cooling properties help the hair avoid the adverse effects of the sun & other environmental elements. It also repairs the damage caused by harmful rays. The folic acid and vitamin B12 present help prevent hair fall. The gel forms a protective layer and keeps the hair moisturised motivating everybody use aloe vera for hair .
- The proteolytic enzymes in aloe vera are very effective in repairing and rejuvenating dead skin cells in the scalp. Aloe vera has a chemical composition similar to keratin, the primary protein in hair, it gives elasticity to your strands and prevents breakage. The rich protein, vitamin and mineral content can work wonders, and that should be enough to motivate people to use aloe vera for hair loss.
- Aloe vera is also used for styling your hair and as a detangler. It detangling properties can work its magic and that is why even kids can use aloe vera for curly hair. Your frizzy hair could magically turn soft and silky if it is mixed with your chosen essential oil and water.
How to Use Aloe Vera for Hair
Aloe vera is a very versatile agent and can be used in several different ways to enhance the quality of your hair. Many people swear by its extraordinary benefits which make the hair appear silky and shiny once more. The gel could be directly squeezed out of the aloe vera plant and applied on the hair and scalp. It is advisable to use a more mature plant for the gel. This can easily be identified as it is dark green in colour and quite thick with healthy looking tips. You should always use the larger leaves and concentrate on the leaves from the upper section.
Freshly prepared gel can be used right after its extraction in shampoos, while the remaining portion can be stored in the refrigerator for later use. You can even make aloe vera cubes which can be preserved in the fridge for a week and in the deep freezer for a month. Apart from that, there are several other ways of using aloe vera for hair.
- Take a leaf of the aloe vera plant, cut off the sides and make small chunks out of them. Squeeze off the gel from the plant and apply it to your hair and scalp. Try and cover each strand of your hair from root to end. Apply some castor oil over it, and apply thoroughly to the scalp and hair to help retain the moisture; wash it off after half an hour. This is an excellent remedy for faster growth of hair.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of aloe vera with an equal amount of honey. Add a tablespoon of yoghurt to it and prepare a fine mixture. Apply it from your roots to your tips, and massage thoroughly. Wash it off after half an hour with a shampoo.
- Aloe vera with apple cider vinegar is a very good solution for dandruff. A finely done mix of 2 tablespoons of apple cider with a cup of aloe vera needs to be applied thoroughly to the scalp and hair. Rinse it off after half an hour.
- Fenugreek mixed with aloe vera is a comprehensive remedy for excess oil production, hair loss and graying of hair. It also helps fight dandruff and improves hair health. Make a paste of 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds which have been soaked overnite. Add 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel to the fenugreek paste. Apply it to your hair and scalp, and wash it off after 30 minutes. This is one of the best remedies of aloe vera for hair.
- The combination of aloe vera gel and onion juice is potent in ensuring hair health. It clears out the hair follicles and expedites its growth. Onion has a high sulphur concentration which is useful in enhancing collagen production and reducing hair loss. Mix equal amounts of onion juice and aloe vera and apply to your hair and scalp. Wash off after 45 minutes.
- Since both aloe vera and coconut oil have excellent conditioning properties they could be used as a combination as well. Mix 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with 1 tablespoon of oil until they form a smooth paste. Apply it to your hair as you separate the strands into different sections. After you are done with the hair you can focus on the scalp. Comb your hair to spread the oil out evenly. Use a warm towel to cover your hair as this helps retain the moisture in the hair for a longer time. Let it stay for an hour before washing it off.
- Another possible remedy is green tea mixed with aloe vera which reduces dihydrotestosterone, responsible for shrinking your hair follicles, because of the presence of catechins.
Does Aloe Vera Work for Hair Growth
The presence of vitamins A, C and E in good proportions contribute to faster cell growth and glossy hair. Not only that, it strengthens the hair roots to produce stronger hair and a number of people have been inspired to use aloe vera for hair growth. Massage it into your scalp and the enhanced blood circulation will provide the necessary nutrition and oxygen to your follicles. The average rate of growth of hair is 1cm/month and regular use of aloe vera for hair could help you maintain this without any fuss. Experts have always recommending aloe vera for hair growth home remedies.
Risks for Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is one of the safest ingredients that you will find, but it could produce some adverse reactions in certain individuals who probably do not react well to it. High and frequent oral consumption has been known to cause problems but topical use of aloe vera for hair, is generally considered safe. Oral consumption could lead to, or aggravate pre-existing conditions like appendicitis, intestinal issues and hemorrhoids among other things. It is also not capable of producing any mild or serious interactions with other drugs. In any case do a patch test on your inner elbow or wrist to find out if you react well to it. The following people might experience some problems if they decide to use aloe vera for hair:
- If you are vulnerable to a phototoxic reaction, the exposure to sunlight might damage your skin.
- There have been instances of people experiencing stiffness and dryness when they use aloe vera juice for hair. The protein content makes hair with low-porosity dry.
- If you are a likely candidate for contact dermatitis then it could cause red rashes to develop in your skin, and so you cannot use aloe vera for hair .
- If you are allergic to garlic and onions, then you might develop an allergic reaction to aloe vera too.
The general outcome of aloe vera for hair issues is entirely positive, with adverse effects being quite the exception. Do visit us at Traya and find out more about the other options available to grow your tresses, as you leave behind a trail of envious looks.
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Dr. Shailendra Chaubey, BAMS
A modern-day Vaidya with 11 years of experience. He is the founder of Dr. Shailendra Healing School that helps patients recover from chronic conditions through the Ayurvedic way of life.