In this article, you will learn a little about the science behind aloe vera and what makes it work to help your hair flourish and grow. Most importantly, you will discover the three best ways to use it.
The aloe plant thrives in dry and arid regions and has long been used as a medicinal aid. Not only is the prickly plant capable of growing to over three feet tall, but it also regenerates its succulent leaves almost immediately after they are cut. The “miracle” regeneration of aloe can also be a benefit your scalp and hair!
The genus Aloe has over 400 species, one of them being the aloe vera plant. The advantages of extracting the liquid and gel from the plant have been realized from ancient times to present day (1). This article will teach you how simple it is to reap those benefits, too.
One of the earliest uses, as recorded in Herbal Dioscorides around 70AD, was the advantage of using aloe vera against hair loss (2).
Let’s dig a little deeper into this centuries-old method of using aloe vera to gain a healthy head of hair.
First, we’ll get started by looking at a few reasons why hair loss occurs. The cycle of hair growth is pretty straightforward. You shed hair, and hair regrows.
Why Is Your Hair Growth Cycle Interrupted?
There are a few reasons you may be experiencing thinning and loss. They include:
- Heredity – This is one of the most common reasons that people blame for hair loss, and for good reason, as it is the number one cause (3). Men and women can lose hair due to androgenetic alopecia, which is the scientific name. The widely used term is pattern baldness.
- Autoimmune disorder – Alopecia areata occurs as a result of your immune system attacking your hair follicles instead of protecting them (4).
- Traction hair loss – This is caused by hairstyles that pull the hair too tight, resulting in the loss of hair in a specific area such as the hairline.
- Hormonal changes – Menopause and thyroid issues are two examples of how the hormone system of the body can wreak havoc on your hair.
- Scalp tension – A consistently tense scalp can lead to hair loss. Repetitive facial expressions and involuntary contractions of the scalp can lead to your hair falling out.
These are just a few of the many reasons why you may be experiencing decreased hair growth and thinning of the hair.
The Components of Aloe Vera
The gel that oozes from the plant when cut has many components that explain why it is often called “the plant of immortality.” Interestingly, this plant can bloom without water or soil (5)!
Scientifically called Aloe Barbadensis, the aloe plant is found all over the world, whether inside or outdoors (6). You can have a plant growing in your home so that you can use the gel as often as you’d like.
Here is a closer look at the components that will benefit your scalp and hair (7):
- Vitamins include choline, folic acid, A, C, E, and B12
- Magnesium, selenium, calcium, zinc and copper are a few of the minerals in aloe
- Fatty acids like cholesterol and lupeol are found in the plant
- Wound healing hormones like auxins are in the gel
- Inflammatory reducing enzymes such as lipase and amylase help when applied topically
The effects of aloe on the immune system, its ability to protect the skin against the sun, the antiviral properties, and the antiseptic action on bacteria are all proponents of this miracle plant (8).
Specifically, when it comes to the scalp and hair loss, the use of aloe vera is a natural and cost-effective way to ensure you have healthy hair. Use the gel in its pure form direct from the leaf, drink it, or combine it with other ingredients.
The 3 Best Ways to Use the Plant
If you’re interested in giving aloe vera a shot, here are just a few of the ways you can use it.
Use It Directly
The leaf that you will choose from your aloe vera plant should be a large and mature one, so that you can extract a good portion of the gel.
Peel away a portion of the skin and scoop out the gel with a spoon.
Apply it directly to the scalp and gently massage it in, allowing contact with the scalp for about an hour.
Then, rinse your hair thoroughly and shampoo as you normally would, using a gentle shampoo. Using aloe vera this way stimulates blood circulation, which helps your hair to grow faster.
Mix With Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar
Extract two spoonfuls of the gel from your aloe vera plant and combine it with a mixture of a spoonful of both vinegar and honey.
Apply this to your scalp, massaging in and leaving for one hour. Then, rinse it well. The effects of this mixture on the skin allow for a cleaner, less oily scalp, making way for a fuller head of hair.
Drink the Juice
Visit the health food store in your area and buy 100 percent pure, decolorized aloe vera juice that does not have any extra fillers.
You may prefer to mix the aloe vera with other ingredients to mask the odor.
Try this tasty recipe by mixing all ingredients in a blender, adding ice or water, depending on the consistency that you prefer:
- 1 cup of fresh pineapple
- 1 banana
- Juice of one freshly squeezed lime
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
The quantity of aloe vera juice you add, before blending the ingredients, will be the recommended serving size as directed on the bottle.
Drinking aloe vera can improve the immune system, which is an important factor in reducing hair loss. Other benefits, like detoxing the liver and providing a nutritional punch to your daily eating regimen, can help your hair to grow in thicker, too. Consumption of the juice has multiple benefits (9).
To note, aloe vera can be taken in capsule form, too. As with ingesting the liquid, let your health care provider know that you plan to use aloe vera capsules as a way to promote healthy hair.
Aloe Vera Use Gives You Healthy Hair
Now that you are using aloe vera for healthy hair, you will feel better physically on top of looking great. Why is this? Because using the plant in the three ways we described stimulates hair growth while giving you extra benefits.
An itchy scalp can lead to hair loss. Applying aloe vera to the skin takes advantage of the enzymes that can reduce inflammation (10). A healthy scalp allows for a full head of hair.
A strong and effective immune system will aid in a regular hair loss and regrowth cycle. Include aloe vera in your smoothies or juice concoctions but make sure that you are using a certified safe and healthy supplement (11).
Gut health is an important part of your overall wellbeing and can have an impact on the condition of your hair and scalp (12). Aloe vera has been used for centuries as an effective and natural way to balance your intestinal system and stomach. Use aloe vera along with probiotics to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Scalp tension is known to be a major factor in hair loss. Using aloe vera as a massage lotion does double duty. Not only will you be applying aloe to your skin and maximizing the benefits of the application, but you will also be giving your head a much-needed boost to circulation.
Speaking of circulation, aloe vera helps the heart. Blood flow is a crucial component to a healthy scalp, which also translates to a full head of hair. Aloe vera will contribute to aiding your veins and arteries to flow normally by virtue of the benefits in reducing LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol. Juice or dried capsules are recommended (13).
The ways that aloe vera can help you cope with hair loss are innumerable. If you are on medication, consult with your physician before starting an aloe vera regimen. Your doctor can best advise on which aloe vera formula works for you. There have been incidences of drug contraindication and allergy among other minimal side effects, so have a chat with your doctor if you are on medication, are diabetic or pregnant (14).
Add Aloe Vera to Your Lifestyle Regimen
When you combine aloe vera with healthy living, you will find that the combination of the two not only lessens your hair loss woes but increases your sense of well being.
Exercise is an essential part of any healthy life plan. Partaking in exercise can improve not only physical health but overall mental wellbeing, too (15). Studies have shown as well that the combination of aloe vera and exercise can repair cell damage (16).
In a nutshell, natural supplements like aloe vera work much better than artificial ones and when combined with the benefits of movement and increasing heart rate, can promote a healthy body and of course, a healthy rate of hair growth, too.
Did you know that aloe vera even has sleep inducing qualities (17)? Adequate sleep contributes to your well-being. Getting enough sleep can affect how well you function during the day, which in turn, influences all aspects of your life.
Using aloe vera on your hair and scalp provides healing benefits and natural “bonuses” that range from improved blood circulation to removing pore-clogging oil that may be preventing your hair from growing.
Aloe vera can also help stimulate your hair follicles to complete the regrowth cycle by removing some of the triggers to hair loss such as a poor immune system and lack of essential nutrients in the body.