Your go-to sunburn savior is more than just a skin soother. Beyond aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties to heal burns and wounds, the prickly, gooey plant boasts beauty-boosting benefits in the hair department too, No wonder the internet is abuzz with DIY hair recipes that feature the plant.
It doubles as a deeply nourishing hair mask, detangler, dandruff remedy, and hair growth elixir. Comprised of 96% water, aloe vera contains proteolytic enzymes which are said to repair dead skin cells on the scalp allowing for cell turnover. Thanks to its vitamin B-12 and folic acid, aloe vera promotes healthy cell growth and prevents hair loss. According to Diange Gage, author of Aloe Vera: Nature’s Soothing Healer, aloe vera’s chemical makeup is similar to that of keratin (what our hair and nails are made of). Therefore, it rejuvenates the hair with its own nutrients, giving hair more elasticity and preventing breakage.
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But wait, there’s more. One study cited aloe vera as effectively cleansing the scalp of extra sebum. That’s a major plus for oily hair and scalp types. Those who suffer from dandruff will be happy to know that aloe vera’s anti-viral and anti-fungal properties provide relief to an itchy and/or flaky scalp. Aloe vera isn’t a one-and-done ingredient— it also has several uses for everyday hair styling. As Naturally Curly notes, aloe vera gel can be used as a pre-poo, styler, and detangling treatment.
The one downside of aloe vera? It might not be ideal for fine or dry hair types. Cosmetic formulator Stephen Ko told Elle, “Pure aloe vera gel can form a film on the hair, so those with very fine and dry hair may find it gives their hair too much of a ‘crunchy’ texture.”
Watch the simple tutorial below to see how to create your own aloe vera gel at home, then scroll down for a roundup of the best aloe vera DIY masks and detanglers we found on the web.
Aloe Vera, Castor Oil, and Yogurt Hair Mask
- Aloe vera gel (watch the video above to see how to make your own)
- 2-3 tablespoon castor oil
- 4-5 tablespoon yogurt
Apply the mixture to damp hair and scalp. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave on for 30 minutes then rinse and lather with a gentle shampoo.
Aloe Vera Detangling Spray
- 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
Aloe Vera, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Honey Hair Mask
- ⅓ cup aloe vera gel
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
Apply the mixture to damp hair in sections. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave on for 30 minutes then rinse and lather with a gentle shampoo and conditioner.