Aloe Vera For Hair: Benefits, How To Use, And Side Effects

With its soothing and moisturizing properties, this herb is your hair’s best friend.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Vindhya L Veerula, MD, FAAD
Written by Annie Jangam, MSc
Edited by Eshna Das, BA, MSc
Fact-checked by Swathi E, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach  • 

Many people use aloe vera for organic hair care, hair detox, and hair restoration. It also may have applications as a hair detangler. But does it really make your hair healthier and stronger? Yes! Aloe vera can solve many hair problems, from mending damaged hair to controlling frizz and imparting hair shine. It is generally accepted that it helps enhance hair health and growth and aids in hair smoothing. The ancient Greeks and Ayurveda practitioners claimed it to be beneficial for the hair (1). Despite the absence of sufficient empirical proof, aloe vera is commonly used in hair care products, DIY masks, hair oils, and home treatments for visible hair softening and to increase hair volume as well. Read this article to learn about how is aloe vera good for hair and how it improves your hair and how to integrate it into your hair care regimen. Keep scrolling!

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Aloe Vera

What Is It?

A clear gel extracted from the leaves of the aloe vera plant.

What Are Its Benefits?

It soothes seborrheic dermatitis and scalp infections, minimizes hair loss, and enhances hair health.

Who Can Use It?

Anyone except those who are allergic to garlic or onion, use steroids, have contact dermatitis, or are pregnant.

How Often?

You can use it once or twice a week if you have normal or oily hair and twice or thrice a week if you have dry hair.

Caution

Aloe vera may cause itching, burning sensation, rashes, and hives. Always perform a patch test before using the gel to avoid allergic reactions and side effects.

What Makes Aloe Vera Beneficial For Your Hair?

Aloe vera has 75 potentially active constituents, including essential proteins and amino acids, saccharides, salicylic acid, proteolytic enzymesi  XEnzymes found in almost all plant and animal species that break down proteins into smaller peptides. , antioxidants, saponinsi  XA group of natural, bitter-tasting plant compounds that produce a soapy foam when added to water-based solutions. , minerals, and vitamins (1). The presence of all these compounds makes aloe vera beneficial for your hair health and supports hair thickening.

Here is how aloe vera may keep your hair and scalp healthy.

Aloe Vera Benefits For Your Hair

Aloe vera strengthens hair
Image: Shutterstock

1. May Calm An Itchy Scalp

Anecdotal evidence and Ayurveda suggest the use of aloe vera to soothe an itchy scalp. Aloe vera gel or extracts can calm scalp conditions, such as dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, scalp irritation, and eczemai  XA disorder that results in dry, irritated skin that is persistent and occasionally flares up. . It contains proteolytic enzymes and salicylic acid that dissolves excess dead skin cells to soothe the itchy scalp and reduce inflammation (1), (2), (3).

2. May Deep Clean Oily Hair

Aloe vera contains saponin (1). Saponin is an effective cleaning agent that helps clean grease, and oil, and product buildup from the hair. Aloe vera has moisturizing properties, and it cleanses the hair without leaving it dry (2), (4). It makes the hair soft, shiny, and healthy.

3. May Strengthen And Repair The Hair

Aloe vera is rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins A, B, C, and E. These nutrients are essential for healthy hair growth (2). The antioxidants in aloe vera protect the hair from free radical damage, helping repair damaged hair. Its hydrating properties make it an effective conditioning agent to keep the hair healthy and aid in hair strengthening.

4. May Promote Hair Growth

Proponents of Ayurveda believe that aloe vera can treat baldness and prevent hair thinning. Although there is no scientific evidence, it is thought that aloe vera promotes hair growth by improving blood circulation that stimulates hair follicles. Aloe vera also has moisturizing properties (2). This may protect the hair shafts and prevent damage and hair breakage, thereby providing overall hair protection.

5. May Protect Hair From Sun Damage

Hair plays a crucial role in your appearance, and excessive sun exposure can harm its structure and color by causing protein loss and free radical damage (5). Aloe vera can effectively minimize UVA-induced damage (6). However, it should be noted that there is no direct research linking aloe vera application on hair to combat sun damage, and individual results may vary. You can apply aloe vera gel directly to the hair or it can be mixed with hair oils or masks. For effective results, aloe vera application can be coupled with other sun protection methods, such as scarves and hats.

protip_icon Quick Tip
People who are allergic to tulips, onions, or garlic should avoid using aloe vera. Also, always double-check for ingredients in the aloe-based products to ensure they are free from irritants.

Audrey Victoria, a YouTuber, used aloe vera on her hair for a week to assess its impact on hair growth. In one of her vlogs, she observed, “I do think that my hair grew faster this week, but I think this is just a realistic view of how aloe vera can help your hair grow. It didn’t make my hair grow like a crazy amount, like one inch in one week (i).”

If you want to use aloe vera on your hair, we have shared some home remedies. Check them out in the next section.

How Do I Use Aloe Vera On My Hair?

You can use aloe vera directly on normal or oily hair. However, it has mild astringent properties that can dry your hair. Hence, it is recommended to add natural oils or glycerin, especially if you have dry, brittle, or damaged hair.

You can also try home remedies to keep your hair healthy. Home-made hair masks with simple ingredients are widely used to nourish the hair and keep it hydrated. Check out some popular home remedies in the next section. that will help you find out how to apply aloe vera to your hair.

Aloe Vera Hair Mask For Hair Growth

1. Aloe Vera And Castor Oil Hair Mask

Castor oil is said to promote hair growth and is a popular home remedy to prevent hair thinning. This mask can keep the hair moisturized and protected.

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel
  • 1 teaspoon of castor oil
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (optional)

Process

  1. Warm the castor oil.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Massage this mixture onto your scalp and hair.
  4. Leave it on for 30 minutes and wash off with shampoo.
  5. Use this mask once a week.

Aloe Vera Hair Mask For Dandruff

Aloe vera hair mask to treat dandruff
Image: Shutterstock

1. Aloe Vera And ACV Hair Mask

Woman applying aloe vera and ACV hair mask
Image: Shutterstock

This home remedy is widely used to treat dandruff. Apple cider vinegar is said to soothe the scalp and maintain the hair pH level. A shampoo containing 5% tea tree oil was found to be effective in minimizing dandruff (7).

You Will Need

  • 4 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree oil

Process

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mask to your scalp with a cotton ball.
  3. Leave it on for 20 minutes.
  4. Use this mask once a week for a month and once every other week after that.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Cover your head with a shower cap to maximize the mask’s benefits. The heat from your scalp will help your scalp and hair soak the goodness of the ingredients.

2. Aloe Vera And Yogurt Mask

Yogurt contains Lactobacillus paracasei (8). Research shows that this strain of good bacteria in yogurt helps reduce dandruff (9).

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera
  • 2 tablespoons of yogurt

Process

  1. Mix both the ingredients and apply the mask to your scalp and hair.
  2. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash off.
  3. You can use this mask weekly for the best results.

You can also use aloe vera as a leave-in conditioner. Scroll down to learn how.

Aloe Vera As  Leave-In Conditioner

Woman applying aloe vera to hair as leave-in conditioner
Image: Shutterstock

Aloe vera has a pH similar to our hair, so it can be used as a leave-in conditioner. This natural conditioner contains rosewater and oils necessary for moisturizing and hair nourishing, leaving it silky soft, shiny, and manageable.

You Will Need

  • ¼ cup aloe vera juice
  • ¼ cup rosewater
  • 1 teaspoon of argan oil (You can also use grapeseed or sweet almond oils)
  • ½ teaspoon of glycerin
  • 2-3 drops of essential oil of your choice (for fragrance)
  • 1 spray bottle

Process

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle.
  2. Shake well before spraying it on your hair. Avoid the roots.

These are some ways you can incorporate aloe vera in your hair care routine. If you are wondering how often you should use aloe vera on your hair, find the answer below.

How Often Should You Put Aloe Vera On Your Hair?

You can use aloe vera once a week on your hair for the best results. However, this depends on your hair type. If you have normal or oily hair, you can use it once or twice a week. If you have dry hair, use it twice or thrice a week.

Every ingredient has some side effects. Keep reading to learn about the risks of using aloe vera.

Does Aloe Vera Have Side Effects?

Scalp itching is a side effect of using aloe vera for hair
Image: Shutterstock

Aloe vera is considered safe for topical application (1). It is also safe for sensitive scalps. However, if you are allergic to it, aloe vera may cause a few side effects like:

  • Itching
  • Burning sensation
  • Rashes
  • Hives

Avoid using aloe vera if you:

  • Are allergic to garlic or onion (Liliaceae family)
  • Use steroids (hydrocortisone)
  • Have contact dermatitis
  • Are pregnant

You can try a simple patch test to verify if you are allergic to aloe vera. You may also get a blood test done to identify the ingredients you are allergic to.

Infographic: 4 Ways Aloe Vera Promotes Hair And Scalp Health

Aloe vera has been used for centuries for its potential hair benefits. It moisturizes and soothes the scalp and hair and helps in several ways to keep your hair shiny, soft, and manageable. The infographic below highlights the ways this potent ingredient may support your healthy hair goals. Scroll down to check it out.

4 ways aloe vera promotes hair and scalp health (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Using aloe vera gel for hair is very effective. It stimulates hair growth, supports split-end prevention, increases hair elasticity, provides frizz control and pH balance, increases hair thickness, combats dandruff, and repairs damaged hair. Though there is not enough scientific evidence to back these claims, most people who have used aloe vera gel boast about its benefits. Keep in mind that store-bought aloe vera gel is different from pure aloe vera extract. To avoid allergic reactions and any other harsh effects, always perform a patch test before applying the gel to your hair. Try these organic DIY hair repair masks that are sulfate-free, paraben-free, and silicone-free, and use them at least once a week to see your hair become healthier and shinier.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can aloe vera regrow lost hair or thicken hair?

While there is no scientific evidence, anecdotal evidence suggests that aloe vera can help boost blood circulation and stimulate hair growth.

How can I use aloe vera for styling my hair?

Yes! Aloe vera works effectively as a natural hair styling agent. You can use aloe vera gel as pre-styling hair serum or dilute it with water and use it as hairspray to fight frizz and keep the hair shiny.

Is aloe vera gel safe for consumption?

Aloe vera gel and skin can be eaten. However, it is not suggested to consume aloe vera as it reportedly causes diarrhea, vomiting, kidney problems, electrolyte imbalances, and colic.

How can I preserve fresh aloe vera gel?

You can freeze fresh aloe vera gel to preserve it for a week. You can increase the shelf life (up to 2 months) of fresh aloe vera by adding vitamins E or C.

Do you apply aloe vera to wet or dry hair?

You can apply aloe vera gel to both wet and dry hair. Apply it on dry hair if you want to use it as a hair treatment before shampooing or for leaving it on overnight. Apply it on wet hair after shampooing and conditioning your hair if you want to use it as a leave-in conditioner.

Does aloe vera straighten hair?

While aloe vera helps smoothen the hair strands and moisturize them deeply, it only makes them appear somewhat straighter. It cannot change the structure of the hair and, hence, does not straighten it for a long duration.

Can we mix aloe vera with neem leaves?

Yes, you can mix aloe vera with a paste made from neem leaves for your hair and scalp.

Key Takeaways

  • Aloe vera has amazing moisturizing properties that can repair your damaged tresses.
  • Adding aloe vera to your hair care routine can prevent dandruff and improve your scalp health.
  • Aloe vera may prevent hair loss and hair thinning by improving blood flow on your scalp.
  • While aloe vera is generally safe for topical application, it is advisable to do a patch test to avoid any allergic reactions.

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

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