Aloe vera: why you should try hair masking with this wonder plant - MALVI PARIS

Aloe vera: why you should try hair masking with this wonder plant

What is aloe vera? 

Aloe vera has been used for centuries as a healing remedy across China, Japan, Greece, Egypt, and Mexico. It grows in sunny climates worldwide and is mainly cultivated for aloe gel, which is found in the fleshy leaves of the plant. Aloe was known in ancient Egypt as the “plant of immortality” and was first recorded for human use in the 16th century when it was noted in the Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical record. Odds are you or someone you know has aloe growing at home. You can also purchase pre cut aloe vera leaves at most natural food shops.

The benefits of using aloe vera in your hair

While research is a bit limited when it comes to aloe vera hair benefits, there is evidence that suggests the plant has a variety of positive effects. First, aloe contains anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that can soothe itching and flaking scalps, and combat dandruff. Not to mention that there are certain proteolytic enzymes that repair damaged cells and stimulate hair follicles, which supports hair growth. There is also evidence that aloe vera has a moisturizing effect and vitamins C, E, B-12, folic acid, and choline content that might help nourish and strength overall hair health. Basically, all good things for your hair. 

 

What hair types is aloe vera best suited for? 

Aloe vera can be used in any form, on all hair types. Hair care experts often recommend using an aloe vera hair treatment if you have one of the following:

  • Oily hair
  • Dry or damaged hair
  • Curly hair
  • Natural hair

A good way to see if aloe vera works for your hair is by simply giving it a try. Just remember to wash it out completely after using it as a conditioner or hair mask.

How to harvest aloe vera

Harvesting the aloe plant for gel and juice is pretty simple. To start, you’ll need a mature plant that’s at least a couple years old. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Remove 3-4 leaves at a time. It’s best to select leaves from the outer parts of the plant.
  2. Check to make sure the leaves do not have any mold or damage.
  3. Cut close to the stem, since most of the nutrients can be found at the base of the spine. Keep away from the roots.
  4. Wash and dry the leaves, trimming off the prickly edges with a knife.
  5. Use a knife or your fingers to separate the gel from the outside of the leaf. The interior gel is the part you’ll want to use.
  6. Let the yellow sap drain from the leaf. You can either use this aloe vera latex or throw it away. 
  7. Cut the gel into slices or cubes. 

If you want the gel to be smooth, put it into a blender and then strain to remove pulp. You can either use it fresh, put it in the fridge for a few days, or store for longer amounts of time by keeping it in the freezer. 

ALOE VERA HAIR MASK RECIPES

Here are some of our favorite, go-to aloe vera hair masks. Whether you’re looking for softer, shinier, or more moisturized locks, these simple and effective masks are sure to give your hair a boost.

Aloe vera + coconut oil hair mask for softer, frizz-free hair

Make your hair feel softer instantly with this classic hair mask. Coconut oil has plenty of magical powers, including the ability to make hair smoother, stronger, and healthier. It can even prevent and repair split ends. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. aloe vera gel (fresh or store-bought)
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil at room temperature

Directions:

  1. Stir aloe vera and coconut oil together until they are blended and form a smooth paste.
  2. Apply mask to your hair using your fingers. It’s best to divide hair into long sections for easier application. 
  3. Start at the middle of your hair and work towards the ends. Once the mask has been worked into the ends of your hair, go back and gently rub it into your scalp.
  4. Once you’re done applying, comb the mask evenly through your hair with a wide-toothed comb.
  5. Cover up your hair with a shower cap, then wrap a towel around your head. This will prevent the mask from dripping and keep hair from drying out. 
  6. Let the mask sit for 30 minutes to one hour, then wash and rinse hair completely. You can replace your normal conditioner with this mask once a week to boost softness and strength.
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