- Aloe vera helps hair by moisturizing the scalp, which reduces dryness and dandruff.
- It also contains vitamin C, A, and E, which may help prevent hair loss and encourage growth.
- Aloe is also great for soothing burns from styling tools or harsh dyes that can damage your hair.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
You’ve probably seen skin products containing aloe vera, since it’s great for soothing and moisturizing skin. But many of the components that make aloe a go-to staple of your skincare routine also make it an ideal product for your hair.
Here’s how this vitamin-rich gel can help you fix a flaky scalp and boost the health of your tresses.
1. May reduce dandruff
Dandruff is often linked to seborrheic dermatitis, a common condition that causes skin to itch and flake. Seborrheic dermatitis happens when the natural barrier of your skin — which traps moisture — breaks down.
How to stop dandruff naturally and how often to use a shampoo, according to dermatologists
Aloe can help fight seborrheic dermatitis by restoring this barrier. This keeps the skin moisturized and helps prevent dryness and the flaking that comes with it.
A small 2016 study found that people who used an aloe product on one arm twice daily for three weeks had significantly higher levels of skin hydration, compared with their untreated arm.
2. May help prevent hair loss and encourage growth
However, aloe contains vitamins that may prevent thinning hair, including:
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, meaning it fights against particles called free radicals that cause damage to your cells. This means that vitamin C helps maintain the collagen proteins that make up the structure of your hair strands.
- Vitamin A: Having a vitamin A deficiency can cause damage to your hair follicles, leading to hair loss.
- Vitamin E: A small 2010 study found that men who took vitamin E supplements had a 33% increase in hair growth after eight months.
To fully absorb these nutrients, you should take aloe orally rather than just rub aloe in your hair.
3. May help repair a damaged scalp
Aloe vera is one of the best sunburn remedies — here’s why it works and how to use it
- Burns from tools like hot irons
- Burns from hair dyes containing bleach
This is important for your hair as well. When the skin on your scalp is damaged and inflamed, it can slow or even stop your hair growth.
Using fresh aloe juice or a store-bought aloe product on your scalp can help soothe and heal skin more quickly. Greenfield recommends applying aloe twice daily while a burn is healing.
How to use aloe for hair
- Massage aloe juice or an aloe product into your scalp — you can keep it just to your scalp or massage more aloe all the way from your roots to the ends of your hair.
- Use a few drops of a natural oil like argan oil to seal in moisture in your scalp and hair.
- Leave the aloe in for about half an hour to an hour.
- Rinse with water or use a mild shampoo to remove the aloe.
- Depending on how dry your scalp feels, you can repeat this process a few times per week, Greenfield says.
More research is still needed to determine exactly how aloe vera can benefit your hair. “It is not a cure all and has only been studied in certain settings. So watch out for claims that are not backed up by science,” Greenfield says.
However, there is some evidence that aloe can help treat seborrheic dermatitis and scalp burns, which can both interfere with hair growth. The vitamins found in aloe may also help to keep your hair healthy.
Aloe vera is generally safe, but some people may be allergic to it. Anytime you try a new skin product, it’s best to try a patch test on a less sensitive area of skin like your arm to test for any irritation or reaction. If you want to add aloe to your diet, talk to your doctor about your best options.
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