Before going for expensive remedies to treat your hair loss problem, try this inexpensive herb that may grow in your backyard. We are talking about aloe vera.
Aloe vera is known for treating skin irritations and burns, but it’s also a perfect remedy for stopping hair loss and helping promote hair growth.
Scalp and conditions that affect the scalp benefit the most from this herb. Hence, understanding main scalp conditions will help understand how aloe vera deals with these conditions.
- Dandruff makes the scalp irritated and itchy. It’s a condition where dead skin cells exfoliate at a much faster and higher rate than normal. Those cells build up on the scalp which leads to the creation of patches of dead skin. Chemicals in shampoos and conditioners cause further irritation of the scalp.
- Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition similar to dandruff, but scalp is much more irritated. There is natural oil called sebum that keeps the scalp moisturized and prevents dryness. However, overproduction of sebum buildup makes the scalp oily. This can be a physiological condition, but seborrheic dermatitis can be also caused by stress or yeast infections. Hair follicles become swollen, the scalp becomes itchy and red.
These conditions clog pores and irritate follicles, affecting hair growth and making hair weaker. But not only oily scalp, dry scalp causes hair loss as well. Symptoms are similar to other conditions, but hair also becomes weak and fall out.
Aloe vera can solve these problems by returning hair follicles to their healthy state.
The Proven Healing Properties of Aloe Vera
The main component of aloe vera is choline salicylate, which is an anti-inflammatory substance.
It can heal wounds and different scalp conditions.
According to one Spanish study, mucopolysaccharides also has moisturizing properties and improve blood circulation, which are necessary aspects for healthy hair.
NOTE: The above-mentioned study was carried out on rabbits.
Another substance is choline, a natural nutrient with even better moisturizing properties. Proper moisture levels eliminate itching and dryness, which relieves irritation and swelling.
Once applied, aloe needs around 40 minutes to provide beneficial effects to the scalp. Aloe vera is a barrier that prevents further irritation.
Types of Aloe Vera Treatments
Shampoos and Conditioners
There are plenty of shampoos on the market with high aloe content that claim to give you healthy hair. However, the majority of shampoos are quickly washed away which means they don’t have enough time to penetrate the scalp.
I’ve created (and used) my own aloe vera shampoo recipe, and to get the most benefit I recommend leaving it on for at least three minutes before rinsing.
- Water (1/2 cup)
- Liquid Castile Soap (1/2 cup)
- Aloe Vera Gel (1/3 cup)
- Olive oil (1 teaspoon)
- Almond Oil (2-3 teaspoons)
- Geranium Essential Oil (10 drops)
Combine the above ingredients, and mix well. Lather onto wet hair, and massage into the hair and scalp for complete coverage. Let sit for 3 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm (or cold) water.
The liquid castile soap gently cleanses the scalp, while the aloe vera gel moisturized and soothes any irritations. The olive oil acts as both a hydrator and moisturizer, while both the almond and geranium oils reduce inflammation and increase circulation to the scalp.
As mentioned, shampoo can only provide so much benefit before it’s rinsed from the scalp. So, what’s the answer?
Aloe vera can be easily added to store-bought conditioners or, even better, added to your own homemade ones.
You can then apply the conditioner to the scalp, leave on for 20 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Applied Directly to the Scalp
If you’d like to increase the chance of aloe vera penetrating the scalp, your best bet is to apply it directly to the scalp. This can be done after the shower, while your pores clean and open.
To apply to the scalp, pour the aloe vera oil into your palm. Massage between your hands, and apply in a thin layer across the scalp.
Are you having trouble applying the oil?
Here’s a tip: Lightly heat the oil before use! This will make it spread more easily, and it can also open the pores for deeper penetration.
You can then leave it in until it’s dried, and rinse with lukewarm/cold water.
To increase the benefits of aloe vera, you can also practice scalp massage while applying it (and even after). To do so, place your fingertips on either side of your head and move in a circular motion. Be gentle, and apply varying levels of pressure as you go along.
You can massage the entirety of your scalp, and this will manually improve blood flow as well as relieve stress.
But what if you already have an oily scalp?
It may seem counter-intuitive to apply oil to an oily scalp, but aloe vera can actually help to reduce the amount of sebum your scalp produces.
Should You Use Store-Bought or Homemade Aloe Vera Treatments?
While you can purchase shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks that contain aloe vera, it’s best to use pure aloe vera oil on your scalp. It’s not weighed down by artificial ingredients that store-bought products have.
Getting pure aloe vera gel from your local health food store will offer the greatest convenience unless you have plenty of plants for harvesting.
Another option includes mixing aloe vera gel with your favorite conditioner or shampoo. It may lessen the effect of aloe, but high-quality shampoo mixed with it is a great remedy to treat hair loss.
How Long Will It Take to Work?
Just as hair loss didn’t happen overnight, neither will hair growth. It will take time to see results, which is why consistency is key.
The relief of scalp symptoms – including itching and inflammation – may be noticeable within a matter of weeks. But a reduction in hair loss, and even growth, can take months.
However, it’s also important to understand the causes of your scalp conditions, such as infection, stress, or poor nutrition. With this understanding, you can then treat them directly. And a healthier scalp will bring your hair follicles back into normal condition, which can improve hair growth.