There’s so much to love about aloe vera, especially all of the different health and beauty uses it has — aloe vera juice helps speed weight loss, helps get rid of heartburn, boosts immunity; while aloe vera cream soothes a sunburn, hydrates skin, eases redness, firms skin and much much more. And while aloe vera is most commonly used for skin, the nourishing plant works wonders for aging hair, too. That’s because it’s full of nutrients that repair damage, boost shine and you can also use aloe vera for hair loss treatments. Best of all, you can use pure aloe vera gel (most bottles cost $6 or less) or extract the gel from the leaves of the plant (which can be purchased at health food or grocery stores for as little as $3 for a large leaf), making it an affordable remedy to turn back the clock. Read on for all the ways to use the plant so you’ll look gorgeous and youthful from head to toe.ddukang/Getty
Aloe vera gel for hair loss
The reason aloe vera works as a remedy for hair loss is that the plant is rich in proteolytic enzymes, vitamins and minerals that work together to deliver blood and oxygen to hair follicles, stimulating new growth. Plus, these nutrients whisk away dead, dry skin cells that can clog follicles and halt hair growth. Removing dead cells and other impurities that accumulate on the scalp creates a healthy environment for new hair growth and “proper scalp health leads to follicle fitness and beautiful hair,” explains Kerry Yates, trichologist and founder of Colour Collective.
How to use aloe vera for hair lossIf using a fresh leaf:
Either pick up large leaves from a supermarket, which are easier to work with, or get several leaves from a houseplant. You want to slice the edges off each leaf and pull the halves apart. Carefully remove any yellow residue — it’s called “latex” and can cause diarrhea and allergic reactions. Use a spoon to scrape off the clear aloe gel, toss in a blender and blend until it reaches a consistency that feels ‘spreadable.’Rather use a pre-made gel?
Look for “all natural aloe vera gel.” One to try: Seven Minerals Organic Aloe Vera Gel.To do:
Simply massage 2 Tbs. of fresh aloe vera gel all over a clean scalp and dry hair. Let sit for 30 minutes; rinse with shampoo. Repeat 2-3 times a week to begin seeing results within 30 days. Tip: Mix in 2 drops of rosemary essential oil in with aloe vera to increase hair growth even more. (Click through to learn how to make rosemary oil for hair.)
3 more hair benefits of aloe vera gel
Here, 3 additional ways to use the natural ingredient to reverse other common aging hair bothers:NADOFOTOS/Getty
1. Boosts shine: An aloe vera hair rinse
With age, there’s a decrease in the production of natural oils that give hair its healthy, youthful sheen. But applying aloe on hair restores shine-boosting moisture to strands. What’s more, aloe’s saponins seal hair’s cuticle, which makes hair more reflective so light bounces onto locks for added luster.To do:
Mix ½ cup of water and ½ cup of aloe vera gel. While showering, pour the mixture all over damp hair after shampooing. Let sit 5 minutes, then rinse. Repeat once a week to prolong the results. (Click through to see more natural hair rinses.)
2. Tames frizz and flyaways: An aloe vera leave-in conditioner
Already dry hair can be impacted by the elements outdoors, as cold, static-filled air in the winter months saps moisture causing messy flyaways, and warm, humid weather causes hair to absorb excess moisture, resulting in frizz. Thankfully, compounds in aloe lock moisture into hair and form an invisible barrier over strands. This prevents moisture from escaping, so locks are less prone to static, says colorist Kyle White, who has worked with Naomi Watts and Robin Wright. And for frizz, this ensures hair won’t absorb more water than it needs when exposed to humid climates.HBBTo do:
Add ½ Tbs. of aloe vera gel or juice, 1 tsp. of conditioner (it nourishes hair and slightly weighs it down to prevent strands from popping up) and 1 cup of water to a spray bottle; shake to combine. Mist evenly onto damp or dry hair, then comb through with a brush.
3. Repairs brittle hair: An aloe vera hair mask
As we get older, it’s common for our hair to become weak and brittle, especially after years of damage caused from using hot tools and exposure to the sun. It’s easy to mend dry, brittle hair with aloe vera since it’s “a fabulous humectant, naturally drawing moisture to the strand to improve suppleness and pliability,” says Yates.To do:
Mix 2 Tbs. of aloe vera gel and 1 Tbs. of coconut oil (its antioxidants repair damage while its lauric acid further hydrates hair). Apply to dry or damp hair from roots to ends, then brush through with a wide-tooth comb to evenly distribute. Let sit 15-20 minutes; rinse with shampoo. Repeat once a week to see a noticeable difference within two weeks.
Bonus: Aloe vera benefits for skin
We all know how great aloe vera is for treating a sun burn, but it can also be used to target aging skin concerns. Read on for more ways to use aloe vera gel on skin.
1. Reduces redness: An aloe vera facial mist
Oliver Rossi/Getty“Anti-inflammatory aloe instantly calms irritation,” says celebrity aesthetician Ildi Pekar. And combining it with lavender oil, which contains compounds that constrict blood vessels, will ease redness faster, adds Pekar.To do:
In a spray bottle, mix ⅓ cup of water, 2 tsp. of aloe vera gel and 4 drops of lavender essential oil; refrigerate. Spritz onto skin in the morning and throughout the day for a refresher.
2. Smooths wrinkles: An overnight aloe vera face mask
Sterols in aloe vera spur the production of skin-firming collagen and hydrating hyaluronic acid, which work together to plump skin and diminish creases.To do:
At bedtime, apply 1 tsp. of aloe vera gel onto skin before moisturizer (this will help the gel better absorb). Use nightly to see results within 30 days.
3. Slims a double chin: An aloe vera at-home facial
“Aloe improves circulation to help push out excess fluids, and its anti-inflammatory properties reduce puffiness in an instant,” says celebrity aesthetician Katherine Goldman. And, applying aloe vera gel in ice form (the chill helps tighten skin) makes the jawline appear more chiseled. (Click through to read about more ways on how to get rid of a double chin.)HBBTo do:
Pour aloe vera gel into an ice cube tray and freeze overnight. Pop out one cube, rub it along the jawline for 2 minutes and let the residue absorb.
4. Ends hormonal breakouts: An aloe vera spot treatment
Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties in aloe vera gel heal acne caused by hormonal fluctuations and prevent future breakouts. Plus, its compounds whisk away dead, dry skin cells to unclog pores so skin clears even faster.To do:
Dab aloe vera gel on blemishes. Let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse. Repeat once a day as needed.
5. Softens rough patches: An aloe vera body butter
Aloe penetrates deep within the skin to restore moisture levels, says Michele Green, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. And it’s also rich in antioxidants that strengthen skin’s barrier to ward off new dry patches. To boost the benefits, pair it with coconut oil (its fatty acids soften and hydrate skin), vitamin E (it further repairs damaged skin) and olive oil (its squalene cuts down on inflammation or itchiness).katleho Seisa/GettyTo do:
Mix 3 Tbs. of pure aloe vera gel, 5 Tbs. of coconut oil, 1 tsp. of vitamin E oil, and 1 Tbs. of olive oil in a blender until fluffy — about 7 minutes. Massage onto areas with dry skin on the body once a day. Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 weeks. (Click through to learn more about body butter benefits.)For more on how aloe vera is beneficial for skin, watch the below video from the SkynFyx YouTube channel.For more natural beauty remedies, click through to these stories:
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