As a supplement that now comes in the form of pills, capsules, and topical creams, aloe vera is often held by the natural medical world as a wonder ingredient. While many people recognize it as a way to treat sunburn, today, we’re starting to explore more of its therapeutic benefits. This includes the way it can address hair loss.
Did you know that there are over 420 species of the aloe vera plant around the world? With such a diverse range comes a multitude of medical benefits. This natural substance beats the rest regarding the minerals, proteins, vitamins, and fatty acids it provides. With a quick tour of aloe vera and how it may benefit your hair loss, you’ll soon see why it beats most natural supplements.
The Benefits of Using Aloe Vera for Hair Loss
As we’ve already mentioned, Aloe Vera contains a lot of vitamins. Namely, A, C, E, B12, and folic acid. That’s a lot more than most natural hair loss products can boast, which means you’ll see benefits across your body. For example, Vitamin B12 alone has the potential to treat some forms of anemia, so when you use aloe vera for hair loss, you might tackle other conditions too.
When using aloe vera, you’ll also encounter a range of healthy fatty acids. Healthy fatty acids tackle inflammation, which in turn treats chronic diseases and lessens their side effects. As some chronic diseases present with hair loss as a symptom, this is another area where you may benefit throughout your body.
Finally, it contains two hormones you may not have heard of: auxins and gibberellins. Like fatty acids, they can reduce inflammation. Even better, they speed up the healing process, allowing you to recover from irritating conditions such as psoriasis.
Can aloe vera slow down hair loss and how does it manage it?
We’ve already explored how aloe vera contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. One of the most important is Vitamin B12, which plays an essential role in strengthening cells throughout our bodies. It will nourish the hair’s follicles, making it easier for them to grow. However, taking too much won’t accelerate the process; you only need to make sure there’s enough in your diet. A simple way of doing this is through aloe vera drinks and supplements.
Did you also know that aloe vera is a rich source of magnesium? Every day, medics worldwide measure patients’ magnesium levels, and there are good reasons for this. When you don’t get enough magnesium, your body fails to transport calcium to where it’s needed most. Suddenly it begins going elsewhere, and if you have magnesium deposits on your scalp, your hair will struggle to grow.
As a topical agent, in other words, a ‘cream,’ aloe vera acts as an antibacterial and antifungal tool. Many of the fungal conditions we encounter in everyday life can impact how your hair grows. For example, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. When you apply aloe vera to your head, you soothe it and give your scalp a natural antibacterial and antifungal treatment, combatting the conditions that impact your hair’s growth.
Finally, there are all those amino acids. As a supplement that thickens and nourishes your existing hair, it’s a useful weapon to have if yours is starting to thin. It might even promote hair growth in women who experience hair loss, as it reduces the inflammation that makes hair loss disorders worse.
Can you use aloe vera to regrow hair?
One of the essential minerals aloe vera contains that we haven’t touched on yet, is choline. Choline promotes communication between cells and helps our cells utilize the fuels we need every day to function.
Aloe vera contains plenty of choline, and there are some theories that it combats the Dihydrotestosterone that causes hair to fall out. One study published in the Archives of Dermatological research found that choline reduces how brittle hair is, provides it with more strength, and thickens it. Seeing as we know there’s lots of choline in Aloe Vera, we could use it to regrow hair.
Your hair also needs lots of polysaccharides to grow. These substances aren’t magical; they’re merely chains of sugars that provide cells with essential energy. Decades ago, scientists conducted a study on mice. Through this research, they found that polysaccharides are crucial for strengthening and producing keratin. What does your hair need to grow? Keratin, of course.
At the same time, we already know that glycoproteins make your skin grow. Your hair is an extension of your skin, and as Aloe Vera contains lots of glycoproteins, there’s a chance their presence can help your hair to regrow too.
However, a lot of this does depend on why you’re losing your hair in the first place. If it’s due to inflammatory processes and diseases, both the topical application and ingestion of aloe vera might prove useful. Experts worldwide acknowledge that Aloe Vera is an excellent anti-inflammatory, to the extent that a lot of skincare products contain it.
At the same time, if you’re losing your hair because you’re producing too many male androgens, such as testosterone, Aloe Vera may still prove useful. Hair loss due to excess androgens is called ‘androgenic alopecia,’ and one study featured in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research discovered that Aloe Vera might disrupt the androgen-producing process. As a result, you might be able to use it to reverse your hair loss.
Is aloe vera safe for your head and scalp?
Before you begin throwing this substance at your head and scalp, it’s probably worth looking into whether there are any safety issues involved. Aloe Vera has been used as a topical agent for decades now. From sunburn through to soothing rashes, it’s one of the few natural substances that even the hardest of medics will turn to.
As you can buy it in a lot of stores, it’s probably fair to assume it’s relatively safe for use on your head and scalp. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the following safety measures:
- Do a test patch on your wrist if you’re using it for the first time
- If you have any open wounds on your head, don’t apply aloe vera directly to them
- If you start to notice any adverse reactions, stop using it
A basic aloe vera DIY hair mask recipe
If you’re convinced that aloe vera is the right hair loss remedy for you, now’s the time to start making your own DIY hair mask. Fortunately, this requires minimal effort:
- Mix two to three tablespoons of organic coconut oil with equal amounts of aloe vera crystal. Blend thoroughly before moving onto the next stage.
- Add one tablespoon of honey and blend just as thoroughly. If you want to see some serious antibacterial benefits, you might want to try using high-end Manuka honey.
- Apply your hair mask to your hair, then place a shower cap on top of it. Doing this doesn’t just protect your clothes and everything you come into contact with; it forces the mixture to absorb into your scalp.
- Leave it in place for around 40-45 minutes, and then give yourself a head massage after the soaking process finishes. Doing so will stimulate blood flow, boosting the absorbent benefits in the process.
- Finally, rinse it. It might feel a little bit sticky because of all the honey and coconut oil, but it’s worth it.
We recommend using a DIY aloe vera hair mask once a week. Track the changes you see and continue using it if you find it beneficial.
Should you expect any side effects of using aloe vera for hair loss?
Whether or not you experience side effects while using Aloe Vera for hair loss will depend on how you’re using it. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s available in the form of drinks, supplements, and topical agents.
According to Medline Plus, if you drink Aloe Vera or use a supplement, there’s a risk that it’ll act as a laxative. Therefore, our advice is to use a small dose first and keep moving upwards until you experience such side effects. If a laxative effect does occur, take the treatment down to the previous level and stay there.
If you ingest Aloe Vera and find that it does act as a laxative, remember it may affect the absorption of any medications you’re taking. Also, if you experience diarrhea, remember to keep drinking water or use an electrolyte solution to replace any minerals you lose.
Like any substance you’ll find on Earth, aloe vera has the potential to cause an allergic reaction. If you notice breathing difficulties, hives, or a swollen throat, stop using it immediately. Such instances are rare, but we want you to stay safe, which is why we’re mentioning them.
From the abundance of minerals to its ability to combat androgen-related hair loss, aloe vera is a useful supplement for hair restoration, regrowth, and for making it healthier. If you’re new to using it, track your progress in a health journal and adjust it accordingly.