Aloe Vera is a succulent cacti plant species that has spiky leaves and a thick fleshy stem. It is the pulp of the plant (the sap) that contains the juice and gel and these have been used for medicinal, cosmetic and health purposes throughout time due to the fact that they contain antioxidants, antibiotics and antifungal properties. They also have a vast amount of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, Calcium, folic acid and amino acids to name a few.
Apart from being used for our skin and health it can also be used on our hair. The juice and gel can be used on all hair types and is especially beneficial for dry and damaged hair.
When used regularly it is known to:
• Promote hair growth
• Moisturize the hair due to it being a humectant
• Restore the natural pH balance of the hair and scalp
• Reduce dandruff
• Naturally condition the hair
• Reduce hair shed
• Promote hair shine
• Help heal an irritated, dry, itchy scalp
You can use Aloe Vera in a number of different ways such as:
• In a moisturizing spray bottle with water and an oil of choice or a little leave-in conditioner
• As part of your moisturizing Deep Conditioner
• In your shampoo – just adding a little when you shampoo your hair
• As part of your leave-in conditioner
Where can I get Aloe Vera Juice (AVJ)?
You can sometimes find it in your local supermarket, health food store or pharmacy. To make the juice yourself: break off the outer leaf of the plant (use something to catch the sap because it will start to ooze once the leaf is broken). Carefully slice/cut off the spikes to avoid hurting yourself and then slowly slice down the middle of the leaf. Using a spoon you can scrape out the sap and mix it with a little water (add vitamin E if you want to boost its nourishing benefits). Put the mixture in a blender and store it in the fridge in an airtight container for no more than 4 – 5 days as this is when its nourishing properties are at its peak.
NOTE: While it is a moisturizing ingredient (humectant) you should only use a little AVJ at a time as too much can sometimes make the hair feel dry. Some people might be allergic to fresh AVJ and you should perform a skin test before using it for the first time by putting a tiny amount of juice on the inside of your arm and waiting 24 hours to see if you get an allergic reaction (e.g. red & itchy).
I've been DYING to give AVJ a try and have some in the back of my bathroom closet. Whenever I do give it a try I'll write a post about it and give my take on it.
Take care Naturals,