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How Well Does Aloe Vera Work for Hair Growth and Regrowth?

With Step-by-Step Application Steps




Aloe vera is a plant that's historically been used as a natural remedy for various ailments, including wound healing, digestion, skin conditions, and more.1 Some research suggests it may also help promote hair growth.



Aloe vera's composition of powerful antioxidants and nutrients may be a nourishing and protective remedy for hair and scalp health when applied topically, and there are a few ways you can try this natural ingredient at home.2



This article discusses ways aloe vera may support hair growth and the potential benefits of using this natural remedy topically.



Benefits of Aloe Vera for Hair Growth

Aloe vera may help promote hair growth by encouraging a healthy hair-and-scalp environment in several ways.



Scalp Benefits

Aloe vera may support and improve scalp health. Some research shows that certain fatty acids in aloe vera have a soothing anti-inflammatory effect when applied to the scalp.4 This may help treat seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff), causing flaking and itchiness that can interfere with hair growth.5



Other studies show the way aloe vera positively impacts the body's blood vessels might help improve blood circulation in the scalp.6 This allows a healthy delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to the hair follicles, often resulting in improved hair growth.



Compounds in Aloe Vera

Aloe vera's various active components, including vitamins and minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids, make this plant promising for hair health. These compounds include: 3



Vitamins A, C, E, B12, folic acid, and choline can provide antioxidant support to keep hair nourished, moisturized, and strong.


Minerals like zinc and potassium may support the hair follicles properly.


Fatty acids and enzymes might help reduce inflammation and offer a cleansing effect.



Hair Texture Benefits

Using aloe vera may also help preserve or improve the hair’s natural texture instead of damaging it. Research shows that aloe vera can help gently cleanse the scalp and strands by removing excess sebum (oil), bacteria, and other residue without stripping or compromising the hair like other chemical products.




Moisture Benefits

The vitamins A, E, and C in aloe vera help support scalp cell growth and turnover, promoting healthy and conditioned hair, while the plant's B-12, folic acid, and choline may nourish the scalp and hair.8 The compounds in aloe vera may help reduce the chances of hair strands breaking or falling out.



Strength Benefits

Aloe vera’s antioxidants, like vitamin B12 and folic acid, support hair follicle strength, helping to prevent hair loss. Studies involving participants with a specific type of hair loss (alopecia) seem promising in reducing oxidative stress (the imbalance of antioxidants and damaging free radicals in the body) on the hair follicles that cause strands to fall out.



How to Use Aloe Vera for Hair Growth


You can buy a raw aloe vera gel from the store, as long as it's labeled 100% aloe vera and doesn't include added fragrance or alcohol. You can also use an aloe vera plant or leaf and remove the gel when you're ready to use it. Carefully take a knife or peeler tool and cut off the skin of the aloe vera leaf lengthwise, then scoop out the gel inside.


Then, decide whether to treat the scalp and hair as a short-term mask or a leave-in treatment. You may consider taking some of the gel into your hands, working it into your scalp and strands, and then leaving it overnight. If your locks feel extra dry, add a few drops of coconut oil or a comparable alternative for added hydration.


If you're looking for a quicker method, try massaging the aloe vera gel into your scalp and hair, but only leaving it in for an hour or so. From there, shampoo the solution out and rinse thoroughly as usual. Experts generally recommend using an aloe vera hair treatment once a week for best results.




Safety Considerations for Aloe Vera on Hair and Scalp


Aloe vera is safe for most healthy adults when applied to the skin. Experts recommend doing a skin spot test with aloe vera before applying it to the scalp and hair. Research shows that topical application of aloe vera is likely effective for healing burns and helping other skin conditions.


However, symptoms like burning, itching, and eczema have been reported when using aloe vera topically. Oral aloe vera can also interact with some types of drugs, like certain diabetes and heart medications, reducing their effectiveness or increasing the chances of adverse side effects.


Check with a healthcare provider if you’re interested in trying aloe vera for hair growth, particularly if you have a skin, hair, or other health condition or are taking certain medications. People who are pregnant or breastfeeding should always consult a healthcare provider before incorporating aloe vera or any other new ingredient into their routine.





Other Natural Remedies for Hair Growth

There are a variety of other natural remedies that research shows may potentially help promote hair growth, including:1213


Pumpkin seed oil: Contains compounds known as phytosterols, which may block hormones and enzymes in the scalp that trigger certain types of hair loss.14


Vitamin E oil: A nutrient with antioxidants that might reduce oxidative stress and free radicals that break down hair follicle cells in the scalp.


Omega fatty acids: Found in fish oil, could help support hair density (thickness) and reduce hair loss by stimulating the growth of hair follicle cells.15


Zinc: A mineral that promotes the development and recovery of healthy, strong hair follicles.16


Aloe vera can be applied with topical natural remedies, like pumpkin seed oil and vitamin E oil. If desired, use your hands to work small amounts into the scalp and down the length of the hair strands.


Oral natural remedies, like supplements taken by mouth, may be used simultaneously as a topical aloe vera. Before trying this, check with a healthcare provider to ensure you’re not getting too much of one vitamin or mineral.




Summary

Thought to help treat certain skin conditions and wounds, aloe vera may also be beneficial for supporting a healthy environment for hair growth. Research suggests that the plant's antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients may play a key role in reducing scalp inflammation, promoting hair follicle cell regeneration, and keeping strands clean and moist. However, more scientific evidence is needed to confirm these potential benefits.



While aloe vera seems safe for most people when applied topically, check with a healthcare provider before incorporating this natural remedy into your hair care routine.



Article written by Cristina Mutchler for verywellhealth.com

 Medically reviewed by Brendan Camp, MD

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