Aloe vera is a cactus-like plant in the lily family that has green, triangular leaves. Because of its moisturizing properties, it has many uses in the skin and hair care industries.

People use aloe vera to moisturize dry hair and dry skin, including the scalp. Some people use aloe vera as a hair mask.

Some aloe vera users believe that its benefits come from the many vitamins and antioxidants it contains.

This article will explain the various benefits that aloe vera can have on hair. It will also explain how to make an aloe vera hair mask at home and discuss some other types of hair mask that could be beneficial. It will also outline some possible risks.

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Aloe vera has many different potential benefits for people with all different hair types.

For thinning hair or hair loss

People who have noticed that they have thinning hair or are experiencing hair loss may find that aloe vera promotes hair growth.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, people have historically used aloe vera to treat baldness and thinning hair. As far back as 70 AD, in fact, people were using aloe vera for the treatment of baldness.

One 2017 study suggests that people in the West Bank and Palestine use aloe vera to treat alopecia. However, it does not confirm whether or not it is effective for this purpose.

Learn about nine more ways to help treat hair loss here.

For oily hair

Aloe vera has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It also has an antiseptic effect.

These properties may make it a powerful addition to a hair care routine for a person with oily hair. This is because it can deep clean the hair, removing any dirt and extra oil that may be on the hair.

Learn about more natural ways to treat oily hair here.

For dry, damaged, or brittle hair

Dry, damaged, and brittle hair all need extra moisture and nourishment.

One 2016 article notes that aloe vera contains vitamins and antioxidants, such as:

These vitamins may help strengthen the hair.

Additionally, aloe vera has moisturizing properties in the form of mucopolysaccharides. These compounds can help bind moisture to the skin and hair.

If a person has damaged hair or a damaged scalp due to sun exposure, aloe vera can be useful since it can offer protection against UV damage.

Learn about 12 more home remedies for dry hair here.

For dandruff and a dry, itchy scalp

People who have dandruff may wish to consider trying aloe vera to relieve the flakes and itching.

According to the National Eczema Association, seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff, likely occurs due to an overgrowth of a certain kind of yeast. It can appear anywhere on the body where there are oil-producing glands, such as those on the scalp.

The National Eczema Association suggests that people with this skin condition apply mild cleansers with zinc followed by a moisturizer to the affected area.

Aloe vera naturally contains zinc and provides moisture. Therefore, it could be effective for people with dandruff.

Additionally, aloe vera’s natural antifungal properties could help fight the yeast overgrowth that causes the condition to begin with.

Not only might aloe vera be effective in treating the causes of dandruff, but it may also help relieve the associated itching. Because of this, people commonly use aloe vera as a treatment for dandruff.

Learn about more natural ways to get rid of dandruff here.

At home, a person can combine several ingredients to make an aloe vera hair mask:

A person can buy aloe vera gel as a product from a store, or they can use it fresh from the plant by cutting the stems and squeezing or scraping out the gel inside.

A person should stir all the ingredients together until evenly combined.

They can also change the amounts depending on how much hair they have. They should ensure that they have enough to cover the hair completely.

A person can repeat this process after washing their hair as often as they wish.

The combination of aloe vera, coconut oil, and honey should leave the hair feeling moisturized.

According to one 2017 survey, some people also use the following natural ingredients to promote hair and scalp health.

A person can add these ingredients to a hair mask for added benefits, or they can look for products that contain them in their ingredients list:

One 2017 study states that the probiotic properties of yogurt can also help treat dandruff if a person applies it to their scalp.

Therefore, a person could add yogurt to the hair mask for further benefits.

There is no scientific suggestion as to how long to leave a hair mask on.

Many in the beauty industry suggest letting a mask sit on the hair for around 30 minutes.

One 2020 study looks at the effects of several different shampoos, conditioners, oils, and serums on scalp sensitivity. It does not mention aloe vera specifically. However, it suggests that people may experience scalp sensitivity, especially in the form of itchiness, if they leave products on for too long.

Therefore, if a person is using store-bought products, they should follow the advice on the product label.

A person should immediately remove any product that is causing any itching or burning during or after use.

Most people tolerate aloe vera as a natural product very well. Therefore, the risks of using it on the hair are minimal.

However, some people have reported the following symptoms after applying aloe vera gel to their skin:

If a person experiences these symptoms, they should remove the product immediately.

If a person has never used aloe vera on the skin before, they should apply a little to a small area of skin and wait for 1–2 hours to be sure that they do not have a reaction to the product.

Aloe vera hair masks may benefit people with many different hair types.

There is some evidence supporting the use of aloe vera in hair care, especially for those with dandruff, dry hair, oily hair, or thinning hair.

A person who is interested in trying an aloe vera hair mask can choose a commercially available product or make their own at home.