Aloe is so much more than the green-ish goo you slathered on yourself after falling asleep on the beach all afternoon one spring break. It’s also a pretty houseplant, an immune system booster and, most important of all, an effective, natural hair treatment. While it’s been around for ages, it’s only recently started popping up in hair-care lines as a way to promote hair growth and smooth unruly strands. Naturally, we had to see what all the hype was about.
So, what exactly is aloe? It’s a gel-like substance that comes from the aloe vera plant. Packed with vitamins, antioxidants and natural enzymes, it helps hydrate your scalp and hair by attracting and locking in moisture. Plus, it’s a natural antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, and it has the chemical makeup of keratin (which is what hair is made of).
OK, so how will it help my hair? Aloe is great for soothing an itchy scalp and clearing dandruff. But if you don’t suffer from either of those things, you can still reap all the other benefits. It reinforces strands with powerful nutrients that result in more elasticity and less breakage. And because of its ultra-hydrating properties, it leaves locks smooth, shiny and full of body — basically the recipe for a perfect hair day.
Sold. Where do I get it? Don’t worry: You don’t have to chop up an aloe leaf and smear the slime on your scalp. Some of our favorite brands have already done the heavy lifting and added it right into their products. We happen to love Jason Moisturising 84 percent Aloe Vera Shampoo ($11), Captain Blankenship Mer-Mane Conditioner ($34), Marc Anthony Deep Repair Aloe Vera & Jasmine Oil Deep Conditioning Packet ($3) and Captain Blankenship Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray ($24).