Aloe vera is an incredibly nourishing succulent. It is used in traditional medicine for healing wounds, treating burns, reducing inflammation and digestive aid. It’s also popular for treating skin conditions, such as acne, dermatitis,
One of the major problems we dread heads face is an itchy scalp. For the first year, my head would itch so badly that I would end up with bumps all over my scalp. I tried the commercial “itch relievers,” even one recommended by my loctician, but nothing significantly helped me.
In my dread journey, I also come across a large list of hair products that were my favorite before I had dreads, but I can no longer use them. The reason being that many of the hair products out there will attract dirt, lint and other things to the dreads. You’ll want to be extra careful of what you’re putting in your head.
But thankfully, aloe vera is NOT one of those things. In fact, your scalp will love this simple ingredient added to your hair treatments. The day I tried fresh aloe vera on my scalp, it felt like I had just hit a jackpot. This plant will work miracles for your itchy and inflamed scalp.
Aloe vera benefits for dreadlocks
There are so many benefits in aloe vera that you’ll immediately want to start putting it in your hair (if you haven’t been convinced already). For the purpose of this blog, I’m only going to stick to the dread-enhancing properties.
- Aloe vera contains anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
- It contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C and E,
andmore than 20 minerals.
- Aloe vera contains acemannan, a complex carb that removes toxins and dead skin cells.
- Aloe vera is largely made up of water. One of the main benefits of using aloe is to moisturize the scalp. Applying it directly to the roots of your hair will hydrate your skin and it and provide nutrition to your hair. Once it dries, it won’t leave anything behind or clog your pores.
- In other words, aloe vera is residue-free!
- Aloe vera contains vitamin E which strengthens and nourishes your hair follicles. It creates more elasticity and prevents breakage.
- Aloe is a natural conditioner leaving your hair shiny and smooth without causing your hair to dry stiff.
- It promotes hair growth, prevents itching on the scalp, reduces dandruff, and conditions your hair. Aloe vera tends to have a chemical that’s similar to that of keratin which helps rejuvenate the hair.
- Aloe vera helps to control frizz. For those who like to have a controlled mane (especially at the beginning of the dread journey when frizzies are all too common), this is one of your best natural solutions.
- Aloe vera will help to heal wounds caused by excessive scalp scratching. It might also help with scalp psoriasis and pimples on the scalp.
Important things to note
- Don’t go to the store and buy any kind of aloe gel in a bottle. The bright green aloe vera you find at the pharmacy is likely to contain additives, especially chemicals needed to maintain its shelf life. I recommend you use the real leaf! You can purchase aloe vera leaves at most grocery stores. You may have never seen it before because you weren’t looking for it, but it’s surprisingly a popular item. Better yet, you can buy an aloe vera plant at a nursery and use the leaves as you need them. Last resort, you can buy the leaves online (even though that’s a pricey option).
- Just like anything, use aloe in moderation. Aloe is extremely hydrating for your scalp and a healthy scalp will return healthy hair. A word of warning though. In newer dreads, excessive use of aloe can hinder the locking process a bit. Like I mentioned earlier, aloe vera is a natural conditioner and too much of it can cause detangling. Spray it in those targeted itchy spots when necessary but don’t drench your scalp with it. A little bit will go a long way. Check out the recipe I use (below) which has many other properties to keep your scalp healthy and hydrated without the side effects of loosening your dreads at the root.
Aloe vera spray for an itchy scalp
A while back I researched online for aloe vera dreadlock recipes. I got amazing ideas from other people and I used their tips to craft a recipe that is my current favorite. You can alter this recipe to your liking. This gel spray can be used on all hair types and styles. I use it on my dread roots and my family uses it on their scalp too. Everyone can enjoy the benefits this amazing succulent has to offer!
You will need:
- 1 aloe vera leaf
- distilled water
- 12 to 15 drops of essential oils (choose your favorite blend)
- 5 drops vitamin E oil (optional)
- A metal spoon
- A mini blender
- A thin metal mesh strainer
- A large bowl
- Two ice cube trays
- An 8 oz. spray bottle
1. Thinly cut the pointy edges of the aloe plan so you’re not poking your fingers.
2. Cut the leaf in several sections and then slice it down the middle.
3. Using a spoon, scoop the gel out directly into the blender. Make sure you get all the gel out of the leaf. [Save the leaf for a nice facial treatment later!]
4. Blend the aloe gel until smooth.
5. Strain the gel through the strainer into a large bowl. You may have to swirl it around with a spoon to get the maximum amount of gel.
6. Use an ice cube tray to collect all the aloe that has not passed through the strainer. I freeze these cubes and add them to my smoothies later.
7. Pour 4 oz of aloe gel (from the bowl) into the spray bottle (fill half of the bottle). Use the second ice cube tray to collect the rest of the aloe from the bowl and freeze it. Since aloe vera is in its natural preservative-free form, it can get rancid within two weeks.
8. Now you can add essential oils to the spray bottle. My favorite essential oils for this recipe are rosemary, tea tree, and lavender. A few drops will go a long way. I typically add 12-15 drops of essential oils to the entire 8 oz bottle. Since tea tree and lavender are very potent, I usually add 3 drops of each of those and 6 drops of rosemary. If you only want to use one essential oil scent, then I recommend you add no more than 5 drops of that oil so the smell doesn’t become too strong.
9. While it’s not completely necessary, sometimes I add 5 drops of vitamin E oil to my spray. Vitamin E helps to repair damaged hair follicles at the root and promotes hair growth. It also hydrates your scalp and increases blood circulation. (Aloe vera naturally contains some vitamin E but these drops give it an additional boost). Caution: Not all vitamin E oils are created the same. Many contain additives and some even contain soy. Make sure to read the label prior to purchasing.
10. Fill the rest of the spray bottle with distilled water. Shake and spray on your roots.
Save this aloe blend in the refrigerator to keep it fresh longer. It also feels more refreshing to your scalp when the spray is cold.
NOTE: When you’re ready for a new batch, allow the aloe cubes to defrost in a glass and continue the process starting with step # 8.
This spray should last you up to 2 weeks in the fridge. If it smells strange or it turns a pinkish color, then it has gone bad.
I heard that adding a few drops of lemon juice may extend the shelf life. I’m not sure if this is true but I add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the mix only during summer months because lemon juice can help to lighten your hair when exposed to the sun.
I love aloe vera for all the amazing properties it brings to my scalp and hair, without leaving any residue or yucky hair textures. A healthy scalp is vital to healthy dreadlocks!
I always encourage others to incorporate aloe vera into their hair routine, whether they have dreadlocks or not. This spray has worked wonders on my itchy scalp and I hope it does the same for you!!
What has been your experience using aloe vera in your hair? Let me know in the comments!