The Pros and Cons of Aloe Vera

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Over the next few weeks our resident scientist, Jc will be examining products and ingredients that are popular in the natural hair world — not to disparage them, but to provide a well-rounded view of them. Check it out:

Aloe Vera is a natural plant which is currently being researched for its possible medicinal properties. The plant has a natural gel which can be obtained by squeezing from the leaf. Commercially this gel can be added to crushed leaf to give aloe vera juice extract. Aloe vera is very complex in composition but is mainly composed of a large number of sugars.

Benefits

1.  It is natural and fresh aloe vera can be obtained simply by purchasing and keeping a plant.

2. It is generally regarded as non toxic however due to the very high sugar content it is not advisable for diabetics or people with kidney problems to consume without getting advice from a doctor. 

3. The large sugar content allows it to act as a humectant (i.e trap and hold water).  It may therefore help moisturise hair.

4. In general, aloe vera gel and juice has a low pH (generally between 3 and 6) but this will vary according to the manufacturer. For those looking to reduce pH of their products, aloe vera is a possible natural choice.

5. Outside of hair, it can also be used to soothe burns as well as possibly help with wound healing. It can also help with skin moisturisation.

Risks / Negatives

1.  As aloe vera is natural, it is variable in composition depending on where the plant was grown. It is therefore possible to experience batch to batch variation with commercial products.

2.  Commercially, aloe vera is modified to allow it to have a longer shelf life. It does still in general have a short life span generally requiring refrigeration once opened and discarding after 2-3 weeks. If mixing with conditioner, ideally aloe vera should be added to a separate container and not the main conditioner bottle/jar.

3. Fresh aloe vera (i.e squeezed out of a leaf) is not suitable for storing and should be used immediately.

4. For those strictly adhering to natural products do note that some commercial aloe vera juices and gels can have added synthetic ingredients (mainly to ensure their shelf life).

Ladies, do you use aloe vera on a regular basis? Have you experienced any of these pros and cons?

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The Natural Haven

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  • Kathy

    Has anyone used Aloe Vera Gel only on there scalp for psoriasis?

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  • http://cbclady.blogspot.com CBCLady

    I use a mix of aloe juice and gel, glycerin, jojoba or avocado oil and filtered water. To perserve my mix I add a sqeeze of lemon juice which alone adds shine to the hair plus controls sebum (our natural oil). I leave my bottle under my bathroom sink and it keeps very well. I primarily spray it directly on my scalp before I oil my scalp. I use to suffer badly with dandruff but since I learned that aloe vera is a great first aid for any skin irritation I’ve been using it since. I have been dandruff free for a year this August 2012. Thank you for this wonderful information. Be blessed! :o)

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  • Love JAH

    CBCLady, I read all the comments and yours made the most sense to me and is more logical for my routine. I just purchased a 64oz bottle so I will be adding lemon juice and storing under the bathroom cabinet as well… Thanks for the advice!

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  • http://bjackdoll@yahoo.com bjackdoll

    I like the Aloe Vera Gel. It has done wonders for my hair. I keep it in the fridge. It has been there for about a month now and I still get the same wonderful results that I have been getting since day 1 So, I think I will finish my bottle off. CBCLady, thanks for the info. My daughter suffers from dandruff so I will be trying your mix along with the aloe. Now what measurements do you us so I will get it right.

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  • Marie

    How long can I keep my Aloe Vera?
    The Aloe Vera juices and gels have a shelf life of 2 years when refrigerated. The capsules and topical products can last up to 10 years and do not require
    refrigeration.http://aloeverafarms.com/tips.htm

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  • dani

    I use fresh gel from the leaf and aloe vera juice from Walmart. I use the juice in my shampoos and mix it in my spritzers. Learned from Jouney2myroots to add a Vitamin E capsule (its a natural preservative) to my spritzer. And its lasts about 3 weeks in the fridge (i like to cold tingly feeling on my scalp).

    I like to fresh gel too but its was messy for me. I like the gel for my shea butter mix. My fine 4b/c hair has responded well to aloe vera.

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  • dolly

    I hv a natural gel in my garden bt afraid for being use so plz tel me frm which oil i mix it and hw much?
    [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/CuteGirl_32.jpg[/img]

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  • http://healthynaturalliving.myflpbiz.com Sharman Hankins

    Pure aloe vera gel with patent from The International Aloe Vera Science Council available from my website-for all of you ALOE VERA lovers out there! Made in America

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  • Besie

    I used COLD Aloe Vera juice this morning on my freshly clarified (apple cider vinegar)and deep conditioned (coconut oil and Shea moisture deep treatment masque)hair. The cold AV juice refreshed my scalp and closed the hair cuticle while providing it’s many other benefits as well. I must say it made ALL the difference in my wash & go. The results were..more defined curls, no frizz, extra soft, and glossy.
    [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/image-30.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/image-31.jpg[/img]

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  • Michelle Cannon

    Does anyone know the PROS and CONS of aleo vera

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