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Aloe Vera for Hair Loss: What Are the Effects?

Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
4th May 2021

In 30 seconds

Aloe vera is a succulent plant native to South Africa that has been used as a natural remedy for thousands of years. Known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial superpowers, it is used to help heal wounds and sunburn and aid digestive issues. 

But aloe vera for hair loss? Well, the plant is also an antioxidant, which has led many to believe that it may stop balding. However, in reality, this isn’t enough. Male pattern baldness (MPB) is caused by a combination of genetics and hormones – meaning that antioxidant properties won’t help all by themselves. 

Aloe vera may improve the condition of your scalp and hair, thanks to its moisturising and nourishing properties. But, if you want to treat MPB, the licensed treatments Finasteride and Minoxidil are the only proven solutions.

Aloe Vera and Hair Loss

Losing your hair can be a massive blow. We know. But with brands out there waiting to prey on the vulnerable, finding someone to trust for hair loss treatment is tricky. While we all have dreams of luscious locks, it’s not wise to buy into every hot new natural remedy that appears.

The proven medical treatments of male pattern baldness right now are limited to Finasteride and Minoxidil. Yet, natural remedies, including aloe vera, often make a convincing claim to remedy hair loss. The question is, should we believe them?

There’s plenty of reasons why such an aloe vera treatment could work. We all know the distinctive green, spiny, triangular succulent – and its reputation for health benefits.  Yet, in truth, there’s not that much proof to support its use for hair loss. 

Let’s see what this plant can really do for hair loss. Here’s our round-up of all things aloe vera – from its possible benefits to how to use it. 

Let’s Talk MPB

But first, let’s talk about hair loss. It’s a really common problem that eventually affects most men. And while the reasons behind men’s hair loss vary, 95% of cases of hair loss are due to one thing. That’s male pattern baldness

The tell-tale signs of MPB are a receding hairline, thinning hair, or a growing bald patch at the crown. Unfortunately, the causes of MPB can’t be reversed by good health alone. The condition is caused by a hormone called DHT, derived from testosterone, to which your hair follicles can be sensitive. Many people are sensitive to DHT – it’s in your genes.

However, treatments like Finasteride and Minoxidil are proven to stop it progressing – and can even encourage hair regrowth. 

In other cases, hair loss can also be caused by stress, vitamin deficiency, low testosterone levels, and other medical conditions like anemia, lupus, or irritable bowel syndrome. Meanwhile, alopecia areata is an untreatable autoimmune condition where hair (facial, body, and head) can fall out in clumps and may never grow back. 

MPB, as the name suggests, causes a gradual pattern of hair loss, and may never result in a complete loss of hair. If you experience rapid hair loss, seek medical advice before trying to treat it with any home remedy or drug.

Why Aloe Vera for Hair Growth?

In many cases, guys are likely to look to home remedies to sort our problems out on the down-low, rather than seek help from a doctor.

If you’re suffering from male pattern baldness and want to give a natural remedy a go, aloe vera can’t hurt – but don’t pin your hopes on just that alone. While it does bring health benefits, there is no evidence that aloe vera affects your DHT levels. As such, it won’t have any measurable impact on the cause of your hair loss. 

So, why is aloe vera hailed as a hair loss treatment, and what good can it do? 

Aloe vera has been used in folk medicine for over 2000 years across the globe. Beneath the plant’s tough green exterior sits thick, clear aloe vera gel. This gel contains over 75 active compounds, making it pretty powerful in the world of natural healing. 

The gel, for example, is rich in vitamins including A, B12, C, and E, minerals like calcium and magnesium, phytochemicals, enzymes, fatty acids, and amino acids. Scientists suspect that these vitamins help in the treatment of wounds and burns (including sunburn), digestive issues, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and that they have immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties too. 

It’s a lot of power for one plant. Yet, there remains no evidence that aloe vera tackles the engine of hair loss – that hormone, DHT. 

Benefits of Aloe Vera for Hair

While there is no evidence that aloe vera alone can treat MPB, it is very unlikely to cause any harm. On a chemical basis, we’ve seen why aloe vera is known to have such benefits for skin conditions. Yet, it is not only skin that can benefit in the way we want. Here are four ways that aloe vera is known to improve the health of your hair.

Aloe Vera Can Ease Dandruff

If you suffer from a dry, itchy, inflamed scalp – seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff – the anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera gel can help. By calming the itch, you may also reduce breakage and hair fall from scratching or over-washing your hair.  Aloe vera also boosts collagen production, which will improve the strength of your hair and moisturise your scalp.

It Can Promote Healthy Cell Growth

Vitamins A and E are all big players in cell growth and repair in our bodies. By keeping our follicles healthy on a cellular level, they are more likely to produce strong, healthy hairs. 

Vitamin B12 is integral to having good blood circulation – and healthy blood flow means oxygen getting where it needs to, to support follicles and hair growth. All three of these vitamins are found in that miracle gel in the heart of the aloe vera plant.

Protect from Free Radicals

Hair follicles, the little sockets in our skin that hairs grow from, can be damaged by free radicals as we age. This process can in turn lead to hair loss – as our follicles become weaker.

Antioxidants found in aloe vera can defend cells against free radicals, thus reducing the damage they can cause. Aloe vera, for example, contains vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, which can, therefore, promote stronger follicles and hair growth.

It Can Improve the Look of Greasy Hair

If you have an overproduction of sebum, the naturally produced oil of the skin, your hair can look and feel greasy. Aloe vera is a gentle, neutral cleanser that can get rid of excess oils and other chemicals left behind by shampoos or conditioners.

How to Use Aloe Vera to Improve Your Hair

Whilst there’s no evidence that confirms aloe vera is a successful hair loss treatment, if you have damaged hair, dry hair, uncontrollable frizz, or dandruff, there’s no harm in trying. Making sure the hair you do have is in the best condition can also help if you decide to try a medical hair loss treatment.

Aloe vera shampoos and conditioners are often used to hydrate and moisturise the scalp and hair. To be sure of its benefits, however, the best way to use the plant is to drink aloe vera juice or use a pure aloe vera gel or hair oil, and use it like a DIY hair mask. Just make sure that whatever you use is 95% aloe vera.

With the hair gel or oil, coat your hair and scalp in the aloe vera oil or gel after a warm shower, when your pores are clean and open. Massage it into your scalp and leave it on for 10-15 minutes to dry, before gently rinsing the product out with warm water. Avoid towelling, combing, or brushing whilst damp as this can increase your chances of breakages. Instead, allow your hair to naturally dry and then style as usual.

As with any natural remedy, if it’s going to work at all, it’s not going to be an overnight miracle. To give aloe vera the best chance of unleashing its healing properties on your hair, you’ll need to be following this treatment regularly over the course of many months.

Key Takeaways

So, aloe vera for hair loss? Yes and no. While the plant is great for skin and hair care, it is not going to stop MPB. Unfortunately, there is just no evidence that it tackles DHT, which is the hormone that causes male progressive balding. 

Instead, what you need is some proper treatment. Finasteride and Minoxidil are the two proven hair loss treatments, and we can help you with these. With delivery direct to your door, and no need for lengthy appointments or awkward conversations, Manual has got you covered. 

References

  1. Amar Surjushe, Resham Vasani, and D G Saple (2008). ALOE VERA: A SHORT REVIEW: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/

  2. Da Vardy, Ad Cohen, T Tchetov, E Medvedovsky &A Biton (2009). A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of an Aloe vera (A. barbadensis) emulsion in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09546639909055904

  3. MedicalNewsToday -How do free radicals affect the body?: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318652

  4. Maharjan H. Radha, Nampoothiri P. Laxmipriya (2014). Evaluation of biological properties and clinical effectiveness of Aloe vera: A systematic review: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2225411014000078

  5. MedicalNewToday -How does onion juice help hair growth?: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319515

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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