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Experts say aloe vera can 'work wonders for your hair and scalp' — how to use it

Plus, the best aloe products to use for stronger, healthier hair.
Kara Birnbaum/ TODAY
/ Source: TODAY

Aloe vera products are summertime skin mainstays for their fantastic soothing powers, but we never thought about using the powerhouse ingredient for anything else until we discovered more beauty lovers utilizing it as part of their hair care routines. (For starters, the hashtag #aloeverahairmask currently has over 23 million views on TikTok alone.)

Naturally, we were instantly curious: What can aloe vera do for your hair? So we polled several hair experts to find out.

What are the benefits of aloe vera for hair?

Aloe vera does a great job of soothing and moisturizing skin, so it makes sense that it's also a known hair hydrator. "It can work wonders for your hair and scalp," celebrity hairstylist Michelle Cleveland tells us.

According to cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos, the pulp from aloe is "about 98 percent water, 1 percent polysaccharides with the remainder consisting of small amounts of proteins, lipids, minerals and vitamins. Polysaccharides behave as humectants that can help hydrate the scalp and provide light conditioning to the hair," she says.

In addition, Lilybeth Vargas, New York City-based extension and color specialist and founder of Duo Hair, says that those essential amino acids and vitamins (including C, E and B12) can help strengthen the hair. "It acts like a great PH balancer by sealing the cuticles, leaving the hair feeling moisturized and appearing shinier," she says.

Because of its hydrating benefits, it's become a popular treatment for hair growth, as well as dry hair and dry scalp, celebrity hairstylist Jennifer Korab tells us. "It also helps with dandruff relief, and the plant compounds also help promote healthier hair," she explains.

How to use aloe vera for hair

If you love to DIY, Cleveland tells us you can use aloe vera in its raw form (the clear, watery gel on the inside of an aloe vera plant leaf). But, if you don't have access to the plant, you can also try a product that features the ingredient to get the benefits.

In case you're ready to see what all the fuss is about for yourself, we've rounded up 10 aloe vera-infused products that are worthy of space in your beauty cabinet.

Best aloe vera hair products, according to experts

Tio Nacho Aloe Vera Deep Repair Shampoo

If your locks could use some extra attention, this affordable deep repair shampoo that's formulated with aloe vera and royal jelly is worth a try, according to Cleveland. "It fends off frizz and shields damaged hair, leaving behind soft, shiny strands," she notes. It's also free of parabens and silicone!

Chi Aloe Vera With Agave Nectar Moisturizing Curl Cream

Cleveland recommends trying this curl cream that adds an instant dose of hydration and locks in moisture. It's designed to polish and smooth hair while reducing frizz.

Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Aloe Vera 3-in-1 Normal Hair Mask Treatment

If you're ready to see what all the hype is about, Korab suggests trying this hair mask that tackles frizzy strands and split ends like a boss. "It has a super lightweight formula and can also be used as a daily conditioner, hair mask or a leave-on," she says. "It's a great option for all hair types."

Real Aloe Vera Shampoo

Stephanie Brown, a New York City-based celebrity colorist at IGK Soho, tends to buy pure aloe vera online and then uses it as a mask or styling product. When she feels like picking up a ready-made product, though, the hair expert gravitates towards this affordable shampoo that's particularly well-suited for sensitive scalps.

"It's good for all hair types and has calming effects for irritated scalps. It adds moisture and strength to hair, plus aloe vera also has UV protection, which is great for summer," she explains.

Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Aloe + Oat Milk Ultra Soothing Fragrance-Free Detangler

When asked for some of her aloe vera go-to products, Rubenstein named this detangler that's also formulated with oat milk and green tea extract. All you have to do is spritz it through wet hair before air or blow drying and wait for it to unveil hydrated, shiny strands that are tangle-free.

Christophe Robin Hydrating Melting Mask with Aloe Vera

Two of the hair experts TODAY polled named this mask as a great aloe vera-infused product worth trying. "It leaves hair feeling hydrated, soft and luxurious without weighing it down. It also helps tame frizz," Korab says.

The hair treatment is also formulated with hydrating glycerin and argan oil, and is a great option for dry, frizz-prone hair. "I love that it makes hair plump and healthy looking and feeling," Rubenstein says.

Tio Nacho Aloe Vera Deep Repair Hair Mask

Looking for a hair care solution that's great for dry or damaged strands? This budget-friendly recommendation from Brown is a worthy contender. "It's very moisturizing and repairing. It keeps hair healthy, shiny and frizz-free," she says.

The mask is said to be free of parabens and silicones and formulated with a mix of organic aloe vera and royal jelly. The price is also right!

Mizani Scalp Care Calming Lotion

Aloe vera is just one of three powerhouse ingredients in this calming lotion that helps treat itchy, flaky scalps. The other two power players are hydrating avocado oil and soothing eucalyptus, and when combined, the trifecta of ingredients creates pure magic, according to Brown.

"It isn’t greasy and it’s lightweight. It nourishes and has a cooling effect on the scalp," she reveals. The Mizani lotion works on multiple hair types, including curls, and is formulated without mineral oil, sulfates or silicones.

Nioxin Scalp Relief Cleanser

Vargas gave this calming cleanser her seal of approval and said it does a great job of soothing scalps from dry and itchy patches.

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product

Talk about a multitasker! This 10-in-1 leave-in conditioner works overtime to control frizz, add shine and stop hair breakage — and that's really just the beginning. "It’s great for detangling, helps prevent split ends and leaves hair silky smooth," Vargas says.

The leave-in product boasts several hardworking ingredients including aloe vera, green tea leaf extract, silk amino acids and sunflower seed extract.