I’m corny I know. I read somewhere that aloe vera was amazing for hair and of course I ran to try it since I had a plant in my yard. Now let me tell you, the heavens opened up that day and angels sang!
My granny, bless her heart, has been trying to get me to take aloe, or sinkle bible as we West Indians call it, internally forever. I don’t know how in the world she gets that horridly bitter, slimy thing down her throat but I’m sure it has something to do with her still kickin’ today! I distinctly remember her attempt as a child to force it down my throat and I ran to the bathroom for cover, grabbing the sugar bowl as I dashed, trying to erase the taste from my throat. YUCK!
Fast forward only a few years and low and behold the miracle plant has become the very vein that runs through my natural hair regimen. If I could figure out how to stabilize and preserve aloe vera I would for sure bottle it and make my millions but alas I can tell you from experience that it was meant to be used as fresh as possible and even with methods found online to preserve it, it must still be kept in the fridge and used within at least two weeks to get any kind of benefit.
But with that said, here in Jamaica aloe vera is quite easy to come by. The plant thrives in our climate and has been at every home I have moved to over the past decade (I’ve moved 3 times) and I even see a plant at my office that I’ve got my eye on! Don’t buy the aloe juice I see popping up in the supermarkets with no English and all Arabic language! Cut a leaf and get to work! Or if you want me to help you out I’m more than willing (it’ll cost ya), just remember to keep it in the fridge and use it in 2 weeks.
Now, how do I use aloe? In my deep conditioner! When I first big chopped, I didn’t think my hair was particularly dry even though fellow recent big chopper NickMack had mentioned it might come. I think I avoided it the day I discovered aloe vera though. I couldn’t believe the immediate difference in my hair. I was hooked! It was so soft and amazing! I cut a whole leaf off my plant, processed it in my food processor and mixed it with honey and some oils. I went under my steam cap and dryer and enjoyed the most amazing hair results of my life. Don’t sleep on this!
I deep condition every Sunday and aloe is the base for my homemade DC each time. I put yoghurt in the mix whenever I feel I need some protein in my treatment, but really it’s just aloe, honey and whatever oils you have on hand. My favourite DC oils are currently olive, coconut and wheat germ. I don’t leave coconut oil in my hair as a sealer any more because it leaves my hair rather crunchy so I use it in my DC or if I feel like pre-pooing.
A lot of times the first reaction to me going natural is “but you can do that, you have pretty hair” so I made sure to test out my aloe theory on one of my very good friend’s hair. She’s going natural too and has very thick 4B maybe even 4C hair. She hates aloe and I had to drop a few drops of sweet orange essential oil to mask the smell for her but even she is hooked. Her hair was so soft and manageable after the treatment and she had a great hair week!
There are a million articles on the web that speak about the miracle plant aloe vera whether drinking it in a smoothie or putting it on your skin and in your hair. I wish I could remember the one I came across that convinced me to try it but the proof is in the pudding! I hope you’ll try it too and do away with chemical deep treatments as mother nature provides us with all we need! (do I sound like a hippie yet?)
If you’re not sure how to process your aloe leaf, this video shows you how. Just run it through a strainer after you’ve blended it or you may end up with tiny white bits in your hair. Her background music is way cool.