With the recent bout of extreme heat and high humidity, I’ve found that my usual go-to products for wash and gos just aren’t able to tame my curly mane. The perfectly styled and defined curls that I leave the house with in the morning have ended up as a frizzed out, shrunken cotton ball in the evening (whomp, whomp). While I am taking fellow curly girls’ suggestion to embrace the frizz, I am also exploring another curlie’s suggestion—seal with oil and use Fruit of the Earth 100% Aloe Vera Gel.
Three years ago, I purchased aloe vera gel (AVG) upon the suggestion of natural hair boards. At that time, it just didn’t seem to work on my hair, leaving it dry and crunchy. In hindsight, there may have been many factors which impacted the results of the gel (see if the following applies to you):
- My hair wasn’t in its true state, as it was damaged and rehabbing from my straightening addiction.
- I regularly rotated products in an attempt to find a holy grail, so my hair may not have been clarified enough.
- I can’t recall, but I might have tried the gel during the winter, when humectants like aloe vera gel tend to dry out hair. Unfamiliar with humidity’s impact on curls? The basic breakdown is that humectants can either draw moisture into or out of the hair, depending on humidity. Yes, it gets a little technical. For a full breakdown, Pittsburgh Curly does a great job of explaining humidity and humectants.
Since a full bottle of aloe vera gel has been patiently waiting under my bathroom sink all these years (pick me, pick me!) and my hair is in a much healthier state, I decided to take up the suggestion and revisit the all-natural gel, particularly since it’s an ingredient in a lot of the stylers that I use.
1. AVG is typically 100% organic.
2. AVG moisturizes the scalp, treating dandruff problems.
3. AVG treats hair loss and promotes fast hair growth (I’m in!).
4. AVG adds sheen to dull hair.
5. AVG balances hair’s pH level, thereby sealing hair’s cuticle layer. This locks moisture into your strands and minimizes frizz.
6. AVG makes curls pop and gives a light hold.
7. AVG leaves your hair super soft.
8. AVG doesn’t contain mineral oil, so you can conditioner wash your hair, thereby adding more moisture into your strands.
9. You can snag a bottle of AVG at any Target or Walmart for under $5. I prefer to use Fruit of The Earth Aloe Vera Gel.
10. If AVG doesn’t work on your hair for styling, you can add it to your shampoo or conditioner for added moisture. If that doesn’t work, you can save it for when you or the next person you know has sun burn!
Some curlies are successfully mixing aloe vera gel into their own brews. Since I’m not a mixologist, I’ve been layering the gel as I do with my stylers. Do whatever suits your fancy. Here’s how I apply aloe vera gel.
1. Work on wet, newly washed/co-washed hair.
2. Smooth a leave in conditioner all over your curly mane. I usually use Silicon Mix, but I recently tried Beautiful Textures’ leave in conditioner. So far, it responds well and easily absorbs into my hair. I’ll elaborate more on this product line soon.
3. Style your hair in sections, beginning in the back and working towards the front.
4. In each section, layer products, beginning with additional leave in conditioner.
5. Seal the conditioner with a layer of oil. I like to use Vatika Oil or my oil mix (Vatika Oil, Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, and Avocado Oil).
6. Layer aloe vera gel on top of your oil.
7. Repeat layering your leave in, oil, and gel on all sections.
8. Part your hair how you’d like to style it (in middle, side, etc.).
9. Blow or air dry hair. I blow dried my hair because I like to have predictable results and do additional fluffing when dried.
Amazing! When I applied aloe vera gel on my wet hair, I was shocked by how smooth and defined my curls appeared (see photos). There was virtually no frizz. After drying, my curls were still seriously defined and fluffy, with minimal frizz.
I used aloe vera gel during three scorching hot, humid days, and I still had great results. I looove how soft and shiny my hair is. I can even now co-wash, since I don’t have to clarify a product to avoid build up. This has been keeping my hair extremely soft and moisturized thus far, which should aid in hair growth. We shall see!
The only downfall is that the gel doesn’t allow me to stretch my hair as well (for length), since my hair is so curly. However, I am able to still have big, fluffy hair.
I will continue to explore the wonderful world of aloe vera gel, particularly on braid/twist outs, and I’ll report back. In the meanwhile, test it out, and share your pics and tips!
UPDATE: Check out the wicked results of my braid-outs with aloe vera gel.
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