Trust me! Your hair will thank you! This is something small I incorporated into my regimen that has greatly improved the overall health and appearance of my hair. By giving my hair more of what it loves on a consistent basis, my hair thrives and I am more likely to retain length. So what’s in MY spray bottle? Simply water and aloe vera juice. That’s it! My mixture is ¾ aloe juice to ¼ water. I started adding aloe juice to my regimen a couple of years ago after watching one of Naptural85’s DIY hair recipe YouTube video’s where she used it on freshly washed hair for added moisture and shine. I have been following her for as long as I have been natural because our hair type and length are similar. But the difference between using it now versus then is the frequency in which I use it. I previously would only use it sparingly. Now, I use it throughout the week in a few ways: the first being a precursor to my LOC moisture retention routine. I divide my hair down the middle and then create three sections on each side for a total of six sections. I spritz each section of hair, apply my leave in, oil, and then a cream. I moisturize my hair using this routine three times a week. On the nights I don’t do the LOC method, I still spritz the ends of my hair. Our ends are the oldest part of our hair and are less likely to benefit from the sebum that our scalp naturally secretes. Depending on the length of our hair, our ends could be several years old. The third way I use it to create a faux wash n go. I say faux, because I’m not styling on freshly washed hair. I discovered this third way by accident, actually. So what had happened was…..I tried to create the wash n go look by applying a leave in and then some gel. It turned out horribly, as in huge winter wonderland snowflakes in my hair! Ugh! I styled my hair the evening before a local natural hair event thinking my curls were about to be on a whole new level!! But I was in for a rude awakening the next day. I noticed that after I applied the products, my hair wasn’t absorbing them, but I figured my hair would dry overnight and it would be fine in the morning. When I discovered that didn’t happen, I just rocked my hair anyway. I didn’t have time to wash it and then restyle it before the event. Plus my hair takes like 10,000 hours to dry! Of course I’m exaggerating, but you get the point.
At the event, there was a stylist named Shayla. She gave a presentation and afterwards you could ask her questions. I approached her and told her what products I used and asked what I could have done differently. She explained the issue wasn’t necessarily with the products themselves, but with my method since I styled on dry hair. Hair should be styled when it is wet or damp so it can properly absorb the products you apply afterwards.
So for my next wash n go attempt, I followed her advice. In these photos, I created six sections like always and spritzed each section thoroughly from roots to tips. Then I applied Eco Styler Argon oil gel and sealed with grapeseed oil. Sealing with an oil allows the hair to retain moisture since water evaporates. Oil also prevents that gel cast that makes the hair stiff and crunchy. After sealing, I allowed my hair to air dry overnight. I tied a satin scarf around my edges and slept on a satin pillowcase. And voila! The results I wanted! My curls were shiny, smooth, moisturized, defined and of course no product build up!!
Lesson learned! Hydrate, style, and seal. Got it!
Another benefit to aloe juice is that it can be more pure than water. The water in our homes can be harmful to the health of our hair if it contains high levels of minerals, especially calcium and magnesium. This is known as hard water. High levels of these minerals can cause the hair to feel rough, tangle easily, become dehydrated, dull, and cause hair color to fade. So if you notice your hair is experiencing any of these issues, hard water may be the culprit. You can purchase kits that help you test the water in your home to determine if you have hard water.
The aloe juice I purchase is from Vitamin Shoppe. I like the Lily of the Desert brand, but switched to the store brand to save a few bucks! I also make sure to get the bottle that says “whole leaf.” The benefit to using the whole leaf variety is that your hair can reap the maximum benefits from the nutrients found in aloe, such as vitamins A, C, E and B12. As well as minerals such as potassium, zinc, and magnesium. Also, aloe is a humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the environment into the hair. Since I know how much my hair benefits from aloe, I am more drawn to products that contain aloe. When I read product labels, I search for aloe in the first five ingredients listed. Why the first five? It’s because the ingredients listed in the top five compose anywhere between 50%-80% of the total product make up. The ingredients listed after that may only make up as little as 1% of. So, the first five ingredients have the most effect on the hair.
Have I convinced you yet to try adding this amazing conditioner to your regimen? Or is aloe already a part of your regimen?