Other than water, there is only one other thing I’ve found which instantly moisturises and softens my hair both in its natural and relaxed state. What is this miracle product I hear you ask? Quite simply it’s aloe vera. I know loads of hair gurus and bloggers who sing its praises and claim it’s their only salvation during a long stretch. I personally have had an on off relationship with aloe vera but it wasn’t until my transition that I truly realised its worth. The minute I spray some on my hair, it immediately becomes pliable and softened but more importantly this feeling lasts even after my hair has dried. No other moisturising product I’ve tried does it as well as plain old aloe vera does.
The aloe vera plant has been used for medicinal and beauty purposes as far back as ancient Greece. It contains about 99.5% water, with the rest being a mix of polysaccharides, amino acids, phytosterols, quinones, glycosides, minerals, flavones, and salicylic acid. What makes it so moisturising are the polysaccharides which are hydrating, emollient and anti-inflammatory and a phytosterol called ß-sitosterol which helps soften hair and reduce electrostatic charge (source).
Aloe vera gel straight from the plant is the most effective and efficient way to get the benefits of aloe vera, but the liquid juice available in most wholefood stores is also great. I used to have an aloe vera plant which Mohair was looking after for me. I’m not sure exactly what happened to it but I’ve not seen or heard from it in months. I now buy my aloe vera wherever I can get it cheapest. My most recent bottle was £5.47 for an almost litre sized bottle from Holland and Barrett. I make sure it’s juice from the inner fillet and that it hasn’t been diluted or made from concentrate. I keep it in the fridge once opened and decant as needed into a 50ml plastic spray bottle which also lives in the fridge.