Question: Is it true you can treat hair loss with aloe vera?
Answer: Hi, Cameron. Firstly, there are many different hair loss conditions so it is always crucial to get a professional diagnosis before deciding on treatment options.
With regards aloe vera as a hair loss treatment, although the plant certainly has beneficial properties, there is little reliable clinical evidence to support any suggestion that it can prevent hair loss or promote hair growth.
Aloe vera was listed circa 70 AD in the Greek Herbal of Dioscorides for the treatment of hair loss. Since then it has generally only been listed in medical and naturopathic journals with regards its skin healing properties.
An Iranian clinical trial, carried out on animals in 2012, investigated the therapeutic and healing benefits anecdotally associated with aloe vera use, as well as thyroid hormone cream and silver sulfadiazine.
From their small-scale mice trial, researchers concluded that topical application of aloe vera gel, or the jelly-like substance taken directly from inside the plant’s leaves which they state “consists of several pharmacologically active ingredients”, could improve wound healing. It was thought to do so by stimulating fibroblasts during skin tissue formation, increasing collagen concentration and tensile strength.
Whilst collagen plays an important role in maintaining strong, supple, healthy hair, it was the thyroid hormone cream, not aloe vera, which was found to potentially stimulate hair growth.
Where oral consumption of aloe vera is concerned, the only potential connection we are aware of between the popular succulent and hairloss is nutritional.
Aloe vera contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B12, and choline. A deficiency in any of these vitamins can cause thinning hair from a condition called Telogen Effluvium. This disrupts the hair growth cycle, causing diffuse thinning from all over the scalp which lasts roughly six months but only becomes noticeable roughly three months after being triggered. It is also worth noting that regular excessive vitamin A consumption can also cause this temporary shedding.
Whilst cases of Telogen Effluvium will generally right themselves naturally once the underlying cause has been identified and dealt with, treatment is often possible.
If unusual levels of hair fall become apparent, it is worthwhile consulting a hair loss specialist as this temporary issue can exacerbate existing, or trigger dormant cases, of Male Pattern Baldness and Female Pattern Hair Loss.
There are clinically-proven hair loss treatment options available – though aloe vera is not one of them – and specialists can recommend appropriate courses based upon your condition, pattern of shedding and medical profile. As such, whilst trying aloe vera on your scalp should not be harmful, it is also not likely to address the problem so we advise getting a timely, professional diagnosis.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.