3 years late to commenting, but... [long post ahead
I love aloe vera gel straight from the plant!
I use it to detangle and cleanse my hair (mostly 4b). It's better than the juice or gel you can buy by the jug at stores because it's more slimy and thick (better that flaxseed gel, too). The store-bought stuff still makes my hair strands feel pretty good, but it does nothing for detangling.
HOW I USE IT: I carefully fillet it like a fish, cut it up in chunks, and blend it in the blender with a little water. Then I strain it through a cheesecloth. <---Takes a while, but a very important step (you'll end up with tiny white dandruff-looking fibers stuck in your hair for weeks/months).
I section my hair off and continuously smooth the gel down each section, gently pulling and raking it through with my fingers (I don't need to use a comb and find it's better if I don't). I, then mix some of the gel with some conditioner (I use Suave) and vigorously massage my scalp to remove any buildup. Rinse and style with usual products.
The whole process makes my hair and hands incredibly soft
. I'll never go back to using just conditioner to detangle if I can help it.
- I have a few aloe plants growing on the side of my house. I've noticed the ones that are in direct sunlight the longest tend to grow dry and red around the edges and stink more. Just rinse the sap off. The scent's never stuck in my hair.
- It'll turn pink after a few days of being in the fridge. Freeze it. It freezes well for at least a month (I've never gone further). Freeze the left over pulp from the straining, too. You can use it for blending again.
- Don't be afraid to use a lot. The more, the mo' betta.