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Aloe Vera Acidifying Mix for Detangling!

I took down HMGs re-twisted style for these big cornrow twists. I thought a lot of shed hair was trapped in her twists and wanted to remove them to avoid matting. I tried a new mix because she'd just washed her twists and I wanted to style her hair without having to wash it again.

I've been studying the effects of acidifying the hair shaft to a ph between 4 and 5. This causes the shingles on the hair shaft to lie down, creating a smooth surface for the strands to glide past each other. Open shingles snag and catch as the strands make contact. Detangling conditioners are designed to impact the hair shaft in a similar fashion, whether by chemically altering the behavior of the shingles or coating the strands to create a smooth surface. I like the idea of using aloe vera juice because of it's acidic ph and moisturizing properties. I've read testimonies that it leaves nappy hair soft and supple.

I didn't really measure, because I only had about a little more than a tablespoon of aloe vera left to work with--my husband drinks it as a supplement. I added it to about 8 oz of plain water. I had no ph strips to test whether the aloe I added to the water brought it to a range between 4 and 5, but I forged ahead anyway. If you try this, you may want to pick up some strips from your drug store and test the mix for yourself--they are very easy to read.

Oh my goodness!!!!!!! Here's our experience:

HMG took down her twists herself and I sat down to detangle her hair. Shed hair were wrapped around the loose sections of hair. I took my time trying to gently pull some of the shed hairs from her DRY hair first working from the ends. In some places I had to apply the end of my rat tail comb to gently pry the shed hair off. I should have spritz her hair with my aloe mixture from the beginning. I was VERY pleased with how easy it became to detangle her hair once I started spraying. My Denman was slipping through her hair in no time.

The aloe is odorless and left no residue on her hair. This morning her hair is soft and full of sheen. I am excited to try this on the other girls and report back our experiences.

I refrigerated what was left of my aloe mix--there are no preservatives in the aloe juice which is kept refrigerated.

I'm excited about the new big corn row twisted style we put in. HMG braided the twists before going to bed which gave them a curly crinkly look she really likes. She will also try to set them with her pipe cleaner curls for a different look. They also look great hanging down straight. I made the twists big, which should be easy for HMG, should she want to freshen them up herself in a week. It should go much more quickly for her. We got through detangling her hair and putting in this style in the time it took her to watch a regular feature length movie.


  1. GIRL!!! I got a BIG OL' thang of AVJ in this house!!! I use it as an alternative for distilled water for my homemade spritzes. Now for Aija's spritzes, I do only use the juice and water but I use half and half so the ph is probably uber high. But I'm going to try it with less AVJ and buy some of those strips too. THANKS so much for this! VERY informative. I gotta get back into Natural Hair Geek mode again! LOL! I'm getting the lab back together soon! ^_^

  2. Truth be told you may be able to use it straight--I don't know what the ph is for it full strength. If it's around 4 you can use it straight. I just never use anything full strength unless I'm clarifying--LOL! We've got so many heads, in the beginning I was trying to make things stretch. Imagine my joy when I discovered our hair did better on the weaker formulas.

  3. I love reading your blog! I've learned so much already. I do have some other questions I'd like to ask you. Is it okay to just ask here in this format or should I email you another way?

  4. Hi Natacha,

    Thanks. That was really informative. I was wondering, all of the aloe vera juice at our local health food store has citric acid as a "PH stabilizer". Will that cause problems or does all bottled aloe vera juice have citric acid? Thanks.

  5. @Staci--feel free to ask your questions here.

    @Dr. D--The brand I used is Real Aloe. It's also a dietary supplement. I didn't see anything on the label about a PH stabilizer on the bottle. Your best bet would be to test the PH.

  6. Thanks. I'm getting some strips so I can test it, but I thought I'd ask in the mean time. Have a wonderful weekend. :-)

  7. My name is Nitin from Toronto. I am interested in your writing. Some of your posting are good, I can say, best. Can you please tell me how to subscribe to your blog post online?

  8. Thanks Nitin! You can subscribe by clicking on the "follow" button. It's on the right side of the page above the pictures of the other people who are followers of the page.

  9. When you do twists in your daughters' hair, what do you do at the ends to make them secure? I use a styling creme at the ends and try to finger-coil them a bit to make them stay. However, after a few days, the twists start to unravel and I find myself re-twisting several twists each day. I love my daughter's hair in twists but it takes so long and then requires so much time to fix it whe it untwists. I'd love your advice. (BTW, I'm a white adoptive Mom who has only been doing hair for a year. My daughter's hair was shaved before she came to us so even though she is 6, it isn't super long. It's getting so much longer though and the twists make it look even longer so she loves that style!)

  10. @Wiggins,
    Thanks for the support! I had the same problem with my hair (before locks) when I twisted it dry. As long as my hair is damp it's coily enough to stay twisted. When I twisted it dry I would twist until I was about an inch from the ends and then separate out a third strand from the 2 strands I was twisting so I could finish off the twist with a braid. I had to be sure to remember to pick the ends out instead of just pulling them apart when it was time to remove the style. This should work for you too. Just don't forget you did it because you will rip her ends off if you just pull them apart as you would fully twisted hair.

  11. What a great tip!!! I will definitely braid the ends of her twists next time! THANK YOU!!!!


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