secret hair styling product: trader joe’s aloe vera gel

by crumpetsandt

hope everyone had a great memorial day weekend!  both saturday and sunday were nice sunny days in cali and i got to spend them outside but today has been a bit rainy and dreary.  i’ve spent part of the day napping, watching my guilty pleasure tv shows, and did some more packing for berkeley.  not a bad way to spend a monday indoors!

today’s post is about a secret hair styling product that works surprisingly well to moisturize parched hair (read: crispy, crunchy hair ends).  i’ve been conditioner-free now for over 9 month since realizing that my hair was getting more unmanageable, frizzy, and crunchy WITH conditioner use instead of less.  weird no?  after i stopped using conditioner, for some unknown reason my hair quality turned better and became overall softer and more manageable.

i still obviously use shampoo and now have shortened my shower routine to face wash, shampoo, and body wash, but was still using leave-in products like phytodefrisant (which is quite expensive, $28 a tube!!! its my holy grail defrizz hair product though, with hair softening properties) and giovanni styling elixir on the ends (to stave off split ends and for the heavenly smell of the leave-in treatment).  i wanted to cut down on the overall cost of my hair care because 1) living off a post-doc salary in berkeley will be hard and 2) it would be nice in general to spend less on hair care so i can spend my money elsewhere (indulging in good books! and food of course haha).  i’ve been looking around for a replacement for phytodefrisant since it was the most expensive item in my haircare routine but couldn’t find a good replacement with similar ingredients.  sadness.  then i had an idea: instead of trying to look for a product with similar ingredients, why don’t i instead look for a product that has the same consistency as phytodefrisant and would provide similar moisturizing/softening properties as phyto.  and thus i came up with aloe vera gel from trader joes and have been loving it since i’ve started using it as a hair product!

trader joes aloe vera gel comes in a dark green bottle (12 oz. for $2.99) and is labelled as 99% pure aloe vera gel.  the gel itself is clear and i like that the bottle is dark and semi-opaque.  the ingredients listed as as follows (comments in parentheses mine, also some names shortened for simplicity’s sake): water, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, butylene glycol, calendula flower extract, arnica flower extract, tocophersolan, TEA-carbomer (thickener), methylparaben (preservative, more about parabens in a later post!  stay tuned), diazolidinyl urea (antimicrobial), DMDM hydantoin (antimicrobial), trisodium EDTA (metal chelator).


take a dollop and work it into the ends of your well towel-dried hair up to the roots.  detangle with widetooth comb.  add another leave-in product if necessary to the ends of your hair to prevent split ends (i plan on using the giovanni hair product listed above).  let your hair air dry or blow dry your hair–tada!

this will be my last full week of posting…i’m moving up to berkeley on saturday!  i’m SO excited to be starting labwork again and working on a methodology project which hopefully will turn into a synthesis project!  in the future, i’ll probably be writing once or twice a week since my schedule will be much more busy (hello 12 hour lab days!) and would love to get suggested topics to post on (i’ll be doing “parabens” and “non-comedogenic” very soon!).  let me know either through the blog or email me and i’ll try my best to work it into the lineup!