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What is scalp sunscreen & why you should use it

We’re big into summer preparations this month, and while keeping your locks hydrated and healthy with preventative measures is important, an often overlooked area to protect is your scalp. Most of us have been there - enjoyed a day in the sun with our hair flowing in the wind only to wake up the next day with a sore and sunburnt part.

Your scalp, like the rest of your body, is prone to sunburns which can lead to discomfort, peeling and flakes in your hair, damage to your scalp that can affect hair growth, and further skin complications.

When a hat or a bandana (which is very trendy right now) are out of the question, fortunately there are scalp sunscreens that come in handy to avoid sunburns and prevent damage!

What is Scalp Sunscreen?

Scalp sunscreen refers to a type of sunscreen specifically designed to protect your scalp from the harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays that cause sunburns. When hair is parted the scalp is often exposed to direct sunlight, especially for individuals with fine or thin hair, certain tight hairstyles, and those who spend a lot of time outdoors without wearing a hat or head covering.

Scalp sunscreen typically comes in the form of a spray, lotion, powder or cream that can be applied directly to the scalp. Formulated with ingredients that provide UV protection, chemical sunscreens absorb harmful UV rays while mineral sunscreens provide a physical barrier on the skin that reflects and scatters UV rays. While both effective, it’s important to understand what is right for you based on your tendency to burn, allergies, or personal preference.

To apply scalp sunscreen, part the hair and evenly distribute the product on the exposed scalp areas. Some scalp sunscreens are also designed to be water-resistant, which is beneficial if you plan to swim or engage in activities that may cause sweating! When in doubt, check out the instructions.

Why is it important?

As mentioned, using scalp sunscreen can prevent sunburn on the scalp, reduce the risk of skin cancer, and protect the hair follicles from damage caused by UV radiation. It is especially important for individuals with fair skin, fine or thin hair, or a history of skin cancer to protect their scalps from sun exposure.

It's important to note that while scalp sunscreen can provide protection, wearing a hat or using other protective measures like finding a shady spot to hang out and limiting sun exposure during peak hours can help prevent damage.

The best scalp sunscreens to have on deck

These days there are several scalp sunscreens available to choose from, varying depending on personal preferences and specific needs. Here are a few popular ones to try out in your search:

COOLA Scalp & Hair Mist SPF 30

This scalp sunscreen comes in a convenient spray format and offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. It is water-resistant and formulated with nourishing ingredients like Monoi Oil and Aloe Vera that help to hydrate the scalp and hair while providing protection.

Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Sol Oil SPF 30

This scalp oil contains SPF 30 and provides sun protection while nourishing the scalp and hair. It features a blend of nourishing oils like coconut, argan, and jojoba to moisturize and add shine to your locks.

Supergoop! Poof Part Powder SPF 45

A fan favorite, this innovative scalp sunscreen comes in a powder form and can be applied directly to the scalp using a brush. It offers a mess-free application, helps absorb excess oil and increase volume while providing broad-spectrum UV protection.

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Spray SPF 50+

This scalp sunscreen spray from Shiseido offers high SPF 50+ protection against UVA and UVB rays. With a lightweight and non-greasy formula that is easy to apply, this sunscreen smells great and provides long-lasting coverage.

Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Protection Spray SPF 70

While not specifically marketed as a scalp sunscreen, this spray sunscreen from Neutrogena can be used effectively on the scalp. It offers a high SPF of 70 and is water-resistant, making it suitable for outdoor activities. Available at your local drug store, this sunscreen is a perfect alternative when you’re in a pinch!

Bottom Line

While we all can’t wait for days in the sun, it's important to protect our skin and hair from seasonal damage. When selecting a scalp sunscreen, consider factors such as your skin type, hair type, desired SPF level, and personal preferences for formulation (spray, lotion, powder, etc.). It's also helpful to read reviews and seek recommendations from dermatologists or other trusted sources to find the best scalp sunscreen for you. Next time you’re in for an appointment, make sure to ask your Tease Hair Boutique stylist which scalp sunscreen they’d recommend for you!

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