By now, we all know the benefits of wearing sunscreen every day: We protect ourselves from harmful UVA and UVB rays, which can cause premature aging, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and even skin cancer. But did you know we should also be spraying down our scalp with sunscreen? The more you know!
I want you to close your eyes and go on a journey with me. Imagine that you are bald. Picture the skin from your forehead stretching all the way back to your neck. Now, picture that you’re sunbathing on your patio or balcony and the sun is just beaming down on your head. Your face and neck are protected by sunscreen, but your head is getting burned.
If you were actually bald, you’d never neglect to use sunscreen on your head! No one wants a pale face and a burned tomato head. The visual alone is absolutely frightening. Since most of us have hair on our heads, it’s hard to imagine that essentially our scalps are one big extension of the skin on our faces, and we should definitely be treating it with the same love and care we give to our other body parts.
Our scalps are one big extension of the skin on our faces, and we should be treating it with the same love and care.
It’s not just the burn, though
According to Well + Good, UV damage to your scalp can lead to inflammation and possibly disturb your hair growing cycle. This can lead to hair damage, breakage, loss of your natural curl pattern, as well as hair loss and hair thinning.
But there’s more. Trichologist (that’s the fancy word for hair doctor) Dominic Burg, chief scientist at Evolis Professional, told Cosmo, “The scariest thing about getting sunburned on your scalp is that it’s not an area you can see easily, so it might be difficult to catch developing moles or potential melanoma.” Some of the most fatal types of melanoma are actually found on the scalp, mostly because they are protected by your hair and by the time they are found, it’s nearly too late. Yikes!
So how do you protect your scalp?
But before you rush out and start applying sunscreen to your scalp all day every day, you should know that you really only need to worry about it when you’ll be in direct sunlight for an extended period of time, say during your daily sunbathing session (the perfect recipe for beating the quarantine COVID-19 blues) or during a yoga or running session outdoors. And you don’t have to slather greasy sunscreen cream all over your scalp. There are tons of specially formulated scalp sprays and powders that are designed to protect your scalp.
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So the next step is to choose your scalp sunscreen. When picking your preferred choice, there are some things to keep in mind.
1. Make sure you’re getting broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection with at least SPF 30 or more. The Supergoop Poof 100% Mineral Part and Scalp Powder is formulated with SPF 45 and provides broad-spectrum protection. It’s basically a dry shampoo that’s formulated with SPF, so you can do double duty by keeping the greasies at bay while protecting your scalp.
2. Choose a sunscreen based on your hair type. If you have incredibly thick hair, you might be better off choosing a powder that will absorb into your roots. If you have thin hair, you might want to choose a spray or mousse that won’t weigh your hair down.
Have you ever tried a scalp sunscreen? What do you do to protect your scalp from damaging UV rays?