Summer 2022 will go down as one of the hottest on record. All over the world, people have experienced temperatures normally reserved for countries in the southern hemisphere. Along with the heat has come the usual good advice for dealing with sizzling weather; stay hydrated, keep out of the sun at the hottest times of the day and use sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF). Most advice on sunscreen, however, talks only about using it on those areas of the skin left uncovered by your clothing. One area, the scalp, is often neglected.
This article will examine some of the reasons why you should use hair sunscreen. Scroll down to learn more!
Why We Need Sunscreen
We all know the importance of wearing sunscreen these days. If you spend any time at all outdoors in the sun, you should protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. That’s mainly about wearing sensible clothing and headgear, but it also involves protecting uncovered areas of the skin with sunscreen that has a high SPF. There are aesthetic reasons for that, as too much sun can cause your skin to age prematurely, but there are serious medical reasons too; you are at greater risk of developing skin cancer if you don’t protect yourself from the sun.
Nothing too controversial so far, right? However, while most of us would agree with using sunscreen on our faces, arms and legs, some people shy away from using it on their scalp and hairline. That might be because they believe that our hair provides our scalp with all the sun protection it needs. They might also be unaware that our hair needs protection from the sun just as much as our skin does. Finally, a lot of people simply don’t like the effect sunscreen has on their hair. They find that it makes their strands greasy and heavy and, consequently, they avoid it. Let’s examine those reasons more closely.
Damage to Scalp and Hair
In the first place, your hair does not provide your scalp with the level of protection it needs. This is particularly true of people with fine hair or hair that is thinning in places. Too much exposure to the sun, therefore, can leave the scalp open to sunburn in just the same way as the skin on your face or arms. If you experience redness, soreness or peeling on your scalp after you’ve been out in the sun, that’s an indication that the sun’s rays are getting through.
While there is no evidence that a sunburned scalp leads to permanent hair loss, the burn will give rise to inflammation which can cause you to lose a few hairs in the short term. Additionally, severe sunburn on your scalp can trigger the sort of traumatic reaction that is characteristic of telogen effluvium which also causes short-term hair loss. This kind of reaction should settle down within a few weeks, and the lost hair should grow back.
Aside from the damage to our scalp, we must also consider the damage to the hair itself from the sun’s UV rays. Sun can rob your strands of moisture, weaken their elasticity and cause breakage and split ends.
Given that, doesn’t it make sense to apply sunscreen to your scalp and hair?
‘But I Don’t Like Sunscreen on My Hair!’
Some people just don’t like sunscreen on their hair. That’s understandable. If you’re using the wrong product, you’re likely to experience a little heaviness and greasiness on your strands. The trick is to search for the products that are specifically designed for your hair. Avoid the kind of creams that you generally use on your skin and try the aerosol mists and oils that tend to be lighter and less greasy.
Apply these to wet hair along the length of the strands. Use liberally on the hairline and the part, as that is where the scalp is most exposed. It might take time to find the product that is best suited to your hair type. As with other products, it’s a case of trial and error until you land on the one that works for you.
It’s easy to forget the scalp when it comes to covering up with SPF. That’s because we unthinkingly assume that because it’s covered in hair, it’s already protected. Hopefully, this article has challenged that assumption and demonstrated why it makes sense to give it the extra protection it needs.
Vinci Hair Clinic is one of the leading hair restoration organisations in the world, so if you have concerns about hair loss or thinning, we’re the people who can help. We’re offering a free, no-obligation consultation to all our new clients, so you can get in touch knowing that you aren’t committing yourself to anything. Go ahead and book that appointment today!