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One of the cardinal rules of skincare is SPF.
We have all heard it before. It doesn’t matter how much moisturizer, cleanser or serum you apply to your skin in your routine. If you don’t include sunscreen, your skin will be exposed to harmful UV rays.
This can lead to discoloration, signs of premature aging, and a higher risk of developing skin cancer.
While sun protection factor (SPF) for face and body is essential, there may be another area that needs a little more love: your head.
Here’s what hair and skin care experts have to say about sunscreen for your hair and scalp.
The idea of putting sunscreen on your hair and scalp may seem a little strange at first. However, it turns out that sunscreen for hair does exist.
Besides that, it has scientifically proven benefits.
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It turns out that too much time in the sun can damage both hair structure and color, and the scalp needs sun protection too.
According to Chelle Neff, owner of Urban Betty Salon, “Using an SPF on your scalp and hair when you’re out in the sun can be as important as using an SPF on your skin. Sunscreen along your hairline and your side before going out can help prevent damage to your scalp.
Just like the skin on the rest of our body, the skin on the scalp can burn in the sun, which can increase the risk of skin cancer.
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“A lot of people forget that the scalp works just like the skin all over the body,” says Eliza Pineda, hairstyling expert at Mayraki Professional.
According to Pineda, skin is skin, even when it is on the head.
“If you protect your face and body from the sun, your scalp also needs protection,” she says. “It is just as easily damaged by harmful UV rays and the heat of the sun. This can lead to both scalp and hair issues.
If you choose a powder-based SPF for your scalp, follow the directions on the package. Most products will ask you to:
- Apply powder along parting line while hair is dry.
- Gently massage the powder into the skin.
When it comes to sunscreen hair spray, the application is quite simple.
- Wait until your hair is dry (unless the instructions tell you to use the product on damp hair).
- Spray the product from root to tip, distributing the spray evenly on the hair.
- You can comb or brush the hair after application to ensure that the product covers the entire hair shaft.
For lotions and creams, some products work like regular sunscreen: just rub them on.
Other products may require you to leave them on for a while and then rinse them out. Be sure to read the packaging and follow the instructions carefully.
Although professional sunscreen hair products should not harm your scalp or hair, some people should proceed with caution.
For example, if you know you have sensitive skin or a skin condition like eczema, you might want to be extra careful.
Always do a patch test or consult your dermatologist before trying a new scalp powder or hairspray for the first time.
Still have questions ? Get the FAQ below.
Is sunscreen bad for your hair?
Thinking about using regular “face” or “body” sunscreen on your hair? In most cases, this should be safe.
However, Neff wouldn’t recommend it.
“Using it all over your hair can make your hair oily,” says Neff. “If you need sunscreen for your hair, many product lines have spray bottles that aren’t heavy at all.”
Pineda adds, “Sunscreen isn’t necessarily bad for your hair, but it’s also not something you want to put directly on your scalp and hair unless you want a greasy mess.”
Can you make your own hair or scalp sunscreen?
Want to do it yourself at home? Most experts don’t recommend it.
“Having a waterproof element is key because of sweat and water,” says Neff. “Making a product waterproof is something we should leave to the professionals.
Certain ingredients can help protect your skin and hair from harmful rays, such as:
However, there is no way to guarantee that they provide enough protection to prevent skin cancer, burns and sun damage. These ingredients should always be used in addition to sunscreen, not in place of it.
Experts don’t recommend trying to make your own sunscreen. There is a risk of skin cancer from UV exposure, and there is no guarantee that a homemade recipe will have adequate SPF. It is best to buy sunscreen from reputable retailers.
Does colored hair need extra protection?
If you have dyed hair, you need to be extra careful.
“Color-treated hair is more vulnerable than ‘virgin’ hair,” says Neff. “The cuticle is more porous, which means there is less protein for protection. Therefore, he needs more love.
She suggests always using heat protectant as well as sunscreen on colored hair.
You may think of sunscreen as a skincare product, but it can also provide many benefits for your hair and scalp.
If you go out in the sun, protect your part, scalp, and hair with hair and scalp sunscreen.
Meg Walters is a writer and actor from London. She is interested in exploring topics such as fitness, meditation, and healthy lifestyles in her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, doing yoga and drinking the occasional glass of wine..