12 Best Scalp Sunscreens to Protect Your Head and Hair 2023
In short: yes, yes. “Sun protection is very important for the scalp!” explains board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD, “All horizontal surfaces of the body (perpendicular to the sun’s rays) receive an especially heavy dose of solar radiation, and the scalp is a very common site of sunburn, sun damage, and sun-related skin cancer. .”
In fact, the scalp is a common point of entry for UV radiation, making protection even more vital: “The direct angle at which the sun hits the scalp seems to cause it to penetrate even deeper than the rest of the body. ” says board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, MD, FAAD. That’s why you may find that your scalp burns more easily than the rest of your skin.
And guess what? This UV exposure can even affect hair growth over time. Josh Rosebrook, hairstylist and founder of Josh Rosebrook Skin and Hair Care, previously wrote for mbg: “Excessive sun exposure affects the protective barrier of natural oils we all have on our scalp, causing dilation of blood vessels and inflammation. Sometimes this damage triggers the synthesis of superoxide, a compound that can cause hair follicles to stop growing and go into a shedding phase, leading to hair loss.”
Now you could just apply regular facial sunscreen to the exposed parts of your scalp, but it can get a little messy. “It can be difficult if you have a lot of hair,” adds King. Personally, the thought of coating my strands with liquid sunscreen makes me shudder; Of course, I’m not alone, so the market has responded with powders and sprays designed specifically for the scalp.
Of course, a hat will do a great job of protecting you, but for those who aren’t interested in a fancy sun hat, scalp sunscreen is key. Here, we’ve reviewed the best of the best.