Scalp Sun-Care 101: What to Know and What to Try

Scalp Sun-Care 101: What to Know and What to Try featured image

When Rita Hazan began doing hair at age 17, she realized fairly shortly that UV safety for each the hair and scalp was very important to the now-famous colour work she was doing. “It helps to prevent color fading and even frizz,” says the celeb hair colorist, who now has a world-famous Fifth Avenue salon and eponymous line. “I include it in all my products. It’s so important for maintaining color vibrancy and overall hair health.”

Cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos additionally stresses how necessary it’s, however is quick to admit it’s an space that’s “hazy,” and a class that’s finest described—no pun supposed—in two elements: “The use of sunscreens in hair products can go one of two ways: hair protectant or actual scalp sunscreen. There’s some evidence that UVB rays can damage proteins in the cortex of hair, especially hair that is damaged. Sunscreen actives can also act as a color protectant, but are really not drug claims [because they are related to hair fibers, not skin], so these types of products usually don’t bother with the SPF testing, labeling and requirements, but just make some sort of UV-protection claim.”

Plus, Dobos says, the formulation of sunscreen for the scalp requires the identical consideration to element because the skin-saving SPFs we apply to our face and physique. “Sunscreen can be applied to areas of the scalp exposed by thinning or balding, and to the part. Avoiding peak hours of sun and wearing a hat are probably smarter ideas than buying a specific scalp sunscreen. Either way, it is always key to read the directions on sunscreens, no matter the formulation.”

Another necessary be aware: The FDA has really not approved sunscreen merchandise within the type of wipes, towelettes, physique washes or shampoos, which is why you don’t see SPF splashed throughout hair merchandise, a minimum of within the U.S. “Powders are proposed to be eligible, but more data has been requested,” Dobos says. “In my opinion, it is unlikely a consumer will apply enough powdered sunscreen to achieve proper protection, whether the product is designed for the body or scalp. Powders may be useful for a touch-up, but I personally would not rely solely on them for sun protection.”

Montclair, NJ dermatologist Jeanine B. Downie, MD additionally factors to some not-so-concrete regulation when it comes to solar safety for the scalp, and on a extra severe be aware, says it’s a spot the place pores and skin most cancers can most actually occur. “I inform a number of my sufferers to put slightly little bit of cream sunblock of their half space, and if they’re bald, I’ve them use spray sunblock over their entire scalp.

Every single pores and skin colour wants solar safety—that’s not up for debate.

—Dr. Downie

Likewise, Denver dermatologist Joel L. Cohen, MD says he, sadly, sees so many pores and skin cancers on the scalp and ears each week.

“The concern with applying sunscreen to the scalp is always the inability to get good coverage in the area of hair,” Dr. Cohen explains. “Sometimes, people apply it to just the part line, but it’s still not consistent. Because of these reasons, it’s hard to do an actual clinical trial on scalp coverage—except in people who don’t have much hair, like men who may be quite bald.”

“Folks need to realize that they need protection on their scalp and ears on a daily basis—and better protection than simply trying to get a bit of sunscreen in their part,” Dr. Cohen provides. “As a dermatologist and skin-cancer Mohs surgeon, I like to recommend UPF [ultraviolet protection factor] for clothes and hats, not visors, which don’t shield the scalp. When it comes to the pinnacle, carrying precise hats—and ideally wide-brim hats that shield the ears, lateral cheeks and neck—is sensible solar safety.

From UV filters and colour shields to precise SPF and useful vogue, these six options present varied ranges of safety.


It’s all the time hat season at Hat Attack, and this summer season the model says the brand new Avalon Sunhat ($118) is very in style.


A trusted customary for shielding the hair and scalp, Sun Bum Scalp & Hair Mist ($15) makes it simple to keep in mind to apply (and reapply).

Find a Doctor

Find a NewBeauty “Top Beauty Doctor” Near you

%d bloggers like this: