We all know about the importance of sunscreen. But while you’re busy making sure you didn’t miss a spot of SPF at the beach, you might be neglecting another area that deserves protecting.
The sun can damage your scalp and hair.
Any exposed parts of your scalp are susceptible to sun damage.
Your hair does offer some protection, but you should be careful where you part your hair or if you have thinning hair or any bald spots, says the Skin Cancer Foundation on its website skincancer.org.
Your hair also isn’t in the clear. UVA and UVB rays can damage your hair’s cuticle and lead to dry and brittle strands, broken or split ends, frizz, thinning and discoloration, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
So what can you do to stay safe head to toe? Here are some tips from the experts:
1. Go out early or later in the day to avoid the sun’s harshest rays
2. Wear a hat, especially one labeled with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50-plus. You also can use a parasol or umbrella.
3. If you swim in chlorinated water, make sure you rinse the pool water out of your hair afterward. Chlorine makes your hair more vulnerable to sun and heat damage.
4. Use conditioner suited to your hair type.
5. Apply sunscreen to your part, any area of your scalp exposed to sun and around your hairline. Apply when your hair is dry.
You can purchase products specific to scalp and hair care, or apply any type of sunscreen intended for your face to your scalp. Look for oil-free or water-resistant products that won’t run as easily.
6. Include your scalp in monthly skin self-exams. If you see anything concerning, contact a dermatologist right away.