Friday, July 9, 2021

Preventing Sunburned Scalps

It's a beautiful sunny day.  I'm sure we've all applied our sunscreen to our bodies, face, ears, neck and feet. We're supposed to wear a hat or cover our heads so we don't damage our hair but don't tell me there are times when you spend hours in the sun without a hat or covering?  I know I've done it because it is too hard to wear a hat or covering when I'm in the water.

I've been extremely lucky and haven't burned my scalp but I know it can happen.  I just don't want to smear my normal sunscreen over my part or scalp because it's generally got zinc oxide in it and the idea of using it on my head make me gross out.

Our scalps are the highest thing on our body and closest to the sun.  Consequently, it burns sooner than the rest of our body.  Although most people who suffer scalp burns don't get severe ones, they can lead up skin cancer on the scalp.  Melanoma of the scalp is more rare than regular skin cancer, it can be more deadly because it is harder to find due to being covered by hair.  In addition,  hair on the head can make it harder to identify or treat scalp melanoma.  It is estimated that 95% of people do not use sunscreen on their scalps yet 5% of melanomas are identified on the scalp. 

There are sunscreens out there that are designed to use on the scalp because they list they are a scalp sunscreen on the label or it is found in the list of the body the sunscreen works on.  Most of the sunscreens that can be used on the scalp are either spray, oil, or powder form. 

When looking at buying a sunscreen for you scalp, there are a few things to keep in mind.  First, look for a sunscreen that is rated at 30 SPF or higher, usually the higher the better.  Make sure it is a broad spectrum sunscreen.  It is important to keep in mind the type of hair you have because the hair makes it harder to apply sunscreen.  If you have thick hair, think about applying it to your part and hairline.  If you have thin hair, it is best to get it in the part and on your head as much as possible because thin hair does not offer the same protection that thick hair does.

It is recommended one use sprays, oils, powders, or sticks but one can use regular sunscreens.  If you choose to use a powder, look at one that is a color close to your own hair color so it looks more natural.  Any of these products can protect your hair from sun damage.  In addition, if you pull your hair into a pony tail or bun, it will offer more protection to your scalp. 

So if you use sunscreen everyday, it is important to use sunscreen on your scalp.  This is even more important if your hair is bleached or colored because exposure to the sun can lighten or damage the hair.  If you haven't thought about using sunscreen on the scalp, do it because you'll protect yourself from possible cancer and help your hair.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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