How to Protect Your Scalp from Sun Damage

You no doubt know how important it is to protect your skin against the harmful rays of the sun, especially if you spend a significant amount of time outside here in South Florida. But knowing and doing are two different things. Many people who know better fail to use sunscreen or take other steps to prevent sunburn or skin damage. Even those who do apply ample amounts of sunscreen on their face and body can forget some of the most vulnerable areas, like the tops of their feet – and their scalp.

Sunburn, Skin Cancer, and Hair Loss

Balding individuals or people with thinning hair are particularly vulnerable to sunburn and skin damage on the scalp. But the problems caused by leaving your scalp exposed to harmful UV rays go beyond short-term pain and an increased risk of skin cancer.

Sunburn on the scalp can not only be the result of having bald patches or areas of thinning hair, severe sunburn can also cause hair loss, at least temporarily. A deep enough scalp sunburn can lead to inflammation, which in turn can trigger a short-term hair loss condition called telogen effluvium.

Scalp Sunscreen and Hats

A scalp left exposed and unprotected from the sun can suffer skin damage in just 15 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you plan on spending time in the sun, scalp sunscreen can be the easiest way to both protect and hydrate your scalp.

There are numerous sunscreen products specifically formulated for application on the hair and scalp. Look for oils with UVA/UVB protection incorporated so you don’t wind up with greasy strands full of thick, white sunscreen. These products also protect the hair itself from the sun, which can fade color when it oxidizes.

To protect your scalp, apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and again after every two hours outside. If you go swimming or sweat a lot, reapply the sunscreen that was diluted or washed away by that moisture. For even more protection, wear a baseball cap or stylish sunhat or baseball cap, which protects both your skin and your hair follicles simultaneously.

Schedule an Appointment for a Hair Loss Evaluation Today

If you are concerned about your hair loss and are ready to do something about it, we invite you to schedule an appointment at the Miami Hair & Skin Institute. To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.