Like we all know, sun protection should be a part of your regular skincare routine to avoid sun spots, skin cancer, and premature ageing. Any dermatologist will tell you that they are essential for protecting your skin from damaging UV A and B rays, regardless if you’re indoors or stepping out in the sun.
But did you know that scalp SPF is as important (and often overlooked)? Sun exposure is particularly intense on all horizontal body surfaces (perpendicular to the sun’s rays), therefore scalps are a common site of sunburn, sun damage, and sun-related skin malignancies. Most skincare routines include numerous phases, such as toners, moisturisers, serums, and more, but the skin of the scalp receives little to no attention. Understanding that scalp is the next frontier of beauty, and protecting that skin with SPF is critical to its health. Today, we’re listing down the ultimate scalp care routine you can follow for healthier and happier scalp.
Your hair can offer coverage to protect your scalp, especially if it’s thick, but other portions of your exposed scalp (such as the hairline and parting) are more vulnerable to sun damage. That skin is even more sensitive if you have scanty hair. Hence, people with fine hair or scalp baldness are more vulnerable to sunburns, sun damage, pre-cancers, and skin cancer.
Sadly, sun exposure can also damage the cuticles (the outside layer) of the hair, resulting in brittle and dry strands. Essentially, UV exposure to the scalp can cause inflammation, which can disrupt the hair cycle (the pattern for hair growth and regeneration). If the hair cycle is disrupted, the growth phase may be reduced and your hair may appear sparse. Not to mention that hair that does not grow properly may lose its natural hair texture, appearing dryer or having difficulty holding the colour.
Yes, babe! If you are going to be out for an extended period of time, you must use SPF on your scalp. While your hair, especially if it is thick, provides coverage to protect your scalp, exposed areas of your head (hairline and portion line) are at a higher risk of developing cancer. So, slathering a good amount of sunscreen that protects you from the scorching sun is freakin’ critical.
Although doctors warn against using SPF lotion on your scalp (because of the expected residue), in theory, you could use the same sunscreen you use on your body on your head.
However, spray or mousse sunscreen alternatives (which are the easiest to apply) and sunscreen powders (which act to absorb grease and won’t produce undesirable buildup) are generally more suited for your scalp.
Powders are a popular alternative, but they absorb some oils and moisture from your scalp, which is an added plus, but they also tend to fall off more readily, making them less effective. Most mousse recipes include chemical sunscreen ingredients (which do not leave a white cast), but many powder forms include mineral choices such as zinc.
Once you’ve decided on the best SPF for your scalp (spray, mouse, or powder), a good rule of thumb for application is to focus on the exposed hair part as well as the hairline, and then part the hairline again to cover the scalp.
If you’re using a spray sunscreen, keep it eight inches away from your scalp and target the areas with less hair evenly. After that, rub the formula into your scalp and wait 15 to 30 minutes before going outside in the sun.
When applying powder sunscreen, whether with a pump or a brush, hold the tube near to your skin and spread the powder on the exposed scalp with your fingertips while holding the bottle adjacent to the scalp. Whatever method you choose, don’t forget to REAPPLY!
Remember, a healthy and happy scalp can be achieved with SPF and consistency.
Featured Image: Instagram