There are a few spots you overlook when you apply your sunscreen: your hands, your ears, sand between your toes are just some of the commonly forgotten spots. The one spot you probably don’t even consider when you’re applying your SPF lotion is your hair. Your hair needs protection too. A hat gives your hair some, but even hat people don’t wear their caps every single time they step outside. We’re not saying you have to apply your regular goopy white sunscreen to your hair because there are actually specific SPF formulas for your locks.
Here’s the lowdown on why you need to be using SPF protection on your hair:
Why does my hair need sun protection?
You’ve probably read “hair sunscreen” and thought, “Why would I need that? I’ve never gotten a sunburn on my hair.” You may have never experienced the same pain you get when you get a really bad peeling sunburn on your hair, but that doesn’t mean your hair isn’t being damaged when you’re out in the sun. Sun exposure can make your hair dry and brittle and lead to split ends. If you dye your hair, prolonged exposure to the sun can fade your color. Even if you haven’t jumped on the rainbow hair trend, the sun can still alter your natural hair color.
If your hair is already weakened from the sun’s UVA/UVB rays, your strands will be more susceptible to damage from other elements, including swimming in salt or chlorinated water, wind, and heat styling.
What about my scalp?
Unless you experienced a scalp sunburn on a holiday trip thanks to some braids and a lack of a hat, you have probably never considered protecting your scalp. It’s important to protect your scalp as well as your tresses. Wearing a hat or pulling back all of your hair into an updo that isn’t parted can help prevent burns. You can also apply your regular sunscreen to your exposed part or look for a formula that is meant for your head, such as Quick Dri Sport Sunscreen Spray For Body And Scalp SPF 30 ($8.99, Banana Boat).
How is hair sunscreen different from my regular SPF?
Thankfully you don’t have to apply any white goop to your locks. Hair sunscreens generally come in spray formulas and contain ingredients to fight fading and lock in moisture. There are also hair products on the market that offer SPF protection, including leave-in conditioners.
You can also get after-sun hair products that help to restore your hair. Phytoplage After-Sun Rehydrating Hair And Body Shampoo (Phyto) counteract sun damage and eliminate salt, sand, and chlorine residue.
What products are there?
Lots of well-known beauty brands have hair products with SPF protection that you can find in the beauty aisle at most stores. Here are a few options:
1. Refreshing Sun Protection For Body/Hair SPF 16 (Shiseido)
You can use this spray formula from your hair to your toes. The water-resistant formula protects against UVA and UVB rays. Don’t worry; it isn’t sticky.
2. Sun Care Protective Hair Veil (Aveda)
If you’re going to the beach, spray this hair veil onto your tresses. The water-resistant formula protects your hair for up to 16 hours against fading, damage, and dryness.
3. Color Extend Sun Solar Screen SPF 12 (Redken)
Sun-stressed hair is an issue. This spray offers SPF 12 protection against harmful, drying rays to keep your hair looking its best.
4. Guardian SPF 18 Sun Protection For Hair And Scalp (Tela Beauty Organics)
They don’t call this “Guardian” for no reason. This product protects your entire head, restores moisture, and fights summer frizz.