Protecting Balding Scalps from the Sun: Risk and Benefit of Sunscreen

It’s no secret that the sun's rays can be damaging to our skin. With skin cancer on the rise, far too many individuals forget the importance of wearing sunscreen—especially when they have less hair on their head. Balding individuals need to be especially mindful of their scalp protection, as hair typically serves as its own barrier from the sun’s harsh UV rays. To stay protected, balding individuals should be aware of the risks and benefits associated with using sunblock for their scalp.

Understanding the Sun’s UV Rays

Known most commonly as “Ultra Violet Rays” (UVRs), UV rays are the invisible radiation that come from the sun. The two damaging types of UV rays are UVA and UVB. UVB rays—the beam of light most commonly associated with sunburn—are shorter and have a more intense wavelength that penetrates lower into the skin’s epidermal layer and has the potential to cause skin damage. On the other hand, UVA rays—longer and weaker than UVB—have a deeper penetration and result in much more extensive skin damage. Fortunately, UV rays do not penetrate through glass, and most simple windowpanes are enough to provide enough protection from both UVA and UVB.

Benefits of Using a Sunscreen on Scalps

With the understanding of UVA and UVB out of the way, it’s important to recognize the benefits of using sun protection on one’s scalp. Balding seniors should take every precaution to prevent skin cancer, including applying sunscreen to parts of the head that are usually covered in hair, as exposure to UV rays is a major skin cancer risk factor with no exceptions. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, as little as fifteen minutes of daily sun exposure over the course of one’s lifetime without protection can lead to the development of skin cancer.

When selecting a sunscreen for one’s scalp, it’s important to read the label and look for products with a high sun protection factor (SPF). SPF basically reflects the amount of UVB exposure an individual is protected from; the higher the SPF, the fewer UVB rays the user is exposed to when the sunscreen is properly applied. However, be sure not to confuse SPF with UVA protection, as a high SPF does not always guarantee adequate UVA protection; see the Ingredients section of the skin care product for more information.

It’s also important to keep an eye out for ingredients like “broad-spectrum” that blocks UVA and UVB rays. And when you’re all ready to apply, it’s important to be thorough. Be sure to apply sunscreen to all areas of the scalp that are exposed to the sun, including the ears, back of the neck, and other parts of the scalp that have little to no hair.

Risk of Using Sunscreen on Scalps

While wearing sunscreen on one’s scalp can be beneficial for protection from skin cancer, there are potential risks associated with their use as well. For instance, some people are allergic to sunscreens if the ingredients in the product are not compatible with the user’s skin type. It’s important to patch-test the product before using it. If you have sensitive skin, it’s important to select sunscreens with simpler ingredient lists such as physio-chemical sunscreens.

Other risks associated with scalp sunscreens can involve irritation and build-up. Most sunscreen products contain oils and waxes that can, over time, become coated on the scalp, creating a greasy feel and potentially clogging pores. To limit this risk, it’s recommended to opt for physical sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide or to select a product specifically created for the scalp and hair that are composed of smaller particles and designed to deliver superior protection from sun damage.

Stay Protected While Looking Stylish

The risks and benefits of using sun protection on balding scalps must be carefully weighed out. However, with the right sunscreen from ZenonLife, balding individuals needn't worry. Our proprietary sunscreen combines potency with style; you can stay protected while looking stylish.


Scalp Sunscreen,

UV protection,

Hair Care

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