1. Active Ingredients
The most important aspect of any sunscreen is its active ingredients. The sunscreens most often used to protect the scalp and hair typically contain one or more chemical active ingredients such as Avobenzone, Octisalate, Octocrylene, and Homosalate. Chemical sunscreens are effective absorbers of UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) radiation, and they’re also a great choice for those with sensitive skin. Those looking for an all-natural sun protection option, might want to consider mineral sunscreens, which use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to deflect UVA and UVB radiation. When choosing the right sunscreen for your scalp and hair, it’s important to understand what's in it, so you can make the best choice for your needs.
2. Broad-Spectrum Protection
When selecting a sunscreen for your scalp and hair, it’s important to make sure it’s a broad-spectrum protection, which means it can protect the skin from both UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. Every sunscreen should have an SPF (sun protection factor) number listed on the label, which indicates how much of the sun’s UV radiation is blocked by the sunscreen. Generally, the higher the SPF rating, the more UV radiation is being blocked. SPF 30 is the minimum recommended level of protection. It’s important to note, however, that both UVA and UVB protection are essential for protecting the skin from skin cancer and sunburn.
3. Water Resistance
Another important factor to consider when selecting a sunscreen for your scalp and hair is its water-resistance. Water-resistant sunscreens are formulated to last for up to 40 minutes while swimming or sweating, but this doesn’t mean it’s totally waterproof. It’s important to reapply the sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating, to ensure complete protection.
4. Hair Type Considerations
It’s important to select a sunscreen specifically designed for the type of hair you have. For instance, those with thin, fine hair may need a lighter, more airy formula to avoid weighing down the hair. Those with thick, curly hair may need a heavier cream or lotion to provide extra moisture and hydration.
5. Scalp & Hair Volumizing Formulas
If you’re looking for a sunscreen that will not only protect your scalp and hair from sun damage, but also add lift and volumizing properties, there are sunscreens specifically designed for this purpose. For instance, some sunscreens contain collagen and silk amino acids, which are known to boost hair’s elasticity and help create volume. Additionally, some incorporate green tea extract and licorice root extract, which are known to protect against sun damage and add shine.
Protecting your scalp and hair is an important step in maintaining healthy hair. When selecting a sunscreen for your scalp and hair, it’s essential to consider the active ingredients, type of protection, water-resistance, type of hair, and volumizing benefits. With a bit of research, you can find the perfect sunscreen to keep your scalp and hair healthy and protected from sun damage.