The most obvious and common reason why people use sunscreen is to avoid sunburn. A sunburn is the redness and pain that results after your unprotected skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Sunburn occurs when your skin is unable to repair the damage caused by UV exposure in a timely manner, leading to inflammation. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is divided into two categories - UVA and UVB. UVA is the longer wavelength, and penetrates deeper into the skin, while UVB is faster and only reaches the outermost layer of the skin. UVC is the shortest wavelength, and is mostly blocked out by the Earth's atmosphere. Both UVA and UVB are responsible for skin damage, and the two types of radiation should be guarded against when protecting the scalp from the sun.
Choosing the right sun safety product for the scalp is critical to protecting against sun damage. Sunscreens are a great option for everyday protection, however they should be applied to your scalp regularly as the optimal protection is achieved when the sunscreen is applied and re-applied frequently. Moisturizers with SPF are also great for everyday use, and are particularly beneficial for those with dry or frizzy hair. Additionally, hats with wide brims provide a physical barrier between the scalp and the sun, effectively protecting the scalp from UV exposure.
When selecting a scalp and hair sunscreen, there are several key factors that must be taken into consideration. The first is the sun protection factor (SPF). The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the use of a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher in order to achieve optimal protection from the sun. The second factor to consider is the type of active ingredients in the sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that sunscreens should contain a combination of both UVB and UVA protection, and should list both active ingredients on the product packaging. Additionally, look for a sunscreen that is free of fragrances and parabens, and specifically designed for use on the scalp and hair. It is also important to note that sunscreens that offer both UVB and UVA protection typically contain multiple active ingredients, and should list them on the packaging.
Once you have selected a sunscreen with the desired protection factor and the appropriate active ingredients, it is important to apply the sunscreen to your scalp and hair correctly. It is recommended that sunscreen be applied 15-30 minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to be fully absorbed into the scalp and hair. When applying the sunscreen, it is important to spread the product in a thin, even layer across the scalp and hair to ensure an even coverage. It is also important to take into account the amount of sunscreen used for each application. It is recommended to use an amount the size of a quarter for the entire scalp. Additionally, it is important to remember to re-apply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
In addition to sunscreen, it is also important to use other forms of sun protection to ensure optimal scalp protection from the sun. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat is a great way to add additional protection to the scalp and face from UV radiation. Additionally, it is important to seek shade when possible, and wear sun-protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants.
By following these simple tips, you can help protect your scalp and hair from the harsh summer sun in Florida. By selecting the right sunscreen, applying it correctly, and taking additional sun-protective measures, you can ensure that your scalp and hair are safe from UV radiation.