What is SPF Hair Care?
SPF hair care products are special sunscreen treatments specifically designed for the scalp and hair. To understand the basics of such products, we must look at the purpose of sunscreen in general. Sunscreen reflects or absorbs the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, preventing the sun’s rays from damaging your skin. We use UV protection to help prevent sunburns, skin cancer, and premature aging. The same concepts of UV protection can be applied to the scalp and hair, as UV radiation can also damage these areas.
What Is the Difference Between Scalp and Hair Sunscreen and Body Sunscreen?
SPF scalp and hair products are specifically designed to give the scalp and hair the protection they need against the sun’s UV radiation. Body sunscreen is not recommended because it’s too thick for the scalp. On the other hand, scalp and hair sunscreen is formulated with ingredients that will prevent the scalp from drying out while still providing the necessary UV protection. Some scalp and hair products will also add volume and styling, further helping to reduce any fear or anxiety about UV radiation affecting the appearance of the scalp.
What Ingredients Are Commonly Found in Scalp and Hair Sunscreen Products?
The ingredients in scalp and hair sunscreen products will depend on the brand and product. Generally, such products will contain ingredients to ensure the scalp and hair are properly protected from the sun’s UV radiation. Key ingredients to look out for include UV-protecting actives, antioxidants, amino acids, nutrients, and oils.
What Are UV-Actives?
UV-active ingredients are chemicals that protect the skin by reflecting and absorbing the sun’s UV rays. Common UV-active ingredients found in scalp and hair sunscreen products include homosalate, octocrylene, octisalate, and avobenzone.
What Benefits Do Antioxidants Offer?
Antioxidants protect the scalp and hair from free radical damage, which can cause premature aging of the skin and hair. The scalp is especially vulnerable to free radical damage, as it’s more common for individuals to have an "oily" scalp, meaning that it produces excess sebum, a natural oil produced by the body. Excess sebum clogs the scalp’s pores, leading to an "oily" scalp and an increased risk of free radical damage. Antioxidants help keep the scalp protected.
What Are Amino Acids?
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin and hair. They act as hydrators and help strengthen weakened strands of hair. Silk amino acids are particularly beneficial for hair and scalp health, as they form a protective barrier around the hair shaft, preserving moisture and preventing heat, environmental toxins, and UV radiation from entering the hair.
What Are Nutrients?
Nutrients are substances needed for the body’s growth, repair, and maintenance of healthy skin and hair. They are typically found in vitamins, minerals, and other plant-based sources. Niacinamide, green tea extract, coffee extract, licorice root extract, and microalgae extract are some nutrient-rich ingredients commonly found in sunscreen products for the scalp and hair.
What Oils Are Used in Scalp and Hair Sunscreen?
Oils are used to nourish and moisturize the scalp and hair, protecting it from damage such as dryness, UV radiation, and environmental toxins. Commonly used oils include safflower seed oil and green tea oil.