4 of the Best Sunscreens For Your Head and Scalp, According to Dermatologists
Broken record or not, here is the truth: wearing sun protection is the most important thing you can do for your skin — not just during the summer months or when you're spending an extended amount of time at the beach, but on a consistent basis. Applying SPF to your face, neck, and body is one thing, but did you know that it's also important to protect your head and scalp from the sun as well?
"This area is often overlooked and neglected, and we see a fair amount of skin cancer on the scalp," New York City-based dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD, told POPSUGAR. Although the hair on your head can provide some protection from the sun's harmful rays, it doesn't act as a complete shield, and without even a little SPF on the area, you're still at risk of getting sunburnt or worse. This is especially true for those with thin hair or bald spots.
"The scalp is just as vulnerable to skin cancer as any other part of the body," board-certified anesthesiologist Azza Halim, MD said. "The scalp skin being thinner and more vascular, especially as we age, scalp cancer can spread more readily and become more fatal as it can spread to the brain."
That said, putting any old sunscreen on your scalp might not be the best idea either, as the wrong kind is likely to make your hair feel heavy or oily. That's why, ahead, Dr. Halim and Dr. Peredo are taking us through a few of their favorite sunscreens to apply to the head and scalp. Keep reading to see a few of their picks.
Supergoop! Poof Part Powder SPF 35 Powder for Scalp and Hair
Both doctors swear by the Supergoop! Poof Part Powder SPF 35 Powder for Scalp and Hair ($34) because of its lightweight formula and staying power.
"It feels similar to a dry shampoo and has broad-spectrum SPF and UV protection for the scalp," Dr. Peredo said. "It is also cruelty-free, clean, and safe for coral reefs. It is formulated with zinc oxide, which is an ingredient I always look for in a sunscreen."
According to Dr. Halim, this one also doubles as a hair texturizer.
SunBum Scalp & Hair Mist SPF 30
The SunBum Scalp & Hair Mist SPF 30 ($15) is one of Dr. Peredo's top recommendations because it's lightweight, dries quickly, and doesn't make the hair look or feel greasy. "I also like that it's sulfate-free, vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and water resistant for up to 80 minutes," she said.
Coola Scalp & Hair Mist Organic Sunscreen SPF 30
"I prefer powder sunblock for hair and scalp, whereas some prefer a stick or balm for the hairline or a spray mist such as the Coola Scalp & Hair Mist Organic Sunscreen SPF 30 ($26)," Dr. Halim said. It also contains anti-frizz smoothing oils and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
ColorScience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50
Dr. Halim is a big fan of the ColorScience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 ($69) because it's "convenient and won't weigh the hair down," as it features an all-powder formula that's a good one to consider when trying to avoid adding extra oils or grease to the hair.