The Best Sun Protection Products for Your Hair and Scalp
If there is one thing we at Allure have in common with your dermatologist, it’s that we will never (ever) stop reminding you of the importance of wearing SPF daily. What many people don’t know about sun protection, though, is that sunscreen application shouldn’t just stop at the hairline. Your scalp — though it may be covered by your hair — and your hair, itself, are both at risk for UVA/UVB damage. “UV rays can make hair brittle and appear frayed,” says New York City dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla. “Sunlight is drying and can lighten hair simply from exposure, [and] your scalp, like any other skin on the body, is susceptible to skin cancer.”
To protect the scalp, Mariwalla prefers chemical blockers (like avobenzone) because they don’t leave a white cast. New York City dermatologist Shari Marchbein also recommends looking for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide on labels. “These are physical blockers, and the key is to rub the sunscreen into scalp, and not to just spray it on the roots,” she says.
Antioxidants and plant-derived oils can prove helpful in protecting and calming the scalp and skin from the sun’s harmful rays. “Antioxidants will scavenge free radicals caused by UV damage and can help prevent the formation of damage that can lead to skin cancer,” says Mariwalla. One oil in particular that can help? Sunflower seed oil, which “contains fatty acids that can help the dryness associated with hair exposed to harsh sun conditions.” Below are 14 products that help protect your skin, scalp, and hair from sun damage.
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