With the arrival of August, and with July being the hottest month ever recorded on earth, staying protected against the sun is of the utmost importance.
But we’re not just talking about skin. For years skincare talk has dominated the beauty industry (and still does), but looking after your scalp and hair in the heat is just as important.
Scalps and hairlines are often overlooked but being at the highest point of your body, they are prone to burning.
Make scalp care a priority with our tips on how to give your head and hair some TLC this summer.
Apply SPF protection to scalp
Most people don’t use a traditional sun cream on their scalp because it leaves their hair greasy. But it’s important to use SPF protection on your head.
Research has found that the most fatal melanoma skin cancers occur on the scalp – often because they are spotted later due to the fact they are hidden under hair. This means that cancer has had longer to develop and has often spread faster because the scalp is rich in blood vessels and lymphatics.
Thankfully, there are plenty of products on the market specifically designed for scalp care – so you can sunbathe safely.
Sprays are perhaps the easiest products to apply – they’re also great for keeping in a beach bag, in case a top up is needed after a swim.
A product with great reviews is the Nuxe Sun Milky Oil, which is a water-resistant spray that protects both the scalp and hair.
Be wary of the sun, salt and chlorine
A combination of sun, salt and chlorine can not only dry hair out but can cause serious damage too. The best way to prevent it is to rinse hair after getting out of the pool or sea.
It’s also worth noting that dry hair absorbs chlorine and salt, but wet hair doesn’t – so rising hair with fresh water before you enter the pool or sea will stop this from happening.
Hair protection is big in the beauty industry so there are ample products which can help. Phillip Kingsley’s Swimcap is a safe bet – it’s a water-resistant mask that shields hair from chlorinated and salt water.
Keep powders in mind
Most people are familiar with putting powder on your face but it works a treat for scalps too.
In fact, there are a number of powder products with SPF which can be applied to hairlines and partings to protect against the sun. They’re a safe, non-greasy alternative to sunscreen.
Sunforgettable Brush-On Powder has SPF 50 and protects against UVA and UVB. It comes in five different shades too.
Pay special attention to exposed areas
Make sure you cover exposed areas like partings, hairlines and your forehead with SPF, just like you would with skin. Otherwise sections will be left exposed to the sun and you’ll be left with a peeling parting as well as a flaky scalp.
The best way to avoid burning these exposed areas – and to prevent burning in general – is to avoid the sun when UV is at its highest, which is usually the middle of the day between 11am-2pm.
Tie your hair up
It may sounds simple, but tying your hair up will conceal your scalp, protecting it from harmful UV rays.
An up-do such as a top-knot or slicked back ponytail will help to fully cover your scalp.
Just be aware that areas such as your forehead, neck and ears may be exposed with hair tied up, so be sure to apply sun cream generously.
Wear hats or a hairband
It might seem like it’s stating the obvious, but hats and hairbands create a literal barrier between your head and the sun.
Hats also shield your face from the sun, making your head all the more cooler.
Use UV protection hair products
Just like skin, hair can burn. In fact, studies have shown that sun exposure is the most damaging factor for the structure of hair – so it’s important to take protective measures.
Bumble and Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil is a great choice for heat and UV protection as well as L’oreal Serie Expert Solar Sublime Conditioning Spray, which is designed with a UV filter. It also creates a lightweight protective film around hair to lock in hydration.
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