Should Hair Sunscreen Be A Part Of Your Everyday Routine?

When it comes to skincare, applying sunscreen is a non-negotiable rule we've all heard. It protects the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and helps reduce premature signs of aging. But should you be applying this golden rule to your hair care routine too? Whether you've noticed hair sunscreen in the grocery aisle or are simply wondering if this golden rule applies to your luscious locks or curls, you got lots of company.

While it's well known that UV rays can damage skin, a 2019 study examined the role UV rays have on hair and hair follicles. Turns out, the researchers explain both hair and hair follicles can also get damaged by UV rays. Prolonged sun exposure can negatively impact the color and structure of the hair, points out Healthline. This can result in a lack of shine, breakage, split ends, and low elasticity, explains Anabel Kingsley, a trichologist at Philip Kingsley (via Women's Health).

On the other hand, scalp sunburns can also cause problems like peeling, redness, discomfort, and in severe repeated sunburn cases, it increases the odds of developing skin cancer on the scalp, Kingsley tells Women's Health. That being said, it may be a good idea to go one step further in your everyday skin routine and add some sunscreen to your hairline.

What are the best types of hair sunscreens?

Even though hair is the first line of defense against naturally protecting your scalp from UV rays according to a 2015 study, this protection isn't full protection and it's highly dependent on your hair density. That's where hair sunscreen comes in. When it comes to picking sunscreen, you'll want to find the right formula for your hair type. Slathering sunscreen on your skin works like a charm, but oftentimes a softer approach may be needed to avoid white clumps and a greasy head.

Lotions and creams tend to be the heaviest and offer the thickest protection of hair and scalp, explains Healthline. These typically don't wash out well and are great for swimming days. Otherwise, oils and mists with SPFs offer great sun protection (per Women's Health). They're lighter and some may even add shine, volume, or moisture.

The lightest option is a powder, points out Healthline. Regardless of what you choose, consider looking for sun protection that contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, says dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein (perĀ Allure).

While it might sound strange adding sunscreen to your everyday hair routine, it might just be what your hair and scalp have been craving. When applying sunscreen, make sure to rub it directly onto the scalp, not just the roots, points out Allure. This little extra step will go a long way in supporting a healthy head and scalp.