The scalp and hairline are often overlooked when it comes to sun protection. Here’s why it’s so important to protect yours - and how to do it in style…
Wear your hair up. Gather your hair back into a ponytail, top-knot or bun but without a parting to cover your scalp completely, meaning you only need to worry about shielding your hairline. Although doing so is good for the scalp, this will put a lot of stress on hair, particularly if you have afro-textured hair, fine strands, or light-coloured locks, which can be more easily damaged by the sun, so counteract damage with a hair mask at the end of the day if possible. If you do decide to have a parted hairstyle, make sure you apply a thin, even layer of sunscreen to your parting.
Thin hair SOS. If your scalp is exposed due to hair thinning, apply sunscreen to the exposed areas and make sure you apply sun cream to your ears and neck, too while you’re at it. Take extra special care to apply it to areas where a large percentage of your scalp is exposed to the sun - like the crown of your head. Use a sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection with at least SPF 30 if you're enjoying outdoor time. Go for a non-oily suncream - the last thing you want is a greasy scalp. You can get light-weight, fast absorbing ones such as Ultrasun Sports Transparent Sun Protection Spray 50SPF, which has dry-touch technology, meaning no sticky hands or hair and speedy absorption. Apply to the hair at leasts 20 minutes before heading out.
Help a friend. Comb through a friends hair and vice versa, looking for any unusual spots on your scalp. If any are found, make an appointment with your GP and get checked out. It is essential if you have multiple moles, new or large moles, or a family history of skin cancer that you consider getting checked, particularly during and after the summer months. The Harley Street Clinic has introduced a Mole Mapping service as a response to a rise in skin cancer cases. The service maps existing moles, scanning for those that are potentially cancerous in an attempt to protect patients against malignant melanoma skin cancer by helping to detecting and diagnosing it at the earliest possible stage.
Avoid midday sun. Experts say that conditions on the scalp allow the melanoma to spread because it’s rich in blood vessels and lymphatics, meaning that exposing yours to the sun between 10am and 4pm isn’t a great idea. If you’ll be out during those hours, make it a priority to wear a hat or headscarf and stay in the shade. Fortunately for us, hats were bountiful on the summer runways. Here are a few of our favourite looks to get you inspired:
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