How To Prevent Hair Sunburn 101

How To Prevent Hair Sunburn 101

If you're the type of person who loves to go to the beach or pool and tan for hours on end, you know to apply sunscreen all over your body, so there's a barrier present to fight against the harmful effects tanning has on your skin.

Most people forget that a sunburn isn't specific to certain visible parts of your body because your whole body from the top of your head to your toes is absorbing the harmful UV rays emitted from the sun. This means your scalp is prone to sunburns just as easily as your shoulders and arms.

Keep in mind that mostly bald individuals are aware of the fact that you can get a hair sunburn, but having hair doesn’t equate with protection against a hair sunburn.

Scalp sunburn.

Once you expose your scalp to UV rays without the proper protection, you run the risk of developing varying levels of sunburns as well as skin cancer.

If you’re exhibiting symptoms such as pain coming from the inside of your scalp and significant hair loss, you should consider contacting your doctor. Hair loss is common after a hair sunburn, but the symptoms shouldn’t get worse over time.

When Does Sunburn Occur?

Low-level hair sunburns most often happen when you leave your scalp unprotected underneath the sun's presence for at least 45 minutes to 60 minutes, but this time frame pertains to a relatively low heat index. This means it can take a shorter time to achieve a hair sunburn if the heat index is recorded to be high for that day.

How To Treat It?

After you got home from a long day at the beach, you'll need to be able to recognize whether or not you have a hair sunburn.

Initial Sign

When you’re pinpointing a hair sunburn, the first sign you should make a note of would be redness. Wait about two to six hours after you get home from sun exposure because that is when you’ll notice redness and pain.

In fact, your scalp will sting, peel, and maybe even itch when you’re experiencing a hair sunburn. In case you develop a burn deeper than a level one burn, you may experience side effects such as fevers and chills, which means you require medical attention.

After you realize you have a hair sunburn, you need to take the necessary steps to treat it as quickly as possible. For most hair sunburn cases, people typically find in-home remedies to work wonders, so keep reading for a hair sunburn solution.

Hair Sunburn Treatment: Step By Step

  • Take a lukewarm shower to cool your scalp, and don’t use your regular shampoo and conditioner. Experts recommend gentle hair care products that don’t list sulfate and dimethicone on their list of ingredients

Tip: Hair care products that contain specialized formulas to combat hair sunburn do exist.

  • If you’re showing signs of peeling as your hair sunburn heals, you can remove it with a simple vinegar rinse. All you have to do is rinse your hair in the shower with a small amount of white vinegar to remove the residue peeling
  • After you finish up with your shower, you should avoid exposing your hair to any heated hair styling tools. You should make sure to use a soft microfiber towel in which you blot around your scalp and not rub to dry your hair slightly
  • If your scalp still burns, you can apply some aloe vera around the hair sunburn to moisturize and soothe the pain away. You can also take some ibuprofen to take your mind off the pain

How To Prevent It?

You can easily prevent hair sunburns if you apply sunscreen onto your scalp with a 50 SPF that contains a formula specifically catered to sunburns in the scalp area. You can also wear big floppy hats when you’re at the beach or the pool to limit sun exposure.

Woman wearing a beach hat.

Putting your hair in a ponytail helps protect the scalp but does the opposite for your actual hair, which results in your hair strands being weak, frizzy, and brittle since they aren't protected from the sun.

Leave a Comment: