The 4 Best Scalp Sunscreens
Even if you have a full head of hair, your scalp is still one of the more susceptible spots when it comes to sun damage. It's the easiest place for you to burn for two major reasons. First, it's the closest part of your body to the sun, and second of all, it's really difficult to find a sunscreen that you can apply on your scalp without causing a ton of other problems. But if you know what to look for, finding the best scalp sunscreens isn't all that difficult.
The best way to find a good sunscreen for your noggin? Forget everything you know about sunscreen. The typical lotions are going to create a sticky, goopy mess once you try to rub 'em into your hair. Instead, look for alternative options. Sprays, oils, foams, and powders are all much easier to apply to your scalp. And stay away from any product that contains ingredients that aren't good for your skin in general, like alcohol and mineral oil. You also have to remember to reapply the product onto your scalp just as often as you would the rest of your body — especially if you're sweating or swimming.
Luckily, there are plenty of sunscreens for your scalp to choose from. Find the best ones, below.
1. Best For Most: A Sheer Sunscreen Spray (SPF 50)
Replenix Sheer Physical Sunscreen SPF 50
While most spray-on sunscreens have a white sheen to them, Replenix Sheer Physical Sunscreen SPF 50 goes on totally clear. It's easy to apply, too. Just section your hair and mist it down onto your roots. Unlike other spray-on sunscreens, Replenix's formula is oil- and fragrance-free. That's useful, because it won't clog the pores on your scalp and it won't make your hair extra greasy. It's also very beneficial for sensitive skin, which is great if you tend to get an itchy scalp. And since it's antioxidant-enriched, it'll actually improve your hair and scalp health while also keeping it protected from the sun. Plus, it has a nice, strong SPF of 50, which makes it one of the most effective options out there.
2. Best For Oily Hair: A Great, Brush-On Powder Sunscreen (SPF 30)
Brush On Block Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
A powder formula, like that of Brush On Block's Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, is an amazing option for a couple of reasons. It's easy to apply — just crank the brush, divide your hair into sections, and dab the powder directly onto your scalp. The powder not only protects your scalp from the sun's rays, but it also works as a dry shampoo of sorts, sopping up any unwanted grease or oil. One tip: Since powder buildup can cause breakouts on your scalp — the same way it can on your face — you'll want to shampoo your hair at the end of the day.
3. Best For Dry Hair: A Nourishing Sunscreen Oil (SPF 50)
Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil
Oil-based sunscreens are easy to apply, too, and Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil is the best one on the market right now. The issue with using an oil, though, is that it's going to make your hair oily. That's no big deal if you're someone who doesn't mind a little texture or whose hair is naturally very dry. Supergoop!'s oil is actually on the drier side, however, so it won't grease up your strands as much as some others might. In addition to meadow foam seed oil, it's packed with argan oil, which can help nourish damaged hair back to life. A hair treatment mixed with a sunscreen? Sign us up!
4. Best For Thin Hair: A Foam That Won't Weigh It Down (SPF 15)
Nioxin System Scalp Treatment SPF 15
If you've got limp, thin hair, then the idea of putting anything heavy on it a serious "no." Enter: Nioxin System Scalp Treatment SPF 15. It's a light, airy foam that works into your scalp without weighing it down. This formula was actually created to help treat sensitive scalps, with the SPF just being an added bonus. Unfortunately, it only has an SPF of 15, which is fine for days with minimal sun exposure, but not for trips to the beach. It's packed with antioxidants and vitamins, so with continued use, it'll help your hair become healthy over time.
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