Yup, You 100 Percent Need to Be Wearing Scalp Sunscreen


Stocksy

K, I know this is the last thing you want to hear right now, but I gotta say it anyway: Yes, you should 100 percent be wearing scalp sunscreen every day. Even though it’s an easy area to forget about, the skin on your scalp is just as important to protect as the skin on your face and body, so whether you’re taking a quick walk in the sun or spending a full day at the beach, you gotta come prepared.

And, no, I’m not asking you to slather your creamy SPF through your scalp and hair (like, who in their right mind?!)—there are actually a ton of scalp sunscreens on the market rn that are designed for easy, non-greasy application (think: sprays, mists, and even powders that are so lightweight, you’ll forget you’re wearing them). Keep scrolling to find the 10 best scalp sunscreens money can buy—along with a few answers to your burning Qs.

Wait, can your scalp get sunburned?

Yup, your scalp can totally get sunburned. “The scariest thing about getting sunburned on your scalp is that it’s not an area you can see easily, so it might be difficult to catch developing moles or potential melanoma,” trichologist Dominic Burg, chief scientist at Evolis Professional has told Cosmo. And even though your hair can’t get sunburned (your strands are already dead, which means they have zero possibility of developing cancer), it also needs a layer of sun protection—especially if it’s color-treated. “Sun exposure can actually strip your hair color and destroy your hair-pigment molecules, purely through the radiation damage caused by UV rays,” says Burg. The easiest way to prevent any of this? Scalp. Sunscreen.

Can you use regular sunscreen on your scalp?

In theory, you could use any regular ole’ sunscreen on your scalp, but, like, who would want that mess…? “Generally, SPF hair protectors contain similar ingredients to what you’d use on your skin,” says Burg. “They’re formulated with specific molecules that either reflect UV light or absorb it, preventing it from reaching your hair and skin and damaging it.” But unlike the creams and lotions you use on your body, scalp and hair sunscreens come in spray and powder formulas that absorb into your skin super easily without a greasy residue. Alright, now let’s get to what you really came here for: the best scalp sunscreens to shop RTFN.

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1

Best Scalp Sunscreen Spray

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

There’s no need to worry about any greasy or sticky residues with this sunscreen spray—just mist it through your scalp and it’ll give you lightweight and comfortable protection. The best part? You can also use it on your face and body.

2

Best Scalp Sunscreen for Easily Burned Skin

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen for Face & Body SPF 100

Perfect for folks who are super prone to sunburns, this cream is spiked with SPF 100 and hydrating vitamin B5 for the ultimate protection. Even though it’s a bit harder to apply than a mist or powder, it blends easily and won’t leave you with a white cast.

3

Best Drugstore Scalp Sunscreen

Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Defense Reef Friendly Sunscreen Spray

Don’t feel like dropping a lot of cash on your scalp sunscreen? No worries, this drugstore formula is just as effective as its pricier counterparts. It’s got SPF 30, it’s lightweight, and it won’t leave you with a greasy finish—all for under $10.

4

Best Scalp Sunscreen Powder

Supergoop! Poof 100% Mineral Part Powder SPF 45

The best thing about this scalp sunscreen is how freaking easy it is to apply. All you do is pump the lightweight powder (which is spiked with SPF 45) along your roots and gently blend it in with your fingertips. It basically works double duty as a dry shampoo, too—the superfine formula helps absorb any excess oil sitting on your scalp.

5

Best Scalp Sunscreen Mist

Sun Bum SPF 30 Scalp and Hair Mist

This spray-on scalp sunscreen checks all the boxes: It’s lightweight enough that it doesn’t leave a residue, it dries down super fast (even when your spritz it through your hair), and it combines SPF 30 with hydrating ingredients like vitamin E-rich sunflower seed oil.

6

Best Scalp and Face Sunscreen

Soleil Toujours Extrème Face and Scalp Sunscreen Mist

If your apartment is as minuscule as mine, you definitely don’t have the space for, like, eight different sunscreens. That’s why I love this SPF 50 mist—it’s safe to use on your scalp and your face (thanks to gentle and soothing ingredients like green-tea leaf extract and vitamin E), so there’s no need to double up on products. 

7

Best Scalp Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

Vanicream Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

This SPF 50 is pretty much as gentle as it gets—it’s formulated without dyes, lanolin, fragrance, and parabens, so there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t use it on your scalp (especially if you have sensitive, easily irritated skin). To keep the formula from weighing down your hair, start with a dime-sized amount and slowly build up if you need more.

8

Best Scalp and Hair Sunscreen

Coola Scalp & Hair Mist Organic Sunscreen SPF 30

If you’re looking for a scalp sunscreen that’s lightweight enough to also spray on your hair, you’ll legit love this mist from Coola. It’s got SPF 30 and a handful of moisturizing hair oils that protect and hydrate your head without leaving a sticky or greasy texture

9

Best Scalp, Hair, and Body Sunscreen

Clarins Sunscreen Care Oil Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Why not get you a scalp sunscreen that does it all, right? This oil-based bb can be sprayed on your scalp, hair, and body, courtesy of ingredients like SPF 30, soothing aloe extract, and hydrating nyamplung oil.

10

Best Brush-On Scalp Sunscreen

Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen SPF 50

I get it: One of the most annoying things about sunscreen is that you need to apply it every two hours. That’s what makes this brush-on powder SPF so genius—you can sweep it over your scalp and face throughout the day with straight up ease (it’s almost like a setting powder).

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