Everyone’s Raving About Scalp Sunscreen – But Does It Really Work for Black Hair?
Sun care is having a moment, and for good reason. If we see our scalp as the foundation for optimal hair growth, nurturing it like we do our skin is key. While scalp treatments like dermarolling and clarifying acids are popular, should we go further? For textured hair in protective styles, the exposed scalp faces sun, pollution, and friction. So shielding with sunscreen makes sense. But does SPF really work for black strands? Let’s examine the upsides and downsides.
The Sunny Side: Benefits of Scalp SPF
Like the rest of our body, the scalp needs UV defense. The head and neck have high rates of skin cancer, so protection is paramount. Braids, locs, and twists offer some coverage. But parts and tight sections still leave scalp uncovered. Dermatologist Dr. Adeline Kikam confirms, “Sun exposure can happen along partings and tighter styled areas.”
Scalp SPF provides extra safety where hair doesn’t. It also prevents painful sunburns which may cause temporary shedding. Trichologist Gretchen Friese explains, “A severe scalp burn can trigger inflammation and hair loss.” Furthermore, UV rays damage the protein structure of strands, causing brittleness and fading.
The Shady Side: Downsides of Scalp SPF
However, frequent use has a catch. Many protective styles mean less regular washing. Product buildup could reduce SPF absorption, warns Dr. Darice Fadeyi. It’s a dilemma: skipping sunscreen risks burns, but daily application is unrealistic.
Heat protectants with UV claims also differ from true sunscreen. According to Kérastase consulting trichologist Fatima Thomas, “Hair SPF prevents damage like dryness, while scalp SPF filters UV rays.” Opt for specialist formulations.
Finding Your Perfect Scalp SPF Match
When considering SPF, choose lightweight, non-greasy options compatible with your hair. Mists, mousses and powder sunscreens designed for the scalp are ideal. And remember, nourishing oils and protective styles are still the ultimate black hair sun shields.
With the right precautions, textured tresses will continue to thrive under the sun’s rays. But scalp sun protection should come after time-tested natural oils for black hair health.
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