Protecting Your Hair and Scalp From the Sun


Tell me if you relate. You’re outside frolicking in the sun (swimming, reading, secretly stalking your cute neighbor who pretends not to notice you walk by his house three times a day) and you think “Darn it, I should have brought a hat.” Sure, you’ve already carefully spackled your skin with all things SPF, but you forgot the hat. Maybe it was too hot, maybe it clashed with your outfit, or maybe you didn’t think you’d be so long in the sun. But now you’re cooking your scalp in the noon-time rays and you know it ain’t going to end up pretty.

Scalp sunburns are never pleasant to deal with. First, they hurt. Second, they flake off like dandruff. I’ve been able to actually peel my scalp, leading to a whole lot of grossed out friends and family members. You can treat a scalp sunburn with organic aloe vera, and some experts even advise against shampooing your hair while your scalp is burned. Harsh detergents can irritate it, so make sure you use a gentle organic product. (And here are some great ones to consider.)

But the best way to treat a scalp sunburn is to not allow it to happen in the first place. Yes, wear a hat. You can also simply slather sun block onto your exposed scalp – though this isn’t a favorite due to the excessive goop that can end up in your hair.

Or you can check out these products!

Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil

I Love This Product. Why? Because It Works. (Caps for emotion are necessary – recall that I have been able to peel said scalp.) For the sake of you, appreciated reader, I just spent four hours in the sun with no hat and exposed scalp. But before I embarked on this experience, I slathered my hair up with this product – and no burn! We’d never suggest our readers head out sans hat – but I can say that I’ve found a product that seems to protect your scalp, and presumably hair, from the sun’s rays.

It has a wonderfully citrus smell that is very appealing. It does leave a little bit of a residue – sort of like you haven’t washed your hair that day. This cruelty-free product comes in a container that is 100 percentpost consumer PET. It contains some organic ingredients, as well as shea butter, green tea extract, and Vitamin E.


Aveda Sun Care Hair and Body Cleanser

Aveda recommends this product for your post-beach shower. It is a “color-safe formula that gently and effectively removes chlorine, salt and product build-up, while helping to maintain moisture balance.” Like the hair veil, this product comes in a container that is 100 percent post consumer PET and contains some organic ingredients. I used it on my hair and really liked it. Sure, it wasn’t after a day at the beach, (I merely hadn’t washed my hair in a couple days,) but it has a terrific orangey smell and really does get your hair squeaky clean.

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Image: kaibara87

Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler is the Beauty Editor of EcoSalon and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.