Sunscreen for Your Scalp

Julie Schott, SELF magazine

Beauty confession: I'm a complete maniac when it comes to protecting my face, chest and hands from the sun, especially during the summer months. I reapply SPF every few hours, and yet other areas--namely my scalp--are left completely neglected. Last week, I learned the hard way that scalps are susceptible to sunburn too. Three days in the strong Hamptons sun left me with an angry red stripe right down the middle of my head where I part my hair that will surely yield some dandruff-esque flakes over the next few days.

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Needless to say, I won't be making this mistake again anytime soon. I read recently that you can mix SPF with water in a spray bottle and spritz it on your part line for scalp protection, but it turns out this isn't the most effective method of sunburn prevention.

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"Diluting sunscreen and spritzing it on the part line may provide some level of protection, but it is unlikely to be adequate," cautions Dr. Jennifer MacGregor of Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. "Wearing the hair up (without a part) and making sure to apply your sunscreen along your hairline is another strategy. If you do leave a part in your hair, put an oil-free sunscreen on your finger and then dab it directly onto the exposed skin."

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Still, the best way to protect your scalp from sun damage, according to Dr. MacGregor, is also the simplest: Cover up with a hat.

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