Sunburn On The Scalp

Sunburn On The Scalp: How To Prevent Sunburns, Treatment, Symptoms and More!

Do you have sunburn on the scalp? I have a few tips on how to treat sunburn on the scalp and to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Check it out! 

Sunburn is caused by excessive exposure to direct sunlight. It is quite common to apply SPF to your body before leaving the house. 

Be it a sunny day or a beach day, it is necessary to use SPF. The only question is – How can you stop your scalp from sunburn?

The scalp is exposed to sunlight, and it gets difficult to take care of it. There are various ways in which you can make sure that your scalp is safe from sunburn. 

So, in this article, I will talk about how to prevent and treat sunburn on the scalp. Let’s go!

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Yes, your scalp can get burned in the sun too! Here’s how to prevent this from happening!

How to prevent sunburn on the scalp?

There are plenty of ways in which you can prevent your scalp from getting sunburned. 

Wear protective gear like hats or scarves

One of the best ways to protect your scalp is to wear a hat. Even on a non-sunny day, the ultraviolet radiation can harm your skin. 

You can opt for a baseball cap, a wide-brimmed hat, or any sort of hat that covers your whole head. 

If you don’t like wearing one, you can always pick up an umbrella, take cover in the shade, or walk on the street where there is shade on a hot sunny day. 

Apply a sunscreen on exposed areas

You must be thinking – Sunscreen for the scalp? Well, it does exist. If you have thin hair or your scalp is exposed more than usual, you can apply sunscreen. This will prevent your scalp from getting sunburnt. 

There are plenty of sunscreens available on the market. The ones including oils with UVA/UVB protection will do the task. It won’t leave your hair greasy. 

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Moreover, it will even protect your hair from color fade. I recommend using SPF 30 if you are going to stay in the sun for a longer time. If you are on an average outing, you can always go for SPF 15. 

One of the products that you should use is COOLA Organic Scalp Spray & Hair Sunscreen Mist. It consists of Gotu Kola extracts that improve microcirculation in the scalp for overall scalp health and nutrition. 

It also has Monoi oil that offers natural UV protection and improves the shine and condition of dry and damaged hair. It is lightweight and non-greasy.

Try out some protective hairstyles

Changing your hairstyle can help you cover up the scalp. If you do not like wearing hats and want to still cover your scalp, go for a ponytail, updo, or bun. 

This will not only cover your scalp. If you can, carry a comb or hairbrush, and make sure to brush your hair and change your hairstyle now and then. 

This is because your hair tends to lose its shine and becomes weak as well when exposed to direct sunlight. 

how long does scalp sunburn last

Avoid going out at peak hours

Did you know that the sun is strongest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.? This is when you need to avoid going out. 

During this time, the sun is at its brightest and can affect your skin as well as your scalp. I recommend not scheduling anything at this hour. If you can, plan your event early in the morning or late afternoon.

If, by any chance, you end up staying out during these hours, make sure you find proper shade. Stand beneath the trees or walk on the shady side of the street. All of these measures will help you prevent sunburn. 

sunburned scalp hair loss

Avoid using excessive heat styling tools

It is important for you to avoid using excessive heat via curling rods, straighteners, etc. This damages the keratin of your hair, leaving it open to sunlight. It damages your hair and leaves it bleached and brittle. 

If you are using a blow-dry, make sure to use it in a cool setting, avoiding any sort of heat treatment. 

Check for coal tar in your shampoos

It is necessary for you to check for coal tar in your shampoos. In some of the dandruff shampoos, the ingredients include coal tar. 

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It makes your scalp more sensitive to sunlight. Make sure you read the back of your shampoo before buying it. 

How to treat sunburn on the scalp

If, by any chance, you get sunburn on your scalp, you need not worry. I have got you covered. There are ways in which you can feel better. Before I dive into the ways to treat it, let us find out how to know if you have a sunburnt scalp. 

Look for the following symptoms!

  1. Redness 
  2. Itchiness 
  3. Feels hot to touch
  4. Pain
  5. Extreme cases – blisters 

If you feel the above-mentioned symptoms, I have treatments for you. Just note that if it gets serious, you should consult a doctor. 

sunburned scalp yellow scab

Cold shower

The best way in which you can soothe your sunburnt scalp is with a cold shower. Hop into the shower a few minutes after you come from the outside.

Make sure you do not stand under the shower for a long time. If you do so, your skin will dry out. Moreover, avoid using dandruff shampoo as it can worsen the condition.

If you want to rinse your hair, you can use sulfate-free shampoo. 

Cold Compress 

You can opt for a cold compress to get relief from the burning sensation. Avoid applying direct ice to your scalp; it does more harm than good.

You can make a cold compress at home by using a sealable bag. Fill it with ice water and remove the air before sealing it.

Once done, wrap it up in a damp towel and use it on your scalp. Do it a couple of times throughout the day. You can also do more than that, depending on the sunburn.

Use Aloe Vera Gel

It is a given fact that aloe vera gel is a solution to most body problems. You can use it to treat sunburn. The anti-inflammatory property allows the gel to provide you with relief and also heal the scalp.

Let the scalp heal and then apply the gel. I recommend that you use Oars + Alps After Sun Cooling Spray. This spray includes aloe vera, niacinamide, and kukui oil that not only heals the scalp but also hydrates it.

Additionally, it is lightweight and has great fragrance. You can buy it here!

Take painkillers 

If the pain gets unbearable, you can consult a doctor and go for a painkiller. It will make the pain go away and also control the inflammation. It is advised that you get a proper prescription from a professional before taking one. 

Don’t touch the blisters

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Sometimes there are severe cases of sunburn that can cause you to get blisters. If you do so, you need to leave it alone.

Popping one or even touching one can cause immense pain and might worsen the case. If you are applying any product, avoid that area.

It will take some time but will eventually heal by itself. If you find blisters, it means you have a second-degree burn. It is advised to wear a hat and avoid further exposure of it to the sun. 

Drink a Lot of Water

You must be wondering how drinking water can help you with sunburn. When you are sunburnt, the area pulls the fluids from the skin’s surface.

This will make you dehydrated, and drinking water in an adequate amount will help your skin to heal. Increase the intake of water and electrolytes to ensure that your skin is hydrated.

Want to know if you are hydrated or not? Just check the color of your urine. If it is light yellowish or white, you are hydrated. Anything beyond that means you need to increase the amount of water you drink. 

sunburn on scalp symptoms

Avoid going out in the sun 

Lastly, you need to avoid going out in the sun if you have a sunburnt scalp. If you do want to go out, as stated before, use a hat and apply sunscreen.

Always try to find shade to ensure that you are not under direct sunlight. Carry your water bottle and stay hydrated. Avoid peak hours and find a suitable time to step out of your house.

Give your scalp some time to heal before you are out and about. 

Summary on Protecting Scalp From Sunburns 

Sunburn on the scalp can be irritating and painful. You need to take extra care to ensure that your skin heals from sun damage. 

There are plenty of ways to prevent and treat sunburn. One of the most important things to do to prevent it is to wear hats. 

Not only will it cover your scalp, but it will also protect your hair as well. You can also opt for protective hairstyles to prevent exposure of the scalp to the sun. 

If by chance you do get a sunburn, you can treat it with a cold shower and cold compress. 

In order to avoid dehydration from sunburn, you should drink plenty of fluids. Finally, stay out of the sun unless absolutely necessary, and cover up if you must.

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