May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, reminding all of us to slather on the SPF before enjoying the summer rays. By now, clients should know the drill – apply a sun block with at least SPF 30 every two hours to exposed areas. However, many often forget about one key spot, the scalp. It’s the closest part of the body to the sun, and most vulnerable. It’s also one of the sneakiest places for skin cancer to appear thanks to hair coverage and a limited visibility factor. Gooping up strands with SPF is not an option, so how can clients protect their scalp come summer? Rebecca Kazin, M.D., of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery and the Johns Hopkins Department of Dermatology has scalp-smart tips to keep sensitive area safe.
- Embrace Hat Hair - The scalp is skin too and needs protection from UV rays and DNA damage. The best way to keep your scalp (and hair) safe is by wearing a hat – floppy brims offer good coverage for the face too.
- Switch Up Your Part – Make sure you cover your part when you’re out in the sun and try to alternate the way your part hair from day to day to avoid one area soaking up all the sun exposure.
- Explore UV Fabrics – If you’re a beach bunny, try a hat with built in UV protection from a brand like Coolibar.
- Cancel Your Weekly Blowout - You may think that hair acts as a protective layer over your scalp in the summer, but your strands are susceptible to sun damage, too. Cumulative exposure to damaging UV rays causes hair to be brittle, break easily, and leaves it dehydrated and unmanageable. Give your hair a break between blowouts, especially in hot, humid weather.
- Style Smart - If you must heat style, use a leave in conditioner and don’t blowdry or iron your hair without using a heat protectant first. “For summer, I like the Phyto Phytokeratine Repairing Thermal Protectant Spray,” says Kazin. “It is easy to use because it is a spray on product and works to rehydrate over exposed frazzled hair.”