Now that summer has finally hit the western hemisphere, it’s time for some fun in the sun! Barbecues at your buddy’s place, days at the beach and lounging on your relative’s boat with a cold one aren’t without their dangers though. Having a full head of hair can help protect your head from the sun’s rays, but once your scalp is exposed it has the same risk as the rest of your skin. Sun damage can cause actinic keratosis (pre-cancerous growth) and skin cancer, so if you have thinning hair or a bald head, your scalp needs to be protected. Read on to learn a few ways to protect your scalp from the damaging effects of the sun.
Avoid Repeated Long-Term Sun Exposure
As much as you’ve missed the sunshine throughout the long and arduous winter months, you need to be cautious not to over-expose your scalp to it. Avoid being in direct sunlight for long periods of time and minimize the frequency of long-term exposures in cases where they may be unavoidable. If you happen to be a professional beach volleyball player or a speedboat racer, this might pose a challenge! However it’s still important for you to keep these tips in mind to protect yourself.
This may come as a surprise to some, but this tip isn’t just for the summer months. If you have thinning hair or a bald head, you should be wearing sunblock year round. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, men are at a much higher risk of developing skin cancer compared to women. By protecting your scalp every day with sunblock you can significantly reduce your risk of developing deadly skin cancers such as melanoma. Besides, daily sunscreen is essential if you want to keep your scalp looking youthful and healthy.
Keep a Hat Handy
In addition to keeping your scalp out of direct sunlight as much as possible and wearing sunblock every day, there’s a lot of power in a baseball hat. It’s better than sitting in the shade, where the harmful UV rays still reach your skin (just at a lower level). Keeping a hat in your car or your nap-sack is especially handy on the days where you may have forgotten to apply your sunblock. Hats are also super handy for those of you who have thinning hair, since that poses some challenges in applying sunblock to your scalp without looking like a greased up hamburger flipper.
Avoid Balding and Hair Loss
Although this tip isn’t as easy as the former three points, another key way to avoid sun damage on your scalp is to ensure you have a full head of hair to protect it. This is a possibility thanks to rapid growth in the hair transplant industry. Balding in men is mostly hereditary and caused by an increase in the production of the hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). However, it is also known to be caused by extreme excessive stress and trauma. Though in most cases this is temporary and the hair does grow back after a period of time, it’s important to consistently take the necessary precautions to keep calm, cool and collected.