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Sunscreen for Your Hair: 10 Products to Protect Your Locks

Someone spraying a bottle of hair product, a green bottle of hair sunscreen, and a girl spraying a powder on her head.
Sun Bum/COOLA/Supergoop!

During the summer, most people remember (eventually) to put sunscreen on their face and bod when they’re outside. However, many neglect their hair and scalp. That’s why we’ve scoured the web for the best products to protect these areas from the sun’s harsh rays.

How many times have you spent a wonderful afternoon outside, only to feel like your scalp is on fire later on? You might also have noticed your hair feels drier and more brittle after a day at the beach or pool.

Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause both of the above, along with an increased risk of skin cancer (yikes!). However, the products below will help you keep your head safe, and your hair soft, all summer long.

Hair and Scalp Sunscreen

Front and back view of a bottle of sunscreen.
Banana Boat

This affordable hair and scalp sunscreen is lightweight and won’t weigh your hair down. Reviewers seem to be split on how greasy it makes your hair, but that can be impacted by a variety of factors and this sunscreen is cheap enough that it’s a good option to at least try.

The sunscreen offers 30 SPF and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. It’s also reef-friendly and formulated without oxybenzone or octinoxate.

Scalp Spray

A green bottle of scalp sunscreen and a woman sprays it on her head.

This scalp spray and sunscreen is more expensive than the one above, but it also contains lots of hair-friendly ingredients to benefit everything it touches. This broad-spectrum SPF 30 spray contains plant-based antioxidants, monoi oil, and Gotu Kola extract to nourish your hair from the roots to tips and the skin on your scalp.

It has a pleasant ocean water and sage scent that you won’t mind being around your face. It’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, cruelty-free, and reef-friendly.

Part Powder

A blue and white bottle of powder sunscreen. A woman sprays it on her head.

If your hair and scalp are prone to greasiness, try this part powder instead. As the name suggests, it’s sunscreen in powder form, which means no oily or greasy hair from a spray. Plus, it applies like a spray for easy use.

This sunscreen offers broad-spectrum SPF 45 protection using zinc oxide, which is reef-friendly and non-toxic. The powder comes out white but quickly turns translucent so you won’t look like a founding father with a freshly powdered wig after using it.

The formula also contains antioxidant-rich ingredients like vitamin C to help nourish your skin.

Leave-In Conditioner

Someone sprays a tan and yellow bottle of leave-in hair conditioner.
Sun Bum

If you want to focus on protecting your hair from the sun’s rays, this leave-in conditioner spray is a cult favorite of beach bums and surfers alike. Work it through your hair before going outside to keep strands moisturized or after to repair damage from the sun.

It doesn’t contain sunscreen, but it does offer UV protection to avoid damaged and dried-out hair. It can also work as a detangler after a dip in the ocean or pool. And with ingredients like coconut oil and banana pulp, reviewers agree it smells just like a tropical vacation.

Leave-In Cream

A white bottle of hair cream. A woman smiles at the camera.

For soft strands and protection from sunburns, comb this leave-in cream through your hair and massage it into your scalp before going outside. This SPF 30 cream protects delicate skin and nourishes the area with green tea extract and vitamin E.

This cream also works to protect color and seal in vibrancy for color-treated hair. It’s the perfect multifunctional product for people who don’t want to deal with multiple sprays and creams when they head to the beach.

Bee Bald Sunscreen

A yellow bottle of sunscreen. A man and woman hold the bottle of sunscreen.
Bee Bald

Sun protection can be extra challenging when you’re bald. Unless you wear a hat all day, you have a lot of skin being exposed to direct sunlight when you’re outside. This sunscreen is designed to protect bald heads while reducing oil and shine.

The broad-spectrum SPF 30 cream moisturizes to keep your head feeling cool and fresh throughout the day. It also works on faces to protect from the sun and smooth fine lines.

After Sun Gel

A bottle of aloe vera gel. Someone holds the bottle over a pool.
Sun Bum

Aloe vera is everyone’s go-to when it comes to sunburn relief. This aloe vera gel provides a cooling effect when slathered on tender skin. Ingredients like vitamin E and tea tree oil help to soothe pain while cocoa hydrates skin and prevents peeling.

After a sunburn, apply this generously to your scalp. Even if you don’t think you burned, it can be applied preventatively to avoid uncomfortable peeling and dry skin after being in the sun. Keep it in the refrigerator for extra relief when you need it.

Aloe Vera Spray

A bottle of aloe vera spray. Someone sprays a woman's back.
Green Leaf Naturals

For similar benefits with an easier application, grab this aloe vera spray. The spray bottle makes it easy to spritz on your scalp, hairline, and face after a painful day in the sun.

Made with 99.8% aloe vera, it’s a natural way to find relief and perfect for sensitive skin. The gel is absorbed quickly by the skin and won’t leave a sticky mess. Aloe vera has a ton of benefits, so you can apply it to your scalp regularly to fight dry skin, dandruff, and more.

Scalp Conditioner

Two bottles of hair conditioner and a bottle of dry shampoo.

If your skin is feeling a little tender after a day in the sun, your regular routine might be too strong. This scalp conditioner is gentle on burned skin. It contains oatmeal extract, rose water, and chamomile to soften skin while cleansing.

This conditioner is also sulfate, dye, and paraben-free. It’s safe for all types of hair and has a shampoo partner you can try as well. The light, fresh fragrance isn’t overwhelming and won’t linger for too long on your hair.

After-Sun Hair Mask

A hair mask. A woman with long hair stands in a field.
Pure Body Naturals

You didn’t get sunburned but your hair feels like you could snap it in half? Put moisture back in your locks by applying this deep conditioning hair mask. Coconut oil and shea butter help to get your hair back to being soft and frizz-free.

This mask has a delightful coconut scent that will transport you to the beach, even when your vacation is over. Apply to damp hair and leave on for 10-15 minutes for the best benefits. It can be used as often as you want for beautiful, healthy hair.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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