Not everyone wears a full hat on the golf course…. I know I don’t because a hat makes me sweat too much, its confining, and I don’t like to end up with hat hair.  Over the years, I have gotten used to wearing one of those No HeadacheTM visors which are so easy to wear …. sometimes they are so comfortable I forget that I am wearing one.  I actually have many different colors to match all my golf outfits.  However, they do leave my scalp exposed.

Just this past season, I encountered a new problem… a sunburned scalp. The first time it happened, I actually didn’t realize I had scalp sunburn.  The evening after playing 18 holes in the no clouds hot blazing sun kind of day, I noticed the top of my head, where I part my hair, had a burning and itching sensation that progressed to discomfort.  As I scratched my head, the discomfort got worse.  Then it dawned on me…. I must have gotten a sunburn on my scalp while playing golf.  That was a first for me.  Until recently, I have enjoyed a very thick head of curly hair and my goal was always trying to figure out how to tame my mane, not worry about sunburn.  But, like anything in life, change is inevitable and that includes thinning hair as I went through some medical issues and encountered general age-related thinning of hair. 

It was time to slather sunscreen onto my scalp!  But I had never considered scalp sunscreen and had never heard of such of thing. So I did some research and found a bunch of articles the specifically addressed scalp sunburn and recommended some products. So, I am going to give you the Readers Digest version of what I discovered…!

According to an article I found on Health Magazine… “The scalp—the highest point of your body—tends to burn more easily than the rest of your body since it receives direct ultraviolet radiation from the sun, and is usually less protected with SPF than other parts of your skin. Research has found that one of the most fatal melanoma skin cancers occur on the scalp” as stated by Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York-based dermatologist. She also mentioned in the article “While it’s not as common as skin cancer on other areas of the body, skin cancer of the scalp most often doesn’t get diagnosed until late in the game—typically because hair may be hiding it.”  You can check out the article published online at  “The 5 Best Hair Sunscreens to Protect Your Hair and Scalp, According to Dermatologists” written by Taylyn Washington-Harmon June 12, 2020.

When choosing a product for your scalp, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.  You could possibly use your regular sunscreen on your scalp, but you want to make sure your sunscreen doesn’t leave a white residue, which many of the higher SPF sunscreens do because of the zinc oxide.  This is ok if you happen to have blonde hair with the white residue possibly blending in.  However, if you are a brunette, the sunscreen will show up on your scalp and your hair.  When picking a product specifically designed for the scalp and surrounding hair, look for oil-free products that don’t weigh down hair strands or make it look greasy.  A nice mineral-based powder product will also be sweat resistant. And when you apply the product, no need to coat your strands with sunscreen, just apply to your part, thinning areas or balding spots and around your hairline.

Great Product Options

Here are some great products with different price points you can try to find the best product for you!  There are quite a few options and I know I will be giving these a try on my own scalp.  And just like any other product, you have to find the one product that works best for you and your body.

Colorscience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen

Although very pricey at $65, you can’t put a price on sun protection and this particular product does come recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. This product features their trademarked EnviroscreenTM Technology – an exclusive blend of specialty ingredients and patented sunscreen actives that create a protective barrier on the skin, preventing free radical formation and oxidative stress.

Coola Scalp and Hair Sunscreen Mist

This is a non-greasy SPF mist that provides sun protection without weighing hair down or making it greasy. At around $26 this sunscreen product is pricey, but well worth the investment for maximizing sun protection on your scalp.

Sun Bum SPF 30 Scalp and Hair Mist

This spray-on scalp sunscreen checks all the boxes: It’s lightweight enough that it doesn’t leave a residue, it dries down super-fast (even when you spritz it through your hair).

Supergoop! Poof 100% Mineral Part Powder

The best thing about this scalp sunscreen is how easy it is to apply. All you do is pump the lightweight powder along your roots and gently blend it in with your fingertips. When I am busy golfing, I don’t always get a chance to wash my hair, so I find this also doubles as a dry shampoo, too—the superfine formula helps absorb any excess oil sitting on your scalp.

Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Defense Sunscreen Spray

This product was formulated as a convenient, fast-drying ultra-lightweight spray mist that works with a variety of different hair and skin types.  The price point is an affordable $12 and you might be able to find this product a little cheaper if you shop around.

Laroche-Posey Anthelios Mineral Zinc Oxide Sunscreen

This product is priced at $33.50 and if you have never heard of this brand, then I highly recommend this product for ultimate sunscreen protection.  This is not a scalp-specific product, but I wouldn’t hesitate to dab this product on my part, scalp and hairline along with smoothing this all over your face and body.  The ultra-light sunscreen fluid is 100% mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  It’s non-whitening and is fast absorbing formulated with their Cell-Ox ShieldTM   so even brunettes could use this on their scalp.