Sunburn on the Scalp


Before you spent the day in the sun, you lathered on sunblock with a high SPF to protect your skin. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, you may have found that you forgot about an important area — your head. Forgetting about the sensitive skin on your head is easy, and it can lead to a sunburn on your scalp, usually in the area where you’ve parted your hair.

Contributing Factors

The skin on your head can be particularly sensitive to the sun because it usually doesn’t receive the same amount of exposure that other areas of your body receive. If you wear a hat often, or if you suddenly part your hair in a new place, you are likely to get a sunburn on your scalp when you forget to take proper care.


If you’ve already gotten a sunburn, place a small dot of the juice from an aloe plant on your finger, and apply it directly to the area. This can ease the pain, but may affect the look of your hair. A cold cloth on your head can also ease pain. Alternatively, fashion magazine “Marie Claire” recommends using a commercial scalp oil.

Flaky Scalp

As your sunburn heals, it will result in peeling skin. On your scalp, this can look like large flakes of dandruff. Use a fine-toothed comb to comb these pieces out of your hair, and check frequently throughout the day for new ones. Scalp peeling should only last a few days.


Protect your scalp from sunburn by applying sunblock to all exposed areas or by wearing your hair in a style that is less likely to expose areas, such as a ponytail. However, the best protection for your scalp is a hat that protects against UV rays.

Time Your Outings

The sun is at its strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m, and especially between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. If possible, spend your outside time either before or after these times. If you do go out during the peak hours, take all necessary precautions to prevent sunburn on your scalp.



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