With over five million confirmed cases of skin cancer each year, skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in Americans today.¹ Fortunately for us, it’s also one of the most preventable and treatable cancers.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, a time to spread awareness and think about keeping your scalp, hair and skin healthy during the hot summer months. Although the sun gives us the most beautiful of days, it gives off harmful rays that can be extremely tough on your skin and hair.
Check out these tips to prevent hair and scalp damage this summer, and keep your hair looking great:
Hydrate: Keeping your body and hair hydrated can be the difference between split ends and silky soft locks at the end of a long day in the sun.
Shade: This one might seem like common sense, but staying in the shade can help reduce the amount of harmful UV rays on your hair and scalp. Don't be fooled, however, UV rays bounce off things like cars, water, and glass, so always use SPF sunscreen.
Use Sunscreen: Most people do not think about applying sunscreen to their hair and scalp. Melanoma can develop under your hair follicles, making it hard to see. There are lots of great products on the market now to protect your scalp and hair from the sun. Use a product with an SPF of 30 or higher before those long days at the beach or pool.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Dying the color of your hair can dry it out and cause more damage with extreme sun. Avoid cosmetics with harsh chemicals that can harm your hair and scalp.
Condition: Products like leave-in conditioners can protect your hair against rays from the sun and other harmful contaminants by sealing in a hydrating layer of protection. Try a conditioner with an SPF in summer months to shield off high UV indexes.
Shampoo after Swimming: Salt and chlorine can dry out your skin and hair. Wash out contaminants like chlorine and salt from the ocean to minimize damage to hair follicles, scalp and skin.
Minimize Frequency of Washing Hair: Shampoo gets rid of everything, including the moisture your hair needs to look and feel fresh and healthy. Over cleaning your hair can lead to frizz and damage. Always condition your hair after using shampoo. Use hair products free of sulfates and harsh chemicals.
If you are susceptible to hair loss, take hair care even more seriously this summer. Bald spots for men can be vulnerable to sunburns and skin cancer. Get screened regularly for skin cancer by a board certified dermatologist.
Don't let the summer sun damage your hair and scalp. Like many things, our hair is a precious commodity, which requires extra care. These simple tips can help preserve the health and longevity of your hair, scalp and skin, while preventing damage from the sun.
AUTHOR: Dr. Nader Ronaghi, founder of Pure Hair Restoration Center, is a leading physician in the field of hair transplantation in Newport Beach, California with over a decade of experience. Dr. Ronaghi uses biologics with advanced medical technology to restore hair, helping his patients improve their appearance and self-esteem.