If you tend to neglect your scalp when it comes to sun protection, it's time to invest in a hair-friendly sunscreen to give you the motivation you need. The best hair sunscreens have lightweight, non-drippy formulas and offer an SPF of at least 30, as advised by the American Academy of Dermatology, and are water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Plus, they won't completely mess with your hair and are designed to make reapplication effortless.
As with any sunscreen, plan to reapply your hair (or scalp) sunscreen every two hours, or more often if you’ve been sweating or swimming. When using a spray or mist on your scalp, be careful not to spray the product into your eyes or face. If you have a hard time with the idea of using a lot of liquid sunscreen in your hair, you can buy a powder sunscreen as a backup option to use on top of your spray or cream sunscreen. These powder formulas can be especially handy for midday touchups, but note that they shouldn't be used as your sole form of sun protection, as they tend to be less effective. Also — and this may seem obvious — but if you're concerned about keeping your scalp protected from the sun, invest in a hat with UPF sun protection.
With those sun-safety tips in mind, scroll on to shop the best hair and scalp sunscreens, all handily available on Amazon.
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
1. Best Drugstore Hair Sunscreen
This no-frills hair and scalp sunscreen from Banana Boat ticks off all the main boxes when it comes to sun protection: It has an SPF of 30, is water resistant for up to 80 minutes, and is affordable enough to replenish regularly. The lightweight formula can be used on either wet or dry hair, though the reviews seem to be mixed on whether or not it makes your hair feel greasy. One consensus is clear, though: It definitely keeps your scalp fully protected from the sun.
2. Best Prestige Hair Sunscreen
For something a bit more sophisticated, go with this COOLA Organic Scalp & Hair Sunscreen Mist. The super-lightweight mist is infused with antioxidant-rich botanicals, like monoi oil and gotu kola extract, as well as moisturizing panthenol so your hair stays nourished. Another perk: The formula claims to help prevent your color from fading, so it's safe (recommended, actually) for dyed and highlighted hair. Like the Banana Boat sunscreen, this provides an SPF of 30 and 80 minutes of water-resistant coverage. Bonus points for its sage-y, salty scent.
3. Best Powder Sunscreen For Your Scalp
As previously mentioned, powder sunscreens aren't effective enough to be used as your main form of sun protection. But if you've already applied a liquid sunscreen, like any of the two above, powder sunscreens — like Brush On Block Mineral Sunscreen Powder — can be great as a secondary form of sun protection. This is so handy for reapplication on top of your makeup, and as a non-greasy way to reinforce the sun protection on your scalp, hair part, and hairline. The powder dusts on translucent, has an SPF of 30, and is water resistant up to 80 minutes.
Another cool thing? The applicator is refillable (order your refill here), which not only saves you money, but is a more environmentally conscious option, too.
You May Also Like
Full disclosure: This isn't a sunscreen. But you still may be interested in Moroccanoil Protect and Prevent Spray, which is a leave-in conditioning and detangling spray that helps protect your hair color from fading or becoming brassy when exposed to environmental aggressors like UV rays and pollution. Like all Moroccanoil products, it uses argan oil as its hero ingredient and has a delicious, spicy-sweet scent. Use this in conjunction with one of the scalp sunscreens above to keep your hair looking and feeling vibrant, nourished, and strong.