As summer settles into its final month for the year, we’ll all be looking to get out and top up our tans. With that in mind, it’ll be of the utmost importance that we protect our skin like we protect our phones. We all know that the worst thing in the world is waking up after a day of non-stop tanning to find that you’re as red as a lobster and feeling pain in every which way. So year in and year out we pile on the sunscreen, increasing that Sun Protection Factor (SPF) each time. Of course, little do we realise that it’s not just our beautiful bodies and faces that get burnt by the bright blue skies – our scalps get damaged too. For those of us who are already thinning on top, protecting your scalp with a high SPF is as important as ever as often or not, the loss of hair exposes more of the scalp leaving you an easy target for sunburn and its inordinately monotonous after-effects. Exposing Skin Cancer sunshine Whilst laying out in the sun has its advantages, one big disadvantage looms over it – Skin Cancer. Several professionals including clinical professor Dr Paul McAndrews of the USC School of Medicine believe that skin cancer is becoming increasingly more common on the scalps of thinning individuals, both males and females, due to it standing out more than those with thicker hair. It has been revealed that the exposure to sun that topping up our tans will give us is closely linked to two types of Skin Cancer: Carcinoma – the most common form of Skin Cancer – and Melanoma – the deadliest form of Skin Cancer. Make sure that you use a higher SPF to represent the amount of moles you have, as the more moles you have the higher the risk is for Melanoma. If you’re hitting the beach, you’re best to go before 10am and after 4pm, you’ll not only miss the intense heat but you’ll miss the crowds too, so it’s a win-win every time. A Tablespoon A Day Keeps The Doctor Away spoon With this in mind we’ll need to find ways of topping up our tans without burning ourselves senseless. It’s becoming more and more in trend to try on a hat or two in the sun, whilst celebrity hair care expert Dr Robert Dorin suggests combining one tablespoon of SPF 50 lotion into half a cup of water and spray it onto your scalp and hair once it’s dissolved. Of course, you can always use a good old fashioned sunscreen for the hair and scalp. If all else fails, cover yourself in your clothing before and after the sea and wear UV-protected sunglasses partnered with a 3-inch broad-brimmed hat for maximum effect. Better to be safe than sorry, right? If you plan to make the most of the summer while you still can, make sure you protect your scalp as well as your body and face.  



By Ian Watson


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