Summer Tips: How Do You Treat a Sunburned Scalp?
Even the most dedicated of sunblock wearers miss key areas when applying protection from the sun's rays on hot summer days. Those powerful UV rays can penetrate right through even the fullest heads of hair and scorch the sensitive skin on your scalp. Not only is this dangerous like any other sunburn, but it's also just as painful! A sunburn on the scalp reacts similar to that on the skin - the burned area becomes red, tender and very sensitive to hot water and certain products. It will eventually begin to peel and feel itchy. Try these steps to alleviate the pain, and help prevent peeling and blistering.
1. Treat with Soothing Aloe Vera
If you've ever had a sunburn of any kind, you are already familiar with this soothing product. It can get a little messy - we suggest trying this when you can stay home in your PJ's - but the relief it can provide is worth it. Start by gently cleansing hair with lukewarm water and an after-sun shampoo, such as Phyto Plage Hair & Body Wash. Gently towel dry until hair is damp, not soaking wet. Gently massage about 2 teaspoons (or a quarter size amount) of aloe vera gel onto your scalp. Allow it to soak in for at least 30 minutes. Finish by rinsing hair with cool water, and try to avoid using a blowdryer for 24-48 hours, or as long as the burn is still painful to the touch. Repeat as needed.
2. Don't Scorch the Burn
Stay out of the sun entirely until the burn has healed. If you must be in the sun, wear a hat to cover your scalp. You can also try parting your hair on another side to avoid exposing the burned area to the sun. We also suggest avoiding use of a blowdryer and other hot tools for at least 24 hours. Make sure you book your hair color, Brazilian straightening and haircut appointments for after your scalp has healed.
3. Avoid Alcohol
No need to panic - you can still have that martini. Just keep your alcohol intake limited to your beverages and away from your strands! Many hair products on the market contain some sort of alcohol. We suggest avoiding these products entirely until the burn has healed. Not only will using products with alochol likely cause the burn to sting even more, it also has a drying effect on the skin which can cause even more itching and peeling.
4. When it Peels, Don't Pick
Eventually the burn will begin to itch, and will most likely peel. It's tempting, and might drive you crazy, but try to avoid scratching and picking the skin. You could easily make it worse, create damage to the skin, or even cause an infection to develop. Try keeping the scalp moisturized with a hydrating oil to keep the peeling to a minimum.