Are you excited to rock that bald look outdoors? Not so fast. You don't want a burnt scalp after enjoying your time under the sun.
You may have applied sunscreen on your whole body in the past, but now that you're parading a shiny dome, you'll surely need sunscreen for your bald head, right?
If you're a newbie to the head-shaving game or a veteran still on the fence about using sunscreen on your scalp, this guide is for you.
Sun exposure can harm us if we're not careful.
Read along as we discuss why it's essential for baldies to use sunscreen, discover the best sunscreen for bald heads, and learn more about SPF and decoding sunscreen labels.
Why do bald men need sunscreen?
Who says bald heads can't have fun in the sun? While having less hair is easy to maintain, having less hair coverage can be a problem when we're out on sunny days. Hair can act as a force field against harmful UV rays. With no hair, our scalp needs extra protection.
Sunburn or looking like a lobster isn't the only concern a bald head has; too much exposure to the sun can lead to aggressive skin cancer.
Hats offer excellent protection from harmful UV rays, but only some want to wear a hat outdoors. How do we solve this dilemma? Applying sunscreen.
What can sunscreen do for you?
protection from UV rays
prevents skin aging
protection from skin disorders
lowers cancer risk
allows us to have our daily dose of Vitamin D from the sun
For more sun safety tips, we go in-depth on this topic here. You can click on the link to learn more.
9 Best Sunscreens for Bald Heads
Now that you know why applying sunscreen is essential for bald heads, here's a list of the best sunscreens you can buy for bald scalps:
Headblade Headlube SPF 50+ - The Popular Choice
A razor expert surely knows their stuff around smooth domes. It's no surprise that Headblade has a popular moisturizer and sunscreen lotion that not only offers SPF50+ but also hydrates and moisturizes your scalp. Headlube's oil-free formula keeps pores from clogging, plus it's a water-resistant sunscreen, so you can enjoy your swim without worrying about losing your sunscreen or stinging your eyes.
Bee Bald Smooth Plus Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 - Best Sunscreen Designed for Bald Heads
Harmful UV rays can cause damage to your bald scalp since you don't have enough hair to act as a protective barrier. But this doesn't mean you won't need broad-spectrum protection if you have thinning hair.
Bee Bald has your back as its SPF moisturizer offers SPF 30 protection and hydrates, tones, and moisturizes your scalp.
If you're looking for a sunscreen with the best matte finish, this is a good option since it absorbs quickly and prevents the buildup of oil and shine.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen - Best Budget Sunscreen
If you're on a budget but want the best sunscreen SPF, don't worry. This Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen can be yours for less than $10. It offers SPF 55 protection and also helps in reducing shine. You can also apply it to your face and body.
EltaMD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 - Best for Sensitive Scalps
A little sun is good for us bald guys. Nothing beats natural Vitamin D from Mr. Sun. For sensitive skin types, sunscreens may cause scalp acne and clog pores. Not anymore. Elta MD Mineral Sunscreen is your reliable sunscreen for those with sensitive scalps. Its light formula is oil-free and designed to give the best protection for those with acne-prone skin. So, head out without worrying about sun exposure, skin cancer, or UV rays. Elta MD has your back.
Coola Scalp Spray & Hair Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 - Best Organic Sunscreen
Applying sunscreen can be a chore. Not everyone gets excited when applying lotion on their scalp, face, neck, and ears.
Not with the Coola Scalp Spray. Imagine applying a refreshing mist that protects your scalp from the scorching sun.
Convenient and easy to use, the Coola Scalp and Hair Mist is a good option if you prefer sunscreen with organic ingredients. It's water-resistant and smells like the ocean when you apply it. Coola also gives you broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection and doesn't contain oxybenzone or octinoxate.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Sunscreen - Highest SPF Sunscreen
Are you looking for ridiculously high SPF protection? La Roche Posay Anthelios Sunscreen gives a high SPF 100 and broad spectrum protection while moisturizing your scalp. It's fragrance-free, non-greasy, allergy-tested, and doesn't leave a white film on your skin.
Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen - Best for Outdoor Sports
This oil-free cream from Neutrogena gives you broad spectrum protection SPF 70+ and a matte finish. It's a great choice if you want sun protection and love outdoor sports. You can apply this on your scalp and face and enjoy its water-resistant qualities. With Neutrogena Sport Face Sunscreen, you can play beach volleyball with your buddies without worrying about sunburn.
Alba Botanica Sensitive Sunscreen - Best Natural Spray Option
Not everyone loves applying and lathering cream all over the scalp. What is the best spray option? Alba Botanica. It's a safe sunscreen that's lightweight and quick drying. A few sprays on your scalp give SPF 50 and water-resistant sun protection.
A sunscreen spray made with natural ingredients and botanicals? Yes, you've read that right. Alba Botanica Sensitive Sunscreen Spray is a good sunscreen made with 100% vegetarian ingredients.
Cream haters can now avoid being like a sitting duck under the sun. Ditch the cream and spray the best sunscreen for bald heads.
Blue Lizard Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen - Best for Acne-Prone Scalps/Best Matte Sunscreen
You may have tried sunscreen on your scalp but had acne a few days later. We have good news for you.
Blue Lizard mineral sunscreen works for bald heads with sensitive skin. It's fragrance-free, has no parabens, water resistant, and gives you one of the best matte finishes.
Don't let sensitive skin stop you from enjoying SPF protection. If you prefer a less shiny bald head, the Blue Lizard sunscreen is a good option.
How to Choose the Right Sunscreen for Bald Heads
With so many options in the market, we share helpful information to help you decide what sunscreen to buy.
Use a sunscreen that's meant for the face or scalp
You'll notice products targeting a specific body area as you search for sunscreens. For bald heads like ours, we want sunscreens with a lightweight formula designed for the scalp and face.
Our face and scalp skin is more sensitive, so we want to avoid chemical sunscreens containing heavy oils or occlusive and comedogenic ingredients that can clog pores and cause acne.
Check labels for oil-free sunscreen or non-comedogenic. It's the best sunscreen for bald heads if you have oily skin.
Choose an SPF moisturizer for daily use
An integral part of bald head grooming is moisturizing our chrome domes. No one wants a dry and flaky scalp. The convenient choice is buying a moisturizing sunscreen. Imagine having a 2 in 1 product that nourishes your scalp and protects you from the sun. An SPF moisturizer will save you time and money. It's killing two birds with one stone.
Mineral sunscreens vs Chemical sunscreens
There are two types of sunscreen available: mineral and chemical.
Mineral-based sunscreens, or physical sunscreens, provide a protective wall on our skin's surface. They usually contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. If you notice a white, chalky layer on your skin, it's due to titanium dioxide. Zinc oxide, on the other hand, works well for those with sensitive skin types.
Chemical sunscreens go deeper into our skin and stop UV rays before they can cause harm. They usually contain active ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate, and octisalate.
Which is better? Both work well.
I choose mineral sunscreens as the safer bet since I have sensitive areas on my neck.
Chemical sunscreens may also have chemical ingredients that are known as endocrine disruptors. Applying that to my scalp? I'd instead pick sunscreens with safe, gentle, and natural ingredients.
If you prefer chemical sunscreens, apply a small portion first and observe your scalp. If your scalp doesn't get irritated in 30 to 45 minutes, you can apply it freely for sun protection.
Check expiration dates
Before applying sunscreen, check the expiration date. Sunscreens last up to 3 years, so anything longer may not give the protection you expect.
Other things to check on the label
Water resistance: If you're going out for a swim or may sweat a lot playing outdoor sports, sunscreen with water resistance is your best option. You wouldn't want your sunscreen to get washed off or get into your eyes.
Texture: When we were younger, sunscreen was thick and heavy. Now they're lightweight, and you won't even notice that you have them on.
Oil-free: Most sunscreens are now oil-free because no one wants a greasy texture when applying sunscreen.
Unscented: Some sunscreens are also available without fragrance. Some baldies may be allergic to fragrance oils, so this type is a good choice.
Dermatologist tested: For baldies with sensitive skin, look for sunscreens that are allergy-tested or designed for sensitive skin.
Spray: Sunscreens are now available as sprays. It's a convenient choice versus lotions and creams.
All About SPF
SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, shows the level of protection we get from sunscreens. For example, SPF 15 means you'll get 15 times better protection than no protection.
Going for a higher SPF is ideal, especially for our bald head. An SPF 30 should be the minimum protection we should choose.
An SPF 30 blocks 97% of UV rays, while an SPF 100 blocks 99%. We should consider the minimal difference in % of UV rays blocked since higher SPF sunscreens are more expensive.
SPF rules are the same for skin and scalp care. Remember these instructions after buying your sunscreen.
Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours if you're under direct sunlight.
Reapply sunscreen after water or sweat exposure
Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 as minimum
Broad-spectrum sunscreen is better for UVA and UVB protection
Be generous in applying your sunscreen for maximum coverage and protection.
Apply on the scalp, face, neck, and ears
Look for water-resistant sunscreens
Broad spectrum protection
All types of UV rays are our enemy. Bald heads need the best protection against all kinds of UV rays, and Broad-spectrum sunscreen provides this.
If the label says broad spectrum SPF, you are protected from UVA and UVB rays.
UVB rays damage our skin surface and cause sunburns and skin cancer. On the other hand, UVA rays are responsible for sun spots and skin aging.
You may think UVB rays cause more damage, but why not block UVA and UVB?
The Bottom Line
If wearing hats outdoors is not your style, applying sunscreen is a must for protection against the harmful effects of the sun.
It's time to make sunscreen application a part of your head-shaving routine. You can start by checking out our list and choosing the best sunscreen that suits your needs and preferences.
Remember, wearing sunscreen doesn't provide 100% protection from UV rays, so check out our guide on protecting your bald head from the sun for other ideas.
Do bald people need sunscreen?
Absolutely! Sunburn is painful in other parts of the body, and the pain multiplies when your scalp gets burned since it's more sensitive than other areas. There's also a higher risk for scalp skin cancer, so applying sunscreen should be a part of a bald person's head-shaving routine.
How do I protect my shaved head from the sun?
The best way to protect a shaved head from the sun is to avoid too much sun exposure. Whenever you go out on sunny days, you can protect your shaved head by:
wearing a summer hat
How do you prevent sun spots on a bald head?
To prevent sun spots on your bald head, use good sunscreen with high SPF, wear a hat, and regularly visit a board-certified dermatologist.