The weather has begun to change for the better and most of us are back to spending more time outdoors. However, the sun can be very intense. One way to recognize an early sign of hair loss is if the sun burns your scalp this summer.
Hair follicles are actually specialized skin cells and, like skin cells, are affected by overexposure to the sun. Damaged follicles can affect hair health and their speed and ability to grow, hence the importance of protecting our heads well from the potentially harmful rays of the sun.
In particular, sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer and prolonged exposure to sunlight can damage both native and grafted hair. Prolonged sun exposure helps to fade hair color, increase split ends, dry hair and promote thinning of the follicles, among others.
Symptoms of burnt scalp
The symptoms of a sunburned scalp are basically the same as a sunburn anywhere else in the body and include redness of the area, warmth to the touch, itching, and small fluid-filled blisters. If the sunburn is severe, you may also experience headache, fever, nausea, and fatigue.
It may take a few hours for the first symptoms of sunburn to appear, but it may take up to 24 hours or more to determine its full extent.
Mechanism of solar overexposure on the scalp
Solar overexposure negatively affects the protective barrier of natural oils and scalp fats by causing blood vessels to dilate and swell. Sometimes, this damage causes the synthesis of superoxide, a compound that can cause hair follicles to interrupt growth and enter the detachment phase, leading to the dreaded hair loss.
Treatment for burnt scalp
You can treat your scalp burnt from home. For about a week, or until the sunburn has healed, follow these simple steps:
- Shower with cold water, or warm at best. Hot water will increase the discomfort from sunburn.
- Avoid sulfate shampoos until the sunburn has healed, as they can make the scalp even more dry and cause more irritation. The Regenerative Shampoo from Redenhair is the ideal product, as it fully respects the scalp, hydrates and prevents flaking and nourishes the follicles for capillary regeneration.
- Avoid silicone conditioners as they can block pores, trap heat and cause further damage. The Redenhair Pro-regenerative Conditioner, like its entire range, is 100% hair-friendly and not only cares for the scalp but also avoids split ends and dry hair.
- Dry and comb your hair naturally. Heat from dryers and irons can further worsen burns and damage the scalp in the process of healing.
- Soothes pain with cold compresses. Hydrate and cool gently, with coconut oil or aloe vera gel, the sun-burned area can relieve discomfort and promote healing, although it will probably make your hair look greasy
- Stay hydrated. Along with other benefits, drinking at least eight glasses of water a day will help hydrate the skin.Usa una gorra o un sombrero.
- While your scalp is healing, stay away from the sun and your scalp covered. There are many functions of the hair beyond decorating our physical appearance: it helps to isolate our bodies when it is cold and keeps us cool and regulated when temperatures are high. Hair also protects us from UV radiation, as it acts as a barrier between our skin and the sun’s rays, when our hair follicles are at risk if they are not adequately protected.
Similarly, hair burned and damaged by the sun’s rays can be reconditioned to appear temporarily healthy, but it is very difficult to repair hair that has been permanently damaged. When hair is damaged, it is possible to camouflage it with protein treatments and oils that soften and moisten the tips to improve its appearance, but those treatments apply to the hair stem and do not act on the scalp. The only way to permanently improve damaged hair is to cut it and let it grow back healthy and strong, boosting it with more specific treatments like those of Redenhair.
In conclusion, burns on the scalp can definitely cause scarring of the follicles and consequent hair loss. If this happens, it is vital to use scalp-friendly products that nourish the follicles so that they do not weaken and eventually disappear. Also, if your hair is thinning, it is probably also a good idea to look for treatments to avoid it and produce hair regrowth.
You can find information about the most effective treatments, which will explain hair loss in the vast majority of cases, on our Redenhair page: we have a range of products that not only prevent hair loss and keep it healthy, they achieve optimal hydration so that the hair and scalp can recover after a sunburn.