It’s important for everyone to protect all parts of their skin from harsh UV rays, but exposed skin right on the top of your head? That needs extra protection. Being the first point of contact with the sun, a good sunscreen should be essential in any bald mans daily routine.
Why do bald men need to focus more on sun protection?
Once you’ve gone bald, you quickly become aware of the advantages:
No more deciding between fancy, expensive hair products.
No more wasting time in the morning fixing your hair.
And likely, whenever you glance at the mirror, there’s one handsome dude looking back at you.
But there are some things to look out for – and your increased exposure to the sun is high up on that list. Hair protects from the harmful rays of the sun, and with your hair gone, you need to make sure you get extra protection in order to avoid sunburn and long-term issues like skin cancer.
Hat’s are great for this as well – and no wearing them won’t make your hair fallout, that’s a myth – but who wants to hide under a hat forever? Adding some lotion into your daily routine is an easy and effective solution.
But with sunscreen brands as abundant as sand on a beach, and many of them filled with ingredients you can barely pronounce – what should you look out for?
Let’s go over the basics, and then look at some of the favourites that have worked well for us.
The basics on sunscreen
With so many options and combinations available, there is no absolute right or wrong. Here are some of the things you need to understand when making your choice.
Head vs. body – is there a difference?
On a very basic level, skin is skin, and any good sunscreen will protect your head as well as any other part of your body.
Having said that, there are special face sunscreens which you might want to consider for your head. These don’t contain heavy oils or occlusive and comedogenic ingredients, all of which are prone to clog pores or otherwise block essential functions of the skin. Especially with sensitive skin types, this can lead to irritations such as acne or pimples.
If you have sensitive skin, or your skin is somewhat oily by default, look for oil-free and non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog the pores). Dedicated face sunscreens often provide both of these.
What is SPF?
The Sun Protection Factor, or SPF for short, indicates the strength of protection: SPF15 is, in theory, 15 times better than no protection at all. And while SPF30 is not exactly twice as strong as SPF15 (it gets confusing…), a higher SPF is always better in terms of protection.
We recommend going for at least SPF30 for your head: At a protection rate of 97%, it’s a good baseline that should prevent your head from being burnt if applied correctly.
One thing to keep in mind is duration: The SPF does not influence how long your head stays protected. Whether you use SPF15 or SPF50, it’s recommended to apply 30 minutes before exposure and re-applying every 2 hours.
Broad Spectrum: UVA vs. UVB
With your bald head exposing a significant amount of skin to the sun, you need the best protection available: Always opt for “broad spectrum” coverage, which means protection from all kinds of UV rays.
UVA rays have a long wavelength and are able to penetrate your skin. They’re what makes your skin look wrinkled and leathery, and produce sunspots.
UVB rays have a shorter wavelength and damage the surface of your skin. They’re the ones responsible for sunburns and skin cancer.
And while UVB rays are deemed more damaging, it’s best to simply block them all.
Opt for mineral over chemical
Fundamentally, there are two types of sunscreens.
Chemical-based options seep into the skin and neutralize UV rays before they can cause any damage. Typical chemicals used are avobenzone, octisalate, oxybenzone, and homosalate.
Mineral-based options create a protective barrier on top of the skin, usually containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. While this does not allow UV rays to reach the skin at all, the downside is a visible white, chalky layer many of these options leave on the skin.
Both work, but there is some debate around how harmful the chemicals are for both the skin and the environment.
If it’s all the same to you, go for mineral. It’s the safer bet.
Prevent a shiny dome
Nobody wants a shiny bald head, but some of us simply have oily skin. Or we sweat a lot, which can also make our scalp shine like a lighthouse.
If either of these sounds like you, make sure you pick an oil-free option. Going one step further, many brands offer sunscreens with a special matte formula that helps you prevent that oily look altogether.
It’s worth noting that this is a purely visual issue. While we all want to look good, don’t go for the cheapest chemical SPF15 sunscreen just because it promises no shine. Make sure your skin is protected – and then worry about the looks.
Bonus: Use SPF moisturizer!
If you rock a bald head, chances are you use some kind of moisturizer already. Why not kill two birds with one stone and use SPF moisturizer?
Keep in mind that normally, a low-number SPF moisturizer does not replace proper application of a good sunscreen. But if you can apply a base layer every day for those times you end up catching some sun and didn’t put on sunscreen – that’s a huge win for your bald head!
Our favourite sunscreens for bald men
Follow the guidelines above and you’ll likely find a good option wherever you shop.
Can’t be bothered? Here are our top 5 sunscreens for bald heads.
BEE BALD Smooth Plus w/SPF30
Why we like it:
- Daily moisturizer with built-in SPF30
- Broad spectrum protection
- Lots of natural ingredients (ginger, honey, goji, licorice root)
- It’s a brand for bald heads!
Your bald head is closest to the sun out of all your body parts – protect it accordingly.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF30. Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure, and re-apply every 2 hours.
Aim for an oil-free option to prevent a shiny dome. Some brands offer a matte finish – even better.
Both mineral and chemical options offer good protection. Opt for mineral for a lower risk to you and the environment.
Last but not least, consider using a skin moisturizer with built-in SPF – kill two birds with one stone.
Your bald head looks awesome. Do the above to make sure it stays that way.