May 14, 2018

Can Your Hair Protect Your Scalp From Skin Cancer?

The Short Answer from a dermatologist

Can Hair Protect Your Scalp from Skin Cancer?

Q: Does the hair on your head protect your scalp from skin cancer?

A: Not only does a thick, lustrous head of hair speak volumes about a person’s overall health. It also serves to protect the skin of your scalp from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation.

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If your hairline recedes, however, that protection goes along with it. Men and women alike should remember to apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to the crown of the scalp — or to look for a fashionable, wide-brimmed hat with sun-protective fabric, measured in UPF.

—Dermatologist Alok Vij, MD

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