Here's How to Heal a Sunburned Scalp

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Turns out that too much fun in the sun actually can hurt you…and your scalp. Any sunburn causes serious discomfort, especially sunburns on your scalp which can cause pain while washing, brushing, or styling your hair. And apart from the heightened cancer risk, scalp burns lead to dryness, irritation, and itching. No thanks. So best to reach for the SPF for your part or our The Shade Holographic Visor whenever possible. But in case you forget, here is how to heal a sunburned scalp in five easy steps!

sunburned scalp | Mane Addicts
(Image Source: Unsplash / Joe Gardner)

Wash in Tepid Water

If you love a scalding hot shower, we have some bad news for you—high-temperature water adds to the discomfort of a sunburn. So if you’re really wanting to heal a sunburned scalp, it’s best to use lukewarm water to wash until your scalp is fully healed.

Avoid Sulfates

Before you shower, check that ingredient list. If your shampoo or conditioner contains sulfates, opt for something a little less harsh. Sulfates can seriously dry out your strands, which is the absolute opposite of post-sunburn hair care. Go for something natural and hydrating instead, like Briogeo’s Be Gentle, Be Kind Aloe + Oat Milk Ultra Soothing Shampoo.


It goes without saying, but it’s best to avoid additional heat. No need to further stress out your strands with a blow-dry styling session. Instead, gently towel-dry your hair post-shower and let your strands naturally air-dry.

Moisturize to the Max

Moisturization is a must following a sunburned scalp. From leave-in conditioners to hydrating hair masks, give your scalp a little TLC after a day spent outside. Look for products with coconut oil, aloe vera, and other luxe ingredients to stave off dryness and relieve irritation. Christophe Robin’s Hydrating Melting Hair Mask With Aloe Vera, for example, is an excellent selection.

Protect Your Tresses

Say it with us: wear a hat (or, again, our The Shade visor). Sun protection is key, and it’s even more important following a sunburn. Keep the sun off of your scalp while your burn heals. Hats, hair scarves, sun umbrellas—all great options.

Is a sunburned scalp not the only thing you’re trying to heal? If your strands are a little fried, HERE is how to cure sunburnt hair!