Whether you have a bald head by choice or experienced hair loss, taking care of your scalp is of utmost importance. Hair is our natural protection against sun damage to our skin, so naturally, you need to take more precautions with a bald scalp.
There are plenty of things you can do to protect the sensitive skin on your scalp, from moisturizers to wearing hats. Yet, you probably won’t cover your head every time you leave the house, so you need to take protective measures daily by using sunscreen.
Because the scalp can be more sensitive to the sun than other areas of your body, you want to make sure you have the best sunscreen for bald heads. Luckily for you, we’ve spent time researching the top products for bald men.
Best Sunscreens for a Bald Head: Guide & FAQ
Protecting your head with sunscreen isn’t as straightforward as using it on your arms and legs. Your scalp is sensitive and a large part of your appearance. As such, take into consideration when you are looking for the best sunscreen for a bald head.
Why Do You Need Sunscreen?
Even if you can go out in the sun for hours and not get sunburned on your arms or chest, your scalp is a different story.
Without hair protecting the sensitive skin, you can get dry skin, sunburn, blisters, and even skin cancer.
The National Library of Medicine published a study about the connection between male pattern baldness and skin cancer. According to their findings, there is a strong correlation between the two. With baldness comes an increased risk of squamous and basal cell carcinoma, the two most common skin cancer forms.
Even without the argument of possible skin cancer, a red, flaky scalp from sunburn will not look the best look for pictures with your friends and family.
Additionally, prolonged exposure to the sun can cause premature aging. If you spend a lot of time outdoors without sunscreen on your scalp, you may start to see your skin change colors and look dry. Plus, aging causes more unwanted wrinkles.
If you manage to avoid the more severe effects of premature aging, you could begin to see dark spots and uneven coloring on your scalp.
Since your scalp is a noticeable area of your body, you want to make sure it is in the best condition at all times. With a regular application of quality sunscreen, you can avoid unwanted sun damage and maintain your sophisticated appearance.
What Is the Best SPF?
All sunscreen comes with an SPF number, but what does that mean for you? Is there a specific SPF that works best for bald heads?
SPF is short for Sun Protection Factor. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, SPF compares how long it takes the sun’s rays to give you some sunburn. For example, if you use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15, it will take 15 times longer for you to burn than without the protective layer.
What SPF you need depends on how much time you spend outside. If you are only going to take a short walk or drive around doing errands, SPF 15 is enough. The more time you plan on spending outdoors, the higher the SPF you will need.
Another way to think of SPF is by how much of the UVB rays each level blocks. Medical News Today explains that SPF 15 blocks 93% of the beams, while SPF 30 protects you from 97%. SPF 50 comes in at an impressive 98% protection rate.
What Kind of Sunscreen Do You Need?
Apart from SPF, there are two main types of sunscreen: chemical and physical. These terms refer to how the sunscreen protects your skin from UV rays.
A chemical sunscreen absorbs the rays and redistributes them. A physical lotion makes an actual barrier against the dangerous rays.
Both types are just as effective, but pick one and stick with it for continued protection.
Another factor to consider is whether the sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection. Since there are two main types of rays (UV-A and UV-B), you will want a sunscreen that protects you from both. Thankfully, most sunscreens available are broad-spectrum.
Do You Need Waterproof Sunscreen?
While no sunscreen is completely waterproof, some brands are water-resistant. This term means that it will not immediately wash off if you go swimming.
Even if you don’t plan on spending the day at the beach or pool, water-resistant sunscreen is still an excellent idea. It can protect your bald head from excess sweating.
Does the Sunscreen Have a Matte Finish?
Many sunscreen types leave a noticeable, shiny layer on your skin. More than likely, you do not want that look you want on your head. Any sunscreen with a matte finish will look more natural and eliminate any shininess.
Tips to Get the Best Result
Even with the best sunscreen product, you still need to follow a regular skincare regime. Also, make sure to apply sunscreen correctly for the best results.
- Take care of your scalp regularly. Keep up a routine of moisturizing and protecting your skin. Use lotions, essential oils, or other materials to keep your skin hydrated. If you can still grow hair on your head, make sure to shave your scalp often. Use a quality razor and apply enough cream, so your head feels nourished and healthy.
- Test the sunscreen first. Once you pick a sunscreen, you need to test it on a small part of your scalp. Since your face and head are often the first things people notice, make sure that the sunscreen blends well with your skin. Plus, always check for any allergic reaction or irritation.
- Look at the expiration date. Yes, sunscreen can expire. The protection level will diminish after the expiration date, so make sure you get a product that doesn’t expire for years to come. You don’t want to apply ineffective sunscreen and end up with a nasty burn.
- Put on sunscreen before exposure to the sun. It can be hard to remember to apply sunscreen before leaving the house. However, for the greatest protection, you need to put lotion on 30 minutes before sun exposure. It would help if you gave your skin time to absorb the sunscreen and create that protective layer.
- Apply sunscreen at regular intervals. Each sunscreen package will say how long it lasts. Most are effective from an hour to an hour and a half, so reapply the sunscreen at 90-minute intervals.
Best Sunscreens for a Bald Head: Our Top 8 Picks
Let’s check out our top sunscreen picks! As you review each product, remember the crucial points in the above section. Consider how often you will be using the sunscreen to find one with the right nutrients and SPF for you.
1. Best Overall: Bee Bald Smooth Plus
- Includes a daily moisturizer and SPF 30 sunscreen
- Hydrates and tones your skin while protecting against UV rays
- Reduces unwanted oil and shine
- Helps smooth wrinkles
Our best overall pick for sunscreen comes from the Bee Bald brand. This product is specifically for bald heads, while most other sunscreens are for general use.
This 1.7 fluid ounce product is a daily moisturizer for your scalp that also has SPF 30 sunscreen. If you include this in your everyday routine, you won’t need to add another sunscreen product for outdoor activities.
Not only does it protect you from the sun, but it also reduces oil production, smooths wrinkles, and hydrates any dry skin. Plus, it gives your skin a fresh feeling all day long!
Since this is a combination of moisturizer and sunscreen, you’ll want to use it all year round for the hydrating effects. If you use this product continually, you can have protection year-round. Most people forget about possible sun damage during the winter. If you use this product more as a moisturizer, you’ll protect your scalp all year.
2. Most Popular: Jack Black Oil-Free Sun Guard
- Includes four fluid ounces of SPF 45 sunscreen
- There are no oils, so you don’t get a shiny look
- Vitamin C and other organic ingredients help moisturize your skin
- Water-resistant for about 60 minutes
One of the more popular products comes from Jack Black’s line of skincare products. This particular sunscreen has an SPF of 45 and is water-resistant for up to 60 minutes.
The company promises that the sunscreen will last for an extended period in extreme conditions. It will protect you while sweating, swimming, or experiencing other extreme conditions. Plus, the organic ingredients, like vitamin C and calendula flower, provide extra nutrients to your skin.
The oil-free composition also works to remove shine while still giving you extreme protection.
Another great part of the Jack Black Sun Guard is the environmentally-friendly packaging. If you want to limit your carbon footprint, the Jack Black brand is an excellent choice. With a Compact by Design certification, you know the product comes without any excess packaging and waste.
3. Best Budget Option: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen Lotion
- Lightweight sunscreen without oxybenzone chemicals
- SPF 45
- Recommended by dermatologists
- Comes in a pack of two
Neutrogena is a leading skincare brand, thanks to its quality products with plenty of nutrients. This particular sunscreen is a favorite for many people with or without a bald head.
The lotion creates an extremely thin layer on your skin. You will barely notice you are wearing sunscreen since there are no oils and your skin absorbs it immediately. Plus, it has a nice matte finish to eliminate shine.
Many sunscreens use oxybenzone as a protective agent against UV rays. However, this chemical can potentially harm the environment and cause skin irritation. Neutrogena removed this chemical from their products for higher safety.
The sunscreen is PABA-free and recommended by dermatologists. Another great feature is that it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
This Neutrogena sunscreen is our best budget pick because it comes in a pack of two. You get a total of 6 fluid ounces of SPF 45 sunscreen for an affordable price.
4. Best Technology: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen
- Innovative Cell-Ox Shield technology for improved protection
- Free of chemicals, fragrances, and parabens
- High SPF of 60 and 80 minutes of water resistance
- Absorbs natural oils in your skin and has a matte finish
Yes, sunscreen can have advanced technology!
La Roche-Posay uses a Cell-Ox Shield technology for more powerful physical protection. Since the sun’s rays can vary in size, this sunscreen’s design uses a combination of filters that have different particle sizes.
This innovative technology takes regular broad-spectrum to the next level of protection.
Like some of the other products we have seen, the Anthelios sunscreen does not include oxybenzone. With the absence of chemicals, fragrances, and parabens, the sunscreen is ideal for sensitive skin.
It also has the highest SPF level we have seen on this list. The SPF 60 gives you lasting protection, and the 80-minute water resistance lets you enjoy extended time in the pool.
Not only does the sunscreen have a matte finish, but it also works to absorb the natural oils that your skin produces. Even in the heat of the sun, your skin will have a nice dry texture. The antioxidants and added vitamins will also leave your skill feeling refreshed.
5. Best Long-Lasting Option: Thinksport Safe Sunscreen
- Heavy-duty protection designed for athletes
- SPF 50+
- Water-resistant for 80 minutes
- Oil and chemical-free formula
If you are looking for a heavy-duty sunscreen that will last a long time, Thinksport could be an ideal choice.
This product is for athletes that are active in extreme conditions. The SPF 50+ provides extra protection against the sun. Plus, it is water-resistant for 80 minutes.
Since a bald head will receive many of the sun’s rays, you may want to give yourself extra protection. You don’t have to be an athlete to use this sunscreen. It can work just as well for people who enjoy being outdoors or tend to sweat heavily.
Like our previous options, Thinksport considers the environment when creating its sunscreen. They do not include dangerous chemicals, and the sunscreen is reef-friendly for those of you who love to spend time in the ocean. It is also gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.
6. Best Hypoallergenic Option: Headhunter Clear Sunscreen
- Hard-core sunscreen with SPF 50 and water resistance
- Hypoallergenic and paraben-free
- Designed for surfers
- Includes aloe vera
Another product designed for athletes is the Headhunter sunscreen lotion. While it is specifically for surfers spending time under extreme conditions, you can also use it as an extra protection level for your bald head.
One of the biggest draws of this product is that it is hypoallergenic and paraben-free. If you struggle with sensitive skin or irritation after using other sunscreens, try Headhunter.
The high SPF of 50 will give you increased protection. The product is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Let’s not forget the enriching addition of aloe vera, which soothes your skin and helps it absorb the sunscreen faster.
7. Best Fragrance: Banana Boat Sunscreen for Men
- Triple defense technology against UV rays, odors, and skin dehydration
- Active Protect technology for added protection
- Includes a manly scent to eliminate the typical sunscreen smell
- Has Vitamin E and aloe vera
If you are not a fan of the typical sunscreen smell, try Banana Boat Sunscreen for Men. The formula has ingredients that neutralizes odors while adding a soft manly fragrance. The scent is not overwhelming. There is enough to provide a pleasant experience and remove the powerful sunscreen smell.
Banana Boat advertises this sunscreen as a triple defense. Not only does it protect your skin against the sun’s rays, but it also combats odor and hydrates your skin.
The product’s Active Protect technology gives you continued protection, even if the UV rays become more intense. Plus, it helps eliminate sweat buildup.
Other notable features include lasting water resistance and the addition of vitamin E and aloe vera.
8. Best Alternative: Badger Sport Sunscreen Cream
- 98% of the ingredients are all-natural
- Non-nano zinc oxide doesn’t absorb into the skin
- Water-resistant for 80 minutes
- SPF of 30
We’ve talked a lot about the ingredients of other sunscreens. There are common chemicals in many sunscreens that can be harmful.
If you are looking for an all-natural sunscreen that won’t irritate your skin or damage the environment, try the Badger brand.
There are only five ingredients in this sunscreen: non-nano uncoated zinc oxide, organic sunflower oil, organic beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and sunflower vitamin E.
The zinc oxide may sound like a dangerous chemical, but it is not. The large particles of the zinc oxide prevent your skin from absorbing it. Therefore, it only sits on the top layer of your skin and works to disperse UV rays.
The other organic ingredients provide nourishment for your skin. They are rich in antioxidants and are natural moisturizers.
Even without chemicals, this sunscreen is highly effective. It is specifically for athletes with a water resistance of 80 minutes. However, anyone can take advantage of this natural sunscreen.
Many excellent sunscreen products can give you the superb protection that your scalp needs.
As you compare all these options, think about what is most important to you and the type of care your skin needs.
If you have a sensitive scalp, choose a product that is chemical and paraben-free. A good option may be the Neutrogena sunscreen. Likewise, if you spend a lot of time in the water, make sure the sunscreen is reef-safe like the Thinksport brand.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a daily moisturizer with sunscreen, consider the Bee Bald lotion.
All of the sunscreen choices listed above are excellent options. All you have to do now is pick the right one for you!