How To Treat A Sunburned Scalp And Save Yourself From Pain This Summer

If you aren’t sure how to treat a sunburned scalp, there are definitely some tips you should know before the summer season hits in full swing.  It’s hard to find a downside to summer, but no one can deny that sunburns are literally the worst. Spending all that time outside in the sun is great, especially after a long winter, but it doesn’t always come without side effects, which can seriously kill your good vibes.

By now, you probably know how to protect and treat your face and body from burns, but your scalp is a little more tricky. It’s not like you’re going to put a bunch of sunscreen on your hair, and it doesn’t even seem like a place that’s particularly vulnerable to begin with because your hair is covering it. But that’s not true — sun can still hit your scalp, and if it isn’t protected, you can definitely get burned. And that is a kind of pain you don’t want to experience.

So what do you do? Are you really going to throw all that sticky aloe on top of your hair? You can — but that could get messy, real quick. Instead, follow these tips to help heal your sunburned scalp and stay pain-free for the rest of summer.

1. Use Cool Water

When you’re showering, do not scorch your scalp with hot water. Instead, rinse with cool or cold water until it’s healed.

2. Switch Up Your Shampoo

Bumble and Bumble, $31,

Step away from your frizz-free and volumizing shampoos for a while. Your scalp needs moisture, so you want to choose a sulfate-free shampoo while it’s healing, as sulfates can dry out your scalp and make the burn worse.

3. Use A Cold Compress

If you don’t want to deal with sticky aloe, apply a cold compress to your burn to ease the pain.

4. Moisturize

Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut, $11.89,

Your burn needs moisture, but since aloe can be tricky, another great option is applying coconut oil. Bonus? Apply it to your hair and let it do double-duty as a hair mask!

5. Avoid Heat

Turn off your hair dryer — your scalp needs to heal, and the heat is only going to make it worse. Luckily, summer is the perfect season to rock beach waves.


La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen, $19.99,

Once your burn is healed, to make sure this doesn’t happen again (or to prevent burns in the first place), always wear a hat, stay under an umbrella when you’re laying in the sun, or mix one tablespoon of SPF into half a cup of water, dissolve it, and spray or rub it on your scalp.

Images: Pexels; Fototalia; Bumble and Bumble, Shop Links; Amazon