Beautiful young woman with sexy body in trendy look lying on the mat on the beach. Toned. Outdoors lifestyle
Image: Shutterstock/Kaponia Aliaksei

It’s finally time for fun in the sun, so you grab your sunglasses and slather on the SPF, and then head right out the door. You have the best day you’ve had in months, and then get home…only to realize your scalp looks like someone poured red dye on it. And it hurts. Turns out, amidst all that sun prep, you forgot to protect that pesky hair part that is all too easy to miss. So below are several easy ways to keep your head from that painful scalp sunburn.

Cover up

One of the easiest ways to avoid nuking skin is to cover your head. Remember the wide-brimmed hat, or if those are too bulky, simply cover up with a stylish scarf. If you plan on going into the water, you can also wear a thicker swim cap that is made to protect against UV rays. You can even find specific products, like the Nammu line that makes hats for use in water.

Style your hair differently

Head gear not your thing? You can simply try styling your hair another way. If you always part your hair in one spot, switch it up for different days out in the sun so you’re not nuking just one spot on your head. You could also try pulling your hair straight back into a ponytail, eliminating the scalp sunburn problem altogether.

How to use sunscreen on your hair

Ok, you’re stubborn. You want to wear your hair how you always wear it because that’s your look. There’s no messing with your look. That’s fine. A simple way to use the SPF you’ve already got is to just dissolve some in water. Combine a palmful of SPF 50 lotion with a half a cup of water and stir. Then add the solution to a spray bottle and mist away. Make sure to cover your hair part well, and rub the solution into your scalp.

Sunscreen for your hair

If spraying diluted lotion into your hair leaves your locks feeling too weighted down for your taste, there are tons of products on the market that target SPF right into the hair area. Many of these are formulated to be lightweight and leave hair smooth, like Clarins Sunscreen Care Oil Spray. If you really don’t like spray, there are even powder mineral SPF products, like bareMinerals SPF30 Natural Sunscreen, which you can apply right into your part without the mess of rubbing in a spray.

Plan your day around the sun

Another option is to just plan your day around when the sun is at its worst. The sun is the harshest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., meaning if you’re going out for a shorter hike or swim, try to go out before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. If you go out in the evening, you’re missing the most crowded times at the beach and the worst of the day’s heat, as well.