Body hair does not shield you from the sun. According to studies, having a full head of hair helps nothing to shield your scalp from UV rays, and having darker hair makes little difference. Sunburn will not be prevented by wearing a light, white cotton T-shirt. However, wearing a hat may help prevent damage to your skin due to the sun.
Hair is made up of dead cells that slough off your skin daily. This is why your hair gets thicker and more abundant during an eclipse or after you've been in the sun for a long time- the extra exposure to solar radiation causes more cell death which results in new, healthy hair growing in its place. Even though hair isn't living tissue like skin, it too is susceptible to solar radiation. The more melanin (the pigment that gives hair its color) it contains, the better it can protect itself from the sun's harmful rays.
People with dark hair have more melanin than those with light hair; this is why people with dark hair are less likely to develop skin cancers due to solar radiation. However, sunlight still damages dark hair follicles just as it does light ones- they're just protected by their color. If you go into the sun without sunscreen, your hair will get burned too. That's why it's important to wear a hat and apply sunblock to all exposed skin surfaces including eyebrows, lips, and ears.
Hair does not protect itself as skin does. UV radiation from the sun cause skin and hair damage. Melanin absorbs and scatters UV rays, keeping them away from the delicate DNA of your cells...More>
Darker skin is protective against harmful effects of sunlight because it is harder for rays to reach skin pigment. However, darker skin also means less protection against warm rays when it is sunny out. This can lead to premature aging and cancer.
As you age, your skin produces less melanin. This is why older people tend to look lighter than they are. The more white you are, the more UV radiation you're exposed to. This is why it is important to wear sunscreen even when you are indoors or outside during daylight hours.
People with dark skin have two options: use cosmetics that contain UV filters such as oxybenzone or other chemicals; or go without sunlight entirely. Neither of these solutions is ideal. Using products with UV filters may cause other problems for those who are already at risk of developing cancers. And no one should be forced to stay in the dark forever. Going without sunlight could lead to vitamin D deficiency which could have serious health consequences for you.
Luckily, most people need only apply a reasonable amount of sunscreen to get the required protection.
Put on a Hat Limiting your exposure to the sun is the greatest strategy to protect your hair from the sun's rays. Whether you choose a baseball cap or a wide-brimmed beauty, most hats offer 100 percent protection from the sun's rays. Of course, you should also use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 if you plan to be in the sun for more than just a few minutes at a time.