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The best sun protection for hair: 10 hair SPFs to protect your scalp

Your scalp needs protecting and so does your hair with these best SPFs for your hair and scalp

Best hair protection in the sun
Carla Challis
Carla ChallisCommerce Partnerships Editor
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Frazzled, sun-scorched holiday hair should be a thing of the past thanks to the new wave of sun protection products for your hair. Not bought a hair sunscreen yet? We've got the best edit to protect your hair, stop your colour fading and turn it from straw-like to silky. Wondering what hair sunscreen is? It does exactly what it says on the tin – protects your hair from UV rays. As tempted as you might be to just slather your skin and body SPF on your hair, hold off – you need an SPF specifically designed to protect those strands.

Why does your hair need sun protection?

Just like your skin, hair can be damaged by the sun’s rays too. “When UV rays penetrate the hair’s outer cuticle, they create highly reactive free radicals which damage the melanin pigment causing colour changes, and attack the protein structure of the hair, leading to thinning, breakage, and split ends,” explains leading hair stylist Michael Van Clarke.

Apply in the morning like you would your usual SPF, and reapply throughout the day, especially after swimming.

Best ways to protect your hair in the sun

As well as applying an SPF to the hair, Michael Van Clarke suggests covering your hair where possible, especially in direct sunlight – think a chic, patterned scarf or cute bucket hat. He also suggests packing a deep conditioning treatment to treat your hair post-swim and sun. “Replenish your hair daily with regular treatments. Holidays are an ideal time to treat your hair to the full deep conditioning treatment, like leave-in conditioners or pre-shampoo boosters.”

Need a hair SPF? Shop the best sun protection for hair

  • Aveda sun protection for hair

    Aveda SPF for hair

    Top review: "Purchased this because of the summer sunshine and I didn't want my hair to be dried out or damaged by UV rays. It definitely does what it says on the bottle - my hair is still in great condition even after 10 days in 30 degree heat! Definitely recommend this."

    Aveda’s lightweight, the water-resistant formula creates a UV defence mist on your hair for up to 16 hours.

  • Sun Bum sun protection for hair

    Sun Bum Protecting Heat Protector

    Top review: "Smells gorgeous, I took this on holiday with me and it made my hair feel so soft and smell like coconuts!"

    Laced with vitamin C-rich noni fruit extract to neutralise harmful aggressors, this also has nourishing sea kelp to fortify weakened hair while replenishing moisture to maximise shine.  

  • Nuxe sun protection for hair

    NUXE Sun Moisturising Protective Milky Oil for Hair

    Top review: "Best hair protection. Prevents scalp from burning and hair from drying out I never leave for holiday without it."

    One spritz and this soft, milky oil help to protect hair from UVA/UVB rays, salt, and chlorine - it smells delicious too.  

  • BeautyWorks sun protection for hair


    Top review: "I got this spray to give my hair a bit of UV protection (important even in the UK!) and it is even better than I thought! Made my hair SO soft and shiny but didn't weigh it down at all."

  • Evy sun protection for hair


    This UV Heat/Hair Mousse uses UV filters and is packed with vitamins and oils to soak hair with moisture.

  • Revolution Haircare sun protection for hair

    Revolution Haircare SPF 30 Scalp Protect Spray 50ml

    Top review: "Really lovely product. Smells lovely, great texture and no sticky residue. Will buy again!"

    This is THE one if you’re worried about protecting your scalp. Spray over the scalp and onto your hair for UV protection. We love the coconut scent. Dreamy.

  • Michael Van Clarke sun protection for hair

    Michael Van Clarke UV spray

    Top review: "I use this on my hair after each wash. I love the fact that its protecting my hair at the same time as helping it feel nourished."

    This 3-in-1 moisturising treatment protects the hair from UV while strengthening, reducing splitting, and smoothing hair too.

  • Goldwell sun protection for hair

    Goldwell Dualsenses Sun Reflects UV Protect Spray

    Instantly protects from the influences of sun, pool and seawater and from colour fading due to UV rays. Prevents moisture loss and re-balances the moisture level.

  • Kérastase sun protection for hair

    Kérastase Soleil Crème UV Sublime

    Top review: "As someone who is outside in direct sunlight with uncovered hair for upwards of four hours per day, all summer, every summer, I can absolutely tell that this works. My hair is much softer and stronger after using this for a month than it has every been by late July. No more straw hair!"

    With a lightweight texture and sunny scent, this leave-in moisturising cream prevents dryness and tames frizz for the silkiest smooth finish.

  • Rahua sun protection for hair

    Rahua Hydration Detangler + UV Barrier

    Spritzed onto damp tresses, this multitasker coats strands with a weightless shield to keep hair free from dryness, breakage and dulling of colour. Ultra-light and refreshing, it promises to help strengthen hair while smelling gorgeous of mango and passionfruit too.

How I chose the best hair SPFs

  • Trusted brands: There's so many haircare brands on the market, it can be hard to know which ones are actually worth spending your hard earned cash on. This edit includes brands either I or the HELLO! team rate.
  • Verified reviews: The products in this edit all have reviews attached to them, and I've waded through them to choose those that have the most authentic reviews - good and bad.
  • Price: Spend a lot or a little, this list includes price points across the board.
  • Personal opinion: I haven't tried all of the brands or products listed, but I have included some that I have, or am wanting to try. Having written about beauty for the past 20 years, I've got a good eye to spot a product that will actually work!

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