Dying my hair with a sunburned scalp?

Two days ago I got a mild sunburn on my scalp. It’s pink, but not too sensitive to the touch. It’s only irritated should I scratch it which would, of course, hurt a sunburn. I intended to dye my hair today and I don’t react to hair dyes. I get mild itching along my hairline but never along my part. My mom suggests that if I try it and it burns or itches more than normal, that I immediately wash it out whether it’s been the 10 mins or not. I don’t want to risk my hair falling out, but it has been two days and isn’t very sensitive.

5 Answers

  1. Do not dye your hair. It might be fine, but why would you want to risk it? You have a sunburn, which means your skin is extra sensitive, so this increases the chances that your skin will get irritated. Also, with a sunburn, your pores are more exposed, and if you have scratched it at all, there might be a wound under your hair. There might be several wounds that are just too small for you to really notice. Hair dye contains chemicals, and trace amounts of this could leach into your body. This probably wouldn’t be a huge deal, but why take the chance when you can just wait a week or so?

  2. I would wait until you no longer know your scalp is burned. Another day or two won’t make that much difference in dying your hair, but if something goes wrong and you end up making a trip to the ER because you’ve got blisters in your scalp, that’s going to take a week or two to heal – plus the cost of medical care and any pain or itching you can create with those chemicals on burned skin.

  3. i does no longer colour your hair till your scalp isn’t sunburnt. My scalp additionally sunburns, and that i additionally dye my hair, i’ve got in no way colored it whilst my scalp has been burnt, yet i will purely think of what variety of soreness that could reason. it would be itchy and painful i think of. shouldn’t take your sunburnt long to bypass away… i could merely wait.

  4. Just wait a little bit until the sunburn starts the fade.

  5. I think maybe it would be okay, but I’m not sure. It would be best until the sunburn is gone completely, and then you should try it.

Relevant information


If your skin is exposed to too much of the ultraviolet (UV) light in sunlight, it burns. Any exposed skin can burn, including your scalp.

The symptoms of a sunburned scalp are basically the same as a sunburn elsewhere on your body, and include:

If your sunburn is severe, you could also experience:

It can take a few hours for the first symptoms of sunburn to appear, but it might take 24 hours or longer to determine its full extent.

You can treat your burnt scalp at home. For about a week, or until your sunburn has healed, follow these simple steps:

  1. Shower in cool — or at most tepid — water. Hot water will increase sunburn discomfort.
  2. Check the label on your shampoo and conditioner. Until the sunburn has healed, avoid shampoos with sulfates, they can dry the scalp and create more irritation. Also avoid conditioners with dimethicone, it can block pores, trapping heat, and create more damage.
  3. Skip using too many hair products. Many contain chemicals that can irritate your sunburn.
  4. Dry and style your hair naturally. The heat from blow dryers and flat irons can dry and damage your healing scalp.
  5. Sooth the pain with cold compresses.
  6. Moisturize. Rubbing coconut oil and aloe vera gel gently into the sunburned area may relieve discomfort and promote healing. Be aware that they’ll probably make your hair look greasy. Many advocates of natural healing suggest soothing sunburn with essential oils such as helichrysum or lavender.
  7. Stay hydrated. Along with other benefits, drinking at least eight glasses of water a day will help moisturize your skin.
  8. If you need pain relief, consider taking an over-the-counter (OTC) medication, such as aspirin (Bayer, Excedrin), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or naproxen (Aleve).
  9. Wear a hat. While your scalp is healing, stay out of the sun or keep your scalp covered.

See your doctor if your sunburn symptoms include:

Also see your doctor if you feel that your sunburned scalp has been infected. Signs of infection include:

  • increasing pain
  • swelling
  • pus draining from an open blister
  • red streaks extending from an open blister

A sunburn on your scalp typically will not cause hair loss. You might lose some hairs while the skin is peeling, but they should regrow.

If you have thinning hair, you have less natural protection from the sun’s UV light. As your hair continues to thin, you’ll have to adjust the level of protection you provide for your scalp.

The best sun protection for your scalp is to cover your head. And that’s usually all you need to prevent sunburn. If, however, your chosen head covering has a loose weave — certain straw hats, mesh-backed truckers’ hats, for example — it could be allowing UV light through to your scalp. UV light is most intense between 10 am to 4 pm.

You can use a sun block lotion on your scalp. If you have hair, it can be difficult to get even coverage, and the lotion will coat your hair as well.

Your scalp can get sunburned just like any skin on your body, from your feet to your lips and earlobes. You should protect your scalp the same way you protect your other skin by avoiding the sun, protecting the skin with sunscreen, and covering it.

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