Feeling distressed at my sun damaged face this summer, I desperately look for solutions and wonder: does wearing a hat protect you from the sun?
According to dermatologists and what my own research has made me learn, hats are not only stylish, but also provide crucial protection against the sun. Wearing one saves your hair, face, ears and neck against UV rays. The amount of protection offered by a hat depends on its type – the design, shape, size and material determine how well a hat blocks and reflects UV radiation. Let’s discover more about how hats serve as a viable solution for preventing sun damage.
Table of Contents
- Why Hats Are Important in the Sun?
- Do Bucket Hats Protect You From the Sun?
- Do Mesh Hats Protect From Sun?
- How to Protect Yourself From the Sun?
Why Hats Are Important in the Sun?
Exposing your head and face to the cruel sun creates a real nightmare by leading to wrinkles as well as premature graying of your beautiful tresses. Without any protection in the sun, you also make yourself vulnerable to skin cancer. Among other measures taken for sun protection, a hat serves as a great option.
Here is why a hat should be your companion when you are out in the sun.
Blocks UV Light
A hat provides you shade from the sun. The wider the brim of the hat, the better coverage it provides against UV radiation. There are UPF hats available which are also known as sunscreen hats. These are touted as extremely effective at providing protection against the sun. It has been claimed that hats with a rating of UPF 50+ block almost 98% of the UV radiation that falls directly on you. I haven’t tried one yet but I definitely feel it’s an awesome invention.
Covers the Hair
UV radiation aims right at the protective layer of our hair strands known as the cuticle. Once this layer has been damaged, you go through all sorts of alarming hair issues including split ends, friziness and discoloration. The strands become dry, brittle and weak. As a result, you also start to experience hair breakage and hair fall. It’s an absolute horror story! I’ve already been through this extremely ugly situation. While I had to resort to a variety of expensive hair serums, masks and treatment sessions at the hair salon, you can avoid the entire situation by using a simple hat when you are out in the sun.
Provides Shade for Your Face
The sun is merciless. Here is another short horror story: constant exposure to the sun is disastrous for your face. Freckles, wrinkles, a damaged complexion and the appearance of moles with cancer tendencies are some of the most frightening effects of UV rays on the face. Most of this damage is irreversible. I had a narrow escape myself before I turned to the right solution on time. Therefore, my advice is to always wear a hat before stepping out on a sunny day. A hat shades your face from the sun. Although the protection may not be a hundred percent, it still considerably prevents UV rays from harming your face.
Keeps You Cool
While a hat performs the important job of blocking UV rays, it also keeps you cool on a scorching hot day. So, whether you are mowing the lawn at your house, coaching the football team at your kid’s school or doing some official fieldwork, don’t neglect wearing your hat. It will keep the heat away by maintaining shade on your head.
Do Bucket Hats Protect You From the Sun?
Originally created in the 1900s for Irish peasants as protective gear against rain, bucket hats have been turned into a fashion accessory over the years. Amazingly, these hats also offer great sun protection.
Let’s look at why doctors and experts recommend a bucket hat over other styles for the best protection against UV rays.
A Wide Brim
This type of hat is effective at blocking UV rays owing to its design. As it consists of a wide brim, a bucket hat shields your face, ears as well as neck. While an ordinary cap only protects your hair and forehead, it leaves the rest of your face, neck and ears exposed. On the other hand, the brim of a bucket hat gives you extra protection.
Comparison With a Sunscreen Lotion
Some might argue that a baseball cap plus a good sunscreen lotion are sufficient while heading out in the sun. However, you must be aware of the limitations of a sunscreen. It needs to be reapplied after a few hours. Moreover, if you are sweating due to your hot surroundings, the sunscreen lotion is wiped off. This is when a bucket hat comes to the rescue. Even after the effect of your sun protecting lotion has worn off, a bucket hat continues to shade your entire face. Your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin all remain protected against UV rays as long as you keep your hat on. I wouldn’t say that a bucket hat alone can give you a hundred percent protection against the sun. But this hat combined with a decent sunscreen lotion can certainly make a good team.
Additional Neck Flap
Some manufactures add a special neck flap to the bucket cap. This increases the shade coverage of the hat for your neck region. Other than making the hat look more chic, the neck flap protects the sensitive skin on your nape from getting sun burnt. So, you can comfortably carry out your outdoor activities in the sun while wearing a simple, round neck T-shirt. Your bucket hat with its additional neck flap has got you covered!
Do Mesh Hats Protect From Sun?
A mesh hat is a type of baseball cap. When it comes to wearing a hat, a cap is what most people prefer owing to its comfort, easy availability and reasonable price. It is also stylish and almost never goes out of trend. However, I don’t feel happy to reveal your chic cap offers the least amount of sun protection among all other styles of hats. Still, when you have no other option, a mesh hat is better than no protection at all. It does cover your head and keeps UV rays away from your hair, scalp and forehead. It also somewhat shades your nose and eyes. Moreover, a cap keeps the heat away by blocking direct sunlight falling on your head.
When you don’t want to opt for any other style, you can still turn to your mesh hat to shield you against the sun. Here is how you can get the most out of it.
Pair It With a Sunscreen Lotion
Since a mesh hat only shades your scalp and forehead, protect the rest of your face by applying a potent sunscreen. Don’t forget to reapply the lotion after every couple of hours for the maximum effectiveness.
Buy the Right Material
While purchasing your mesh hat, look for materials that are best at reflecting the heat away and blocking UV radiation. I would personally recommend buying a cotton cap as it is considerably comfortable and keeps the scorching heat away.
Use Sunscreen Mesh Hats
Look for mesh hats offering sunscreen protection. As I already discussed above, these hats are made from a special material that blocks UV radiation. Hats rated above SPF offer the best sun protection. So, if you can get your hands on a mesh hat with this rating, you will be giving yourself a decent amount of protection on a sunny day.
How to Protect Yourself From the Sun?
You might be thinking why a hat isn’t good enough for protection against the harmful effects of the sun. Well, it is kind of frightening to know that the sun leaves no stone unturned to attack us! Other than the rays falling directly on us, there are reflected sunrays as well as scattered radiation all around us. Therefore, we need to be fully prepared in more than one way to shield ourselves from this radiation.
If you are thinking what can protect you from the sun, I have listed some of the most effective preventive measures you can take.
Wear a Wide Brimmed Hat
As we have already established above, a wide brimmed hat is your best shield against the sun. It provides significant coverage and shades your head, face, neck, ears as well as back.
Apply a Sunscreen Lotion
A dermatologist would literally freak out if you tell him/her that you don’t use a sunscreen regularly! This is the first thing doctors recommend as protection for your skin. With so much awareness and repeated reminders given by skin experts, no wonder doctors get agitated when their patients show negligence. If you love your skin, don’t ever neglect your sunscreen lotion. Wear it every day of the week. Choose one with an appropriate SPF rating for the maximum protection.
Wear the Right Clothing
Protecting yourself against the sun requires you to minimize your exposure. This means you need to wear appropriate clothing when you are outdoors. Wear full sleeves and avoid wearing shorts or a mini skirt. In other words, try to keep all your body parts covered.
Carry an Umbrella
I remember how I used to carry an umbrella around during my university days. I needed effective sun protection while walking from my classes to the parking area on the huge campus. An umbrella is quite handy and can be used anywhere. Simply put it in your bag and open it whenever needed. It provides a pleasant shade. Depending upon its size, an umbrella can shield your entire body from sunrays.
Sunglasses are the trendiest piece of protective equipment against the sun. Use polarized glasses for protection against UV radiation. These glasses may be expensive. However, investing in a good pair can prevent irreversible sun damage.
Sun damage is inevitable if you expose yourself without any protection. Remember, this damage is irreversible and may even lead to deadly cancer. Therefore, turning to preventive measures is of the utmost importance. You may protect yourself in a number of ways. Wearing a hat is one of the most effective shields against UV radiation. Enhance your fashion style and use a trendy hat whenever you step out in the sun. Whether you are working, enjoying on the beach, out for a vacation or simply playing with your little ones in your backyard, you can always wear a hat to keep the sun away.
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