Thorin Decatur on How to Protect Your Scalp From the Summer Sun

The temperatures are reaching record highs across the country and whether you have to be outdoors for work or just hanging out at the beach, many guys (especially those of us with fading hairlines) forget to protect our scalps from the sun.

We spoke to Thorin Decatur, a third generation barber and owner of the recently opened Decatur & Sons barber shop in New York City, for tips on how to take of the hair up there during the summer scorching months.

How do you recommend guys preventing scalp sun burn? Any product you like (besides a hat)?

Of course use a hat if you’ve got a short cropped cut but aside from that if you’re going to the beach hat free- I like to use an UNscented sun block that’s not oily.  A spray that has at least spf 30 does the trick like this from Badger Balm.

Obviously we sweat a lot more in the summer. Should we shampoo more often?

I prefer never to shampoo because shampoo and conditioner have basically the same ingredients so you are stripping your hair twice and double drying it out. Just use a mild conditioner like the Cilantro conditioner from Malin + Goetz.

People always get weirded out that their hair looks dirty. It’s actually oil that your scalp produces that is good for your hair. Problem is, some guys don’t comb their hair so it looks gross on the scalp. Always comb your hair. That way you take the oils over the entire shaft of hair and not just leaving it at the bottom. It’s healthy to have some shine to your hair!

Does the pool/sun/ocean do anything bad to our hair? If so what should we do to prevent or bring it back?

All those things are bad. Rinse with fresh water (don’t shampoo, or conditioner) and after you rinse out all that chlorine or salt, moisturize your hair with a light styling hair cream to replenish it.  For longer hair I recommend the Beautifying Serum from Eufora and for short hair the Sage Styling Cream from Malin.

Do we really need to cut our hair shorter in the summer? What about our beards

Technically no. But it does feel good to shear off all those locks in the hot summer sun. Cutting your hair short makes you have one less step to do when you’re worrying about the AC breaking or if you have enough patience to be on the train for 1.5 hours to get to the Rockaways.

Finally- we are traveling a lot this summer. What’s a good all in one or travel size product you recommend? 

Summer travel is always “where is the sunscreen?” so anything you can get away with in all the rigorous guidelines of the TSA and that fits neatly in your pack, do it.

My suggestion is to go to your local drug store and buy empty, generic three ounce bottles and then fill them with your favorite product. That way you don’t have to buy a whole travel kit from one company with product you may not need or use.

Thorin Decatur
Thorin Decatur

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