When I was a lifeguard in high school and college, I wore little more than swim trunks, sun glasses and a sun visor. The only reason I wore the latter was to shade my eyes so that I could watch the swimmers without glare from the sun above. (The polarized sun glasses took care of the glare from the water). I had no real concern about shading my face or scalp, especially since I had a full mane of wavy blonde hair to keep my head from burning.
<sigh> Those were the days.
Now, I dare not venture outdoors without at least a cap (golf cap, ball cap…whatever you want to call it). My protective mane has all but disappeared and my last experience wearing a sun visor left me with a scalp burn that would do a monk proud. When I swim, I spray on some SPF 30 Banana Boat Body and Scalp Spray, but the hat goes right back on my head after I get back out. Aside from my significant collection of caps, my favorite head adornment is my trusty wide-brimmed straw hat!
It’s important to realize that man (or woman) cannot fight UV rays with sunscreen alone. You need to rock those fashionable shades (with 100% UV protection), wear clothing if possible, and definitely wear a hat. I can vouch that, despite following EVERY guideline for applying and reapplying sunscreen during my vacation, I still had some darker tone on my forearms and lower legs…the places I was not covered by clothing or hat. This past weekend, I worked in the yard, again slathered in sunscreen applied per all the guidelines while wearing my sweat-stained “yard work” cap. At the end of the day, my neck had a slight red glow to it. (Please hold the redneck jokes). Not really burned to a crisp, but definitely had some sun exposure. Oh yeah…it was also a cloudy day!
Did you know that about 23% or all men have their first melanoma spotted on their head? For women, it’s 7%. And if you recall my informal survey last September, 25% of respondents stated their melanoma was discovered on the head! I guess my point is…wear a hat!
Again, during my vacation (can you tell my mind still wants to hang on to that relaxing weekend?) I noticed quite a few people poolside and on the beach that were doing exactly that…wearing a hat! In fact, I can’t recall seeing as many noggin’ covers as I saw this year. So with my last reminder to wear your hat as much as possible, here are a few photos I took of nearby sun-smart hat wearers. (And yes, Respect the Rays, I thought of you and your album of hat photos as I risked voyeur charges while taking these photos…J )