Outdoor Life

Choosing a hat for sun protection

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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summer hat
A wide brimmed hat is your best friend during the summer months.
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Put on your hat before you venture outside. Your skin will thank you.

Although we have all been forewarned about the dangers of the sun, most of us are not going to retreat to our dark, dank basements to ride out the summer months. Humans love being outside during the summer. In fact, the sun, in small doses, is good for us and helps us generate vitamin D.


However, a fact of life is that we need to protect our skin from the hazardous rays of the sun or else we are going to be dealing with skin cancer later on. Furthermore, the sun ages our skin and most of us would prefer not to have skin that looks like crepe paper.


One of the best forms of protection is choosing a hat for sun protection. Choosing the proper hat to provide protection from the sun needs to be one of your top priorities if you plan on gardening, swimming, golfing, boating, playing tennis or hiking this summer.


Determine what your main outdoor activities will be before you choose your hat. Is your hair long or short? Is it thinning? Is your head bald or shaved? Is your hair dyed? These are important considerations when choosing your sun protection hat. Will wind be involved in your activity? How much of a brim can you tolerate? Is being fashionable a deal breaker for you? Is your peripheral vision crucial when you are engaging in the activity?



If you are going to be riding in a boat you will need to choose a hat for sun protection with a chin strap so you do not lose the hat. A wide brimmed hat is also essential. When playing tennis or volleyball, your peripheral vision is important so purchase a hat with a three-inch brim and consider getting a hat that has a neck drape, which protects the back of your neck.


A sun visor will allow air to circulate so that you do not get too hot but make sure the brim is big enough to give your face maximum coverage. Choose a hat that has mesh on the side or on the crown and select fast drying material that enables evaporative cooling.


A four-inch brim is ideal when it comes to sun protection. However, the brim needs to be angled downward to give you protection all day long. At noon, the sun is directly over head and a three-inch brim will sufficiently protect you but as the sun descends or ascends the rays can slip under the brim of your hat and burn your face and neck. Choose a downward angled four-inch brim hat, or even a bigger brim, to get the most protection.


If you are bald or have thinning hair you may want to avoid mesh panels on the crown of the hate because the sun rays will reach your scalp. However, if you have a thick head of hair, mesh panels will keep your head cool.


Those with short hair need to protect the back of their neck. Wear a full-brimmed hat.


Sun can be damaging to your hair, particularly if you have dyed or colored hair. Too much exposure to the sun can result in dry, brittle hair. Keep your hair covered as much as possible.


Pay close attention to the fabric. The best sun protection comes from fabrics that are tightly woven. A dense fabric such as canvas is a good choice. Straw hats may be cooler but they allow the sun to reach your skin so are not the best choice. The color of the hat you choose for sun protection is important as well. Darker colors provide more sun protection than do lighter colors.


Now that you know the low-down, choose a hat for sun protection to accommodate your summer activities, which will simultaneously provide you with protection from the sun, as well as make you look quite sporty and fashionable.



Coolibar.com: Sun hats by style

Sungrubbies: choosing a sun hat



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